Monday, August 12, 2013

Jack be not-so-quick...

                                Last week, former MLB player Jack Clark and his co-host Kevin Slaton were fired from their St. Louis sports talk show for accusing players like Albert Pujols and Justin Verlander of juicing.  The show only lasted seven days and Pujols is going to sue Clark for slander;  talk about former Cardinal first baseman on former Cardinal First baseman hate.  This isn't the first time "Jack the ripper" has gotten himself in trouble though, as he's had a long history of stirring things up.

                      Clark made it to the majors in 1975 with the Giants as the youngest player in the league at age 19.  By '78 he was an All Star outfielder, but had a reputation as a fragile ballplayer, taking too long to recover from injuries and often complained about the cold of San Fransisco's Candlestick park.  He wouldn't have to complain for too long, as the St. Louis Cardinals traded for him to be their first baseman and provide power for an otherwise wise slap-hitting offense.  He only played three years for St. Louis, but helped them win pennants in '85 and '87, providing clutch hits in the postseason, while struggling somewhat defensively (he was involved in that play in game 6 of the '85 series where Todd Worrel covered first and the Royal's Jorge Orta was called safe, though he was clearly out.  Clark also dropped a foul ball in the Royals rally in the same game game.)

             Clark left St Louis after the '87 season, due in part with clashes with Ozzie Smith (!) He was then signed  to a two year deal to play for the Yankees, but only played one year because he didn't get along with manager Lou Pinella, who had replaced Billy Martin at the end of the '88 season. (side note, he DID get along with Billy Martin (again,(!)
He then spent two years with the Padres and ended his career with the Red Sox in the early '90s, continuing the tradition of Boston signing over-the-hill sluggers, (something they stopped doing in recent years, thankfully). My memory of Clark playing for the Sox was during a game on the road against a team whose name eludes me (I'm thinking KC, or Cleveland or such). Basically, Jack slammed a home run to left field, but in doing so, injured himself greatly, as he limped around the bases in a manner so slow and crippling, it made Kirk Gibson's '88 WS trot look like a Jesse Owens sprint... 

       After retirement, Clark continued a hobby he started during his playing days; collecting luxury cars.  At one point, he had 17 of these things, some of them costing up to 700,000 dollars...needless to say, he eventually filed for bankruptcy, selling his 2.4 million dollar home, among other things.  In time, he dug himself out of the financial hole, only to have this PED accusation mess happen...oh well, I'm sure he can a job in public relations somewhere...oh, wait...

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