Take notes my friends…

March 15, 2008

as you read the words and story of a gentleman, Tony Clark:

Clark ‘disappointed’ with D-Backs
Nick Piecoro
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 23, 2008 09:17 PM

Tony Clark says he isn’t bitter. He’s not angry, either. In fact, all things considered, he sounds pretty pleased to have ended up in San Diego, his hometown, playing for a Padres team that, thus far, has been treating him better than he could imagine.

But his first choice was always Arizona, his adopted home, to stay with the Diamondbacks, and he remains disheartened by the way his off-season transpired.

“I’m disappointed,” he said. “Not that I’m not a Diamondback, but by how I became an ex-Diamondback.”

Clark had a two-year, $3 million offer from the Diamondbacks on the table for weeks. But in the days leading up to Dec. 14, when the Diamondbacks made three trades involving 14 players, Clark got a phone call from General Manager Josh Byrnes informing him that the offer was no longer there.

The last time Clark and Byrnes had spoken was three weeks earlier. In that conversation, Clark came away thinking the offer was still on the table and that ultimately he would have a take-it-or-leave-it moment. That never happened because the Diamondbacks needed all of their open roster spots to complete the three trades.

What if the club had given him a deadline of, say, Dec. 1, to accept or decline the deal once and for all?

“I would have accepted the deal,” Clark said. “The only reason I was out on the market was to make sure the offer was fair.”

One of the holdups was the club’s policy not to include performance bonuses in contracts. Clark wanted to make sure that if his role changed – if he went from being a bench player to an everyday player – his pay would, too.

But the market moved slowly this winter, and despite a handful of teams that Clark said had expressed interest in him early in the free agent process, none came forward with a firm offer.

Clark now has no doubt the offer the Diamondbacks made was fair. He just wished he would have known it was going to expire when it did.

Byrnes declined to comment, but the club’s perspective appears to be that the offer was out there for weeks and Clark couldn’t have expected a multi-player deal to be held up because of it.

Clark wound up accepting a one-year, $900,000 deal from the Padres on Feb. 14, well below what the Diamondbacks had offered.

“I have no regrets, none,” he said. “And, literally, all the while, I wish Arizona the best.”

We can only wish him the best…and I personally wish (along with many a D-back fan) that he could still wear the Diamondback red, or at least have had a better parting with the orginization.

(We love you, Tony!)


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