Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mike Piazza: Allegedly Roided Up

When it rains, it pours. Recently, there have been articles raising doubts about whether Mike Piazza used PED’s during his playing days. In Jeff Pearlman’s book on Roger Clemens’, The Rocket That Fell to Earth, two players said Piazza was on the juice. Reggie Jefferson and an anonymous player told Pearlman that they believed Piazza was roiding back in the day.

Jefferson said, "He's a guy who did it, and everybody knows it. It's amazing how all these names, like Roger Clemens, are brought up, yet Mike Piazza goes untouched."

Over the past two months two longtime baseball writers raised doubts about Piazza. Murray Chass, formerly with The New York Times, writes on his blog that he wanted to write an article describing his back-ne, but that two or three editors of the NYT would have nothing to do with the piece stating Piazza was never accused of roiding up. Joel Sherman of The New York Post interviewed Piazza in late Feburary regarding this issue, but failed to inquire about the back-ne. When Sherman asked whether Piazza was a clean player, Piazza responds with an “absolutely.” When asked whether his name is on the list of 104 players who tested positive in 2004 that ensnared A-Rod earlier this year, he said, “No, not that I know.”

No one gets the benefit of the doubt these days including “good guys” like Albert Pujols. Sports fans have been lied to repeatedly and burned one too many times to believe that everyone is "clean" when they claim that they are. Unfortunately for Piazza, his denial about the 2004 sample testing is not as forceful as his plea that he was "absolutely" a clean player.  "Not that I know" I'm on that list doesn’t leave me with a warm, fuzzy feeling that he has nothing to hide.  If he was clean throughout his career, he would be absolute in knowing he was not on that list - he couldn't possibly be on it because he wasn't doing anything illegal.  Also remarkable is that he was drafted in the 62nd round as a favor by Tommy Lasorda for his godson and then this player drafted 1,390th overall in 1988 went on to lead the majors in home runs by a catcher…pushes the envelope on believability.

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