clark, pujols getty

Jack Clark stands by claim that Albert Pujols took steroids

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Former major leaguer Jack Clark lasted just a week at a new St. Louis sports radio station for claiming multiple times on air that Albert Pujols’ ex-trainer Chris Mihlfeld used to inject the slugger with steroids as an amateur and young pro ballplayer.

Clark, who was fired Saturday from CBS Sports 920, alleges that Mihlfeld provided details about Pujols’ steroid use while Clark and Mihlfeld were both on staff in the late 1990s with the Dodgers. Here’s the claim via Dan Caeser of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

“I know for a fact that Chris Mihlfield told me that,” Clark said and added that Mihlfeld told him he could inject him the same way he did to Pujols, who at the time was not known to Clark.

Clark said Mihlfield told him, “You’re going to see this guy coming up to the Cardinal organization, he’s going to be in the big leagues and he’s unbelievable,” Clark said.

He also said Mihlfield suggested that Clark try steroids and showed him how he injected Pujols.

“He like pulled his shorts, the waistband, down off his hip and (said), ‘I’ll just give you a little injection right there and you’re on your way and I’ll show you how to do it,” Clark said.

Mihlfeld has denied Clark’s story and Pujols is in the process of taking legal action. Here’s Mihlfeld:

“I haven’t even talked to Jack Clark in close to 10 years. His statements are simply not true. I have known Albert Pujols since he was 18 years old and he would never use illegal drugs in any way. I would bet my life on it and probably drop dead on the spot if I found out he has.”

And now Clark has taken his act to Twitter:

Clark is known for being somewhat of a shock jock and so was his on-air partner, Kevin Slaten. They were both canned Saturday with this accompanying statement from the radio station’s ownership:  “InsideSTL has terminated its relationship with Jack Clark and Kevin Slaten. As independent contractors, we want to make it clear that the opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions of insideSTL. Also as independent contractors, insideSTL did not have editorial control over the show’s content.”

Sonny Gray was denied insurance coverage for the World Baseball Classic

MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 22:  Pitcher Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics poses for a portrait during photo day at HoHoKam Stadium on February 22, 2017 in Mesa, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reports that Athletics’ right-hander Sonny Gray will not pitch in the World Baseball Classic after failing to meet the necessary criteria for insurance coverage. He missed 70 days on the disabled list with forearm tightness and a back strain in 2016.

According to Oakland GM David Forst, Major League Baseball tried to persuade the insurance carrier to waive the requirements for Gray to pitch for Team USA, but the request was ultimately refused. Without coverage, Gray will be unable to participate in the competition, though Forst adds that the 27-year-old is still in perfect health as Opening Day approaches and should benefit from a slower spring training schedule without the added commitment on his plate.

Injuries complicated a down year for Gray, who pitched to a career-worst 5.69 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 7.2 SO/9 rate through 117 innings in 2016. His 1.4 HR/9 and 17.8% HR/FB rates suggested that he felt the effects of the home run spike more than most, capping a disappointing follow-up to his All-Star campaign during 2015.

While Gray works up to a healthy and productive start to the 2017 season, the Athletics will still see two players on WBC rosters next month: right-handed reliever Santiago Casilla, who is scheduled to pitch for the Dominican Republic, and fellow righty John Axford, for Team Canada.

Report: Josh Hamilton likely to undergo another knee surgery

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 24:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers in the dugout before a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 24, 2015 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
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Rangers’ outfielder Josh Hamilton is scheduled for another knee exam on Monday, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Hamilton left camp last week after feeling some pain in his left knee and received a PRP injection to alleviate the symptoms. Wilson notes that both Dr. Walt Lowe and Rangers’ assistant general manager Mike Daly noticed little improvement in the days following the injection.

More drastic measures could be necessary if the 35-year-old intends to return to the field this year. MLB.com’s TR Sullivan adds that the Rangers are considering arthroscopic surgery for Hamilton, which would set him back at least 4-6 weeks and eliminate any real chance of his making the Opening Day roster in April. Until they see the results of the surgery, however, the Rangers won’t rule out Hamilton’s potential return to the big leagues in 2017.

Hamilton is looking at his third major procedure since the end of the 2015 season. He missed all of the Rangers’ 2016 campaign after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery last spring and has not seen a full workload in the majors since his 2013 run with the Angels. Should he make a full recovery this season, he figures to see some time at first base/DH or the corner outfield.