Jack Clark’s accusations about Albert Pujols being a PED user were based on third-hand evidence from a source that has vehemently denied Clark’s claims. Clark was fired from his radio gig amid the backlash.
The baseline points between Clark’s allegations and the lack of evidence need to be separated. Clark shouldn’t have gone on the air and come up with these unfounded declarations of Pujols’s guilt, but would anyone be shocked if it came out tomorrow that Pujols is a PED user who patronized a more discreet clinic than Biogenesis? Or if he was smart enough to go to the Dominican Republic to get his boosters while paying in cash so there’s no paper trail?
Pujols went from a nondescript 13th round draft pick of the Cardinals to this era’s Joe DiMaggio. Today’s public, jaded by the continued lies and betrayals of the game’s stars, would not be surprised in the least if Pujols was outed tomorrow with legitimate proof of his guilt.
As far as we know, Pujols has never failed a test nor been caught with evidence of having cheated to achieve his greatness. Because he was drafted late and turned into an all-time great isn’t a reason to accuse him. It is suspicious, however, that Pujols was a skinny kid, roundly ignored coming out of the draft and blossomed into the best hitter of this generation. There have always been questions surrounding Pujols’s stated age of 33. Is it out of the question that he was a PED user, lied about his age and is better at covering it up than anyone else?
The above-linked piece from HardballTalk calls Pujols’s denial “forceful,” “specific,” and “different” from those that usually come from athletes. Pujols threatened to sue Clark. Are the denials more forceful, specific and different than Rafael Palmeiro jabbing his finger in front of congress? Than Alex Rodriguez? Than Ryan Braun? I don’t think so.
The public is quick to accept any player’s guilt with PED use because it’s become standard operating procedure to lie, lie, lie and hope it goes away only to be found guilty and issue a terse statement of admission with faux contrition. Fans and media are inherently skeptical of the achievements of any player. When one has the first pick of the first round draft pick bona fides like A-Rod, it’s more likely that that level of player will achieve A-Rod’s heights without drugs. Except he didn’t. For Pujols, the disbelief is more stark because of the transformation he underwent physically, analytically and in his performance. He was skinny and became huge. He wasn’t a prospect as an amateur and every team passed him by for thirteen rounds. He became a future Hall of Famer with video game statistics. Considering the number of players who’ve been caught, questioning Pujols is perfectly reasonable.
Clark was wrong for saying it the way he said it, but that doesn’t mean he’s completely wrong that Pujols used PEDs. He might have. We don’t know.
7 thoughts on “Jack Clark’s Albert Pujols PED Accusation”
There is no way Albert Pujols became the player he was without PED’s. Every super human player we have seen in the last 20 years have all been dirty. No clean player hits the homerun he hit against the Astros in game 6 in the NLCS. That ball still hasn’t landed.
I tend to believe he was taking something too, but if he didn’t fail a test and there’s no testimony otherwise, there’s no way to prove it.
Puljos’ sanctimonious public persona also does him no favors in terms of the believability of his denials.
He’s gonna sue you unless someone explains to him that “sanctimonious” isn’t a PED.
Clark was widely chastised and his show was pulled from the air for it. He’s not getting another radio show or a job in baseball anytime soon.
Pujols isn’t suing anyone. If he does, anything he’s ever pulled in his life will be brought out into court and if he has done PEDs, then he’s really gonna be in trouble because whoever he got them from will suddenly appear. It’s not worth it for him either way. He doesn’t need the money.
Clark is a (Red)birdbrain — even if he’s right about Pujols, which he might be, he has no proof other than hearsay, and Pujols can buy and sell him about 800 times and could afford a legal dream team that Clark couldn’t. You don’t want to screw around with something like that without smoking-gun proof. Now, if he’d said something like, “It’s my opinion that Pujols had to be juicing, and I know I’m not the only one in the organization who thought so,” that would still be scurrilous, but it wouldn’t be illegal, and Pujols’ case against him would be much weaker. Being one bozo with an opinion, even one with a loud microphone, is a lot different from saying you know something for a fact.
With someone else, I’d say he was doing an Ann Coulter thing with attention-whoring, but I’m not sure with Clark. It was a pretty dumb thing to do.