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Albert Pujols plans to take legal action against Jack Clark

Aug 9, 2013, 11:10 PM EDT

Earlier today, Chris Mihlfeld, the trainer of Albert Pujols, sternly rebuked Jack Clark’s claim that the Angels first baseman has used performance-enhancing drugs. Mihlfeld said, “I would bet my life on it and probably drop dead on the spot if I found out he has.”

Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times is reporting that Pujols has vowed to take legal action against Clark:

For what it’s worth, Pujols has aged like a normal superstar, going from immortal in his late 20’s to great in his early 30’s, and to mortal this year at age 33. He has a .767 OPS in 443 trips to the plate. He has been on the disabled list since July 26 as he is dealing with a partial tear of the plantar fascia in his left foot.

  1. Bryz - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    You mean “great in his early 30s,” not “late 30s.”

    • dickclydesdale - Aug 10, 2013 at 3:36 AM

      Pujols did use ped’s because everyone that Denies it is lying. Nomar, Jeter everyone was on them even the little guys like Fernando Vina. Pujols I do not believe him because he has man boobs as does arod which is a side affect of using steroids.

      • richyballgame - Aug 10, 2013 at 4:58 AM

  2. tigersfandan - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    Well, now he has to act on his threat. Otherwise, people will start asking even more questions.

    • dan1111 - Aug 10, 2013 at 2:41 AM

      It would be pretty much impossible to win a case like this, because it would require proof that Clark was knowingly making a false statement.

      There is no way to prove what Mihlfield did or did not say ten years ago–it is just one man’s word against another. And even if one could prove that Mihlfield never said that, Clark could claim he had misremembered what had been said.

      • ahenobarbuso - Aug 10, 2013 at 2:56 AM

        Actually I believe the burden of proof will be on Jack Clark to prove his statements are in fact true rather than Albert Pujols having prove he didn’t take PEDs. These cases almost always go in favor of the plaintiff.

        Jack Clark will likely be fired from his job and lose a substantial amount of money as a result of his carelessness.

      • dan1111 - Aug 10, 2013 at 4:04 AM

        In U.S. defamation law you have to demonstrate that the accused either 1) knowingly stated a lie or 2) made the statement despite having reason to doubt its truth. The burden of proof is on the one making the accusation, not the defendant. In this case, it would be practically impossible to prove that Clark never had such a conversation with Mihlfield, or did not think he had such a conversation.

        I don’t think it’s right that these cases are almost always won by the plaintiff. Do you have evidence for that?

      • ahenobarbuso - Aug 10, 2013 at 1:59 PM

        Donald Trump just recently won a massive ($5 million) defamation lawsuit against a former beauty queen contestant who claimed the contest was rigged (back in July I think). All the analysts who reported on the case claimed her loss was because she wasn’t able to provide proof substantiating her claims.

        …so despite what wiki says it is usually the defendant who required to back up their claims in defamation lawsuits. Either that or the person with the most expensive team of lawyers will win.

        I just read Clark has already been fired; I expect a public apology and settlement soon.

      • forsch31 - Aug 10, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        The idea that the plaintiff has to prove that the statements made were knowingly false and that the defendant has to provide evidence that his statements were true go hand-in-hand. If a defendant cannot provide evidence that his statement was no more than hearsay, then he knowingly presented that hearsay as fact (as he did with Pujols), which would be enough to meet the legal definition of a false statement.

  3. elwaysagenius - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    As far as the baseball world knew he never had early 30s

  4. fearlessleader - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    Well, he could use the money.

  5. bfunk1978 - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    Ok now I know you’re trolling commenters. Late 30s huh?

  6. dawgpoundmember - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    Jack Clark accused Verlander also, so I assume his plan is working out, which is to get his show national norieity.

  7. paul621 - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    So who’s Jack Clark? I didn’t see it anywhere…

    • Glenn - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:32 PM

      He used to be an irresponsible a-hole. His having a comeback.

      • Glenn - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:33 PM

        EDIT – He’s having a comeback.

  8. onbucky96 - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    Let’s see, trainer says he’d bet his life, a la Ryan Braun. Alberta says he’ll sue, a la Lance Armstrong. I’m missing something here…

    • Tim OShenko - Aug 10, 2013 at 7:33 AM

      Yeah, evidence. Find some of that and I’ll start taking these allegations seriously.

      • tfoz5150 - Aug 10, 2013 at 4:59 PM

        Breaking down, losing production at a relatively early age…looking like a d bag all the time. vehement denials and counter attacks from him and his so called trainer. things like these

  9. barkleyblows - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    This guy is probably right. Pujols and Verlander are most likely on something…… Well… Maybe not now.

  10. brewcrewfan54 - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    If he actually sues and wins there’s going to be a lot of ballplayers who’ve never tested positive thinking about doing the same thing.

  11. raysfan1 - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    1986 age 30 HR 9, 237/.362/.422 OPS .784
    1987 age 31 HR 35, .286/.459/.597 OPS 1.055

    The above are cherry-picked from Jack Clark’s career stats. 1987 was a career year for him, with career highs in home runs and OPS, and he continued to have better home run totals in his early 30’s than he had in his late 20’s. How many times have people used productivity patterns like this to level baseless PED accusations against other players?

    • johnstjc - Aug 10, 2013 at 4:44 AM

      i have no defense for jack clark what so ever but you can’t use the year 1987 as an arguement…they juiced the baseball and homeruns skyrocketed for everyone…well known fact

    • 6stn - Aug 10, 2013 at 8:14 AM

      He missed most of 1986 due to injury. 1987 (at least the first half of the season) was a big year for homers by a lot of guys. The suspicion was that the ball-not the batter-was juiced.

    • raysfan1 - Aug 10, 2013 at 10:15 AM

      Yeah. I’m well aware that Clark was injured in 1986 and also about the 1987 juiced ball. You are both missing the point. People have repeatedly cherry-picked players’ stats, including Pujols’, without context to level baseless claims about PED use against them. This has been done in just the past 24 hours on various sports sites to Pujols. I was just demonstrating that you can do the same thing to Clark. I am not accusing Clark of using anything.

      • tfoz5150 - Aug 10, 2013 at 5:05 PM

        Hes not basing it on is career stats, but on a conversation he had with his trainer 13 yrs ago. ala Canseco’s personal accounts. Listen Barry Bonds and Arod wern’t the only ones chasing these records. During that era anyone posting monster numbers should be considered and this guy just blew up out of nowhere.

      • raysfan1 - Aug 10, 2013 at 6:13 PM

        Did I say Jack Clark based his accusation on cherry-picked stats? (Hint: no.)

        I used Jack Clark’s career to make a point as he started the latest round of innuendos. While it is conceivable that Pujols may have used PEDs, nobody that I am aware of has any real evidence of it. There have been many who have used Pujols’ career arc as supposed evidence–some by cherry-picking stats, others by making statements that he “blew up out of nowhere” or by implying that his current injury problem is evidence of PED use as well.

  12. 13arod - Aug 10, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    Why would u say someone is taking peds without proof if u dont have proof dont say it at all

    • mornelithe - Aug 10, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      Because in the United States, the news is under no legal obligation to provide their readers with fact. See New World Communications of Tampa, Inc v Jane Akre – Case No. 2D01-529.

      Also iterated in the 2003 Documentary “The Corporation”.

  13. allday296 - Aug 10, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    If Albert is innocent I hope he sues that guy to the point where he lives in the gutter. Too many people spouting off. There should be serious penalties for accusations like that. If Pujols is guilty then that’s his problem but these people comparing these guys to murderers should stop. I am no Pujols fan but I would make Clark pay if he is wrong

    • dan1111 - Aug 10, 2013 at 2:48 AM

      Due to the first amendment, it is very hard to win a case like that. Yes, it seems like a garbage accusation to get attention–but “seems like” is not enough to win a case. One would have to prove that Clark knowingly made a false statement.

  14. laserrocketarm31 - Aug 10, 2013 at 4:15 AM

    Do we really want to watch Pujols decay? Or do we want to let him preserve his health and continue to watch him be great into his late 30s? As soon as the third generation of steroids hit the market every single first world citizen will be taking them to extend their lives decades and be healthy well into their 100s. Read Bill James and the NE Journal of Medicine and try to defend an emotional illogical defense of preventing steroids.

    • dan1111 - Aug 10, 2013 at 6:06 AM

      If such drugs existed, I agree that it would be irrational to ban them from baseball. However, they don’t exist, and they aren’t right around the corner, either.

      Today’s steroids actually do have harmful side effects, so this speculation about the future doesn’t have anything to do with the current steroid debate.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 10, 2013 at 7:01 AM

        I’m not even totally convinced that steroids are all that harmful if taken properly and under medical supervision. Most of the horror stories you hear involve guys who aren’t cycling or recovering properly. Lots of FDA-approved drugs have much worse side effects.

        What I’d really like is more scientific studies and eventually for every single professional athlete to use PED’s and anything that helps them recover more quickly. We want bigger faster stronger more.

      • dan1111 - Aug 10, 2013 at 7:13 AM

        @moses, it may be true that steroids aren’t that harmful when used properly. However, improper use has to be part of the equation when it comes to their role in sports.

        It is hard enough to stop players from using when PEDs are banned. It would be far harder to enforce proper use, because tests wouldn’t be able to separate those using the approved amount from those using more. Allowing steroids would likely lead to an arms race in which players used more and more to get an edge on the competition. Furthermore, it would increase the pressure of using steroids among lower leagues, foreign farm systems, and amateurs, which don’t have the same level of medical support to ensure things are being done properly.

        From a philosophical standpoint, I wouldn’t have a problem with allowing steroids if it could be done safely. But I don’t think it can be. Legalizing PEDs would multiply the problem, rather than making it go away.

  15. jwbiii - Aug 10, 2013 at 5:55 AM

  16. bloodisred - Aug 10, 2013 at 6:51 AM

    The problem is that public accusations can be made without proof of any kind and the accused is forced to come up with proof to clear his/her name. In most cases, the damage is done regardless of the outcome and the false accuser just walks away. Reputation is tough to build yet takes only one false report to destroy.

    • 1historian - Aug 10, 2013 at 10:07 AM

      If Clark made accusations like that and cannot back them up he deserves whatever he gets and I hope Pujols can nail his ass.

  17. thomas844 - Aug 10, 2013 at 7:33 AM

    Beltran can still rake and he’s a few years older than Pujols.

  18. buffalo65 - Aug 10, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    Jack Clark is an idiot
    Signed, Tom Niedenpher

  19. 2daysfromretirement - Aug 10, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    Clark got fired already…

  20. messire3124 - Aug 10, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    my best friend’s mother-in-law makes $85/hour on the laptop. She has been unemployed for 6 months but last month her pay check was $20399 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site

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