Jack Clark's smart-aleck lawyer wants Albert Pujols' defamation lawsuit thrown out -- unless Pujols' legal team can demonstrate Clark used words like "juicer" and "PED" to specifically refer to illegal steroids and not, say, a raspberry-and-Viagra smoothie.
Albert Watkins, Clark's St. Louis-based lawyer, filed the motion on Monday in the St. Louis County Circuit Court. It reads like a stripped-down, legalese version of the open letter Watkins sent to Pujols' lawyer in mid-October, in which he snidely (but hilariously) mocked the very basics of the defamation suit brought against his client.
"It may appear petty, but it's really not," says Watkins. He concedes, for example, that the meaning of the Clark's on-air statement -- "I know for a fact he was a juicer" -- seems obvious at first blush; but from a legal perspective, the word juicer is "subject to a variety of meanings."
So what else could "juicer" mean? From the motion:
["Juicer" could be defined as] a heavy or habitual drinker of alcohol, or, in its most innocent sense, one who liquefies fruit and fruit pulp for oral consumption.
Watkins makes a similar argument regarding the phrase "performance-enhancing drugs," which he says could easily refer to Viagra or other substances.
The motion itself follows many of the points Watkins first touched upon in his October letter, in which he referred to Clark's "juicer" statements as "the clumps in the proverbial kitty litter of this case."
Despite that letter's near-cartoonish levels of facetiousness, Watkins says this new motion is not a joke.
"There was real meritorious substance from what I was saying, from a legal standpoint," says Watkins. "It was, 'Hey, you've got some issues with the construction of your pleadings, please take care of them.'"
"One of the most vital and essential elements of defense in a defamation case is to get to the core issue of what is objectionable and in what context that objectionable language was communicated. Anyone who has been involved in litigation of this nature more than ten or fifteen minutes appreciates that."
Our attempts to reach Pujols' LA-based lawyer, Martin Singer, were unsuccessful.
Filed in October, Pujols' lawsuit takes issue with statements Clark made to his cohost Kevin Slaten during an August broadcast of the sports-talk radio show The King and the Ripper. Though less than a week old at the time, the show was canceled after Clark's comments.
insideSTL Enterprises, which created the show, distanced itself from Clark and publicly apologized to Pujols multiple times.
Clark, however, stood by his story, even challenging Pujols to dueling polygraph tests to prove which baseball legend is lying. Watkins tells Daily RFT that the challenge is still open, and they are considering having Clark simply take the test on his own.
Though outside attempts at reconciliation have been made to heal the damage between Pujols and Clark, Watkins isn't optimistic that either star can move past this case.
"I do not envision at this time that the two will be holding hands or singing 'Kumbaya' anytime in the near future," he says.
Continue for the full text of Clark's motion to dismiss Pujols' defamation suit.
Here's the full text of Clark's motion.
And here's Pujols' original defamation lawsuit filed in October.
Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at Danny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com