Today was supposed to be the day along with Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio, that Mike Piazza was supposed to be inducted into Major leagues Baseball’s Hall of Fame. By the way congratulations the four previously mentioned. Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz deserved to get in. They were dominate pitchers during the steroid era, Smoltz was a dominate starter and reliever so I got no qualms with that. Biggio I always said very good player not great player not dominate player, yet he got 3000 hits so he gets in but… Don Mattingly was the dominate player in the early to mid 80’s was the best player of the sport and he will not be in the Hall of Fame. He was the very best in his prime. Biggio wasn’t the best player often times on his own team …Jeff Bagwell was and he is in the Hall of Fame. I don’t get it. All of this leads me to …Mike Piazza.
Forget the fact he was one of my favorite players, he was one of the most dominate hitting catchers of all time. Johnny Bench, and Yogi Berra not withstanding. Piazza was dominate. He is the all time home run leader for catchers with 396 homers. Was an 12 time all star at a position that was brutal (Catcher) and he had his share of injuries from the demand of the position foul balls bats etc.He belted 427 home runs, drove in 1,335 runs and posted a .377 on-base percentage. The 10-time Silver Slugger Award winner hit over .300 nine times, smacked over 30 home runs nine times and had 100 RBIs in six different campaigns.
Among catchers, Piazza ranks first in home runs, fourth in RBIs, fourth in batting average, ninth in on-base percentage, first in slugging percentage, first in OPS, eighth in doubles and fourth in total bases.Piazza has never failed a drug test or been linked to illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Because he played in the heart of the so-called “Steroids Era,” however, he’s lumped in with such embattled sluggers as Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro. Bill Madden went on WFAN yesterday and said he would not and did not vote for Mike Piazza because he believes in his heart of hearts that Piazza did steroids. Prove it, Bill Madden. What evidence is there that he did steroids that were banned by Baseball? He told Mike Francesa that he heard from many players that Piazza did use steroids. That’s your proof? In a court of law …that is hearsay. In admissible. Yes I know you can’t go by failed drug test because Alex Rodriquez didn’t fail any drug test yet we know he use steroids…because in the end he finally admitted he lied. Ryan Braun finally admitted he did use steroids, so did lance Armstrong who sued anyone who said that he did steroids, so there is a case to be made for that. However, Madden going public saying that Piazza did steroids and then offers no proof other than hearsay from the players doesn’t hold water. Which players said it Bill? And were they creditable? For instance if Bill Madden said Derek Jeter was quoted as saying Mike Piazza did steroids that would really be something to pay attention to, but saying unnamed players said Piazza did steroids isn’t proof. Quantify many players, how many is many players is it 40 50 100, 200, 500 or just 2 or 3? Are these said players reputable? I don’t know Bill Madden personally, yes I have read his work over many years many of it I agreed with others like this time I don’t. But one thing I do know. You can’t go public and make blanket statements like what Bill Madden did and not offer further proof as to how you come across this information and how many players made this claim. Otherwise you come across as irresponsible.
Piazza has chosen to take the high road by tweeting:”Sincere Congrats to #HOF2015 class! An Amazing Class! Special Thanks To the Voters!! Very Emotional Thank You to All Fans for the Support.”
While it doesn’t change the voting this year, I am hoping he does get in next year. The fact that he did pick up more votes kind of makes you feel that he has a fair shot next year to really get in Bill Madden not withstanding.