Clubhouse Dispute Coming to a Head For Padres' Players, Executive, Media

Associated Press

A closed-door clubhouse gripe session apparently soothed tensions between the San Diego Padres' players and management, but several reporters covering the team were fuming Wednesday over remarks directed at them by President Ballard Smith.

Local sportswriters chided Smith for referring to reporters in an obscene manner after the Tuesday night pregame meeting, and one columnist called for an apology from the Padre president.

Smith said Wednesday he was the one who deserved an apology, not the reporters.

"I think I'm entitled to one," he said. "What they (reporters) didn't tell you was that I was involved in a private conversation with (pitcher) Eric Show, and all these reporters came up and surrounded us and interrupted the conversation."

Smith apparently called the Tuesday night pregame meeting to discuss player resentment stemming from his June 5 directive banning beer in the clubhouse. The meeting lasted 38 minutes. Afterward, most players declined to discuss what went on, saying Smith had asked them to refer media inquiries to him.

When reporters approached Smith, he said, "Why don't you do me a favor and get away from me," before cursing the reporters and walking away.

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