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Mike Piazza says he deserves HOF, talks PEDs, gay rumors in book

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

One month after he fell short of being inducted into the Hall of Fame, Mike Piazza will release a memoir entitled Long Shot. The book is scheduled to be released Tuesday. Piazza goes into detail about a number of topics, including rumors about performance-enhancing drugs. Michael Gartland and Cynthia Fagen of the New York Post share some quotes:

The strongest concoction he admits taking was androstenedione — also called “andro,” a muscle-building supplement bought over the counter at nutrition stores in a “Monster Pak” that also contained creatine and amino acids.

When andro was found in Mark McGwire's locker in 1998, Piazza said he decided to phase it out of his own regimen. In 2004 the FDA banned it.

(snip)

“I used Vioxx because it was an intense anti-inflammatory and it made me feel good,” he writes in the book, which is set to go on sale Tuesday.

“When I caught for 22 straight days and could hardly drag myself out of bed to get to the ballpark, Vioxx picked me up. I'd sing, ‘It's gonna be a Vioxx morning.' ”

Piazza also admits to taking amphetamines, or "greenies" as they were commonly called. He preferred Dymetadrine -- an asthma medication that sends oxygen to the brain -- because it made him less jittery, the Post writes. He also used an over-the-counter fat burner called Ephedra. Greenies and Ephedra have since been banned by baseball.

The feud with Roger Clemens that included a pitch to the helmet and later the infamous broken bat toss in Game 2 of the 2000 World Series is also discussed in the book. Piazza said he took karate lessons in case he and Clemens ever came to blows, but his moment for revenge never came. “There were complications,” he writes. “The least of them was the realization that Clemens was a big guy, and I stood a pretty fair chance of getting my ass kicked in front of Yankee Stadium and the world. That was a legitimate concern.”

Piazza, who is married with two daughters, also discusses rumors about his sexuality: “If I was gay, I'd be gay all the way," he says. Piazza thinks speculation started during his days with the Mets, when then-manager Bobby Valentine told the press he felt baseball was ready for an openly gay player.

Piazza, 44, hit .308/.377/.545 with 427 homers across 16 big league seasons. His career 143 OPS+ is easily the highest for a catcher in baseball history. By any objective measure, he is one of the two or three best hitting backstops ever. PED speculation kept Piazza out of the Hall of Fame this year, his first on the ballot.

Speaking of the Hall of Fame, during an appearance on CBS This Morning, Piazza said he believes he deserves to be inducted into Cooperstown.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook. Also, individually interact with us on Twitter: @MattSnyder27, @daynperry and @mikeaxisa.

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