10/4/2013 6:13 P.M. ET
Pujols files suit against radio host for PED comments
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Albert Pujols wasn't bluffing when he threatened to sue former All-Star Jack Clark for calling him "a juicer" on St. Louis airwaves nearly two months ago. On Friday in St. Louis County Circuit Court, Pujols' legal team officially filed a defamation lawsuit against Clark, as first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
In the suit, Pujols asks for unspecified damages that would be donated to charity and a determination that Clark's statements are false. The petition calls Clark's on-air comments "malicious, reckless and outrageous falsehoods," and says the Angels first baseman's character and reputation are "impeccable and beyond reproach, while calling Clark "a struggling radio talk show host."
On Aug. 2, while hosting the now-defunct "The King and the Ripper Show" on WGNU 920 AM in St. Louis, Clark said he knew "for a fact" that Pujols used steroids because Pujols' former trainer and junior college coach, Chris Mihlfeld, told the host when the two were together on the Dodgers in 2000 (Clark as hitting coach, Mihlfeld as trainer) that he "shot [Pujols] up."
Mihlfeld denied those allegations in a written statement a week later, saying he would "bet my life" that Pujols would "never use illegal drugs in any way." Shortly thereafter, Pujols issued his own statement, calling Clark's comments "irresponsible and reckless" and saying he's "going to send a message that you cannot act in a reckless manner, like they have, and get away with it."
Pujols' lawsuit does not name the radio station as a defendant. Clark and his co-host, Kevin Slaten, were dismissed shortly after Pujols' statement -- seven shows into their tenure -- and the station has issued a handful of apologies since, most recently on air on Thursday.
The lawsuit says Clark's comments are lies that have damaged Pujols' reputation, causing him humiliation, mental anguish and anxiety. It also adds that his show's cancellation isn't enough, saying: "Cutting Clark off at the microphone will not undo the harm to Pujols' reputation caused by Clark."
On Aug. 10, Clark said via his Twitter account that he stands by what he said.
"My lawyers have told me that the upcoming legal fight will not be an easy one, and that in cases like this, even a liar can sometimes be protected under the law," Pujols said in a statement released through his agent at MVP Sports Group. "But as a man of faith, I have never shied away from standing up for the truth, and I believe that the principles at stake are too important to sit back and do nothing. I believe we are all accountable for the things we do and say, and it was important for me to stand up for what was right, against those who would seek to drag me down to try and build themselves up. I have always believed in the principles of honesty and accountability and will continue to fight for them here."
No word yet on possible Angels personnel changes
ANAHEIM -- Five days have passed since the regular-season finale, and there has been no official determination regarding the job status of general manager Jerry Dipoto or manager Mike Scioscia.
It's been "status quo" at Angel Stadium all week, sources have said, with the front office planning for upcoming organizational meetings and the work that lies ahead. But that doesn't necessarily mean that no changes will be made.
Angels owner Arte Moreno hasn't been in town, and his decision on upcoming personnel changes for 2014 -- if there even are any -- is still a mystery within the organization. The Angels will likely make an announcement even if they don't plan on making any changes, simply to quell speculation, but a statement isn't expected until Monday at the earliest.
Angels claim righty reliever Wall off waivers
ANAHEIM - The Angels claimed right-handed reliever Josh Wall from the Marlins on Friday, adding him to the 40-man roster to mark their first move of the offseason.
Wall, 26, appeared in 13 games with the Dodgers from 2012-13 and was shipped to Miami as part of the deal that brought starter Ricky Nolasco to Los Angeles on July 6.
A second-round Draft pick out of high school in Louisiana in 2005, the 6-foot-6 Wall posted a 4.56 ERA in 45 games for the Dodgers' and Marlins' Triple-A affiliates this season, adding a 1.500 WHIP and a 1.92 strikeout-to-walk ratio while saving four games.
The Angels' 40-man roster is at 39.
• Mike Trout was recently named as a finalist for the American League's Outstanding Player as part of the 2013 Players Choice Awards, alongside Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera and Orioles first baseman Chris Davis. The winner will be announced on MLB Network on Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. PT. Cabrera, Davis and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw are the nominees for Player of the Year.
• The Phillies will host "Millville Night" at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday, May 13, for the first of a two-game series against the Angels, according to a report in the Newark Star-Ledger. One thousand tickets behind home plate and on the third level will be set aside for residents of Millville, Trout's hometown. The Phillies have done the promotion before, but this is the first time it'll feature a team on which Trout plays.
• Randal Grichuk, famouly taken one spot before Trout by the Angels in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, won a Minor League Gold Glove Award in right field this season. The 22-year-old Grichuk spent 2013 in Double-A Arkansas, posting a .256/.306/.474 slash line in 128 games.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.