I can see from your note that you really have been there and done that. I have never seen a ball joint pinched/clamped in like that. I appreciate the advice. I did not try pulling it apart until I posted this note. I wanted to be sure I did not screw it up. I am planning on replacing the tie rod ends, I have some play somewhere and with 123000 miles and the cost of the parts I thought replacing the majority of the steering components would not be a waste of time. I had not thought about the struts though, probably would make sense to replace them while I am at it.
I'll have a new front end by the time I am done and should not have any more front end problems for a while.