Skip to content

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.”

Latest Posts
  1. FYI: The “Homer at the Bat” episode will air this morning at 11:30AM Eastern

    Aug 22, 2014, 8:55 AM EDT

    Sideburns

    Wade Boggs: Pitt the Elder!
    Barney: Lord Palmerston!
    Wade Boggs: Pitt the Elder!
    Barney: Okay, you asked for it, Boggs!

  2. And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

    Aug 22, 2014, 6:33 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 6.32.11 AM AP

    Another Washington walkoff. Another dominant Clayton Kershaw start. And some unusual stuff happened too.

  3. Joaquin Benoit expected to avoid the disabled list

    Aug 21, 2014, 11:01 PM EDT

    Joaquin Benoit

    Padres closer Joaquin Benoit hasn’t appeared in a game since last Wednesday due to soreness in his throwing shoulder.

  4. Report: Rockies pulled Michael Cuddyer back off waivers after hamstring issue

    Aug 21, 2014, 9:51 PM EDT

    Michael Cuddyer AP

    Impending free agent Michael Cuddyer will almost certainly finish his season in a Rockies uniform.

  5. MRI comes back negative on Salvador Perez’s knee

    Aug 21, 2014, 8:15 PM EDT

    Salvador Perez AP AP

    Royals catcher Salvador Perez was scratched from Wednesday’s lineup with tightness in his right knee, but an MRI on Thursday revealed no structural damage.

  6. The Nationals extend their winning streak to 10 games with another walk-off victory

    Aug 21, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT

    4c6175926c38d231dc81e90954473530-2 AP

    Here’s hoping Nationals manager Matt Williams has been practicing his Babe Ruth home run trot, because he has a promise to fulfill.

  7. Yan Gomes exits game with concussion-like symptoms

    Aug 21, 2014, 6:57 PM EDT

    02e1eef82480ad08381dc3cd40aa3625 AP

    Gomes was hit in the mask in the bottom of the fifth inning by a ball that deflected off the arm of Kurt Suzuki on a hit-by-pitch.

  8. Phil Hughes rolls to 14th win, sports third best K/BB ratio ever

    Aug 21, 2014, 6:14 PM EDT

    Phil Hughes Phil Hughes

    But not the best among major league starters this season.

  9. Angels acquire Gordon Beckham from White Sox

    Aug 21, 2014, 5:42 PM EDT

    Gordon Beckham Gordon Beckham

    Beckham had a very promising rookie season as a 22-year-old in 2009, but the former first-round draft pick has hit just .240 with a .658 OPS in 636 games since then while never topping a .700 OPS in a season.

  10. Reds demote 10-loss reliever J.J. Hoover to Triple-A

    Aug 21, 2014, 5:20 PM EDT

    J.J. Hoover Reds AP

    He heads to Triple-A tied for the Reds franchise record in relief losses with 10, which is especially remarkable considering he won his first decision of the season before dropping 10 straight.

  11. Garrett Richards out 6-9 months with torn patellar tendon

    Aug 21, 2014, 4:55 PM EDT

    Garrett Richards Angels AP

    Richards’ leg buckled underneath him as he went to cover first base on a potential double-play ball last night and he was down for nearly 10 minutes before being carted off the field in obvious pain.

  12. Red Sox activate Allen Craig from the disabled list

    Aug 21, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    allen craig getty Getty Images

    He hit a combined .312 with an .863 OPS in 328 games for the Cardinals from 2011 to 2013, but Craig’s production has plummeted to a .237 batting average and .639 OPS in 98 total games this season.

  13. David Price threw a one-hitter against the Rays. And lost.

    Aug 21, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 3.56.49 PM Getty Images

    One unearned run was all he allowed against his old mates. Tough way to lose.

  14. Brandon McCarthy tosses a four-hit shutout as the Yankees top the Astros

    Aug 21, 2014, 3:40 PM EDT

    Brandon McCarthy AP

    Work fast. Throw strikes. If anyone has come up with a better way to win games, I haven’t heard of it yet.

  15. Chris Rock catches a foul ball at Yankee Stadium, gives it to a kid

    Aug 21, 2014, 2:54 PM EDT

    Video camera

    That’s kind of the whole story, but there’s nothing else going on right now.

Featured video

Who's to blame for Cubs tarp fiasco?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (3760)
  2. M. Cuddyer (2649)
  3. K. Bryant (2395)
  4. G. Richards (2170)
  5. A. Garcia (2092)
  1. A. McCutchen (2025)
  2. W. Myers (2023)
  3. J. Werth (1984)
  4. H. Ramirez (1877)
  5. Y. Molina (1854)