Murray Chass smells a conspiracy…or is that just an uncalled-for abstenchtion in his pants? Depends.
Maybe Simon & Schuster has innocently planned the Piazza publication for soon after the announcement for marketing purposes, but it might just as easily have agreed to a post-election publication to insure that the book would not keep Piazza out of the Hall.
If, on the other hand, the book includes a steroids admission, all I can say is shame on Piazza and his publisher. With that possibility in mind, though, the voters would be wise to withhold their votes from Piazza until a future election. He will have 14 more chances.
For nearly three years, Piazza has been said to be writing a book about his career. It appears to be taking him longer than Tolstoy needed to write “War and Peace.”
Aides to the Simon and Schuster editor handling the book, Bob Bender, and the agent who put the project together, David Black, said they would find out the status of the book and let me know, but neither called with information. Another publishing source said he believed the book would be published next year.
“It’s taking a long time,” I remarked to Vincent.
“You can imagine why,” he responded.
If the timetable calls for publication next year, Piazza and Simon and Schuster would both get their cake and eat it, too.
The Hall of Fame election results would be known, which means Piazza could be elected, and then the book could come out with Piazza’s admission that he used steroids during much of his career, thus justifying his $800,000 advance.
Piazza would be in the Hall of Fame with the writers having no recourse to unelect him. Just as he did in his playing career, Piazza would have fooled the voters and the fans. This time, though, he would have a major publishing house as his co-conspirator.