Mike Piazza Jumps Into The Literary Field

Not much Mets on field news today as we await the official opening of camp tomorrow with pitchers and catcher ready to check in, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any off field Mets news.

Mike Piazza has written a book with Lonnie Wheeler called Long Shot (Simon & Shuster) which I hope to get my hands on tomorrow. But before the book drops, there have been some excerpts of what to expect in this tome that I can guarantee won’t come close to approaching R.A. Dickey’s book in both substance and style. If the excerpts I read this morning with my bagel and coffee are any example I hope I don’t get whiplash from all the head shaking I’m anticipating while reading Long Shot. You know what? That’s really not fair, I should hold final judgment until I read the complete work but still there are some things I’ve read so far that made me take notice.

Piazza is still haunted by Roger Clemens and the night he took one Clemens fastballs off the side of his head.

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Piazza talks about taking karate lessons after the beaning with the premeditated thinking of confronting Clemens if or when he faced him again. That time came just about three months later in Game Two of the World Series when Clemens threw the barrel of a shattered bat at Piazza who did turn and walked toward Clemens but as he said:

“There were complications,” he ( Piazza) recalls. “The least of them was the realization that Clemens was a big guy, and I stood a pretty fair chance of getting my ass kicked in front of Yankee Stadium and the world. That was a legitimate concern.”

Maybe in the book Piazza goes into more detail and at least using getting tossed out a World Series game and possible suspension of another game in the series as reason for not charge at Clemens because turning tail fearing an ass kicking is mighty weak.

It seems not only was Piazza intimidated by big powerful pitchers he also got smacked around by ex-girlfriends as well:

One of his best-known girlfriends was Debbe Dunning, the actress who played the “Tool Time” girl on the hit comedy “Home Improvement.” One Halloween night when Dunning came over with a pumpkin and her dog, Piazza decided to break off the relationship.

There was screaming and crying and then the Tool Time girl waffled my ass,” he recalled. “I hadn’t taken a punch like that in a long time.”

WOW!

Piazza speaks about taking androstenedione and of course everyone’s skirts go up in the air when they hear this. This morning on WFAN, Richard Neer was all up in arms over this revelation and in his ranting over this proclamation by Piazza failed to remember (I could see him falling asleep listening to his own voice) that Andro was both legal  to use in MLB and was sold over the counter at health and nutrition  stores like GNC. This never occurred to Neer who acted like he was Bobby Goren cracking a Major Case.

Piazza also fesses up to taking amphetamines which puts him a class with over three-quarters of those enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Piazza also states that he needed to grab some Vioxx on those days when the grind of squatting behind the plate was taking its toll. Vioxx,, a powerful anti-inflammatory has since been banned in the U.S. due to the bad side effects from the drug, the most harsh being death.

The excerpt goes on about the stories of Piazza’s sexuality and his rough relationship with Latin teammates, which will be more strained after the read his quotes about “Latin’s should learn English and not be as pampered as they are by MLB teams” and the “Latin Mafia” that had it in for him. Safe to say a managerial or coaching spot in pro baseball is not in the cards for Piazza.

Again I shouldn’t pass judgment on the book until I read it, I just pray it’s better than this book which may be the worst written book of all time

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Who Made The BBWAA The Moral Compass Of Baseball ?

 

 

The smoke from the Hall of Fame voting is still smoldering this morning as baseball fans are still venting outrage over the BBWAA sending none of the candidates to the induction day ceremony. There will be an induction day ceremony though as umpire Hank O’Day, one time owner of the NY Highlanders, Jacob Ruppert and Deadball Era player Deacon White were selected by the Veterans’ Committee for hall enshrinement. I sure hope those gentleman have big families who will show up at Cooperstown and spend some money so the shopkeeper, restaurateurs , and inn keepers can turn some kind of profit now that the BBWAA has ruined their big money making weekend.

My anger at the voting committee comes from a few different angles.  The use of speculation other than facts when declaring who is a PED user and who isn’t is some of the most absurd logic I’ve ever heard outside of the U.S. Congress. The same folks who sit in baseball press boxes playing Words with Friends and updating their Facebook status are now the moral compass of baseball.  Are you fucking kidding? I’d love to know how many of these scribes have ever padded their expense accounts. Oh sure none of them, yeah right not a “cheater” in the bunch.  The BBWAA is the same body who voted Barry Bonds 7 MVP awards and Roger Clemens 7 Cy Young’s AND  an MVP but now have decided it’s time to punish them for using performance enhancing drugs?  Again, are you fucking kidding me?

My position on the use of PED’s has chanced just a bit. I’ve gone from “who gives a shit attitude” to the game as it’s played today with drug testing or as best as can be expected drug testing, is a much better game. I still stand by my claim that those who used PED’s when there were no rules in baseball against them are not cheaters. To me you’re a cheater if you break a rule or regulation and at the height of the Steroid Era there was nothing in the governing rules of baseballs that forbid the use of enhancing drugs,  same as there were no rules about the use of Amphetamines or Lasik surgery both of which help in performance enhancement. 

As the years have gone on I found that I’m glad drug testing is in place, even though it’s not foolproof and hasn’t stop some knuckleheads from using PED’s but the game is a better played game now than during the so called “Steroid Era”. MLB was coming off the abbreviated 1994 season due to a work stoppage that canceled the World Series and spilled over to the first month of the 1995 season; MLB had a real mess on their hands. So whether it was juicing the baseball or turning away from juicing players no one, writers and media included turned a blind eye to the McGwire-Sosa home run battle of 1998 or to Bonds who demolished baseball records with ridiculous digits and won 4 straight MVP awards as he grew to the size of a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Balloon.

As a Mets fan I’m totally pissed off because as most Mets fans, I thought the organization was waiting for Piazza to make it to the HOF as to have a Mike Piazza Day at Citi Field. I was looking forward to seeing a number retirement ceremony along with induction into the Mets HOF and maybe a nice fan giveaway of a DVD of Mike Piazza’s Greatest Hits. If I’m the Mets (oh how I wish) I would still hold a day for Piazza this season complete with all the festivities I just mentioned plus a giveaway of a big foam hand with a middle finger sticking out and the letters BBWAA written on it from top to bottom. If Mets management wanted to have a day where Citi Field would be packed to the gills and be able to sell tickets at a high premium price, then schedule a Mike Piazza Day this season.

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My BBA Hall of Fame Ballot

As a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, every year we cast our Hall of Fame ballot to compare our results with those of the Baseball Writers Association of America.  I’m pretty sure my ballot is a lot different from many in the BBWAA who enjoy going on witch hunts rather doing real honest to goodness research on the candidates.  Without further ado here is the ballot I just cast:

Mike Piazza

Only someone seeking attention would NOT cast a vote for Piazza, and this is coming from someone who is not overly found of the former Mets catcher. But I won’t let that cloud my view that Piazza was not only the best hitting catcher of his era but he was one of the best right handed hitters as well. The majority of BBWAA members who vow not to vote for Piazza because the suspect he was a PED user, even though they have no proof whatsoever except for their short attention minds, the same short attention minds that feel playing Words with Friends in a big league press box is more fun than actually watching the game they are being paid to cover, are just making ass’ of themselves.  Piazza is a without a doubt first ballot Hall of Famer.

Jeff Bagwell

Again no proof of being a juicer but the voters of the BBWAA get their rocks off snubbing him on the ballot.  His lifetime slashes of .297/.408/.540/.948 is certainly Hall worthy and when you add in the power (449 HR), speed (202 SB and only 78 CS) and defense, Bagwell was the total package as a ballplayer.

Craig Biggio

The other half of the Astros Killer B’s his 3,060 hits makes him an automatic

Barry Bonds

All of the main streamers hate Bonds and will hold off voting for him due to PED’s even without proof (remember Bonds was guilty of perjury the only charge the government could get to stick and made sure the tax payers of California paid a lot of money that could have went to building schools or hospitals to convict Bonds) but they voted him the MVP 7 times including 4 times during the Era of Taint.

Roger Clemens

I’ve come from not giving a shit about who took PED’s to today where I feel the game is much better and more enjoyable than it was during the Steroid Era. I still don’t feel the players who took PED’s were cheaters since my definition of a cheater is someone who breaks the rules and at the time there were no rules in MLB or in the CBA that said use of PED’s by players were against the rules. Players have taken narcotics and stimulants since the beginning of baseball time to get an advantage same as when players corked bats or went for Lasik surgery to better their eye sight, every athlete looks for an edge. Add in that the Steroid Era followed the cancelling of the second half of the 1994 season along with playoffs and World Series due to labor strife, the game needed something to bring back disgruntled paying customers and I’m still not convinced it wasn’t a juiced ball as much as juiced players . Even before the Era of Taint, Clemens was a Hall of Famer and with 354 Wins, 4,672 K and 7 Cy Young Awards, even though I hate ya’ Roger I gotta respect ya!

Tim Raines

One of the most exciting and better players of his era Raines was right there with Andre Dawson and Gary Carter as the cog that ran the Montreal Expos of the 1980’s. Raines stole an amazing 808 bases and was caught just 146 times in his 23 year career and was an on base machine.

Allan Trammell

Trammell could always find a way to get on base or hit you a Home Run or steal a base while playing a stellar shortstop.

Jack Morris

Hey Bill Madden I saw Jack Morris play and he was damn good. If Morris were a Highlander for most of his career, Madden would have pleaded with his fellow BBWAA members to get him Hall of Fame enshrinement.

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Check Out The Sports Media Watchdog Podcast

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Listen to internet radio with Mike Silva Media on Blog Talk Radio

 

Mike Silva and me talked about the book PATERNO, The Red Sox-Dodgers blockbuster trade, Roger Clemens return to baseball, and the lunacy that is Skip Bayless.

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I Hope I Wasn’t The Reason Daniel Murphy Hurt His Shoulder

Last night on the Sport Media Watchdog Podcast, we discussed Joe Posnanski’s book PATERNO, Roger Clemens comeback with the Sugar Land Skeeters and the blockbuster deal between the Boston Red Sox and the LA Dodgers

Saturday I was in New Jersey for most of the day in Colt’s Neck to be precise and at the Collingwood Flea Market. As I walked around the market I came across a booth that was selling baseball jersey’s. I found a beautiful Mets Daniel Murphy roadie that I just could not pass up. After I bought it, I said to my son, “I hope this isn’t the kiss of death for Murph as a Met by me buying this jersey” So what happens, yesterday Murph hurts his shoulder and will spend his off day in an MRI tube. Sorry 28!

Sandy Alderson wants to sign David Wright and R.A. Dickey to long term deals. David Wright and R.A. Dickey would love to sign long term deals with the Mets. David Wright and R.A. Dickey however, will not sign long term deals with the Mets until they hear what the Alderson Plan is going forward. I don’t blame them at all.  Both players know that the money is out there for their services and this stage of both players careers it seems from what they are saying winning or just a commitment to building a winner is paramount if they will both stay Mets or not.

In Wright’s case he sees that the lineup he’s in now offers no protection what so ever, put him on team like the Reds or Cardinals and his offensive game would flourish. Wright is also starting to look at his legacy in baseball and his chances of making it to Cooperstown. So far in his career Wright has 1393 hits, leaving him 1607 base knocks away from the holy grail of 3,000. That would average out to about 178.5 hits a season for the next eight seasons to hit that mark. Even if Wright was short of the 3K hits, joining a team that was a contender and committed to winning (don’t lie, it’s crossed your mind as you woke up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat  picturing Wright as a Highlander. If George Steinbrenner were still alive I’d just about guarantee he’d have made Wright an offer so good he couldn’t say no) as a World Series ring or two along with the offensive output Wright should be able to produce for the next eight years would make him just about a lock for the Hall of Fame. Can he achieve that as a Met? I’m not optimistic that he can.

Looks like Terry Collins will be back as manager of the Mets in 2013. I have no problem with that although I’d think there will be a major shakeup of the coaching staff. What interests me is the job status of Wally Backman. Would the Mets bring Backman on board as a coach with Collins starting the season in lame duck status? That would make for an uncomfortable coexistence for sure. What would Sandy Alderson do if Backman is offered a big league managers job or a coaching position. Couldn’t you see Davey Johnson convincing Nationals ownership to bring Backman on as his right hand man to groom as the next Nats field boss?

Chris Jaffe at The Hardball Times writes about this date back in 1992 when the Mets traded David Cone to the Toronto Blue Jays for Jeff Kent.

 

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WHAT HAVE THE HIGHLANDERS DONE TO PERPETUAL PEDRO?

There were a few interesting Mets news items so while I try to wake up and start to focus on the series with the Phuck Phaces let’s take a gander:

The Pedro Feliciano Highlander/Mets feud just won’t end. The Mets, particularly Old School Dan Warthen, seem to be the most level headed in this whole deal. Warthen told the truth, that the Mets felt giving Feliciano a multiyear deal was dumb since they worked the shit out him the last three years. Now Pedro has a broken heart and had decided to take his frustrations on, Ike Davis? What the hell did Ike do to you Perpetual Pedro? Very surprised by the way Feliciano has reacted. He always came off as muy macho. I guess when you don those Highlander pinstripes in turns you into a whinny bitch.

Speaking of Old School, it seems he’s like Felix the Cat as he unveils his bag of tricks, on wheels no less.

There are still plenty of tickets left for the Friday home opener and for Saturday’s game you could get a ticket for the less than the price of a Shake Shack burger. When I clicked on the Mets website I see they have now added a coupon for a $10 credit for food or merchandise to be used the day of the game you purchase tickets for. At least there is a sign of creativity coming out of Citi.

People ask me why I’m not a big Mike Piazza fan, well read this and click on the link to the radio interview of Piazza and Roger Clemens and that should explain why.

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DRIVE BY POSTING

Last week at this time, it was Armageddon outside my house with rain and wind. Today, the sun is shining and the temperature’s soring to the mid-70’s today so this will be a real quickie post as  I’m going out to play, I may even break out the shorts, but before I head out a few items:

Looks like Mike Jacobs is the in line for the 25th spot on the roster as he not only will give Daniel Murphy a run at first base bit he is valuable and an emergency catcher. Jacobs has no problem stepping in if asked to catch, in fact he has order a catchers mitt and is working down in the bullpen to hone his skills. Carlos Delgado was a catcher at one time but he made it known under no circumstances would he go behind the plate.  One more reason why I’m glad Delgado’s gone.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports has a must read column on the shakedown artists at the World Anti-Doping Association who keep trying to embarrass MLB to the point it sends more cash it’s way for the witch hunt of chasing athletes for PED use.  I know the Congress and the President  have a lot on their plate these days but someone needs to reign in the FBI agents wasting money and man power chasing down Barry Bonds, Roger  Clemens and other athletes about their use of PED’s.  You want to say Bonds and Clemens are assholes ? You get no argument from me but if you’re going to start putting people in jail for that then Glen Beck needs to be on Death Row.

Jenry Mejia pitched yesterday and is slated to go again today. Not a good sign if you ask me. Looks like Manuel is pushing for Mejia to join the Mets bullpen when the right move would be to let him start in Buffalo. Also John Maine goes today against the Cardinals, time to step up Johnny.

The Nationals have sent Jesus Strasbug  to their minor league camp.  Look for Jesus to be resurrected sometime in May, as it will buy the Nats an extra year of control over the Savior.

Johan Santana BELIEVES!!!!! Someone has to I guess.

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TO THOSE WHO SERVED OUR COUNTRY, WE SALTUE YOU!

Before we delve into sports minutia lets not forget that today is Veterans Day and it would be worth all our while to thank the men and women of the US Armed Forces who have sacrificed for our country THANK YOU ALL.

I went to the Rangers-Oilers game last night and if you didn’t know better you would have thought the Rangers were on the 15 day 7 game road trip and not Edmonton.  The Rangers have now gone 1-3-1 in their last 5 games and the first period blues have continued. Maybe it’s just one of those bumps in the road but the way the team has looked lackluster in the beginning of games is a but disturbing. So is the defensive play of Michal Rozsival who is looking to replace Marek Malik as the ire of the Blue Seats anger.

With the trade of Matt Holiday to the A’s and Huston Street going to the Rocks added to the Padres going cheap and say bye-bye to Hells Bells Hoffman if your Francisco Rodriguez and Brain Fuentes it has to make you a bit nervous that having more supply added to the demand may cost you leverage and money when teams come a courtin’. It also puts a ton more pressure on Omar Minaya with more options out there to bolster the bullpen big time.

J-Man is chillin’ on the golf course these days while Omar, Tony B and John Rico burn the midnight oil revamping his team. Check out the wardrobe the Warlord was wearing on the links yesterday. I bet he looks damn fine in a fedora.

JC Bradburry as a great site named Sabernomics and on this site he has a post on MLB investigating the uses of HGH and what a waste of time and money it is to do this as there is no proof that HGH enhances performance on the baseball diamond.  I always felt bad for Jonathan Mayo who wrote a great inside baseball book on Roger Clemens that came out at the same time of Clemens lying and cheating scandal. As much as  I am not a fan of Clemens but I’ve always felt it was more Clemens mastering the spilt finger fastball that led to his late career success than the pharmaceuticals.

Kid Carter will manage the LI Ducks watch your back J-Man.

Dom D has a post on the Mets interest in Dan Uggla and Kevin Gregg as the Marlins prepare another of their famous tag sales. I love Uggla’s grit and bat but his glove is a liability. Gregg would look nice at the back end of the Mets pen though.

It’s time to give the post season baseball awards voting to bloggers as the BBWA are to lazy or too stupid to figure out who is a rookie and who isn’t. Edsion Volquez is not a rookie but he still received votes from three different writers in a second place slot.

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Tickets

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