SAN DIEGO — The Padres play the Philadelphia Phillies at 7:05 tonight at Jack Murphy Stadium, but the real action may come at 3:30.
That's when Padre President Ballard Smith will have a meeting with a team of frustrated players.
Smith made comments to the media earlier this week in which he called the Padres "a bunch of players more concerned about themselves than the team," criticized outfielder Kevin McReynolds for having "bad work habits" and said he would not be interested in Tim Raines, the Montreal Expo star who becomes a free agent after the season, because of Raines' previous substance-abuse problems.
Smith and owner Joan Kroc also announced this that they would no longer give Padre players multiyear contracts because drug-testing clauses in the contracts of major leaguers were deemed unenforceable in a July 30 decision by federal arbitrator.
Outfielder Tony Gwynn said: "If that's the way it's going to be here, it's going to be almost impossible to field a top team. . . . I want to play here the rest of my life, but when it comes to contract time you have to be looking for security. Hopefully, I'll still be in my prime when my contract runs out. And I'm going to be looking for security."