Jack Clark, the San Diego first baseman, charges that Padres Manager Greg Riddoch orchestrated many of the organization's recent firings, including the dismissal of Jack McKeon as general manager.

Clark, one of the major-leaguers just granted new-look free agency, accused Riddoch of back-stabbing everyone in his path, of being an incompetent manager and evil.

Clark also promised revenge.

"When he gets off his high horse, and gets fired, there'll be nobody to protect him," Clark said in an interview published in the Los Angeles Times's San Diego County edition. "That's when he better start looking over his shoulder where there will be a lot of people looking for him. . . . Payback's a dog."

Riddoch, from his home in Greeley, Colo., commented: "Well. What a miserable day this turned out to be. . . . On one hand, you consider the source . . . But it still hurts . . . I considered us friends."

Clark insisted his anger is not because the Padres no longer are interested in signing him. Instead, he said, it's because of the way he believes Riddoch's personality changed once he was promoted from first-base coach to manager at the all-star break.

"He's a bad, bad man and he's sneaky," said Clark.

"I don't believe for a moment I'm a bad person," said Riddoch.