Tony Clark addresses Cubs-O’s Fowler situation

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SARASOTA, Fla. — Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark conducted a players-only meeting with the Orioles on Saturday morning during the third stop of his Spring Training tour of camps. Immediately after the hour-long session, Clark spoke to reporters about a variety of issues, including the Cubs’ recent signing of after it was widely reported that the veteran outfielder had tentatively agreed with the Orioles.’s coverage of the negotiations said a formal agreement appeared close but made it clear the O’s had not confirmed a deal was complete with Fowler. “To say that I have concerns is an understatement,” Clark said. “I think it is disappointing that we live in a world where it is more important to be first than it is to be right, and it’s a very dangerous place to exist when information makes its way out that may not be 100 percent accurate regardless of what the information is. “I look forward to having a conversation in that regard, in the best interest of the entire industry.”

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• Fowler’s return sparks debate

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Clark was asked about the comments of Fowler’s agent, Casey Close, that were critical of the Orioles and media covering the talks. “I don’t know if offering anything publicly about a negotiation is in anyone’s best interest,” Clark said. “The truth is, we are playing a very dangerous game here with respect to the information that’s being offered, whether it’s accurate or not.”

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• Fowler Fallout: 4 questions after his return

Asked whether Close had discussed his concerns directly with Clark, the union chief was non-committal. “I won’t offer to you what conversation I may or may not have had with an agent or a player regarding his concerns, particularly as they relate to media,” Clark said. “I will offer that there are some cheap baseball jersey very dangerous lines that are being crossed and tiptoed with respect to information that is finding its way public. That concern is one that resonates here, and one that resonates in a lot of other situations, and it’s one that we do take seriously and are paying a lot of attention to. “I don’t know that anyone is going to have an appreciation for how all the moving pieces fit or didn’t fit here, but I will suggest that how it all played out is disheartening and shouldn’t have played out in the fashion that it did.”

Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB. com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. Share This Email Print + Hide Comments

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