Albert Pujols


Was adding Corliss Williamson to the Kings' coaching staff a good idea?

Leading Off: Ex-Giant Jack Clark is still 'The Ripper'

Published: Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Monday, Aug. 12, 2013 - 9:41 am

It seems Jack Clark is still living up to his nickname of "Jack the Ripper," only now he's ripping some of today's biggest stars instead of baseballs.

And it got him fired Saturday, just a week into his new gig as a sports radio talk-show host in St. Louis, when he accused Los Angeles Angels star Albert Pujols and Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander of using – or at least having used – performance-enhancing drugs.

Clark claims both players are no longer performing as they once did, getting off the juice after cashing in on fat contracts.

Both players emphatically deny it. Pujols has threatened a lawsuit.

It's not the first time Clark has gone public with his disdain for cheaters. He blasted the most high-profile names of the steroids era: Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Roger Clemens.

He called them "phonies," "fakes" and "liars." Clark has gone on record saying all cheaters should be banned from the Hall of Fame.

Clark should know a thing or two about PEDs, considering his career wound down during the height of baseball's steroids era.

Clark was a tall, lean slugger with the Giants, hitting 163 home runs in 10 seasons for San Francisco. Still, Clark was often injured and out of the lineup.

In 1985, he was traded to St. Louis and played his final eight seasons with the Cardinals, Yankees, Padres and Red Sox.

Much like Bonds, McGwire and Sosa, Clark put on weight, and his ability to hit more home runs and longer home runs increased after turning 30.

Clark hit 177 homers in his final eight seasons – 155 after age 30. He would have hit more home runs had he not struck out 797 times after turning 30.

The bigger and older Clark got, the better he became.

Still, nobody ever pointed a bony finger at "The Ripper."

Not accusing, just saying.

What to watch

Sprint Cup, Cheez-It 355, 10 a.m., ESPN: Max Papis gets to drive Tony Stewart's No. 14 Chevrolet.

Weekend poll

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Call The Bee's Victor Contreras, (916) 326-5527. Follow him on Twitter @SacBeeVictor.

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