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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mike Piazza softens stance on Dodgers’ Vin Scully

“I always liked him,” Scully said. “I admired him. I think either he made a mistake or got some bad advice. I still think of him as a great player and I hope he gets into the Hall of Fame. I really do. Whatever disappointment I feel, I’ll put aside.”

Scully declined to comment further on Piazza or his book.

Piazza complimented Scully as he tried to defend what he wrote.

“Vin is a class act; he’s an icon,” Piazza said. “To this day, I have the utmost respect for him. But the problem is, you have to go back in time and understand that at that point in time in my career with the Dodgers was a very tumultuous time. I was more or less telling my version of the story, at least what I was experiencing. And I said at the end of the book, it’s not coming from a place of malice or anger. I think anybody who remembers that time knows it was a very tumultuous time.”

Piazza said his intent wasn’t to blame Scully.

“I don’t think anybody who read the passage from start to finish felt that way,” Piazza said. “Anybody who reads it knows it wasn’t me blaming. That was definitely not the only factor. There were other factors. The team made the mistake, I made the mistake, of speaking publicly.”

Piazza acknowledged that he never heard Scully’s broadcasts and that his impressions of them were based on what he heard from others.

“My perception was that he was given the Dodgers’ versions of the negotiations, which, I feel, wasn’t 100% accurate,” Piazza said.

Thanks to Carlos.

Repoz Posted: February 26, 2013 at 05:37 AM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers

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   1. Stormy JE Posted: February 26, 2013 at 06:53 AM (#4376136)
To be fair to Big Mike, even Derek Jeter wouldn't win a PR war with Vin Scully. Come to think of it, I don't think Mother Theresa would have had a prayer either.
   2. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: February 26, 2013 at 07:39 AM (#4376143)
Ernie Harwell, maybe. Bo Schembechler was a god in Michigan until he fired Ernie.
   3. Tim D Posted: February 26, 2013 at 08:25 AM (#4376162)
None of us Michigan State grads were surprised when the great Bo destroyed the Tigers. Having split my life between SoCal and SE Michigan, I'd say Ernie is more universally loved by the locals than Vin. But Scully is so much more of a national presence and the LA market is so huge that even Ernie would lose out in a PR war. Vin Scully is absolutely Teflon at this point. Some pieces have appeared in recent years about his goof-ups, which are many these days (and usually minor); they are hooted into silence.

Harwell carefully avoided controversies. He had nothing provacative to say about free agents like Morris or Gibson, and simply reported the well-known facts of the Denny McLain saga. He was play by play, on the field analysis, period. Scully, on the other hand, is a Dodger ambassador akin to Lasorda, and speaks to every issue going on.

I am sympathetic to Piazza's comments and, having lived in SoCal at the time, he is 100% (or more likely 90%) correct. Scully lives in a rarified air where he can't be criticized, but his attitude towards the Dodger "family" didn't change after O'Malley sold the team. You can say his loyalty is to the brand rather than the particular owner, and that does have a certain nobility to it, but he did contribute mightily to Piazza's difficulties. From long-time Dodger fans I understand he was somewhat unsympathetic to the Koufax-Drysdale holdout as well. Vin still doesn't get that players are worth whatever the market will bear. As an entertainer himself that seems like a bit of a blind spot. But he is still the best play by play man on earth, at least since Ernie left us.
   4. John Northey Posted: February 26, 2013 at 09:01 AM (#4376179)
I suspect all team radio/TV guys will spout the company line about players on the outs with the team in all but extreme cases and in those cases they will more mild down the team line than reject it. Why? Well, they like cashing a paycheque and if fired for defending a player I doubt the player will find them a new job that pays as well.
   5. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: February 26, 2013 at 09:42 AM (#4376206)
“I always liked him,” Scully said. “I admired him. I think either he made a mistake or got some bad advice. I still think of him as a great player and I hope he gets into the Hall of Fame. I really do. Whatever disappointment I feel, I’ll put aside.”

There goes Vin, throwing Piazza under the bus again.
   6. Esoteric Posted: February 26, 2013 at 11:34 AM (#4376300)
It doesn't make for great copy (or voluminous comment threads), but I think both parties here are handling this quite well. Scully is bulletproof, and deservedly so; Piazza had a point and given Vin's sainthood I actually salute him for having the courage to explain how he really felt.

Yeah, I know 'kumbayah' stuff isn't nearly as entertaining as heroes-and-villains style feuds, but you go with the facts on the ground.
   7. Morty Causa Posted: February 26, 2013 at 11:44 AM (#4376309)
Vin Scully refused to be on The Simpsons or watch it--#### him.
   8. Elvis Posted: February 26, 2013 at 09:54 PM (#4376756)
I'm with you Morty!

It's near impossible to say out loud that you don't believe Vin Scully is the greatest of all time. I admire his passion, his dedication and I hope I can be as beloved just by my own family as Scully is nation wide.

Having said all of that - I don't go out of my way to listen to him at all and I just don't get the fuss. I wonder what all the people who trip all over him now would say if they listened to him in the 1970s.

My overwhelming memory of Scully from then is him saying, "Not to bore you with statistics..." and then proceed to trot out some stat that didn't have near the importance he thought it did.

But I enjoy listening to Ralph Kiner - so what do I know...
   9. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 10:16 PM (#4376766)
At least he didn't widen his stance!

   10. Mayor Blomberg Posted: February 26, 2013 at 11:28 PM (#4376789)
Loved him in the 70s (national broadcsts) & 80s (in LA), Elvis.
   11. Justin T seeks a heterospecific consortship Posted: February 26, 2013 at 11:34 PM (#4376792)
8 - Get bent
   12. Dr. Vaux Posted: February 26, 2013 at 11:55 PM (#4376796)
Vin Scully is a great announcer. He can't be considered unequivocally the greatest of all time, though that's because there are a handful of others whose styles were significantly different who probably have to be considered tied with him (e.g., Ernie Harwell--my personal favorite, for obvious reasons--, Red Barber, depending on your tastes someone like Lon Simmons, Jack Buck, the earlier Harry Caray, etc.). What he is is the last one of those tied announcers standing, which naturally causes his reputation to be inflated beyond what it might be otherwise--from god to God, as it were.
   13. Howie Menckel Posted: March 01, 2013 at 11:09 PM (#4378780)

Jon Heyman ?@JonHeymanCBS

getting into piazza book. nice read. learned piazza was strong bec he used "the gripper" & had back acne bec he caddied

fyi, every time I had an athlete complain about a story, it turned out to be an interpretation of what friends/sycophants said. this Piazza/Scully thing is much ado about not a lot, really. I think Piazza is explaining honestly how he felt at the time, which is how a lot of humans would have felt. No point in demonizing an honest expression of sentiment like that.

   14. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: March 02, 2013 at 12:35 AM (#4378877)
There's a case to be made that Piazza should have checked this out before publishing, but he clearly felt this way for a while. Given that, both people are dealing with this like adults. Which is good, because I really like both of them.

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