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Jack Clark challenges Albert Pujols to take lie detector test about steroids

Albert-Pujols-Angels-slumpFormer St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols filed a lawsuit against Jack Clark earlier this month in response to Clark’s steroids allegations.

Clark, a four-time MLB All-Star and former Los Angeles Dodgers hitting coach, recently accused Pujols of using steroids. Pujols vowed to take legal action against Clark in response. Clark, who was fired from his radio gig with WGNU after making the comments about Pujols, does not seem overly concerned about the lawsuit.

On Monday, Clark’s attorney sent a letter to Pujols’ legal team proposing the two sides settle the lawsuit by submitting to a lie detector test. The letter, which was obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, suggested that Pujols allow a lie detector test administrator to ask him if “he is being deceptive when he asserts that he has never used steroids or performing enhancing drugs while in the minor and major leagues.” In return, Clark would be asked if he was lying about former personal trainer Chris Mihlfeld telling him Pujols “juiced.”

The letter proposed that the dispute be settled depending on what happens with the polygraph tests. Basically, Clark is hoping they can take the lie detector tests and then the person who needs to apologize will apologize and be done with it.

Obviously, this resolution would be best for Clark. Pujols has more money than he knows what do with, so he doesn’t even need to take legal fees into consideration. Clark could be telling the truth about Mihlfeld claiming Pujols took steroids, but he’s the one that decided to share it with the world on his radio show. Don’t expect Pujols to agree to take a polygraph test. That would be way too big of a risk.

Torii Hunter, Albert Pujols nearly fought during Angels team meeting

Torii Hunter Albert PujolsTorii Hunter wanted to fight Albert Pujols during a Los Angeles Angels team meeting last season, according to a report.

Scott Miller at CBS Sports has a lengthy article full of strong reporting about the Angels. The article touches on the influence of Angels owner Arte Moreno, and casts the owner as a meddling, negative influence when it comes to building the team. But the real highlight is a story about Hunter and Pujols getting into it last season when the Angels were in a tough stretch.

According to Miller, the Angels had just badly lost three games to the Tampa Bay Rays in August (they were swept in that four-game series), and they called a team meeting following the third loss, a 10-8 defeat on Aug. 19 in which they blew an 8-0 lead. The previous game, the Angels lost 12-3 as Jered Weaver was pounded. Weaver got upset with a teammate for missing a ball during that outing. The next day, C.J. Wilson apparently was chirping in the Angels’ dugout about the hitters struggling, and Torii Hunter had to tell him to pipe down. With all the tension between teammates, a meeting was called following the 10-8 loss.

Miller says veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins called the meeting, but the players couldn’t decide on the format. Pujols apparently wanted it to include the coaches, while Hawkins thought it should just be between the players. During the meeting, Pujols supposedly called out Weaver for showing up a teammate on Friday. He then turned his attention to Hunter for the incident in the dugout with Wilson on Saturday. Hunter reportedly became livid with Pujols.

Here’s Miller’s description of what ensued:

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Albert Pujols outraged, taking legal action against Jack Clark

Albert PujolsAlbert Pujols is outraged by the claims Jack Clark made about him the past two weeks, and he says he is taking legal action against the retired slugger and the radio station that employs him.

Clark, a four-time all-star and former hitting coach with the Los Angeles Dodgers, was recently hired as a sports radio host by WGNU. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that on two separate occasions recently, Clark said on air that he knows Pujols used steroids. Last Friday, Clark said on air that Pujols “has been a juicer.”

“I know for a fact he was,” Clark said on his show. “The trainer that worked with him, threw him batting practice from Kansas City, that worked him out every day, basically told me that’s what he did.”

Clark apparently reiterated his claims on Monday on his show, and he stood by his comments in an interview with the Post-Dispatch on Thursday.

In addition to Pujols, Clark implied that Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander is juicing, and he said former Dodgers slugger Shawn Green cheated.

Pujols wasn’t about to let the accusations go unnoticed. He issued an angry statement in response and said he was taking legal action against Clark and WGNU. Here’s the full statement via Angels.com:

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Jack Clark accuses Albert Pujols of using steroids, also mentions Justin Verlander

Albert-Pujols-Angels-slumpFormer MLB slugger Jack Clark began working as a radio host on WGNU 920 AM’s afternoon slot this week, and he has already managed to gain national attention. Clark, who belted 340 home runs over his 18-year MLB career, has mentioned twice how former personal trainer Chris Mihlfeld told him he injected Albert Pujols with performance-enhancing drugs.

Mihlfeld used to be Pujols’ personal trainer. In 2006, Mihlfeld’s name was linked to performance-enhancing drugs after Jason Grimsley, one of his former clients, admitted to taking steroids. That resulted in Pujols having to defend himself against PED accusations, which has has done several times since.

During a phone interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Thursday, Clark spoke about how he worked with Mihlfeld in 2000 as a coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers and said the former personal trainer tried to encourage him to take steroids like Pujols was. Clark claims he was simply looking for a nutrition program, which led to the following exchange with Mihlfeld.

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Albert Pujols yells at Grant Balfour after 2-run single (Video)

Albert Pujols had words for Oakland A’s relief pitcher Grant Balfour after hitting a 2-run single off of him in the ninth inning of Oakland’s 6-4 win over the Angels at O.co Coliseum on Friday night.

Albert Pujols Grant BalfourBalfour threw up and in on Pujols earlier in the at-bat, which angered the Angels DH. Balfour tried going in on Pujols again on the 2-2 pitch, but Pujols lined the ball down the left field line. As Pujols was going up the first base line, he barked at Balfour.

It’s hard to tell what Pujols said, but it looks like he yelled “pitch” or a not-so-nice word that rhymes with pitch. One thing that is for sure is it’s not often you see Pujols that heated.

Another note about the hit — Pujols only got a single even though most would have taken two on the play. Pujols is still playing through plantar fasciitis and can hardly run. He was replaced by a pinch runner after reaching first. Balfour then struck out Josh Hamilton to end the game.

Mike Scioscia: Albert Pujols is only playing at 70 percent

Albert PujolsAlbert Pujols has been hitting the ball well for the Angels this season, which is even more impressive given his health limitations.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Sunday that Pujols, 33, is playing at only 70 percent health.

“You know, Albert’s going to give you what he has,” Scioscia said, via MLB.com. “If he has 70 percent, he’s going to give you 70 percent. That’s where he is right now, whatever percentage you want to put on it. Obviously, he’s not 100 percent.”

Pujols has played seven games at first base this season and served as the designated hitter for the others. He was moved from first to DH prior to Sunday’s game to take the pressure off his foot, per MLB.com’s Barry M. Bloom.

It’s pretty clear watching Pujols that he is not even close to full strength. He struggles to move and does not completely run out ground balls. Still, he has managed to bat .293 through 12 games. Half of his 12 hits have been for extra bases — he has four doubles and two home runs, and he has walked 11 times.

Pujols underwent knee surgery over the offseason and is also being bothered by plantar fasciitis in his foot. One has to wonder how long he will be able to keep this up. The way he is going, I cannot imagine him making it through the season without a stint on the disabled list.

Photo credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Albert Pujols plans to walk away from his contract when he can’t produce?

Albert PujolsAlbert Pujols signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Angels before last season and will still be owed $212 million by the team after the year. Though Pujols has started off the season well, he is 33 and possibly beyond his prime.

The Angels first baseman/DH seemed to indicate Saturday that he might walk away from his contract if he can no longer produce during the course of the deal.

“God has given me ability and talent, but the day I feel like I can’t compete any more on this level, I’m not going to embarrass myself,” Pujols said Saturday, via the Los Angeles Times. “I’m going to walk off. Whether that’s next year, two years from now, only God knows.”

Pujols had hit two home runs and was walked three times that day, so he made his comments in the context of aiming to prove people that he is still a force. Though we’re only a week into the season, Pujols is showing that he can still crush the ball. Last season it took him until May 6 to hit his first home run. He hit two in the team’s fifth game this season.

Would Pujols actually walk away from his contract if he’s no longer productive late in his career? It’s hard for me to believe that. He would have to be of supreme moral character to do that. Keep in mind that his deal is structured to escalate as he gets older. Next season he will earn $23 million, and the amount increased by $1 million every year thereafter. He would top out earning $30 million in 2021.

We saw Gil Meche retire from baseball after the 2010 season despite having $12 million remaining on his contract. That sort of move is rare, and we don’t even know what the MLBPA would say. You have to figure they can’t be happy with Pujols’ comment to begin with, but if he did retire when he can’t produce, that would be a huge break for the Angels.

Photo credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE