SARASOTA, FLA. — Major League Baseball Players Association chief Tony Clark expressed concern Saturday about the way the Dexter Fowler situation was handled by the media and seemed to support agent Casey Close's public statement ripping reporters and the Orioles for premature reports that the free-agent outfielder had agreed to a three-year deal to play in Baltimore.
"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," Clark said during his annual spring visit to Orioles camp, "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 and helps to change or sway the dialogue on one side of the equation or the other.
"I look forward to having a conversation on how everyone can be a little more diligent in that regard in the best interest of the entire industry."
Lest anyone forget, Close blasted the Orioles and the many media outlets who reported the unfinished $33 million contract that Fowler rejected before returning to the Chicago Cubs, though he had nearly two full days to refute those reports and his client told Adam Jones that he was "excited" to be joining the Orioles.
Clark would not say whether the union would follow up on Close's accusation that the Orioles violated baseball's labor agreement.
"An agent has the ability to issue the statement that it issued," Clark said. "Understanding and appreciating what may have transpired here, going back to the question prior, to say we have concerns is an understatement."
Clark also expressed concern about the way free agent Yovani Gallardo's physical examination was handled by the Orioles.