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Great Moments in Fact Checking: the Mike Piazza biography

Feb 19, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT

Los Aneles Dodgers

Mike Piazza was wrong about his interaction with Vin Scully back in 1998, but there was some emotion and, at least on some level, a subjective aspect to all of that. Piazza thought that Scully was “crushing” him and, even if he was overreacting in the extreme, it’s (a) understandable that someone could have walked away feeling that; and (b) it’s not something an editor would feel obligated to “correct.”

Rob Neyer found something else in Piazza’s book that doesn’t fit that description at all, however. A memory — and some ruffled feathers on Piazza’s part — about something Tom Glavine wrote in his own autobiography. Except Glavine never wrote the book Piazza claims he wrote and the anecdote can’t be found anywhere.

I know celebrity bios are notorious for bad facts and hands-off editors, but man, really?

UPDATE: Piazza’s co-author commented on Neyer’s post, addressing the discrepancy:

“Rob: I hate to say it, but it appears that you’re absolutely right. You’re right, also, that it’s a very weird thing. I can’t explain it. There’s a reference to that book in my notes, but I’m at a loss to say why it wasn’t checked and verified. As I’m sure you’re aware, in a book like this it seems that there are about a dozen items that have to be checked in virtually every paragraph. Fortunately, the Internet age makes it comparatively easy, most of the time. And this would definitely fall under the category of checkable. So I can offer no defense. I can only acknowledge that it was clearly, regrettably, my mistake. Sorry. I’d like to assure you that nothing in the book was published willy-nilly, without accountability, but I’m afraid your catch has challenged that statement. Hopefully, it’s the only error of that kind. Meanwhile, the editor has assured me that the passage will be corrected in the next printing.”

  1. dcfan4life - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Interesting how you used Piazza in a Dodgers uniform for the picture. I think most people associate him with the Mets first. It would have been funnier if you used a picture of him as a Marlin haha.

    • sportsdrenched - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      I always think of him as a Dodger and have to be reminded that he was a Met.

      • okwhitefalcon - Feb 19, 2013 at 4:35 PM

        Dodger all the way for me.

        I have better recollection of him as a Marlin than a Met.

      • thebadguyswon - Feb 19, 2013 at 5:08 PM

        LOL rock on. But he played longer for the Amazins and he’ll be wearing their hat.

    • dcfan4life - Feb 19, 2013 at 5:04 PM

      Well based on the responsed i was wrong with that perception. I stand corrected.

    • cowboysoldiertx - Feb 19, 2013 at 7:38 PM

      ALways and forever a Dodger adn I am not even a LA fan!

  2. Old Gator - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Craig wants photos that aren’t blurred.

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Piazza never moved fast enough to blur a photo

    • Old Gator - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      No, maybe not. But he wasn’t a Feesh long enough to take a clear shot, either.

  4. Gobias Industries - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen the series finale of Lost: the island and everything that happened on it were all just a figment of Mike Piazza’s imagination.

  5. raysfan1 - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Pretty strange. I don’t know about actors’ or singers’ autobiographies, but it’s pretty much a given that a prominent athlete’s autobiography is going to be scrutinized by the sports media. You’d think the editors (and the athlete) would want to avoid the embarrassment of getting called out for such flagrant fallacies.

  6. digbysellers - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    This greezeball is tryin’ to stump up as many suckers as possible to by this garbage book.

  7. pooinyourface - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    hahahah in ur dreams u jealous homosexual californian, thats a lie right there ^

    • manchestermiracle - Feb 20, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      An Oh-for comment by an utter doofus.

  8. thebadguyswon - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    Starting to border on obsessed with Piazza.

  9. unclemosesgreen - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    My favorite memory of Piazza’s time in New York happened on Mike and the Mad Dog. Some guy from Queens kept calling in and mocking Piazza, calling him “The Pizza Boy.” Finally Mike Francesa lost it, went off on the guy for about five minutes (after first cutting his line of course) about how stupid it was to call him that and then instructed his call-screener (on the air) to make sure that guy doesn’t get through anymore.

    And so it was that talk radio spawned the idea of the internet troll.

  10. paperlions - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    It is almost like Piazza thought, “Man, people like me too much, they really don’t know how big of a giant douche bag I am. You know, I should write a book to set everyone straight.”

    Mission accomplished.

    • cur68 - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      He IS making it very hard to openly root for him.

      Wanna bet on how many HOF voters cite his Vin Scully & Tom Glavine inaccuracies as reasons not to vote for him next season? I’ll take >7.

    • sophiethegreatdane - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:05 PM

      Lol, paper. Was just thinking a similar thing though you phrased it more colorfully. It’s almost like Piazza was tired of seeing Clemens and Schilling hog the douche light for themselves these past months.

  11. ytownjoe - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Was he any good?

    • sophiethegreatdane - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:06 PM

      Seriously?

      • cur68 - Feb 19, 2013 at 8:05 PM

        PFT commenter. Has to be.

  12. elmo - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    Sure, the editors should have caught it, but how did Piazza’s co-author Lonnie Wheeler let it get in there in the first place? I assume he’s the one who did the actual, you know, writing.

  13. superpriebe - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    To his credit, the co-author (is that the right term) Lonnie Wheeler responded to Neyer in the comments, accepting full responsibility and noting that the error would be corrected in future prints. He writes….

    “Rob: I hate to say it, but it appears that you’re absolutely right. You’re right, also, that it’s a very weird thing. I can’t explain it. There’s a reference to that book in my notes, but I’m at a loss to say why it wasn’t checked and verified. As I’m sure you’re aware, in a book like this it seems that there are about a dozen items that have to be checked in virtually every paragraph. Fortunately, the Internet age makes it comparatively easy, most of the time. And this would definitely fall under the category of checkable. So I can offer no defense. I can only acknowledge that it was clearly, regrettably, my mistake. Sorry. I’d like to assure you that nothing in the book was published willy-nilly, without accountability, but I’m afraid your catch has challenged that statement. Hopefully, it’s the only error of that kind. Meanwhile, the editor has assured me that the passage will be corrected in the next printing.”

    • hep3 - Feb 19, 2013 at 8:39 PM

      Does anyone think there will really be a 2nd printing?

  14. dexterismyhero - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    “Piazza thought that Scully was “crushing” him ”

    That sounds kind of gay right there…………..

  15. solo076 - Feb 19, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    See that’s self centered style of thinking I remember about Mike. Pretty sure that if Vin wanted to crush him he would, but then again unlike Mike, he has class.

  16. schmedley69 - Feb 19, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    I can’t imagine there being a second printing. In fact, I can’t imagine more that 12 people buying the book in the first place.

  17. pooinyourface - Feb 20, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    lmao you people are idiots. How many world series he go to with the garbage Chino Dodgers? You call youraelves baseball fans lol go get shot in ur parking lot while walking back to ur station wagon in the 6th inning you LOSERS

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