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No, Vin Scully did not “crush” Mike Piazza back in 1998

Feb 15, 2013, 8:22 AM EDT

Los Aneles Dodgers

Mike Piazza’s book contains critical words about Vin Scully, with Piazza claiming that back in a 1998 interview Scully “was crushing” Piazza over his contract negotiation ultimatum and that that helped turned the fans in Los Angeles against him.  Scully denied it and, even if he hadn’t, it didn’t really pass the smell test because when was the last time Scully crushed anyone?

KTLA, the station which employed Scully at the time dug up the footage of the interview and the L.A. Times has it for you to go see. You’ll be shocked to learn that Scully does not “crush” Piazza.  He acknowledges there was a contract negotiation afoot because (a) there was; and (b) it was the biggest story of Dodgers spring training that year and it would be broadcaster malpractice to not at least acknowledge it. But crushing? Hardly:

Yet the closest thing to criticism Scully said referred to Piazza’s self-imposed Feb. 15 deadline to get his desired contract extension resolved, saying “ultimatum is a heavy word, you know that’s the kind of thing, if you don’t do this, we bomb you.”

Piazza actually gave a solid response to this incredible grilling, which Scully acknowledged with a “well said.”

I’m still not a fan of people that accuse Piazza of stuff without any evidence for doing so. But this episode does suggest that, when it comes to his own life, Piazza is not the most reliable narrator.

  1. Spiro Agnew - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:31 AM

    I think what you imply at the end isn’t far from accusation.

    • dan1111 - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:34 AM

      Note that Craig opposed accusation “without any evidence for doing so”. In this case there is specific evidence of Piazza being an unreliable narrator.

    • heyblueyoustink - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:40 AM

      Spiro Agnew, eh? Must be friends with Gator.

    • paperlions - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:37 AM

      With few exceptions, no one is the most reliable narrator of their own lives. People nearly always enhance their importance in their personal narrative (and most of the exceptions are people fishing for compliments), which is rather inevitable because everyone is more familiar with the their own contributions/actions than they are with any one else’s.

  2. dan1111 - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:32 AM

    Supporting Piazza for the Hall of Fame: not as fun as it used to be!

    • dan1111 - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:13 AM

      Clarification: I still believe that Piazza is a slam-dunk Hall of Famer. But with every new nugget from his book that is released, it becomes harder to feel bad for him that he wasn’t inducted.

  3. escapingexile - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    Anyone who has had the pleasure of listening to Vin at any point over the last 60+ years knows this didn’t pass the smell test right out of the gate. The man calls the game straight down the middle. If it weren’t for the detectable excitement in his voice when it’s the Dodgers on the positive side of things, you wouldn’t even know who employs him by words alone. I’m not trying to paint the man as a saint. I am sure he has his shortcomings just as we all do. But to think he would openly bash anyone in a public forum is unfathomable. He is one of the last of a dying breed. Having grown up in the greater Los Angeles area and remaining here my entire life, I was truly spoiled growing up with the likes of Vin, Chick, and even Bob Miller. Piazza can go pound sand. Tell you what Mike: You can keep your damn Mets hat should you ever be enshrined and I’ll keep my untarnished memories of Vin.

  4. randygnyc - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    Gay roider. (Gay=thatz ok) (PEDs=thatz not ok)

    • thebadguyswon - Feb 15, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      Idiot Yankees fan.

    • dondada10 - Feb 15, 2013 at 12:05 PM

      Thatz? You’re a boarderline illiterate jerkoff. Piazza would fuck your mom’s face if given the chance.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 15, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      Piazza gay? I have no idea, but his spouse is such an incredible female impersonator that s/he has gestated and given birth to two children. Now that IS impressive.

    • mrenthusiasm8 - Feb 15, 2013 at 6:26 PM

      I don’t know anything about Piazza’s sexuality – just that it certainly couldn’t be less relevant to the topic at hand. Really, if gay really “iz” ok, why even bring it up, other than out of a desire to be hateful? I realize it’s pointless to say something like this on an internet comments section, where the foolish elite go to speak their tiny minds, but seriously dude, grow up.

  5. unclemosesgreen - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    It’s impossible to like this guy. The more he writes and talks, the worse he comes off. Incredibly thin-skinned.

    • aiede - Feb 15, 2013 at 10:17 AM

      Coincidentally, “incredibly thin-skinned” was Piazza’s explanation for what appeared to be steroid rash.

      • louhudson23 - Feb 15, 2013 at 12:27 PM

        That is funny,my man….

  6. juade - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Sorry folks. Unrelated content. But nonetheless, one near and dear to Craig’s heart. Maybe old news, but here it is anyway. Viva la Onion. Again.,31284/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=standard-post%3Aheadline%3Adefault

  7. brewcrewfan54 - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Coming from someone as respected as Scully maybe it was crushing to Piazza’s relationship with the fans at the time even though it wasn’t intentionally meant to be.

  8. historiophiliac - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    The implication is that anyone is the most reliable narrator re: their own life. I think that’s a flawed presumption — and not even because of any nefarious motives at work.

  9. hughhansen - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    There’s an interesting symmetry here with how Piazza reacted to Scully’s comments and how everyone else is reacting to Piazza’s.

    It looks like Piazza, a sensitive guy, exaggerated / over-reacted to Vin Scully’s questioning of his decision to give an ultimatum.

    Now, however, everyone is over-reacting to Piazza’s comments. How saying “Scully wasn’t happy about my ultimatum and was crushing me” equates to a “slam” of Vin Scully is beyond me. It’s not like a broadcaster saying he doesn’t like a player’s negotiating tactics is an inherently bad act, the accusation of which automatically implies condemnation.

    If what Piazza said was completely true, Scully could’ve been right to crush him.

  10. fanofevilempire - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    The guy had to deal with Valentine.
    The guy had to have a news conference to admit he was not gay.
    The guy had to catch deal with Al Lieter on the bench.
    The guy had to be a leader and deliver for the Mets, which he did.
    The guy had to wait for the HOF because of whispers of PED.
    The guy said a classy thing about not being elected and the voters.

    cut the guy a break.

  11. misterchainbluelightning - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    I informed you thusly of what a drama queen Piazza is, dude has issues.

  12. elmo - Feb 15, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    Beware the boot heel of Vin Scully!

  13. Old Gator - Feb 15, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    I bet it was Scully who painted those pimples on his back with a medium-fine Sharpie while he snoozed on the trainer’s table….

  14. randygnyc - Feb 15, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Dondada, I’ve called my mom an asshole, only a few select times. But she doesn’t look like one. And there’s the rub. Piazza ain’t sticking his dick into anything that doesn’t look like a mans hairy asshole. But thanks for playing.

    (Thatz okay/thatz not okay is a weekly column by the writer Caitlin Weaver. You might know that if you, yourself, we’re literate. LOL)

  15. tsi431 - Feb 15, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    The line that crushed him was about a minute before that one.

    I can’t believe I agree with Keith Olberman. The article is a great read on this.

    Taken from above article.

    Vin Scully,

    “Well to be honest, you know, the outsiders, myself and all the other fans, we pick up a newspaper: ‘Piazza issues an ultimatum,’ and you say ‘whoa! What is that all about?”

    While branding himself just a fan, Scully has actually done something that a fair reporter does (and so it is rarely seen or heard or done). He offers Piazza the opportunity to say that the characterization as an “ultimatum” of the timeline he set for the Dodgers to sign him to a new deal – a very fair thing for Piazza to do with free agency seven months away – was inappropriate or incorrect.

  16. randygnyc - Feb 15, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    Mrenthusiasim- these were 2 topics piazza raised in his book. So he brought it up. Get with it, sheesh.

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