PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The war of words between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Maricopa County Supervisors has reached a fever pitch.
It's all over millions of dollars of improvements to Chase Field the D-backs say the county is contractually obligated to pay.
And things got heated between County Supervisor Andy Kunasek and D-backs' CEO Derrick Hall.
"I do apologize for my choice of words, but not for my sentiment and my passionate belief," said Kunasek about a recent confrontation he had with Hall in a parking structure at Chase Field after hand delivering a letter to team management.
The letter was regarding $65 million in improvements to the stadium the team wants the county to pay for.
In the letter, Kunasek wrote to Hall, "As for your business, professional baseball is evolving into a parasitic enterprise which is well on its way to destroying its host."
Then, in a face-to-face with Hall, Kunasek admitted to saying, "If it were up to me, I'd let you take your stupid baseball team and get out.. take it all and go to [expletive] West Virginia or whatever."
"You know, it really came out of some frustrations that I've had with the Diamondbacks and with the team -- the management of the team," said Kunasek.
Kunasek says he's never felt taxpayers should have paid for the stadium or improvements.
The board did reject the $65 million upgrades, which Kunasek maintains is the team's responsibility.
"I'm uncomfortable going beyond that and saying, you know, I am as County Supervisor, going to tax the people of Maricopa County for a line of business that really is not ours."
That reference to West Virginia was aimed at D-backs owner Ken Kendrick, who is from the state. So this clearly has become personal.
As for the team's future, Hall said Kunasek's comments will cause the team to move forward in "a different direction." So this is far from over.
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