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Mike Piazza denies steroid use in excerpts from new book

Feb 9, 2013, 1:02 PM EDT

piazzamike_g_110911_420_1-1 Getty Images

We already knew that Mike Piazza was going to deny steroid use in his new book, “Long Shot,” which is set to be released next week, but now we have some actual excerpts to chew on. Here’s a preview, courtesy of David Waldstein of the New York Times.

“It shouldn’t be assumed that every big hitter of the generation used steroids,” Piazza says in the book. “I didn’t.”

He admits to using androstenedione as part of a supplement pack until the outcry over Mark McGwire’s use of it forced him to “phase it out.” Baseball later banned the substance.

He also writes that he briefly experimented with amphetamines until they were banned in 2006. And he describes hearing about human growth hormone, doing some research and asking the Mets’ former trainer, Fred Hina, if teams would start distributing it, unaware that it was a banned substance. According to the book, Hina said he would look into it and a day or two later told Piazza it was not a good idea.

While some speculated that the release of the book was delayed until after the Hall of Fame vote because of possible revelations regarding his use of performance-enhancing drugs, Piazza said it was pushed back because he didn’t want it to look like he was campaigning. So much for the conspiracy theorists.

Piazza received 57.8 percent of the vote last month in his first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame, less than the 75 percent required for enshrinement in Cooperstown. In his first public comments since the vote, Piazza expressed disappointment in missing the cut.

“I won’t deny there is some disappointment, but I understand it’s a process,” he said in the interview, which marked his first public comments since the Hall of Fame vote was announced Jan. 9. “All things considered, I got over 50 percent, and a lot of people were very supportive. I mean, there’s what, almost 600 voters? That’s a lot. I’m on my homeowners board. I know how hard it is to get six people on the same page, let alone 600.”

Piazza, a 12-time All-Star, produced a .308/.377/.545 lifetime batting line and a .922 career OPS over 16 seasons between the Dodgers, Marlins, Mets, Padres and Athletics. He holds the all-time record for home runs hit by a catcher.

  1. unclemosesgreen - Feb 9, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    I saw him catch – he also denied glove use.

    • fanofevilempire - Feb 10, 2013 at 7:50 AM

      A-Rod should write a book and when asked about Steroids he should reply, ” buy the book”
      It has all the answers, make some money too.

      Steroid issue is boring, if the National League MVP used steroids and didn’t
      lose his award what is the difference.

      Mike was believed to be guilty but never proven he used.

    • dickclydesdale - Feb 10, 2013 at 7:57 PM

      Piazza admits using Andro, Greenies & saying NO to HGH & more powerful drugs..Yeah right, he’s fooling no one! Thats like telling a kid to eat the birthday cake without the frosting because its bad for him. Piazza is such a d-bag liar.

  2. diamondd726 - Feb 9, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Yeh, but he could hit with the best of them.

  3. papacrick - Feb 9, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Did he admit he was gay too?

    • cur68 - Feb 9, 2013 at 6:38 PM

      Do you deny that you are? Can you prove it? If so, who cares?

  4. dondada10 - Feb 9, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    Two myths that drive me crazy about Piazza.

    One, is that he had a weak glove. He didn’t. His throwing arm was weak, but accurate. His glove work was almost a plus. His throwing percentage was usually low so he got this reputation (from people who didn’t watch him play) that he was a defensive liability.

    Two, the Piazza is gay rumor. The guy is married to a former Playmate of the Year. He got more ass than any of us could imagine. He just so happened to be a metrosexual, is all. His eyebrows left Mike looking surprised all the time.

    • hojo20 - Feb 9, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      Fortunately for Mike he beat all the steroids tests.

      • Old Gator - Feb 9, 2013 at 6:21 PM

        Gowachin guilty!

    • lazlosother - Feb 9, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      You mean there is no reason to launch unfounded attacks on Piazza? Bummer. One thing I really hate is players that can’t or shouldn’t be attacked ad-hoc. How are we supposed to occupy our time? How dare you point out that the Mike dated women most of us can only look at in magazines.

      You my friend are reasonable, and there is no future in that.

    • beefytrout - Feb 9, 2013 at 3:27 PM

      Back in ’95, when the ASG was held at the Ballpark in Arlington, there was a private party at Six Flags over Texas for the players and their families. I worked at SF at the time and eagerly volunteered to work the event. Piazza was there, and had two bombshell blondes with him, like he was Tony Stark.

    • Cranky Cuss - Feb 9, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      I’m glad you said this because his reputation as a poor defensive catcher has always bugged me. Yes, he had a weak arm, but unlike some catchers he didn’t keep calling for fastballs when there were runners on base; he called the pitches that were best for the pitcher. He was excellent at blocking pitches in the dirt, an important consideration in a catcher, and excellent at chasing down foul pops.

      • Cranky Cuss - Feb 9, 2013 at 4:46 PM

        My comment was meant for dondada10.

      • jwbiii - Feb 10, 2013 at 11:04 PM

        Cranky, You’re right. There are many things which contribute to the defensive value of a catcher. His throwing is one of them, and Mike Piazza was bad at that. But there’s also game calling, fielding fouls and pop ups, blocking pitches, framing pitches, mentoring the pitching staff, and probably another half dozen things I’m neglecting. Measuring the value of a catcher’s throwing arm is easy. Just consult your favorite linear weights table and plug and chug. Craig Wright did a study in the 2009 Hardball Times Annual that showed that Piazza’s pitchers consistently pitched better when paired with him than with his backups throughout his career. Piazza was bad at the flashy, easy to measure thing about catching but overall the sum of his defensive game was positive. Because he was bad at the thing that’s easy to see, he gets no credit for the more subtle things that he was good at.

        In this sense, he is the mirror opposite of Yadier Molina. Molina has the best throwing arm for a catcher I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been watching this damn game for over 40 years. If you subtract off the value of the runs he and his teammates save (and cost) by controlling the running game, his backups are better at the other phases of the defensive game than he is. Of course, his arm is so good that he still winds up ahead of them in total and he deserves the mantel full of Gold Gloves he has earned.

      • jwbiii - Feb 10, 2013 at 11:14 PM

        Ok, so make line 3
        “Fielding bunts and popups”

    • eugenesaxe - Feb 9, 2013 at 5:31 PM

      Yeah, because there’s never EVER been a gay guy who got married as a cover. EVER.

      • Old Gator - Feb 9, 2013 at 6:20 PM

        There have also been straight guys who must have married as a cover. Dan Quayle, for example….

      • danwilliamsmlb - Feb 9, 2013 at 6:22 PM

        There you go; never let facts get in the way of a good opinion.

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 9, 2013 at 9:13 PM

        The ultimate sarcasm.

      • stercuilus65 - Feb 10, 2013 at 4:11 AM

        “There have also been straight guys who must have married as a cover. Dan Quayle, for example”

        Old gator as another…

    • djpostl - Feb 10, 2013 at 12:40 AM

      “His throwing percentage was usually low so he got this reputation (from people who didn’t watch him play) that he was a defensive liability.”

      Um, a low percentage caught-stealing does make you a defensive liability.

  5. Old Gator - Feb 9, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    How convenient, because you’ll always be an asshole.

    • Old Gator - Feb 9, 2013 at 10:29 PM

      Hey DJ – can’t blame you for nuking that idiot I was responding to; might as well nuke my response as well, because it makes no sense in a vacuum.

      • rayfeathers - Feb 10, 2013 at 12:28 PM

        can we nuke your mouth in the process?

      • Old Gator - Feb 10, 2013 at 3:38 PM

        Can we find an elementary school that’ll take you back in to earn to punctuate and capitalize? Kudos, meanwhile, on your correct placement of that question mark. It couldn’t have been easy for you.

    • stercuilus65 - Feb 10, 2013 at 4:12 AM

      Pot meet kettle

      • Old Gator - Feb 10, 2013 at 8:19 AM

        What are you doing up so early? You’ll sleep through Romper Room again.

  6. jlovenotjlo - Feb 9, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    Sounds like someone is a little irked… I bet he turned you down? If he is gay would there be something wrong with that? Does it personally offend you? Why do you care so much?

    • badintent - Feb 9, 2013 at 7:32 PM

      He got turn down by MANTI ‘s punker.

    • jimeejohnson - Feb 9, 2013 at 9:14 PM

      3 words in a row used incorrectly. Grammar Police alert! Run.

  7. mrbaseball2013 - Feb 10, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Hey Mikey,
    Just because you never officially got caught, doesn’t mean you didn’t take steroids.
    GUILTY!!!!!!

  8. addict2sport - Feb 10, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    but never officially failing a test makes you guilty, and bedding multiple models and playmates makes you gay? this board is so educational.

  9. gerryb323 - Feb 10, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    Take that Pedro Gomez!

  10. dirtydrew - Feb 11, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    Sounds like he used PED’s. Andro, amphetamine…he used. None of those were used under a prescription. All were used to add to performance. He is either a Hall of Famer, like Bonds, Clements, Man Ram and A Roid. And Pete Rose too. Or he is a ROIDER and will add to the list of all the great players from the 80’s and 90’s who will not make it. I’m not sure how MLB and co. Can think folks are going to come out when ALL the players of my youth are not in the HOF, and viewed as cheats. But all the Los players who did ny face black players are in.

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