Jack Clark retracts PED comments about Albert Pujols; Pujols drops lawsuit against Clark

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Last summer, former major leaguer Jack Clark said on his short-lived radio program in St. Louis that he had knowledge of Albert Pujols using performance-enhancing drugs. Pujols later sued Clark in an effort to clear his name, which led to Clark challenging him to a lie detector test and other nonsense. According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the two sides have reached a resolution on the matter now that Clark has formally retracted his accusations:

“I would like to address Albert Pujols’ pending defamation lawsuit and re-confirm that I have no knowledge whatsoever that Mr. Pujols has ever used illegal or banned PEDs,” Clark said in a statement he released and was provided to The Post-Dispatch. “I publicly retract my statements that Albert Pujols used such substances. During a heated discussion on air, I misspoke and for that I sincerely apologize.”

Pujols released a statement of his own acknowledging Clark’s apology:

“I have accepted Jack Clark’s retraction and apology to resolve my lawsuit against him and clear my name,” the statement read.

Clark was fighting a losing battle from the start, and it’s safe to say he did more damage to his own reputation with the legal fallout than sway public opinion about Pujols. But hey, at least we got some good laughs out of the situation.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.