Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander denied PED allegations from Jack Clark.
(Photo: David Richard David Richard, USA TODAY Sports)
NEW YORK -- Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander stood in the visitors' locker room at Yankee Stadium Friday afternoon and discussed allegations from a former major league slugger suggesting he was taking performance-enhancing drugs.
"It's moronic," Verlander said, "look at the source. It's moronic to talk about something you know nothing about and clearly ... he's not watching."
Jack Clark, a retired power hitter who has a talk radio show in St. Louis, told his audience Verlander was having a down year because the pitcher could no longer take PEDs. He accused Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols of doping as well.
"Verlander was like Nolan Ryan, he threw 97, 98, 100 miles an hour from the first inning to the ninth inning," Clark said on the air Thursday, according to a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "He got that big contract, now he can barely reach 92, 93. What happened to it? He has no arm problems, nothing's wrong. It's just the signs are there.
The greed ... they juice up, they grab the money and it's just a free pass to steal is the way I look at it."
To which Verlander, who is 12-8 with 3.74 ERA this season, responded, "There is no merit in what he is talking about. He's not watching me pitch. Because if did he would've seen my last start, right? He's saying I'm struggling to hit 93, 94? I averaged 97 and hit a 100 in my last start. So clearly he doesn't know what he's talking about."
Verlander, a former rookie of the year and AL MVP, said he was upset and trying to bite his tongue. He declined to discuss whether he'd thought about filing a formal complaint or discussing the matter with his attorney.
"I don't really want to get into that with you guys," he said.
"It's just troublesome that in this day and age, with no merit or anything, somebody can just throw a name (around) just because he feels like, in his opinion, I'm having a down year cause I've lost velocity which clearly wasn't the case," Verlander said. "Then all of a sudden I'm having to deal with this just because I have a big name."
Clark hit 340 home runs in an 18-year career that included stops in San Francisco, Boston and St. Louis.