Nothing like a little slander to spice up the baseball season, eh?
Ex-big leaguer Jack Clark, an 18-year MLB vet who recently started as a sports-talk radio host in St. Louis, threw Justin Verlander under the PED bus on his show, according to stltoday.com. While accusing ex-Cardinal Albert Pujols of juicing, Clark also recklessly pointed the finger at Verlander.
“Verlander was like Nolan Ryan, he threw 97, 98, 100 miles an hour from the first inning to the ninth inning,” Clark said on the air. “He got that big contract, now he can barely reach 92, 93. What happened to it? He has no arm problems, nothing’s wrong. It’s just the signs are there.
“The greed … they juice up, they grab the money and it’s just a free pass to steal is the way I look at it.”
Rebuttal: You’re an idiot, Jack Clark.
This has come with the territory for baseball players, especially those who suddenly struggle in any given year — the specter of performance-enhancing drugs makes it convenient to chalk up any rise or drop in play to something illicit. But there is absolutely no evidence that Verlander has taken PEDs, so Clark’s accusation comes as little more than wild speculation.
Worse yet, he tries to use Verlander’s velocity as some sort of proof here. And while it’s true that Verlander was not lighting up the gun early in the year, he still consistently reached the mid-90s and has been popping the glove at close to 100 for his past few starts.
Verlander called Clark’s comments “moronic” when asked about them over the weekend.
(Update: Clark was fired on Saturday.)