Major League Baseball's target date to decide where the Montreal Expos will play for the 2005 season has been pushed back to late August or early September, according to senior baseball sources.

Robert DuPuy, MLB's president and chief operating officer, last month identified mid-August as a "good, workable target" for deciding where the Expos would be moved. DuPuy was in Milwaukee yesterday to meet with Commissioner Bud Selig and could not be reached to comment.

There is an owners' meeting scheduled for Aug. 18-19 in Philadelphia, and baseball officials had been hoping to address the Expos' future by that time.

USA Today reported yesterday that a decision likely will not be announced at the owners' meeting.

Senior baseball officials have said the relocation committee is now concentrating its efforts on four sites: Washington, Northern Virginia, Las Vegas and Norfolk. MLB's interest in Monterrey, Mexico, and Portland, Ore., has waned, although baseball sources have said that no city has been eliminated.

Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos is the biggest obstacle preventing the Expos from coming to the Washington area. Angelos opposes a team in Washington or Northern Virginia because he believes it would draw fans and viewers away from the Orioles.

The Expos, who were purchased by baseball's other 29 teams before the 2002 season, lose millions of dollars annually and are a financial drain on the rest of the league.

-- Thomas Heath