Former Giants-Padres-Cardinals slugger Jack Clark has apologized over performance enhancing drug use allegations he made against Cardinals-turned-Angels slugger Albert Pujols, prompting the Anaheim first baseman to drop his defamation suit against Clark.
After making the PED comments twice in early August on his The King and the Ripper radio program, Clark was fired by his station, WGNU/920 AM of St. Louis.
"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 provided to 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."
During the Aug. 2 The King and the Ripper show, Clark said he was told in 2000 by former Pujols trainer Chris Mihlfield that Mihlfield had "shot (Pujols) up" with steroids. (Clark and Mihlfield worked for the Dodgers at the time.) At one point, co-host Kevin "The King" Slaten said he long had believed that Pujols "has been a juicer." Clark responded, "I know for a fact he was."
Pujols sued over Clark's "malicious, reckless and outrageous falsehoods," saying his reputation had been harmed and he'd been caused personal humiliation, mental anguish and anxiety. The future Hall of Famer claimed he has never used steroids nor ever taken any illegal PEDs. His suit suggested Clark being taken off the air would not be enough to undo the harm he suffered, and Pujols vowed to donate any monetary damages he received to charity.
Clark was known as "Jack the Ripper" for the ferocious way he could swing the bat. (For you Dodger fans who remember his Game 6 home run for the Cardinals in the 1985 NLCS, sorry to have reminded you.) But he also deserves the "Ripper" nickname for the way he rips players, managers, ballparks and fans--during and after his playing days.
Long before the Pujols dust-up, Clark as a Giant complained about Candlestick Park (which, come to think of it, was awful) and manager Frank Robinson. With the Yankees, Clark did not get along with manager Lou Pinella and requested a trade. In San Diego, his targets were Tony Gwynn, manager Greg Riddoch and Padres fans. After being traded to an American League team, Clark shit on the entire AL. ("I hate that damn league. Every game lasts 3 1/2 to 4 hours. No wonder the fans are bored over there.")
He's gone after other players over steroids, most famously when Mark McGwire returned to baseball to become the Cardinals hitting coach. Clark said McGwire should be banned from the game and, if Clark ever came across McGwire, Clark would refuse to shake his hand.
"All those guys are cheaters," Clark told the Post-Dispatch at the time. "A-Rod: fake, phony. Rafael Palmeiro: fake, a phony. "Clemens, Bonds, Sosa: fakes, phonies. They don't deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.
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"They should all be in the Hall of Shame," Clark continued. "They can afford to build it. They've all got so much money. And they could all go there and talk about the next way to rub something on your skin. The whole thing is creepy. They're all creeps. All these guys have been liars."
Speaking of name calling, Tommy Lasorda refers to Clark, the one-time Dodgers hitting coach, as "the number three Dodger villain of all-time." That is partly due to how well Clark played against LA while with the Cards and Frisco, and partly due to him having been "a malcontent" and "a head case."
Man, can you imagine what would have come out of the discovery phase of Pujols v. Clark?