Mike Piazza Newsbeat
Sunday, May 05, 2013
I can wait until his remake of Black Swan.
Sunday, March 03, 2013
Mike Piazza’s got a new autobiography in the bookstores, and I spent a week sort of semi-obsessed with it. I can’t figure out precisely why this particular ex-ballplayer’s memoir got inside my head. But I have a couple of ideas.
One, the book is exceptionally well-written, which isn’t all that surprising, considering Piazza’s co-author was Lonnie Wheeler, who’s written or co-written a number of fine books over the years… And two, Mike Piazza—and I should be very clear that when I write “Mike Piazza,” I’m referring to the character we meet in the book—comes across as something of a case study in narcissism…
Mike Piazza really, really, really gives a damn what everybody thinks about him.
He really wants you to think he was a great hitter. Piazza hit 427 home runs in his career, and he mentions something like a hundred of them. He’s got the record for the most home runs by a catcher. And right after the section where he talks about breaking the old record, he launches into an extended discourse about what a great player he was. Like he’s trying to convince us, yes ... but also as if maybe he’s trying to convince himself.
He really wants us to think he’s not gay, and that beautiful women—Playboy models mostly, and Baywatch actresses—find him incredibly appealing. I wish the otherwise-estimable index listed mentions of “Playmate”, “Baywatch”, and “actress”. But there are a lot of them in there…
I really can’t recommend this book to readers. Again, it’s well-written. But there just isn’t enough material that isn’t Mike Piazza begging for validation…
here’s the one paragraph that best encapsulates Piazza in all his pleading, narcissistic glory:
I’d be less than truthful if I didn’t admit my legacy is something I ponder quite a bit. Mostly, it bewilders me. I honestly don’t know why it is, exactly, that, from start to finish, I’ve been the object of so much controversy, resentment, skepticism, scrutiny, criticism, rumor, and doubt. I’ve thought about it quite a bit. Maybe it’s because my dad was rich. Maybe it’s because Tommy Lasorda looked after me. Maybe it’s because, off the field, I didn’t make much news on my own account and the press figured it had to latch on to something that resembled it. Maybe it’s because I was a jerk from time to time. Whatever the reason, I suppose I might be a little oversensitive about it all, except that I feel I’m defending more than just my reputation. I’m standing up for what I consider to be—deeply wish to be—a fundamentally and triumphantly American story.
That’s some speech. I doubt if those words came straight from Mike Piazza’s lips. Which is one reason I’m reluctant to engage in psychoanalysis (the other is that I’m incredibly unqualified). But the “Mike Piazza” within the pages of this book is a sad, lonely man who seems little closer to adulthood than the brat who blew off Roy Campanella’s funeral 20 years ago.
Saturday, February 09, 2013
In the end, there were no such bombshells in [Mike] Piazza’s book, “Long Shot” (Simon & Schuster), which was written by Lonnie Wheeler and was scheduled to be released this week. But there are a good number of intriguing disclosures as he recounts his improbable rise to stardom, pushed every step of the way by the support and insistence of his father, Vince.
Piazza writes that he was a brat at times during his baseball career, selfish, moody and immature. He says that he was occasionally a poor teammate, aloof and entirely too consumed by what was going on in his world. He says that when he received his biggest payday - a seven-year, $91 million deal with the Mets - he was frightened to the point of paralysis. [...]
“It shouldn’t be assumed that every big hitter of the generation used steroids,” Piazza says in the book. “I didn’t.” [...]
Of drugs, he writes: “Apparently, my career was a story that nobody cared to believe. Apparently, my success was the work of steroids. Had to be. Those were the rumors.“He admits to using androstenedione as part of a supplement pack until the outcry over Mark McGwire’s use of it forced him to “phase it out.” Baseball later banned the substance.
He also writes that he briefly experimented with amphetamines until they were banned in 2006. And he describes hearing about human growth hormone, doing some research and asking the Mets’ former trainer, Fred Hina, if teams would start distributing it, unaware that it was a banned substance. According to the book, Hina said he would look into it and a day or two later told Piazza it was not a good idea.
Posted: February 09, 2013 at 09:22 PM | 8 comment(s)
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