Verlander responds to Clark's insinuations
NEW YORK -- Albert Pujols is threatening to take legal action against former Major League slugger Jack Clark for accusing him of taking steroids. Justin Verlander, about whom Clark speculated as well, might be thinking about the same thing, though when asked, he replied, "I don't really want to get into that with you guys."
Asked if it was fair to consider, Verlander said, "It could be, yeah. Obviously, I'm pretty upset, so I'm trying to bite my tongue here and say the right things."
No matter what he said, though, Verlander's anger was evident in regard to Clark's comments on St. Louis radio station WGNU.
Per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, shortly after midnight on Saturday, the company that had put Clark and co-host Kevin Slaten on the air announced that the two had been dismissed.
"Verlander was like Nolan Ryan. He threw 97, 98, 100 miles an hour from the first inning to the ninth inning," Clark said, according to a report in the Post-Dispatch. "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."
Verlander's velocity numbers -- both for the season and in recent starts -- counter what Clark is arguing. Still, Verlander didn't hide his displeasure.
"Look at the source," he said. "I don't know this guy. He doesn't know me. Clearly, there's no merit for what he's talking about.
"He's not watching me pitch, clearly, because if he is, he would have seen my last start, right? He's saying I'm struggling to hit 93, 94. I averaged 97 and hit 100 in my last start. Clearly, he doesn't know what he's talking about, and it's moronic to talk about someone who you know nothing about and clearly -- as I just stated -- he's not watching."
Verlander has publicly supported Major League Baseball's efforts against performance-enhancing drugs, including Monday's suspensions of 13 players, among them teammate Jhonny Peralta.
Asked if groundless accusations such as this one are part of the fallout, Verlander said, "It's troublesome that in this day and age, with no merit or anything, somebody can just throw a name in just because he feels like, in his opinion, I'm having a down year because I've lost velocity, which clearly wasn't the case. Then, all of a sudden, I'm having to deal with this, just because I have a big name. It is what it is."