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Monday, August 27, 2012

Abriano: Mike Piazza and the Hall of Fame

Mike Piazza gets his first HOF vote…from Anthony McCarron of the Daily News. Wuh…you were expecting Murray?

The Hall should call on Mike next year, but it’s a mystery as to whether or not they will.  I was at Citi Field over the weekend, and had a brief discussion with Anthony McCarron of the Daily News.  I asked McCarron whether he had a Hall of Fame vote this year, to which he replied that he did.  When the conversation turned to Piazza, McCarron stated that he would be voting for him in 2013, but was uncertain whether or not he would get in on the first ballot.  He did, however, say Piazza would eventually get in.

...The only writer who seems to constantly accuse Mike Piazza of using steroids is Murray Chass.  What’s Chass’ evidence?  A syringe with fingerprints?  Prodigious numbers after Piazza exited his prime?  No and no.  For Chass, it was Mike Piazza’s back acne that led to the conviction.  Back acne, something that afflicts 20% of healthy adult men.  According to the article linked in the previous sentence, back acne can be caused by:  “Anything that repeatedly rubs against the skin, such as backpacks, rough massages, tight fitting clothing, weight lifting machines which press on the shoulder area, or anything else that rubs the back area and irritates the skin can aggravate acne in that area. Acne mechanica tends to be aggravated by moisture, so if you’re sweaty and combine that with the repeated rubbing that comes with your backpack, clothing, etc., that could make the problem worse.”

Mike Piazza worked out a lot, right?  And as a Catcher, he wore tons of equipment.  He always had the most stuff on during the game, so he was probably sweatier than every other player on the diamond.  So, Mike Piazza had back acne because he wore a tight uniform and sweat a whole lot.  Or he had it because he did steroids.  Or he had it for some other reason.  The point, is that Piazza having back acne doesn’t prove a damn thing.  Murray Chass is grasping at straws, and should really think about giving up his pathetic crusade.

Repoz Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:36 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof, mets

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   1. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: August 27, 2012 at 02:06 AM (#4218921)
What Mike Piazza had sweatily rubbing on his back is none of your business, sir! Is that what bothers you, that he was a bottom? I'll have you know that Mike Piazza is twice the man that you...oh, catchers equipment? Yea, I guess catchers equipment can do that.
   2. dejarouehg Posted: August 27, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4219367)
I enjoyed watching Piazza - Haven't really enjoyed the Mets as much since.

I remember one game early in his Mets career where he grounded into a DP to end the game and didn't hustle - if he had he would have clearly been safe. I never saw him not hustle out a ball again. Also thought the ball he hit to end the 2000 WS off Mariano was gone - typical Shea Stadium.

That all being said, calling him the best hitting catcher, while technically correct, is deceiving. The position is too important to give him a pass for being so extraordinarily bad at it. If you need a catcher for a game, would you take him over Bench?

Not saying he doesn't deserve to be in the Hall (ignoring the PED issue b/c I would bet the ranch he was a major user), just wish they would leave it at great hitter.

   3. AJMcCringleberry Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4219495)
The position is too important to give him a pass for being so extraordinarily bad at it.

Except that he wasn't.
   4. dejarouehg Posted: August 28, 2012 at 07:57 AM (#4219867)
Yes, he was.
   5. God Posted: August 28, 2012 at 08:13 AM (#4219872)
He was bad at throwing, in an era when steal attempts were at a low point. He was good at the other stuff a catcher does.
   6. dejarouehg Posted: August 28, 2012 at 09:02 AM (#4219912)
Bad would have been a vast improvement. He was an abomination at throwing and seemingly decent at the other stuff.

(I doubt anyone on this board other than Tufts can properly evaluate how a catcher calls a game. Blocking the plate is a rarely used skillset. He was very good at blocking balls - I do have to give him that.)

Just wondering, who do you think was actually a worse overall defensive catcher in his era?

I don't want to crap on the guy but this is similar to when major leaguers are referred to euphamistically as "average," that is synonamous with atrocious.

Even if it wasn't a great base-staling era, his lack of arm certainly put more pressure on pitchers and gave runners the advantage of taking a bigger lead.

   7. God Posted: August 28, 2012 at 09:09 AM (#4219922)
He threw out 23% of basestealers, which is bad, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it an abomination. Have you seen what the Pirates catchers are doing this year?

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