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Long Shot. Mike Piazza's book. Discusss...

Posted: 2/11/2013 2:45 PM

Long Shot. Mike Piazza's book. Discusss... 


So it officially releases tomorrow. My Kindle should download tonight but I got my hands on a copy at Barnes & Noble where I've been reading it the past half hour. Too early to comment on any of what are bound to be the attention grabbing elements, i:e steroids, Clemens, Metallica :), but so far I like his voice and style. Granted there's a writer he's collaborating with so it's hard to judge how much is his style. But Mikey always struck me as a more intelligent than the average jock kind of guy and one with a deeper level of thinking that would make for an interesting book someday.

 And so far I'm getting that. Comes off very self deprecating, smart, and thoughtful and the style doesn't feel like some jock books that seem more like kids books in content and texture.

 Just in the first few pages Mike mentions only becoming a catcher because "scouts saw me play 1st base," and how skipping his grandfather's funeral for a Topps add at Dodger St was "unforgivably selfish."

 Anyway, not to get all book clubbish about it but i figured this board might be interested in discussing the book in the days ahead. DIdn't know if the main board would be the place to do it so starting it here. MOds, move it if you feel it's warranted.
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Posted: 2/11/2013 2:49 PM

RE: Long Shot. Mike Piazza's book. Discusss... 


By all means, have right at it.

I've stayed away from posting about it here, simply because it will inevitably become about PED's and juice. And anyone who's followed my views on Piazza for years now will know, it's not a stance that many will like as Met fans.

I'll probably read the book at some point.  I will say, though - that it irks me to no end, knowing that he was scared (poop)less of Roger Clemens.  Guy throws a ball at my head, and a jagged bat shard at me - and I'm goin' batspit at him.

I think that's why we saw such an overly wild response to Guillermo Mota when we did......maybe that's part of what Piazza feels is the "Latin Mafia conspiracy" against him? Thought that was a very weird quote from the book ---- though, I do understand that diversity is capable of bringing strange angles out within a team dynamic, from time to time.

"Use your head.....that's that lump 3 feet above your arse." - Jimmy Dugan

Last edited 2/12/2013 9:30 AM by Walnutz15

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Posted: 2/11/2013 3:09 PM

Re: Long Shot. Mike Piazza's book. Discusss... 


Gotta say... from reading the few excerpts from the NY Post, the guy comes off as a bit of a D-Bag. From his fear of Clemens to the whole "latin mafia" stuff to insisting that everyone who comes here must learn english.. I was a little disappointed. On the other hand I know the Post can quote things in a way to paint a guy in a certain light, so I guess I'll have to read it for myself.

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Posted: 2/11/2013 3:12 PM

RE: Long Shot. Mike Piazza's book. Discusss... 


I might decide to let the legend remain a legend...

Not sure I wan't to "humanize" Mike Piazza....if that makes any sense.
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Posted: 2/11/2013 3:22 PM

RE: Long Shot. Mike Piazza's book. Discusss... 



BelieveInMetsMagic wrote: I might decide to let the legend remain a legend...

Not sure I wan't to "humanize" Mike Piazza....if that makes any sense.

 


Agreed....I might do the same.

I remember how disappointed I was to learn Tom Seaver was an arrogant jerk. Im not saying Piazza falls into the same category, for all I know he's a great guy (and I actually enjoyed the self-deprecating quotes I read this morning)....but sometimes it's better to simply hold onto the image we already have.

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Posted: 2/11/2013 3:29 PM

Re: Long Shot. Mike Piazza's book. Discusss... 



MetLife wrote: Gotta say... from reading the few excerpts from the NY Post, the guy comes off as a bit of a D-Bag. From his fear of Clemens to the whole "latin mafia" stuff to insisting that everyone who comes here must learn english.. I was a little disappointed. On the other hand I know the Post can quote things in a way to paint a guy in a certain light, so I guess I'll have to read it for myself.
his political leanings have been no secret, fwiw.
"Maybe it's time to make some moves."  - Sandy Alderson

Last edited 2/11/2013 3:29 PM by DuffyDyer

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Posted: 2/11/2013 4:43 PM

Re: Long Shot. Mike Piazza's book. Discusss... 


Little surprised at the response. I certainly wasn't looking for a political discussion in the podium. Not that I mind one either but for the most part stay away from there in order to not get pi**ed off or pi** anyone else off.

 I felt the same way about Seaver. Guy seems like an arse. But I don't mind that. i don't have idols or expect anyone i like to be perfect. But the last thing Piazza comes off as is arrogant. I already knew he tended towards conservative. I don't. But it's not a deal breaker. I'm not wedded to any over arching viewpoint and though i haven't read the part about speaking english I've made that same argument. or at least I've always maintained that if I moved to another country learning the local language would be my top priority.

 But about 40 pages into this and it doesn't have the slightest sniff of arrogance nor is there anything that would make me like the guy less. If something shows up, and since he and I are both different human beings, I'm sure it will, I'm gonna handle it. Not a drawback for me. I always found him a relatable superstar and the book is only adding to that so far.
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Posted: 2/11/2013 4:52 PM

Re: Long Shot. Mike Piazza's book. Discusss... 


Among the interesting tidbits I didn't know:

 Ted Williams came to his house as a teen and watched him take batting practice. They videotaped it and Piazza prints the transcripts. Teddy ballgame was impressed.

 He was a batboy for the Dodgers when they were in Philly. I knew about the Lasorda connection but didn't know that. not that he was in the clubhouse as a kid.

 He's in the video of Dr J's famed cradle dunk. Sitting courtside as a kid with his dad. Video I viewed was too grainy to tell but i do see some red shirts. He says he was one of them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzq7e86m_W4  

 He saw at the black t shirt table in the school cafeteria.

 Yeah, not exactly podium appropriate info I know.
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Posted: 2/12/2013 9:27 AM

RE: Long Shot. Mike Piazza's book. Discusss... 


With regard to the above - Piazza led a very privileged life, and literally had his professional career handed to him by Lasorda on a silver platter. That's why so many had their doubts about how "clean" he was, prior to even entering the professional ranks.

Admission to Andro, Greenies, et al - throughout his MLB career should at least raise a couple of eyebrows about how he got there to begin with.

I've followed Piazza's rise very closely for over a decade - and it always interested me how he went from literally a "nobody" to Major League catcher; with some help from Lasorda. Listening to him talk about Andro, around the time I was entering college and playing ball myself - only had me wonder what more there was to it. Andro, Creatine, etc. - all popular masking agents for more hardcore stuff back in the day.....at least in my circles.

This was always the article that had me curious, starting from way back when. When he decided he couldn't hack it at Miami; which we know has been a hotbed for the sauce for years and years.

Not validation of anything, of course - but it's not a stretch to think he looked for some help, especially in transferring from a top program back to a JUCO.


Quoted from LA Times 1993:

Lasorda's longtime friend, Ron Fraser, former University of Miami baseball coach, liked Piazza's bat, and took him as a walk-on. But Piazza, then a first baseman, said the experience was a little overwhelming. He was on a team of veterans who had recently won the College World Series, and here he was, fresh out of a small-town school that played half as many games as the high schools in warmer climates.

"I sat on the bench and didn't even make the travel squad, so I started studying and lifting weights," Piazza said. "Actually, that is when I started taking weights seriously, and that had a lot to do with my success."

With his career seemingly at a standstill, Piazza transferred to Miami-Dade North Community College. He played well there before splitting two knuckles and sitting out most of the season. The day his cast came off, he was in the batting cage, but it was too late to make the scouting reports. No team was interested.

Lasorda, trying to help Piazza get a scholarship to a four-year college, thought that if Piazza was at least drafted by a major league team, maybe that would impress some college baseball coach. The Dodgers obliged and made Piazza a throw-away pick--their 62nd-round choice in the June draft in 1988.

"I got a Mail-gram from the Dodgers," Piazza said, smiling. "They didn't even call me. It was more or less their way of saying good luck."

articles.latimes.com/1993-05-2...8_1_mike-piazza


Yes, muscle mass can be built naturally - but Piazza's story has always sounded like there's been more to it. There's always been a "not my child!!" approach to how these talks have gone with certain Met fans, and I feel that there'd be a lot more in the way of crazy speculation here, provided he was a member of another organization.

None of this has me thinking he's a jerk or anything.  I actually think that Piazza's a helluva great guy -- just hard to stomach that he was scared paralyzed at the thought of fighting Roger Clemens.  Stand up for yourself and show some pride for your teammates.

"Use your head.....that's that lump 3 feet above your arse." - Jimmy Dugan

Last edited 2/12/2013 9:29 AM by Walnutz15

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Posted: 2/12/2013 9:42 AM

RE: Long Shot. Mike Piazza's book. Discusss... 



Walnutz15 wrote: With regard to the above - Piazza led a very privileged life, and literally had his professional career handed to him by Lasorda on a silver platter. That's why so many had their doubts about how "clean" he was, prior to even entering the professional ranks.

Admission to Andro, Greenies, et al - throughout his MLB career should at least raise a couple of eyebrows about how he got there to begin with.

I've followed Piazza's rise very closely for over a decade - and it always interested me how he went from literally a "nobody" to Major League catcher; with some help from Lasorda. Listening to him talk about Andro, around the time I was entering college and playing ball myself - only had me wonder what more there was to it. Andro, Creatine, etc. - all popular masking agents for more hardcore stuff back in the day.....at least in my circles.

This was always the article that had me curious, starting from way back when. When he decided he couldn't hack it at Miami; which we know has been a hotbed for the sauce for years and years.

Not validation of anything, of course - but it's not a stretch to think he looked for some help, especially in transferring from a top program back to a JUCO.


Quoted from LA Times 1993:

Lasorda's longtime friend, Ron Fraser, former University of Miami baseball coach, liked Piazza's bat, and took him as a walk-on. But Piazza, then a first baseman, said the experience was a little overwhelming. He was on a team of veterans who had recently won the College World Series, and here he was, fresh out of a small-town school that played half as many games as the high schools in warmer climates.

"I sat on the bench and didn't even make the travel squad, so I started studying and lifting weights," Piazza said. "Actually, that is when I started taking weights seriously, and that had a lot to do with my success."

With his career seemingly at a standstill, Piazza transferred to Miami-Dade North Community College. He played well there before splitting two knuckles and sitting out most of the season. The day his cast came off, he was in the batting cage, but it was too late to make the scouting reports. No team was interested.

Lasorda, trying to help Piazza get a scholarship to a four-year college, thought that if Piazza was at least drafted by a major league team, maybe that would impress some college baseball coach. The Dodgers obliged and made Piazza a throw-away pick--their 62nd-round choice in the June draft in 1988.

"I got a Mail-gram from the Dodgers," Piazza said, smiling. "They didn't even call me. It was more or less their way of saying good luck."

articles.latimes.com/1993-05-2...8_1_mike-piazza


Yes, muscle mass can be built naturally - but Piazza's story has always sounded like there's been more to it. There's always been a "not my child!!" approach to how these talks have gone with certain Met fans, and I feel that there'd be a lot more in the way of crazy speculation here, provided he was a member of another organization.

None of this has me thinking he's a jerk or anything.  I actually think that Piazza's a helluva great guy -- just hard to stomach that he was scared paralyzed at the thought of fighting Roger Clemens.  Stand up for yourself and show some pride for your teammates.

No matter what comes out about Mike Piazza, his status as a legend will never change for me.  The first baseball game I ever watched (I came to the US in 1999 and had no idea what baseball was before) was one in which Mike Piazza slugged two homeruns.  From that moment forward I became a baseball fan and more importantly a Mets fan.  His homerun in the 2000 regular season game against the Braves when we came back from 7 runs down in the 8th and, of course, his homerun after 9/11 will never be erased from my memory.

I started reading the book and so far I love it.

 


R.A. Dickey!

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Posted: 2/12/2013 9:46 AM

RE: Long Shot. Mike Piazza's book. Discusss... 


None of this disputes what he accomplished offensively, playing one of the toughest positions in professional sports. I full acknowledge all of that.

However, maybe some of the "conspiracy" painted against him stemmed directly from his non-actions against Clemens. In essence, Piazza painted his own perception - and that probably wouldn't bode well with a large majority of professional athletes.

Nobody wants to play the pinata for another pro athlete. That's asking to be walked over.....and not just walked, really it's being stomped upon.

To this very day, we still rip one of our teammates who was the only guy not to leave the dugout for a bench-clearer we had in college.  It doesn't sit well with teammates.

"Use your head.....that's that lump 3 feet above your arse." - Jimmy Dugan

Last edited 2/12/2013 9:52 AM by Walnutz15

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Posted: 2/12/2013 9:57 AM

RE: Long Shot. Mike Piazza's book. Discusss... 



Walnutz15 wrote: None of this disputes what he accomplished offensively, playing one of the toughest positions in professional sports. I full acknowledge all of that.

However, maybe some of the "conspiracy" painted against him stemmed directly from his non-actions against Clemens. In essence, Piazza painted his own perception - and that probably wouldn't bode well with a large majority of professional athletes.

Nobody wants to play the pinata for another pro athlete. That's asking to be walked over.....and not just walked, really it's being stomped upon.

To this very day, we still rip one of our teammates who was the only guy not to leave the dugout for a bench-clearer we had in college.  It doesn't sit well with teammates.

I agree that it was extremely frustrating to watch Clemens do what he did and get away with it. In my opinion, Piazza should have rushed the mound in Game 2 of the WS, even though that would risk him being thrown out of the game. The fact that nobody stood up for him also irked me to no end... But, I feel as though with the passing years people forget who Piazza was. He was by far the best player we had, and carried the 1999-2000 teams (and almost did the same in 2001 save for Benitez blowing all the saves at the end of the season). I don't think David Wright right now comes close to what Mike Piazza was for the Mets in the early 2000 years (WAR or other advanced stats notwithstanding).

 


R.A. Dickey!

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Posted: 2/12/2013 10:16 AM

RE: Long Shot. Mike Piazza's book. Discusss... 



VaniLLa wrote:
Walnutz15 wrote: None of this disputes what he accomplished offensively, playing one of the toughest positions in professional sports. I full acknowledge all of that.

However, maybe some of the "conspiracy" painted against him stemmed directly from his non-actions against Clemens. In essence, Piazza painted his own perception - and that probably wouldn't bode well with a large majority of professional athletes.

Nobody wants to play the pinata for another pro athlete. That's asking to be walked over.....and not just walked, really it's being stomped upon.

To this very day, we still rip one of our teammates who was the only guy not to leave the dugout for a bench-clearer we had in college.  It doesn't sit well with teammates.

I agree that it was extremely frustrating to watch Clemens do what he did and get away with it. In my opinion, Piazza should have rushed the mound in Game 2 of the WS, even though that would risk him being thrown out of the game. The fact that nobody stood up for him also irked me to no end... But, I feel as though with the passing years people forget who Piazza was. He was by far the best player we had, and carried the 1999-2000 teams (and almost did the same in 2001 save for Benitez blowing all the saves at the end of the season). I don't think David Wright right now comes close to what Mike Piazza was for the Mets in the early 2000 years (WAR or other advanced stats notwithstanding).

I'll never forget who Piazza was.  Just a laid-back, good dude who could hit a ball a country mile.

However, along with the good - also comes this wart....which to me, typifies the organization in so many ways (hesitancy to act, especially in glaring obvious situations where they should).

"Use your head.....that's that lump 3 feet above your arse." - Jimmy Dugan

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Posted: 2/12/2013 10:24 AM

RE: Long Shot. Mike Piazza's book. Discusss... 


I think it's ridiculous that Piazza gets heat for not charging.  Despite being a big guy, I probably react the same as he did.  You're out there focussed on trying to hit a baseball.  While running to 1st, the pitcher slings a splintered bat behind you?  My initial reaction, just like Mike's, is "WTF???".  I'm not thinking "I'll kill him for that".  I'm thinking "are you kidding me?  what the hell's wrong with you?".  Later on, yeah I'd probably wished I'd gone at him, and I bet Mike did too.  But in that second that's not the first thing in everyone's head.

Mike was a great, great Met.  I hate the finger pointing with nothing behind it that he must have been taking to be that good.  Andro and creatine are not masking agents for steriods.  They we're taken and even supplied by many college programs, and in high schools, to help repair muscles after workouts.  There's absolutely no connection to taking andro, creatine, or speed which were not banned in their day, and connecting the dots to taking banned PEDs.  Plus Piazza's career followed a pretty typical trajectory.  His numbers declined starting around 35.  Juicers typically have more longevity into their late 30's and early 40's.

Show me Piazza's name on a Mitchell report, or show me a connection to one of the many suppliers, the Victor Conti's of the world.  Then I'll question him.
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Posted: 2/12/2013 10:29 AM

RE: Long Shot. Mike Piazza's book. Discusss... 


By the same token, I feel it's beyond ridiculous for a 6' 4" 230 pound man to take Karate lessons in supposed "self-defense" to stand up to a bully. Especially when the same man had the perfect opportunity to go out and stand up to the very same bully only months later....yet did nothing about it.

Yes, "World Series" aside....I don't even care what happens at that point. Piazza was timid from Jump Street, when all he needed to do was show half the ounce of fire he showed vs. Mota in a meaningless ST game.

RE: Andro, etc. - Ask Mark McGwire whether or not it was a masking agent for bigger things. Legions of other kids did the same, citing how Andro was so great - meanwhile they were walking back to the dorm and injecting themselves with syringes full of Deca and Winstrol.  Hence, "masking" what they were truly using to get massive.

Making a definitive statement like this: "There's absolutely no connection to taking andro, creatine, or speed which were not banned in their day, and connecting the dots to taking banned PEDs." has me questioning how close you've been to high-level sports programs, and that's no knock.  Just an honest question.

Another question for you is: Do you believe Brady Anderson sipped the juice at some point in his career?

As many of us know, Brady Anderson was more or less the poster-boy for Creatine back in the day.....and I'm sure plenty of Met fans would rush to the front of the line to say how he "definitely did steroids"......just pointing it out; and really - spikes in numbers can occur, but don't have to in order to have validation.

Problem with "showing you a list" is, there are lists being kept from public knowledge -- and to me, that's a very big problem......especially as it pertains to Cooperstown, and the very pious and naive voting that is conducted every year.

Many, almost too many - fans were clueless as to what goes on within clubhouse and locker rooms ----- even at very low levels of sports.  And yes, Piazza's still "innocent" until proven guilty.......but I have a very strong belief that he used very early on to break into the professional ranks -- and from there, in terms of continuing?

Anyone's guess.

"Use your head.....that's that lump 3 feet above your arse." - Jimmy Dugan

Last edited 2/12/2013 10:47 AM by Walnutz15

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Posted: 2/12/2013 10:30 AM

RE: Long Shot. Mike Piazza's book. Discusss... 



BelieveInMetsMagic wrote: I might decide to let the legend remain a legend...

Not sure I wan't to "humanize" Mike Piazza....if that makes any sense.

Yep. Can you imagine if Lance Armstrong played baseball or Football?  The letdown would be huge.  I know that there's no connection to steroids (per se) with Piazza, but with most famous people, the less you know about them, the better.
Mets trade away reigning CY Young award winner.
Still have the best pitcher in Baseball.
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Posted: 2/12/2013 10:32 AM

RE: Long Shot. Mike Piazza's book. Discusss... 



Walnutz15 wrote: By the same token, I feel it's beyond ridiculous for a 6' 4" 230 pound man to take Karate lessons in supposed "self-defense" to stand up to a bully. Especially when the same man had the perfect opportunity to go out and stand up to the very same bully only months later....yet did nothing about it.

Yes, "World Series" aside....I don't even care what happens at that point. Piazza was timid from Jump Street, when all he needed to do was show half the ounce of fire he showed vs. Mota in a meaningless ST game.

RE: Andro, etc. - Ask Mark McGwire whether or not it was a masking agent for bigger things. Legions of other kids did the same, citing how Andro was so great - meanwhile they were walking back to the dorm an injecting themselves with syringes full of Deca and Winstrol.

Don't get me started on the Karate? Tthe language would not be appropriate for this forum.  I will say that it begs a  need for a tampon.
Mets trade away reigning CY Young award winner.
Still have the best pitcher in Baseball.
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Posted: 2/12/2013 10:59 AM

RE: Long Shot. Mike Piazza's book. Discusss... 



Walnutz15 wrote: 

None of this has me thinking he's a jerk or anything.  I actually think that Piazza's a helluva great guy -- just hard to stomach that he was scared paralyzed at the thought of fighting Roger Clemens.  Stand up for yourself and show some pride for your teammates.
Francesa read the whole excerpt straight from the book of that account... When you hear it all in context, you can tell it was more of a comedic relief statement in the book than an actual admission to that being the reason...
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Posted: 2/12/2013 11:04 AM

RE: Long Shot. Mike Piazza's book. Discusss... 


Walnutz, I haven't heard of andro as a masking agent.  Did some use andro and also take illegal PEDs?  Sure.  But Andro doesn't mask anything.  There are other drugs for that.  It doesn't hide steriod use in a drug test.  That's what masking agents do.  Andro increases testosterone levels.

Disclaimers:  I did not play high level sports.  Never took anything more than protein powder.  Couldn't hit a curveball.
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Posted: 2/12/2013 11:07 AM

RE: Long Shot. Mike Piazza's book. Discusss... 



BelieveInMetsMagic wrote:
Walnutz15 wrote: 

None of this has me thinking he's a jerk or anything.  I actually think that Piazza's a helluva great guy -- just hard to stomach that he was scared paralyzed at the thought of fighting Roger Clemens.  Stand up for yourself and show some pride for your teammates.
Francesa read the whole excerpt straight from the book of that account... When you hear it all in context, you can tell it was more of a comedic relief statement in the book than an actual admission to that being the reason...

How come nobody stood up for Mike Piazza though? Here was unquestionably the bets player and leader of the team getting punked by Roger Clemens twice and his teammates did NOTHING! I am more upset at the rest of the team for going out without a whimper than I am at Mike Piazza.

 


R.A. Dickey!

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