The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar

Splash! Summer guide

Sports headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Friday, October 4, 2013, 3:48 p.m.

Pujols sues Jack Clark over steroid comments

ST. LOUIS -- Albert Pujols sued Jack Clark on Friday over comments on a St. Louis radio show accusing the three-time NL MVP of using steroids.
The lawsuit between former Cardinals stars was filed in Circuit Court in St. Louis County, where Clark lives. It seeks unspecified damages that would be donated to charity, and asks for a determination and declaration that Clark's statements are false.
The petition says Pujols' "character and reputation are impeccable and beyond reproach" and cites his charitable work with the Pujols Family Foundation, while calling Clark "a struggling radio talk show host" who was chasing ratings in the first week his new show was on the air.
Pujols, a nine-time All-Star, played for the Cardinals from 2001-11, then left to sign a $240 million, 10-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels.
The lawsuit came one day after three-time AL MVP Alex Rodriguez sued Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig in New York for alleged interference with his current and prospective business deals. Rodriguez has a $275 million, 10-year contract with the New York Yankees, the only baseball deal larger than Pujols' agreement.
Clark played for the Cardinals from 1985-87 and was a four-time All-Star. He made the comments on Aug. 2 on WGNU-AM radio's "The King and the Ripper Show," saying he knew "for a fact" that Pujols used steroids and performance enhancing drugs. He called Pujols "a juicer" and made similar on-air comments three days later.
Clark and his co-host on the program, Kevin Slaten, were fired a week into their tenure, and the station's owner broadcast a lengthy apology and posted similarly contrite statements on its website. The lawsuit does not name the radio station or Slaten as defendants.
Clark, who played 18 seasons for five teams, was the Los Angeles Dodgers' hitting coach from 2001-03. He said on the air that Pujols' personal trainer Chris Mihlfeld disclosed that he "shot up" the young player and also offered Clark steroids. Mihlfeld, who also worked for the Dodgers at the time and first met Pujols as his junior college coach, has publicly denied those accusations. The suit references a Mihlfeld statement that Clark's allegations are "simply not true."
The lawsuit says Clark's comments are lies that have damaged Pujols' reputation, causing him humiliation, mental anguish and anxiety. It calls the statements "malicious, reckless and outrageous falsehoods" and said Clark's firing and the show's cancellation don't go far enough.
"Cutting Clark off at the microphone will not undo the harm to Pujols' reputation caused by Clark," the suit says.
On Aug. 10, Clark tweeted: "I completely stand by the story I told 8 days ago about conversations 13 years ago w/ Mihlfeld. He will never admit it."
Clark's attorney, Chet Pleban, said he had not yet seen the lawsuit but Clark "looks forward to having his day in court and having 12 unbiased, impartial people decide the issues."
"And we'll certainly look forward to the discovery process, that will include depositions and the like," he said.
Pleban said Pujols has a "multiplicity of legal hurdles to overcome" to meet the actual malice standard in libel cases brought by public officials -- specifically showing that Clark made a knowingly false statement or with reckless disregard for the truth.
Soon after Clark's comments, Pujols adamantly denied using performance-enhancing drugs, citing his desire to be a role model for his five children and the necessity of being "the athlete to carry the torch and pave the way for other innocent players" by challenging Clark in court.
On Friday, one of the five lawyers he has hired to fight Clark said in a written statement that should Pujols prevail in court, he would donate any monetary damages to charity. Los Angeles attorney Lynda Goldman said Pujols also expects an apology from Clark.
Story tags » BaseballMajor League Baseball

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.



HeraldNet highlights

The White Knight arrives
The White Knight arrives: Flying Heritage Collection adds piece of space flight history
Fake without the bake
Fake without the bake: Spray-on tanning a safe alternative to sun tan, tanning beds
Master of the grass
Master of the grass: AquaSox’s playing surface is in experienced hands
Labor of love
Labor of love: Volunteer crews work hard to maintain Pacific Crest Trail