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Friday, October 04, 2013

Angels slugger Albert Pujols sues Jack Clark over PED allegations

Angels slugger Albert Pujols followed up on his threat of legal action against former St. Louis Cardinals star Jack Clark, filing a suit in Missouri on Friday over comments Clark made accusing Pujols of using performance-enhancing drugs.

El Hombre está muy enojado.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 04, 2013 at 04:40 PM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, cardinals, jack clark, peds, pujols

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   1. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 04, 2013 at 06:44 PM (#4560181)
I don't expect Pujols to prevail here. But here's how I read things.

Note that had Clark just made the general statement "Meh; I think Pujols used steroids," there would be no basis for a lawsuit as that would simply be an opinion. The basis comes from the fact that Clark was specific in explaining where he got his information from -- i.e., from the trainer at the time, Chris Mehfeld. So the way this will proceed at trial is, Clark will testify that he believes the statement to be true, that he was not reckless in making the allegation, and that his good faith basis for making the statement was that Mehfeld told him so. Mehfeld, for his part, will (I imagine) testify that he never said that. And so it will essentially be up to the jury to decide who to believe: Pujols/Mehfeld or Clark. To try and support the malice requirement Pujols's attorney will state that Clark made up Mehfeld's statement out of whole cloth.

Note that Clark's attorney will go on a fishing expedition pre-trial to try to find a third party who claims that Pujols used. Or a third party who claims that Mehfeld told him the same thing.

Three possible outcomes here:

1. Clark backs off, says that he made it up and apologizes, and Pujols in exchange drops the lawsuit. In this scenario Clark either would have actually lied or simply is capitulating due to the threat of the lawsuit.

2. It goes to trial and Pujols loses.

3. It goes to trial and Pujols wins.

I frankly think it will be difficult to persuade a jury that Clark just made it all up, but, well, it depends on what other evidence will be brought in at trial.
   2. Greg K Posted: October 04, 2013 at 07:01 PM (#4560203)
To try and support the malice requirement Pujols's attorney will state that Clark made up Mehfeld's statement out of whole cloth.

I'd like to use this opportunity to suggest you all read Robertson Davies's Leaven of Malice and for that matter his entire Salterton Trilogy...which I find entirely superior to his Deptford Trilogy which seems to get more press.
   3. musial6 Posted: October 04, 2013 at 07:38 PM (#4560233)
Tim McKernan (owner of InsideSTL) dodges a bullet and doesn't have to pay the 5-figure deductible on his lawsuit insurance.

Presumably he cut a deal with the Pujols camp when he cut Jack Clark and Kevin Slaten loose. Slaten (who has a law degree) is smart enough to tiptoe right up to the line but not cross it when he talks smack about Pujols, but ends up as collateral damage in this fiasco as the Pujols camp wanted him off the air in STL (because he constantly alleges Pujols took PEDs), and McKernan faced with the business decision decided it was better to severe ties with Slaten than get involved in a law suit with someone with a net worth approaching 9 figures.

Slaten has burned 1 too many bridges and might be #### out of luck.
hs
Clark strikes me as someone who speaks the truth - or his version of the truth - without thinking of the consequences
jump to the 32 minute mark
http://www.joesportsfan.com/podcasts/stl/joesportsfanshow52512final.mp3

That being said, I could definitely envision a scenario where Clark misinterpreted something Mihlfeld told him 13 years ago, and has been privately telling friends this anecdote over and over to the point where it becomes fact in his own mind, meanwhile he doesn't say a word about it publicly because he has aspirations of being on the Cardinals (rights holder) payroll.

ultimately, I'm inclined to believe Clark - but I don't necessarily think his broke ass can beat Pujols in court
   4. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 04, 2013 at 07:44 PM (#4560239)
Three possible outcomes here: 1. Clark backs off, says that he made it up and apologizes, and Pujols in exchange drops the lawsuit. In this scenario Clark either would have actually lied or simply is capitulating due to the threat of the lawsuit.

The article indicates that Pujols is just suing Clark, not the radio station, which did drop Clark and issue an apology to Pujols. Pujols might have had a deeper pocket to collect any damages he might win if he had included the station, but this way Clark bears the entire cost of the defense. I suspect an "I misunderstood the trainer" deal would have considerable appeal to Clark now.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: October 04, 2013 at 08:10 PM (#4560254)
like #4 I expect this to end in an andy pettitte style claim from Clark rather than an admission of fabrication.
   6. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: October 04, 2013 at 08:16 PM (#4560264)
Note that had Clark just made the general statement "Meh; I think Pujols used steroids," there would be no basis for a lawsuit as that would simply be an opinion. The basis comes from the fact that Clark was specific in explaining where he got his information from -- i.e., from the trainer at the time, Chris Mehfeld.

What would be a basis?

1. I think Pujols used
2. I know Pujols used
3. I know Pujols used, Joe told me
4. I know Pujols used, Pujols told me
5. I know Pujols used, I saw him
6. I know Pujols used, I saw him inject himself in front of the entire locker room
7. I know Pujols used, I have pictures/videos

   7. Rough Carrigan Posted: October 04, 2013 at 09:28 PM (#4560402)
Can't Clark also bring up the fact that another former MLB player, and Mehfeld client, Jason Grimsley admitted to federal investigators that he used amphetamines, steroids and HGH? It doesn't prove anything about Pujols but it starts to establish that Mehfeld is not pure as the driven snow and Pujols has probably known this for years.
   8. Downtown Bookie Posted: October 04, 2013 at 09:42 PM (#4560452)
I'm sure that someone has already submitted this for its own thread, but for those who want a head start:

Alex Rodriguez sues Major League Baseball, Selig

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez has sued Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig and accused them of trying to destroy his reputation and his career.

The embattled third baseman also filed an additional malpractice lawsuit against the Yankees team doctor Chris Ahmad and a New York hospital for misdiagnosing a hip injury, according to MLB.com.

MLB responded to the lawsuit by issuing their own statement:

"This lawsuit is a clear violation of the confidentiality provisions of our drug program, and it is nothing more than a desperate attempt to circumvent the Collective Bargaining Agreement."


DB
   9. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 04, 2013 at 11:38 PM (#4560546)

"This lawsuit is a clear violation of the confidentiality provisions of our drug program, and it is nothing more than a desperate attempt to circumvent the Collective Bargaining Agreement."


I only skimmed the confidentiality provisions of the drug program, but I don't see why it would be a violation. Anyone?
   10. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: October 04, 2013 at 11:43 PM (#4560549)
Please correct me, I'm not entirely sure but I think the CBA prohibits lawsuits from a player against MLB? Lawsuits remove the wall around MLB's and the MLBPA's confidentiality, etc. i.e. they are bound to arbitration for such grievances.
   11. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 04, 2013 at 11:52 PM (#4560553)
ARod's malpractice suit basically states that the doctor gave him MRIs on both hips, the doctor diagnosed a tear in his left hip, but the doctor never told ARod about it and never advised ARod what the treatment options would be and the risks of each (lack of informed consent).

This has gotten pretty interesting.

One thing this suit does NOT do is claim that the Yankees directed the doctor in any way to screw up the treatment of ARod. I know there is the Randy Levine comment out there, but for whatever that is worth it's not in here. There is also nothing in here about the Yankees hiding the diagnosis/MRI from ARod, or directing the doctor, if by tacit suggestion, to screw up the surgery. The Yankees aren't named as a defendant. Now - ARod might well have something in store for them down the road, but it's not in here.

Does anyone know: If the Yankees decide to release ARod tomorrow and pay him the full remainder of his contract (which they will never do since he theoretically might be suspended for 211 games and they can save that salary plus maybe more because his career will be thrown into jeopardy, which of course has been their hope all along), if another team signs him the next day will the Yankees be on the hook for the entire salary (maybe with the exception of the major league minimum)? Yes, right?
   12. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 05, 2013 at 12:14 AM (#4560569)
#10 I haven't read the CBA recently, but my understanding is that the only real issues when a player sues a team or the league are (a) whether the claims of the lawsuit properly belong before an arbitrator, (b) if an arbitrator is already involved for certain claims, the claims of the lawsuit are ripe if an arbitrator hasn't ruled yet, and (c) what the standard is for a court overturning an arbitrator's ruling.

I'm not sure that confidentiality is really an issue here.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: October 05, 2013 at 01:47 AM (#4560613)
not entirely clear what you are asking ray. if another team were to claim him off waivers the new team would owe him the entire amount. so nobody would. After he clears waivers any team can sign him for the minimum with the Yankees on the hook for the rest.
   14. G.W.O. Posted: October 05, 2013 at 04:19 AM (#4560620)
So you're suggesting three possible outcomes:
i) lawsuit gets dropped
ii) plaintiff wins
iii) defendant wins.

Well, thanks for the insight Clarence Darrow.
   15. Jim Wisinski Posted: October 05, 2013 at 09:20 AM (#4560654)
Sheesh, I won't say that Ray doesn't deserve a fair amount of the crap he gets around here but #14 seems out of line. He wrote an interesting and informative post about the subject without inserting personal bias, no need to throw insults around
   16. Morty Causa Posted: October 05, 2013 at 11:25 AM (#4560717)
Is this a suit in defamation?

   17. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 05, 2013 at 12:06 PM (#4560746)
Clark strikes me as someone who speaks the truth - or his version of the truth - without thinking of the consequences


Let's assume Clark believes what he said. He strikes me as someone who will go down fighting rather than say that he lied when he did not.
   18. Bug Selig Posted: October 05, 2013 at 03:25 PM (#4560848)
#14 - I'm suggesting 3 possible scenarios:

1. A seizure caused a random series of characters to be typed that coincidentally resemble extreme douchiness.
2. A level of satire far beyond the understanding of mere primates that intentionally mimics douchiness in an attempt to be ironic.
3. Douches gotta douche.
   19. valuearbitrageur Posted: October 05, 2013 at 03:37 PM (#4560851)
I was told that Pujols would never file a lawsuit if he actually used PEDs because it would open him up to discovery, and the fact he hadn't filed was strong evidence he was a user.

Now that he's filed, what is this evidence of?
   20. Jim Wisinski Posted: October 05, 2013 at 05:57 PM (#4560916)
I was told that Pujols would never file a lawsuit if he actually used PEDs because it would open him up to discovery, and the fact he hadn't filed was strong evidence he was a user.

Now that he's filed, what is this evidence of?


Obviously it means that he used PEDs and is now using a lawsuit to force Clark into backing down from the truth. You should know how these things work by now.
   21. Bob Tufts Posted: October 05, 2013 at 08:22 PM (#4561044)
My reading of the case is that MLB took the case outside the coverage of arbitration by asking for a 211 game suspension, a punishment that is not included in the CBA and JDA.

In doing so, ARod's attorneys believe that since MLB has "violated" the terms of the CBA, they are therefore entitled to use legal means beyond what the CBA says should be used by the parties covered by the agreement.
   22. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 14, 2013 at 04:25 PM (#4572171)
Oh, yeah? Oh, YEAH? Well, Jack Clark can name that tune in FOUR notes:

Now, through his attorney, Clark has responded by challenging Pujols to a duel...

"In re-reviewing your Demand Letter, my eye was attracted to the italicized sentence on the first page. ... You concisely noted that Mr. [Pujols] 'has never taken any illegal performance enhancing drugs. ...' (emphasis added to add emphasis)," [Clark's attorney Albert] Watkins writes, having noted that he has personally traveled to the Dominican Republic, where Pujols was born, and was "impressed with the wide array of readily and publicly accessible" steroids and PEDs. "I do not see any allegations in the underlying Petition encompassing the assertion that Mr. Clark referenced illegal performance enhancing drugs. Am I missing something on this front...? Does your statement mean that Mr. [Pujols] admits to taking legal performance enhancing drugs?"

Watkins goes on to propose a settlement whereby Pujols and Clark each submit to a lie-detector test--Pujols to address whether he is being deceptive when he asserts that he has never used PEDs, Clark to address whether he was told by Pujols's former personal trainer that he had indeed "juiced."

If Clark fails the test and Pujols passes, the letter states, Clark will "issue a public statement ... fully retracting all objectionable statements." If Pujols fails and Clark passes, Pujols must drop the defamation suit and publicly apologize to Clark. And if they're both found to be liars, the suit gets dropped and "neither party needs to apologize to the other."
...
In the letter, Watkins says that Pujols's legal team has 10 days to accept the offer. Otherwise, he plans to "vigorously proceed with what inevitably will be a highly charged, entertaining, and public spectacle."
...
"You are bringing to the forefront, center on stage number one in the strip club of the media, the very subject matter that you're seeking to suppress," Watkins elaborates to the Village Voice. "If Mr. Pujols is fully aware of what awaits him as a plaintiff in a defamation-of-character lawsuit, my suggestion is that he run to the polygraph test at full speed, despite any nagging injury."


The above link also leads to the text of Clark's very serious proposal, which includes references to "You Can Call Me Al," "the clumps in the proverbial kitty litter," "I have exhausted definitional resources (read: Googled until I got tired)," a suggestion that Viagra is a performance enhancing drug ("the frustration associated with 'taking batting practice with a rope'"), a purported anecdote about the lawyer's dead grandfather, a promise that Jack Clark will "climb to the highest mount in a loin cloth," a random Jack LaLanne reference, and other highly technical legalistic jargon.
   23. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: October 14, 2013 at 04:38 PM (#4572178)
I love this guy.

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