By Shawn Liverance
Local Sports Journal

Shawn Liverance

Shawn Liverance

In this day and age, we all know any publicity is good publicity.

With numerous ways to get your voice heard, anybody can create publicity for themselves.

That brings us to former major league player Jack Clark.

The 17-year major league veteran just began his own sports talk radio show this week on WGNU (920 AM) out of St. Louis and he already has made quite a splash.

Clark said on his radio show that he “knows for a fact” that former Cardinal Albert Pujols has used performance-enhancing drugs.

Clark has accused Tigers ace Justin Verlander of using PEDs too.

In the case of Pujols, Clark is basing his allegations on hearsay from Pujols’ ex-trainer Chris Mihlfeld — Clark says he “never saw him” use PEDs.

In the case of Verlander, Clark is just looking at the pitchers down(ish) year and attempting to connect some dots.

When tossing PED allegations at Verlander, Clark didn’t even have any hearsay to offer. He just said the “signs are there.”

Here is exactly what Clark said about Verlander.

“Verlander was like Nolan Ryan, he threw 97-98, 100 miles an hour from the first inning to the ninth inning. 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.”

Really, Jack Clark?

Jack Clark

Jack Clark

He implies that everybody is like Nolan Ryan and can throw 100 from the first inning to the ninth.

Okay, Jack – let me fill you in on a few things you seemed to overlook.

Since 2009, Verlander is 90-39 and he has logged 240, 224, 251, 238 and this season 151 innings.
That does not include 48 innings of post season pitching over that same time span.

Yes, Verlander’s average speed on his fastball has dropped over the past five years by nearly three miles per hour.

That should not come as a surprise.

With all those innings it was bound to happen.

Look at the Yankees C.C. Sabathia.

He has lost even more off his fastball the last five years and has logged even more innings than Verlander.

Why isn’t Clark making the same accusations about Sabathia’s decline?

This is all coming from a guy who by all accounts was a terrible teammate in his day.

He didn’t get along with his managers and of all people Tony Gwynn, one of the most respected players of his era.

We all know that trust in baseball players has been suspect since the steroid scandal of the 2000’s involving the likes of Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens and today’s scandal that involves the likes of Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun.

But, for Clark to bring Verlander into the conversation on PED’s with absolutely no proof or a sniff of evidence other then not throwing 100 miles per hour is asinine.

Oh by the way Jack, Justin hit 100 on the radar gun his last outing against Cleveland.

The timing of Clarks’ comments, coinciding with his new radio show, make it look like possibly the worst attention grab of all time.

Like I said before.

Any publicity is good publicity and Jack Clark has taken that axiom to the lowest extreme.