Orioles owner Peter Angelos gave the assembled media corps a piece of his mind in Fort Lauderadale yesterday, and the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connelly was amongst the lucky listeners on hand.

Angelos addressed reports he has vetoed potential moves by his front office, including a December deal that would have sent the popular Roberts and pitching prospect Hayden Penn to the Atlanta Braves for second baseman Marcus Giles and first baseman Adam LaRoche.

“Every deal … is always presented to the person who is the managing partner, whether it’s the signing of a super athlete at a great expense or even a mid-level athlete that has to pass by the managing partner for financial reasons,” Angelos said. “Occasionally, as I review proposals like that, I also take into consideration what I believe to be the value of a player to a team from the standpoint of the psychology of the team.”

Roberts, who was drafted by the Orioles in 1999 and last week signed a two-year, $14.3 million extension that keeps him with the club through 2009, has an exceedingly high value in those terms, according to Angelos.

“I just thought that Brian should stay an Oriole, not that the front office didn’t think so, [but] they were looking at it from a standpoint of improving the ballclub,” Angelos said of the vetoed trade. “And they may have been totally right. I looked on it as the retention of a player that came through our system and who is of such great value to the club for all the things he does out there with the public and in the hospitals and so on.

“This is a special kind of player, just like Cal Ripken was for the Orioles, the kind of player you want to keep as part of the organization. And so there’s an area where one might say that I have interfered, but I felt impelled to do that from the standpoint of keeping a player that I thought was critical to be part of the Orioles team.”

The Sultan of Sloth says being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes means “no more starches and sugar. No more rice, pasta, potatoes and white bread. No more fast food. I’ve cut out alcohol. There’s no truth to the rumor that several restaurants and bars in the greater San Diego area have applied for Federal Disaster relief.

Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson, speaking with Newsday’s Bob Herzog about the brutal spring of reliever Ambiorix Burgos (above) ;

” High-end velocity without location doesn’t get anybody out in the big leagues. That’s the bottom line. Until guys realize that’s the priority, they won’t succeed in the big leagues.”

High-90s fastballs? “Ask every hitter if that bothers them,” he said, then answered his own question with a derisive laugh. “If they’re geared up for a 97-, 98-mile-an-hour swing and the ball is out over the plate, watch what happens.”

“When you were an amateur and they wrote you a check , that was a velocity check,” Peterson said.

“If you throw 97 and have no idea where it goes, they’ll pay you a lot of money [initially]. They think that we [coaches] can make you learn how to pitch. But when they wrote that check for velocity, you cashed out. You’re not going to make another dollar on velocity. You’ll make all your money on location.”