With players being linked to Biogenesis receiving suspensions earlier this week, and Alex Rodriguez appealing his, it seems that performance enhancing drugs are all the rage right now. Enough so that former Major Leaguer Jack Clark (Who became the host of his own radio show this week) has decided to jump into the fun by fingering a few players as being suspect in taking Performance Enhancing Drugs. One of which is the Angels Albert Pujols. Seems that even though he has been on the Disabled List since July 27th, he still can make his way into a headline.
Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports’ Hardball Talk had the initial reaction to the article linked above. And he’s not buying Jack Clark’s statements for their face value by saying:
Dayn Perry of CBS Sports had his own take on the situation, saying:
Unlike a lot of half-cocked assertions on this topic, Clark’s accusation is at least based on a conversation he claims he had. However, he goes pathetically off the rails in his discussion with Caesar when he raises suspicions about Justin Verlander of the Tigers based on velocity loss and former MLBer Shawn Green based on a visual diagnosis of “bacne”…
My initial reaction is: Eeewwwww, bacne.
My personal opinion of back hygiene aside. I’m tired of PED-talk. It’s better than the talk about how Albert Pujols can’t possibly be the age that he says he is (seriously, people, he went to High School in Independence, MO. I’m pretty sure that they would notice the difference between an 18 year-old Senior, and a 20 year-old senior), but it’s the kind of talk that further disillusions baseball fans. Turning them into zombie football fans. And the world does not need more football fans.
On the one hand, I can see why people would assume Pujols took PED’s. His first 11 seasons as a Major Leaguer rank among the best to have ever played the game of baseball. And his numbers have been in consistent decline for the last four seasons.
Or maybe, that’s because Pujols has entered the decline phase of his career.
For his career, Pujols has accumulated 92.8 bWAR (Baseball-Reference Wins Above Replacement), Jimmie Foxx through his age-33 season, accumulated 95.6 bWAR. But by his age-33 season, the signs of decline were already showing. Most notably in an OPS that had dropped 241 points from 1.158 in his age-31 season to .917 in his age-33 season. The following season it was at .664. I wonder what Jack Clark has to say about Foxx?
For those of you who prefer a visual aide, here’s Pujols’ and Foxx’s slugging percentages compared in graph form.
The biggest problem with PED’s is that there is no end to the finger-pointing. Everyone is a target, and Clark said himself that “ballplayers in general are suspect.” Does that mean that it is time to roll out the “Mike Trout is taking PED’s articles?” They are only suspect to paranoid malcontent’s like Jack Clark who need attention now that their playing careers are long over, and are mostly remembered for being unliked by teammates, managers and front office personnel.
So, in closing, Mr. Clark, Keep your hearsay to yourself. I’m sure your radio show will do just fine because people enjoy hearing sports-related talk radio. But, dragging players names through the mud to get their? That’s Bush League. I hope your show bombs.