Blog Entry

I thought he HAD retired

Posted on: May 20, 2008 4:20 pm
Edited on: May 20, 2008 4:39 pm

Mike Piazza formally announced his retirement Tuesday. No farewell tour, no rocking chairs and no standing ovations.

Another character from baseball's Steroids Era just sort of quietly disappearing into the good night.

He finishes with 427 home runs (39th on baseball's all-time list); 1,335 RBI (80th); a .922 OPS (47th) and 12 All-Star appearances. No catcher in major-league history hit more homers than Piazza -- he passed Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk in 2004.

All of this, and yet I'm going to need every bit of his required five-year waiting period to wrestle with the question of whether I'm going to check his name when it appears on the Hall of Fame ballot.

Because nearly as surprising as his ascent from being a 62nd-round draft pick was the fact that his name did not appear in last winter's Mitchell Report.

Bulked up as he was during the peak of his career, Piazza did not pass the eye test in the late 1990s and early 2000s while clubbing 30-plus homers a season. And he did not pass the eye test again toward the end of his career when he mysteriously seemed to wither away.

Is it fair?

If Piazza never juiced then, hell, no.

But if those offensive numbers are artificially inflated, well, then, is THAT fair to all of the other players who did things the right way?

It's terrible that this is the prism through which we must view things today. But by irresponsibly opposing drug testing for years, Don Fehr and the players' union have brought this on themselves.

Likes: What a great story, Jon Lester throwing a no-hitter. ... That the only other no-hitter ever pitched against Kansas City was by none other than Nolan Ryan. ... The Cubs' Geovany Soto cracking an inside-the-park homer. That's the only play more exciting than a triple. ... This Los Angeles Times story on singer Sly Stone's interest in making a comeback. It contains one of the best quotes I've read anywhere all year. Context: A "golden moment" for Sly and the Family Stone was at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, during which the band performed the song Higher and a crowd of 400,000 sang the words back. Now, from the story, here's Sly: "Everybody I saw was full of peace, it was a spirit there that was just peaceful and cool. The thing I really remember is I went to whatever was the main street there and I got a bologna sandwich. And it was so hot. And I never open a sandwich to look what's going on, but somehow I thought that time that I would do that. Because it was hot and I didn't think bologna sandwiches were hot. And I opened it and there were people running across the meat. And, I thought, 'Whoa.'" ...

Dislikes: Don't want to hear any more about the umpires blowing Carlos Delgado home run call against the Yankees the other night. It was an 11-2 game. The Mets won. Because it was in New York, though, we're going to hear about it for weeks, and the periodic debate about instant replay will be going strong. ... Madonna's new disc, Hard Candy. Not that I'm a big Madonna fan to begin with, but I do enjoy all sorts of music and I like some of Madonna's earlier stuff -- Material Girl, Angel, whatever. But I picked up Hard Candy for my wife for Mother's Day, and most of it gives meaning to the word "monotony." It stinks.

"Into this life we're born
"Baby, sometimes we don't know why
"And time seems to go by so fast
"In the twinkling of an eye
"Let's enjoy it while we can
"Won't you help me sing my song
"From the dark end of the street
"To the bright side of the road"

-- Van Morrison, Bright Side of the Road

Category: MLB

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: July 15, 2008 9:43 pm

I thought he HAD retired

Absolutely. I was there to see it.

Since: Jun 4, 2008
Posted on: June 5, 2008 1:45 pm

I thought he HAD retired

legit betting site free and fun win free money

Since: Jun 14, 2007
Posted on: May 25, 2008 11:09 pm

I thought he HAD retired

Yeah I'll admit Piazza made the last out of the 2000 world series....just wondering if you'd be willing to admit Clemens threw the bat at him in game 1!!!!!!  Both are factual statements.

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: May 21, 2008 2:51 am

I thought he HAD retired attention to baseball a bit do we?  Catchers break down.  Sure, at the end he switched to 1st and did some DH'ing, but so did a few other greats that went out with less than a bang.  And who were they?  Gary Carter (sucked his last 5 years after receiving votes for MVP), Johnny Bench (sucked in 3 of last 4 years and was on IR a lot following a year her received votes for MVP) and Ted Simmons (sucked his last 4 years after receiving votes for MVP).  The wear and tear on their knees squatting down to catch finally take their toll on a player...all of them...even the great ones.  Having said that...props to I-Rod for keeping it going for as long as he has, but jeeze cut Piazza a little slack.  Plus, I so hope you are wrong and we get to see in a few years a day where Roger Clemens and Mike Piazza go into the Hall on the same day.  That would be a riot to see!

Since: Oct 21, 2006
Posted on: May 21, 2008 1:12 am

I thought he HAD retired

"The Eye Test"

Can't help but to take a cheap shot at the author, but can we presume with any seriousness that Scott Miller's "The Eye Test" involves any observed shrinkage due to possible steroid usage? Of course Piazza wore a cup, but Miller acts and writes as though he was a frequent visitor in Piazza's locker rooms.

Since: May 19, 2008
Posted on: May 21, 2008 12:48 am

I thought he HAD retired

Wow. So now all you had to do was PLAY in the so-called Steroids Era, and you're found guilty by association. I love using CBSportsline for the live game feeds and stats and standings, but the columnists (can't bring myself to call them "writers") are remarkably weak. They'll take controversy over substance every time. Lazy and lame.

Since: May 12, 2008
Posted on: May 21, 2008 12:32 am

I thought he HAD retired

Hey Scott, don't worry, EVERY village has one of you

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: May 21, 2008 12:12 am

I thought he HAD retired

Well, I'm quite sure most Yankee fans would agree that Piazza is a hall of famer. Just like most Met fans, but not all, would admit that Piazza's last out clinched us world title # 26.

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: May 21, 2008 12:09 am

I thought he HAD retired

I'm a Yankee fan, and even I agree. Piazza is a hall of famer, even if he did hit Mo's last pitch to Bernie Williams to end the 2000 World Series.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: May 20, 2008 11:49 pm

I thought he HAD retired

wow Mike Piazza never fails a drug test

never is suspected of drugs

hell Canseco never even falsely accuses him in one of his rags

Piazza was a class act and one of the best hitting (if not the) catchers in baseball.

I got an idea instead of lumping the guy in with all the crap from the Roids era lets maybe hold him up as the one sure fire HOF player that no one ever accused.

Well no one until this yahoo wrote a column

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or