- St. Louis radio jock and ex-player Jack Clark goes on-air and claims that Albert Pujols' trainer told him Pujols shoots up with PEDs.
- Pujols' trainer says, "Wait a minute, I haven't talked with that guy in ten years and I never said that."
- Pujols says, "I'm suing you."
- The radio station that employs Clark and his partner fires both of them.
- Clark's partner makes some noise about how the radio station hung them out to dry,
End of story. Right?
I mean, sure, it all looks very satisfying and clean. Guy says something dumb and unsourced and gets to deal with the consequences. If only it were that clean when people were making unsourced accusations about, say, Jeff Bagwell.
This is actually going to make things worse. Because people are going to look at this, see Pujols' almost certainly hypothetical threat of legal action (which Craig Calcaterra breaks down nicely here), and come to exactly the wrong conclusion. They're going to say, "Well, Albert threatened to sue the guy. Why aren't these other guys threatening to sue? If they're not willing to go there, then they must be dirty!"
It's idiot logic, the worst kind of missing middle argument. But it's just one step away from the bleating of the Mike Lupicas of the world who were upset that A-Rod didn't announce his innocence (never mind the legal ramifications of doing so), and I promise you, we're going to hear it.