Jack Clark Apologizes!

Clark PujolsThere was a fairly big story here in St. Louis last summer when former player Jack Clark said he knew for a fact that Albert Pujols used Performance Enhancing Drugs.

Pujols filed a defamation lawsuit and there is now a resolution.

Clark has offered an apology.

I would like to address Albert Pujols’ pending defamation lawsuit and re-confirm that I have no knowledge whatsoever that Mr. Pujols has ever used illegal or banned PEDs,” Clark said in a statement that was initially reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I publicly retract my statements that Albert Pujols used such substances. During a heated discussion on air, I misspoke and for that I sincerely apologize.

Pujols has accepted the apology and dropped what would have been a difficult lawsuit.

End of story!

Moral of story? Two adults are actually capable of coming up with a resolution to a problem without federal intervention. Nobody tell Congress, they might make a law against such behavior.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Spear of the Hunt
Next Release: The Broken Throne

Pujols Files Defamation Suit Against Clark

Clark PujolsI wrote a blog a while back about how a former local radio host in St. Louis, Jack Clark, claimed that he knew “for a fact” that Albert Pujols used steroids.

Pujols vowed to file suit against Clark although most people felt this was merely bravado because proving that Clark knowingly lied with malice is difficult. That Pujols would face something called discovery in which the defense gets to interview many people associated with Pujols about his past.

Well, Pujols went ahead and filed anyway.

I find this interesting because Pujols is opening himself up to a lot of scrutiny. If in the discovery process it is found that he did use steroids he will certainly lose the suit and a great deal of respect in the baseball community. It was clearly in Pujols’ best interest to let the matter simply fade away. This is the strategy that almost ever other athlete accused of PED use has done in the past with the notable exception of Lance Armstrong.

Armstrong strongly denounced those who accused him, filed suits, won money, destroyed lives, but eventually admitted that he was using PEDs all that time. This effectively ended his career and has him embroiled in multiple lawsuits to this day.

Pujols faces the same situation. If it turns out he did use PEDs his long-term contract with the Los Angeles Angels might well be voided. His future reputation in baseball is on the line. This is the reason that Ryan Braun never filed suit against his accusers. He was guilty and knew filing suit would open him to tremendous danger.

On the other hand I empathize with Pujols if he has been falsely accused. I’m glad that he filed suit because it’s wrong when someone lies about someone else in order to gain publicity. We see it all the time in the news about politicians and celebrities. Lies are told with reckless abandon because the US court system is set up to protect the defendant and proving such cases is extremely difficult.

In this case I do think the fact that Clark said that he “knew for a fact” that Pujols was using PEDs is clearly a lie. Therefore I think Pujols has a chance to win the case.

Why is it a lie? Let’s imagine that Clark actually did have a conversation with Pujols trainer some thirteen years ago and that trainer did tell him Pujols was using steroids. This still doesn’t rise to the level of “know for a fact.” It is hearsay at best. Clark has no first hand knowledge of PED use.

In the radio show where Clark made these accusations his co-host agreed that he thought Pujols was using PEDs but carefully avoided such language. The co-host is a lawyer and long-time radio broadcaster who is well aware of the laws regarding defamation and slander.

I’ll be an interested follower as this case makes its way through the system.

I know for whom I’ll be rooting . I hope Pujols is able to prove his case and Clark is ordered to pay a fine, which Pujols says will go to charity, and apologize.

If evidence arises that Pujols actually did use PEDs, I’ll be saddened although not particularly surprised.

Stay tuned!

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Sword of Water ($2.99 for a full length eBook)
Next Release: The Spear of the Hunt

Jack Clark Accuses Albert Pujols of Steroid Use

Clark PujolsI’m from St. Louis, Missouri and a huge sports fan. Yes, that means I barrack (Australian for root) for the Cardinals. There is a moderately big story in Cardinal-land today.

Jack Clark recently mentioned on his radio show that Albert Pujols used steroids. Clark claims he knows this because Pujols trainer told him so thirteen years ago. The trainer denies this conversation took place.

Clark is a former player who came to the Cardinals late in his career and helped the team to two World Series appearances in 1985 and 1987. He retired in 1992. Pujols was the star player for the Cardinals from 2001 to 2011 after which he signed a large contract with the Los Angeles Angels.

I’ve mentioned my belief that most players are using Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) in a number of blogs. I would not be at all surprised to find that Pujols was among those doing so.

That being said, Clark’s story raises a number of red flags in my mind. Clark claims Pujols’ trainer, Chris Mihlfeld, and he worked together in 2000 and that Mihlfeld asked Clark if he wanted to use steroids. According to Clark, Mihlfeld at that time told him that Pujols was using them.

My first red-flag is that Clark had been retired for eight years and was forty-four years old at that time. It’s certainly possible Mihlfeld was just looking for a new customer but it seems odd to ask a player retired that long if they wanted to use steroids. Pujols was a minor league player that year.

My second red-flag is that Clark waited for thirteen years to reveal this information. He says, “I really never thought too much about it because steroids were really not on my radar screen at that time.” Possibly true, but five years later in 2005 Jose Canseco wrote his tell-all book, Juiced. Pretty much from that moment forward PEDs have been on everyone’s radar. For the last eight years Clark has been keeping this conversation secret. That just seems very odd to me. Particular so because in 2010 Clark had strong words for Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmiero, Roger Clemons, Barry Bonds, and Sammy Sosa. Not a word about Pujols, the reigning MVP in the National League.

My third red-flag is that Clark recently became host of his own radio talk show and when it comes to radio talk shows; outrageous statements that get you noticed are almost a requirement for success.

My fourth red-flag is that Clark also accused pitcher Jason Verlander of PED use based on the “evidence” that Verlander lost velocity on his fastball after signing a big contract.

On the other side, Mihlfeld did work with a pitcher named Jason Grimley who admitted to steroid use. Mihlfeld was thought to be part of that case and but this proved to be false.

As to Clark’s character there isn’t a lot good to say. He said some awful things about Tony Gwynn in 1990. He likewise said terrible things about San Diego Padre manager Greg Riddoch.

I’m certainly not saying Pujols didn’t use steroids, I’m just saying Clark is not a trustworthy source of information. As much as I think most of the players are using PEDs; I don’t think it’s right to call them guilty without evidence. To let hearsay destroy a career.

To my mind, there is no way Clark could have gone thirteen years without mentioning this to people. PEDs have been big news for a long time. I’d like to see if anyone comes forward confirm that Clark has told this story before. If not, I think it’s pretty scummy of Clark to make such an accusation to promote his radio show.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Twist
Current Release: The Sword of Water
Upcoming Release: The Spear of the Hunt