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Did I do something wrong? Because I really don’t understand this at all

Jan 9, 2013, 2:33 PM EDT

Hi, I’m Mike Piazza.*

source:

Do you remember me?  Normally I wouldn’t ask that because I seem to remember being quite famous a few years ago, but it seems like several hundred people whose business it was to follow my career have forgotten me, and I just don’t know how to deal with that.  I mean, I know there were better players than me, but I hit .308/.377/.545 for my career with 427 homers in 16 seasons. My career OPS+ was 143. The next three catchers on that list whose careers have already ended are Mickey Cochrane, Bill Dickey and Johnny Bench, and they’re way behind. I played in the World Series. Everyone said when I played that I was heading to the Hall of Fame.

But today I got just 57.8% of the vote, and at the risk of sounding arrogant, I think that’s kinda light, don’t you?

It’s almost as if someone is holding something against me and my Hall of Fame candidacy apart from what I did on the field.  I know that’s possible! It happens to a lot of players these days. But (again, sorry for being narcissistic) I Googled myself and I couldn’t find a single article written which presents any facts which would reasonably lead someone to withhold their vote. I wasn’t named on any lists or outed in anyone’s book. There’s just … nothing.

It’s almost as if 42.8% of the Hall of Fame electorate has been talking about me behind my back, too cowardly to come out and accuse me of something, yet holding that something against me all the same. I’m just a simple man from Pennsylvania and I don’t necessarily understand how everything in the world works, but that strikes me as kinda wrong.

Sorry if that’s rude, but it beats the other explanation I have in mind: that 42.8% of the BBWAA are blithering idiots and wouldn’t know a Hall of Fame catcher if Carlton Fisk fell out of the sky, landed on their face and started to wiggle.

Thanks for your time.

*At least we here are assuming this was Mike Piazza. We heard this voice with a distinct Pennsylvania accent saying these words in our head moments after the Hall of Fame results were announced and felt duty-bound to put to pen to paper in order to preserve them for posterity.

  1. Stacey - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    *slow clap*

    • skids003 - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:49 PM

      He’s maybe the best catcher of alltime, and the writers have tried, convicted, and hung him without a trial. Terrble. Travesty. A joke.

      Mike, you belong.

      • cur68 - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:53 PM

        Yep.

      • skids003 - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:56 PM

        Hey, cur, we ben agreeing a lot lately. Scary? Is there hopr for me yet?

      • loungefly74 - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:20 PM

        basically guilt by association. anyone/everyone is punished. smh

      • courtgolf - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:38 PM

        the best catcher of all time ? LMAO !!

      • cur68 - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:50 PM

        Court! How are you?

      • tuberippin - Jan 9, 2013 at 5:35 PM

        I’m actually inclined to agree with courtgolf on this one. Piazza was an outstanding catcher, but best of all time? Johnny Bench and Yogi Berra would disagree, and I’m sure Roy Campanella would have had a few things to say himself.

      • American of African Descent - Jan 9, 2013 at 7:05 PM

        Piazza was one of my favorite players in the 1990s and 2000s. But Pudge Rodriguez would get my nod as all time greatest catcher given his ability to both hit the ball and to shut down a running game.

      • indaburg - Jan 9, 2013 at 8:48 PM

        Compromise. How about the best hitting catcher of all time?

      • PHILLYPHanalysis - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:14 AM

        Best catcher of all time? Prolly not. Best offensive catcher of all time? You bet. It’s not even that close.

        Was it due to steroids? Nobody but him knows for sure, and a couple quotes from former competition doesn’t tell me anything for sure. I would have voted for him.

  2. itsacurse - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Meet you at the statue in an hour.

  3. blockedprospect - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    I don’t understand a single, blessed thing about the American justice system, Mike, but that doesn’t stop me from having unshakable, 100% confidence that this whole thing could’ve been avoided if you’d just sued some people.

  4. cur68 - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    How this isn’t a top to bottom cussing-out is beyond me.

    • stex52 - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:44 PM

      Arrogant, but restrained. The man earned a little arrogance with his fantastic career.

      The whole think stinks. And I thought I didn’t care how it turned out.

      • indaburg - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:08 PM

        I thought I didn’t really care either but I was wrong. I’m sad for Piazza. The hall is just another venerable institution from my youth proving its irrelevance.

      • cur68 - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:09 PM

        Agree, but honestly, I don’t see the arrogance. Its an objective measure. That’s what kills me about all of this. It lacks any logic at all. Pizza, Rains, Biggio, Bagwell, Trammel, Lofton, McGriff have numbers as good or better than many already in the hall. No proof of PEDs use: never been in a report, never seen by anyone to have used, never said they had used. These are facts, rather than overstatements or arrogance. In Piazza’s case he can say his numbers stack up well enough to make the claim that he’s the best ever to play the position of MLB Catcher. Its a fact. They do. Anyhow, this all just blows me away. What a fucking travesty.

      • nolanwiffle - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:21 PM

        You’re aware, I hope, that Piazza didn’t actually write this, right?

      • cur68 - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:30 PM

        Nolan, we might be giddy fanboys & gurl in most respects, but I figure we all knew that this was Craig and if it really IS Michael J. Piazza then it doesn’t change a thing we’ve written.

      • stex52 - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:33 PM

        Exactly.

      • indaburg - Jan 9, 2013 at 4:14 PM

        What?! This wasn’t real M.J. (or V.) Piazza? I shake my fist at you, Calcaterra. Curses! Why I oughta…

      • cur68 - Jan 9, 2013 at 4:44 PM

        The NBC Brain Trust has been at work. The “Michael J. Piazza” by-line is gone and now we have a disclaimer at the bottom.

        Dang you, NBC Overlords. Dang you to HECK!

      • indaburg - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:55 PM

        (Pssst… I was kidding. I kinda figured CC went The Onion on us. I was wondering if the NBC lawyers were gonna git ‘im for that by-line.)

  5. Beezo-Doo-doo-Zippity-Bop-bop-bop - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    You were given many opportunities to come forth and testify about anything you knew about PED cheating that was rampant in the sport at the time you played to add to the Mitchell Report but declined. You were either doing it or covering it up. Guilt by association. See?

    • schlom - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:45 PM

      Maybe because the congressional hearings were a complete joke and political grandstanding?

    • kirkvanhouten - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:52 PM

      So you will be front and center of the “keep Greg Maddux out of the Hall of Fame” movement, will you?

    • cgorveatt - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:59 PM

      Ironic that he’s being voted on by the writers who looked the other way during the PED era. How should they be punished for not reporting it?

    • jetstizzi85 - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:59 PM

      Just because he didnt want to be part of that you think he was either doing it or covering up? WOW! Maybe he just didnt feel the need to be part of it. He was asked and he said NO. He has that right to….he wasnt mentioned in any report of the usage – not his fault

    • brazcubas - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:24 PM

      Wow, ol’ Joe McCarthy would be proud of that logic. Maybe he just thought the whole thing was, at best, a ridiculous farce, and he would rather not be a part of it. Does that seem so far-fetched?

    • stex52 - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:35 PM

      I call TROLL.

  6. manute - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Countdown until this is reported as actually being written by Mike Piazza: 5, 4, 3….

    • kirkvanhouten - Jan 9, 2013 at 4:25 PM

      Well, Dan Leavy at BleacherReport is shitting his pants over Craig “duping” readers.

      But I would really be remiss if I referred to anything BleacherReport did as “reporting”.

  7. beearl - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    If only Piazza would actually speak up like this. Nice job, Craig.

  8. thebadguyswon - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    Piazza’s middle initial is V.

    • cur68 - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:53 PM

      Nope. Not according to Baseballref it isn’t. Michael Joseph Piazza. Here’s the link:
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/p/piazzmi01.shtml
      What you got for source?

  9. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:44 PM

  10. brewcrewfan54 - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    I stopped reading after the first sentence because he doesn’t need to plead his case to me. He belongs.

  11. philsieg - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    It’s almost as if someone is holding something against me and my Hall of Fame candidacy apart from what I did on the field.

    Sorry, Mike, but somebody shoulda told ya. It was this. Was it worth it, Mike? Didja have more fun, didja?

    • cktai - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      That seems a bit harsh… as a great man (not really) once said: “if you judge a players’ character, you have to acknowledge the forces which shaped his choices.”

    • ndirish10 - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:49 PM

      That there was hilarious!!! LOL!!!

  12. barrancefong - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    Hey Mike, I think you got robbed.

    First of all, you apparently need to be extra special to get a *gasp* “first ballot” vote. Ludicrous, I know. Second, it seems that you played so well for your position and lasted so long in the game that to some, you certainly must have been using something, facts be damned. You are at the whim of these voters’ suspicions. Third, you were a big dude with muscles, therefore by inference, you also must have been on ‘roids.

    Can’t believe I’m saying this to a former Dodger, but I still think you make it eventually.

    • skids003 - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:48 PM

      I agree. It’s a travesty, he’s one of the greatest catchers (arguably THE greatest) of all time. He should be in hands down.

  13. alexo0 - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    “…wouldn’t know a Hall of Fame catcher if Carlton Fisk hit them with a pickup truck in the middle of a corn field.”

    I feel that’s a more appropriate ending.

  14. rhett16 - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    He belongs in the Hall.

    On a side note, the accountant in me was going nuts while reading that, as 57.8 + 42.8 is 100.6!

  15. butchhuskey - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    “I don’t get it either, bro”
    - Jeff Bagwell

    • derekjetersmansion - Jan 9, 2013 at 7:13 PM

      Bagwell didn’t even have 500 home runs. IN THE STEROID ERA. Can we not elect EVERY good player to ever play?

      • butchhuskey - Jan 9, 2013 at 7:24 PM

        Don’t look at totals and look at his career season by season. He was so good that some (like Bill James) consider him one of the top five first basemen of all time.

  16. sdelmonte - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    It’s just as well. I’m sure he would have gone in as a Marlin anyway.

    (I’m a Mets fan. It’s hard not to be bummed by this, but we all saw it coming.)

    • ihcone - Jan 9, 2013 at 4:26 PM

      sdelmonte-

      Piazza would more than likely enter as either a Met or a Dodger as most of his records and career occurred while he was in LA (7 years) and NY (8 years). He was only with the Marlins for one year.
      Among other stats: Higher batting average as a Dodger (.331) than a Met (.296).
      More home runs as a Met (220) vs. Dodger (177).

      (I’m a Mets fan too).

      • sdelmonte - Jan 9, 2013 at 4:54 PM

        Was kidding about the Marlins. Since he was there about a week, IIRC. But if there is such a thing as Mets luck, it would manifest in such a strange way.

  17. Detroit Michael - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    This article is 100% correct. Even the BBWAA voters who vote against all steroid users (regardless of whether one agrees with them) have no reason to withhold their votes. Piazza should have been voted in today.

    However, hypothetically speaking, if Piazza were voted into the Hall, then admitted he used steroids, that does not serve as a precedent for voting in other steroid users. One can only evaluate a decision (including whether to vote a player into the Hall) based on the facts known at the time. I have no idea why Craig keeps arguing to the contrary today. It’s the flip side of the same argument that even the most vigiland steroid-haters should have voted for Piazza.

  18. giant4life - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Ya..you did…..you played the game with zits.

    • cackalackyank - Jan 9, 2013 at 5:37 PM

      On your BACK no less.

  19. arrabin56 - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    First an admission: I’m a die-hard Mets fan. My first year as a serious baseball fan was 1998, I was 10. That was also the year the Mets traded for Mike Piazza. Mike Piazza was my first favorite player for a reason other than “Strawberry is a funny name.”

    There have never been substantial steroid rumors beyond “backne” about Piazza. When the Mitchell report came out, the first thing I did when I opened up the document on my computer was hit CTRL+F and search for “Piazza.” There were no results.

    I genuinely wonder this:
    At one point during Piazza’s Mets tenure, he had to hold a press conference to announce he was straight. I’m serious. This was a real thing that actually happened.

    Are there homophobic members of the BBWAA who believe Piazza is gay and did not vote for him for that reason?

  20. billkamps - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Gee Mike just because you didnt make first ballot doesnt mean you wont get it.

    While you were the best hitting catcher of all time, the defensive part of the game is also a big part of the game. No one has claimed you played defense as well as Johnny, Yogi, or Mickey.

    So a little patience is probably in order.

    In addition, if you didn’t take steriods, and this is now delaying your induction into the HOF, I say you should have done more to stop steriod use in the game. If you did take steriods, then I hope like McGuire you never get it.

    • largebill - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:01 PM

      Who is this “McGuire” to whom you refer? No one with that last name has done anything remotely worthy of HoF enshrinement.

  21. mrhojorisin - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    It seems many of you think that Mike actually wrote this. He didn’t. But that aside, it’s an absolute joke that he didn’t at the very least do much better, if not get in on his first ballot. Baseball does a tremendous job of marginalizing itself towards irrelevance as an institution, often remarkably so.

    • billkamps - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:39 PM

      Lots and lots of players didnt get in first ballot, its not like he will never get in, I will bet that he will.

      He defense was not nearly at a level of his hitting, and defense for a catcher is pretty important.

      I can’t guess if he was left out because of steriods, my guess is that many didnt feel he was a first ballot HOFer, since many reporters feel that is a special priviledge, and everyone aware of the HOF knows that.

      I can say that steriods will complicate the process for many candidates, even those you never used PEDs. That said, most of them did nothing to clean up the game, when steriods were everywhere, so if they suffer some from association so be it.

      • mrhojorisin - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:58 PM

        Don’t disagree with you. After all, there were writers who left Tom Seaver off his first year of eligibility. And no doubt Mike WILL get in. I just think he deserved better than 58%.

  22. washburn1000 - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    This is bullshit- Piazza got screwed because a bunch of former chess team captains like Mike Lupica wanted to take some great moral stand

  23. courtgolf - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    “At the risk of sounding arrogant” ? Now that’s pretty funny. The Pizza boy sure knows all of his offensive stats, but he has forgotten how utterly below average he was behind the plate. Pitchers were mostly left to let him know what they wanted to throw, and he couldn’t pick off a runner if he was stealing the pitcher’s mound.

    Piazza sounds like a petulant child with this article. I wouldn’t complain if he got in somewhere down the line, but whining like a little girl this way sure doesn’t come across like someone who the hall would be proud to have as a member.

    There are a lot of other guys who deserve to be inducted before Piazza, and this doesn’t help his case, if for no other reason than he dared to put his name on the same level as Johnny Bench.

    Learn a little humility, Piazza – you weren’t that good.

    • chrisny3 - Jan 9, 2013 at 8:10 PM

      Are you really that dense? Piazza didn’t write that. It was written as a first person hypothetical only to make a point.

      As for his play behind the plate, apart from a weak throwing arm, he was fine. Blocked the plate well, fielded well, and actually had quite a good reputation for calling games. And while CERA isn’t definitive, his usually were pretty good. I gather you’re not a Dodgers or Mets fan, because if you were and watched Piazza closely for any amount of time, you would know this.

  24. nykingfan - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    I was never a Piazza fan….I thought his defense was way below average, but you can’t argue with what he did with the bat in his hands. He was one of the most feared hitters of his generation.
    If the writers excluded him because of his defense, I couldn’t argue with them, but to exclude him based on rumor and nothing else is reprehensible.
    At some point the vote needs to be taken away from the writers. There’s no way a local beat writer in NY should have a say in whether a player on the Dodgers or Giants is worthy of being in the hall of fame.

  25. tomgallagher76 - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Mike Piazza has earned the right to be angry. So now the institution that enshriend the man most responsible for African Americans being banned from baseball for decades, several known emphetamine users, Gaylord Perry and Ty Cobb won’t enshrine a guy who is guilty of nothing but being really good and really strong at the wrong time. The greatest catcher to ever play the game not in the Hall of Fame. 100% percent utter nonesense.

    • ihcone - Jan 9, 2013 at 4:28 PM

      tomgallagher76
      Correction:

      Greatest “hitting” catcher to ever play the game. (I’m a Mets fan).

      He should be in the HOF.

      • tomgallagher76 - Jan 10, 2013 at 12:16 AM

        I’m a Mets fan too, and yeah your right, his fielding was sub-par. Actually, I remember him being passable (which, read slowly, is a bad way to describe a decent catcher) but googling some of the defensive fielding metrix, it seems he was worse then I remembered. Still, if he played the outfield he would be hall of fame worthy with his hitting stats. The fact that he caught is just gravy.

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