Angelos said he merely rubber-stamped committee's choice THE HIRING OF PHIL REGAN


Orioles owner Peter Angelos didn't so much choose Phil Regan to manage his club as rubber-stamp a decision made by his hand-picked selection committee.

That's how Angelos, who didn't appear at yesterday's Orioles news conference announcing Regan's hiring, described his role in choosing the manager.

"The committee selected him. I fully endorsed their recommendation and fully support their conclusion," Angelos said yesterday from his Baltimore home.

"That is a very formidable group. And contrary to what others have said, I am a delegator to groups or individuals in whom I have complete faith."

The owner has been criticized for being unwilling to delegate decision-making to his subordinates.

Angelos assembled a four-member group to conduct the search for a new manager shortly after Johnny Oates was fired Sept. 26. Orioles general manager Roland Hemond and assistant GM Frank Robinson served on the panel with club vice chairman for business Joe Foss and Russell Smouse, a senior lawyer with Angelos' law firm and a trusted aide of the Orioles owner.

The committee met with nine candidates over a span of close to three weeks. Finalists were to be invited back to meet Angelos, but the owner said the only candidate he sat down with was Regan. They met Saturday in Angelos' law office on Lombard Street.

Angelos wouldn't reveal much about his conversation with Regan, but said their meeting was "very friendly, very amicable."

"All I can tell you is I met with the man. It was sufficient for me to reach this conclusion: He's highly talented with a lot of integrity and strong leadership qualities," the owner said.

Regan's experience in dealing with major-league pitchers is one of his strengths, Angelos added. The new manager is a former major-league pitcher and, last year, served as the Cleveland Indians pitching coach.

And Angelos seemed unconcerned by Regan's dearth of major-league managing experience.

"With all his ability, you wonder why he hasn't had this opportunity before. But often times, a pitching coach will remain in that capacity for many years," the owner said.

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