“Moronic” statements prove Jack Clark is unsuitable for broadcast booth.
What was up with Jack Clark’s rants about the Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander and former St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols using PED’s? If you are unfamiliar with the story, you can can learn more here at the Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130810/SPORTS0104/308100057/Jack-Clark-fired-from-radio-gig-after-PED-claims-about-Verlander-Pujols.
It seems that without carefully researching the situation, Jack Clark opened up his big mouth and unfairly spoke about these two athletes. Sources indicate that both JV and Pujols were possibly contemplating legal action against both the station and/or Jack Clark. The station quickly weighed the legal options and decided that it was best to cut ties with the unpredictable Clark. This was most likely a CYA move, but I would have done the same thing to an employee that I just recently hired. Jack Clark is potentially a huge liability. He could cause your business insurance rates to rise. Jack Clark and his broadcast partner hadn’t even finished their seventh show for 920 AM WGNU St. Louis before causing this controversy. It was a risky move for Clark, who was basically insulting Pujols in front of his loyal St. Louis fan base. It seems like Jack Clark hasn’t changed much during his playing days. Some former MLB athletes consider him a jerk. I mean, come on, who wouldn’t get along with Ozzie Smith or Tony Gwynn?
Slander or Libel? It’s all defamation.
What Jack Clark has actually done is open up himself and his new employer to a lawsuit. The statements made about Pujols were very direct and pointed. If these statements prove to be untrue, then Jack Clark is committing a very libelous action. Without an ironclad legal policy, WGNU could find themselves liable, as well. This could be why the AM station fired him.
According to the Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute, Libel is when a statement goes beyond just slander:
“An untruthful oral (spoken) statement about a person that harms the person’s reputation or standing in the community. Because slander is a tort (a civil wrong), the injured person can bring a lawsuit against the person who made the false statement. If the statement is made via broadcast media — for example, over the radio or on TV — it is considered libel, rather than slander, because the statement has the potential to reach a very wide audience. Both libel and slander are forms of defamation.” (Legal Information Institute)
As for his comments on JV, he had mentioned that Verlander’s velocity was down to the low 90’s from a few years ago when it registered in the high 90’s. He also seems to assume himself a medical doctor as he attempts to diagnose JV with this statement:
“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.”
Why Jack Clark should have kept his potentially libelous mouth shut…
First, I’d like to point out that he isn’t even speaking proper English. “He got that big contract” should be more properly and eloquently spoken in the broadcast booth. He could have said something more like “Since he received his big contract” or “Since he has gotten that big contract.” Those words may have been a better choice by the rookie “broadcaster”. Secondly, let me reiterate that he isn’t really a doctor, so he shouldn’t be diagnosing athletes. He hasn’t presented us any medical forms or indicated that he has any prior medical knowledge of JV’s current status. He hasn’t shown any of us his medical license or even a diploma from an established medical institution.
Let’s discuss Jack Clark’s logic: it’s perfectly flawed. The premise of his logic can be used against him in his own career. He is basically arguing that since JV’s velocity and numbers are down from his dominating 2011 season, he probably used PED’s. Using that same flawed logic, I can dive back to Jack Clark’s career and look for similar instances. I could assume that since Jack only hit 9 Home Runs in 1986 and then shot up to 35 Home Runs in ’87, that he was juicing. I could also say that about him in 1991 and 1992. In 1991, Jack Clark hit 28 Home Runs. The very next year in 1992, he hit only 5. Could Jack Clark have been using PED’s? Was he hanging out with Jose Canseco at that point? Perhaps, but I don’t have enough evidence to successfully argue the point, so I keep my opinions to myself because I don’t think it’s fair to accuse people of illegal activities without proper proof. Isn’t that the course of action Jack should have taken in regards to our own JV?
Another missed calculation by Jack Clark is that Verlander just keeps getting better and has always been a winning thoroughbred. His stats have always been and continue to be stellar. He has pride in his work and is a proven community leader. Justin Verlander was AL Rookie of the Year in 2006. Twice in his career, he has led the entire MLB in wins. He has led the AL in strikeouts three times, already. He has pitched two no-hitters and has been voted an All Star six times. He has won the AL MVP once, which is rare for a pitcher. That year same year, he also won the Pitching Triple Crown. That feat is even more rare than a pitcher becoming the league MVP. Did I mention that he also has a Cy Young Award sitting at home on his expansive trophy shelf? My point here is that without taking into consideration these stats and without any evidence, Jack Clark has falsely accused Justin Verlander. In a very real and legal sense, Jack Clark has acted inappropriately as this could be considered DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. Verlander’s stats aren’t really that bad this year to warrant such a poor judgement call by Jack Clark. JV still ranks sixth in the American League in both strike outs and wins. Not bad, for an off year! Finally, it should also be mentioned here that Jack Clark’s baseless accusations are just untrue. Neither of these two athletes have ever even tested positive for PED’s.
Jack, sometimes pitchers just have down years. Their confidence gets shaken or their mechanics and rhythm may be not be optimal. A minor injury could occur and cause them difficulties while pitching. They could be having personal challenges, too. There are plenty of other reasons for up and down seasons.
Protecting their reputations…
Verlander and Pujols are right to consider legal action because Jack Clark’s actions could ruin their reputations. This type of potential defamation could hurt future salary earnings and otherwise damage their careers and personal lives. Verlander and Pujols are individuals and are entitled to the right to protect their reputations. Pujols is a family man and has his children to consider. Would you want someone throwing out unproved accusations at you? How would your children react? I can see the logic behind his reasoning. I wouldn’t want my kids to get a false or negative idea about my character, if I was obeying the established rules. Verlander, protecting his own hard work and legacy, responded by calling Jack Clark’s statements “moronic” and vehemently denied using PED’s. During this day and age in Major League Baseball it is important to take the necessary steps to disassociate yourself with PED’s or any accusations of use.
In my opinion, 920 AM WGNU in St. Louis was right to see this from a legal standpoint and part ways with the libelous Jack Clark. Jack Clark should feel shame for his actions and apologize immediately to make this right.
Jack Clark fired from radio gig after PED claims about Verlander, Pujols. Detroit News. 10 August 2013. Web. 12 August 2013. http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130810/SPORTS0104/308100057/Jack-Clark-fired-from-radio-gig-after-PED-claims-about-Verlander-Pujols.
Legal Information Institute. Slander. Cornell University Law School. 19 August 2010. Web. 12 August 2013. http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/slander.