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Clark Needs to Listen to His Own Advice

December 15, 1990

I would like to offer a counter-perspective to Jack Clark's comments Dec. 9. First off, let me say that I admire Jack Clark's ability to play baseball. When he came to San Diego two years ago and got off to a slow start, he told us "give me some time, I'll hit .250 to .260, hit 20-25 home runs and drive in close to 100 runs each year." In his time here, he lived up to those standards, injury permitting.

As a baseball player Jack has basically done his job. He was hired to put up those type of numbers and he did. Now Jack needs to let Greg Riddoch do the job he was hired to do.

Jack Clark complained about Riddoch's kindergarten tactics and psychology. It certainly seems now that the Padres made the right decision in not attempting to re-sign this disgruntled player. Maybe remedial measures would not have been necessary if Riddoch had players who acted like men, instead of having players who act like kindergarteners--throwing bases, calling people back-stabbing snakes, talking behind people's backs and making personal threats in the newspapers.

Clark should talk to some of he players who really know what Riddoch is capable of. Before Clark calls Benito Santiago and Bruce Hurst, maybe he should call Eric Davis. Riddoch saved Davis from being released early in his career and was given a dose of Riddoch's "psychology." It worked so well that Eric Davis is wearing a World Series ring this winter. Do yourself a favor Jack, get the other perspective.

Has Riddoch changed? Most certainly. Was it necessary? Absolutely. Come on Jack, give the guy a break. You didn't perform exactly as expected when you came to San Diego, did you? It took some time to adjust to a new situation. But at least we gave you the chance to succeed. Trying to bury Riddoch now, before the season begins and before we have the chance to see if Riddoch has done his homework this winter, is unfair . . . somewhat like the tactics a child in kindergarten uses.

TIMOTHY G. PURPURA

La Jolla

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