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Say it ain't so -- Mike Piazza wants to go into the Hall not as a Dodger but a Met

Mike Piazza wants to go into the Hall of Fame as a Met.

Really?

Tommy Lasorda’s godson wants to have a Mets’ cap on his bust? He wants to spurn the team that took a flier on him as a 62nd-round draft pick and groomed into the most fear-hitting catcher of his era?

Apparently the fallout from News Corp.’s ridiculous May trade of Piazza to the Marlins continues.

Piazza was one of the most popular Dodgers of the last 20 years. His idiotic trade -- it was actually engineered by News Corp. executives Peter Chernin and Chase Carey, and not general manager Fred Claire -- would cause organizational struggles for the next five years.

Now certainly Piazza had some great years with the Mets. He actually was a Met one season longer. And it should be noted that he’s an East Coast guy, born and raised in Pennsylvania.

But Piazza had most of his finest years with the Dodgers. He was the National League Rookie of the Year as a Dodger. For six consecutive years, he was an All-Star and won the Silver Slugger with the Dodgers. Twice he finished second for the N.L. MVP with the Dodgers.

Is it so provincial to think of him first as Dodger? I don’t think so. Certainly, most of his still-loyal fans in L.A. wouldn’t think so.

Yet  in the end, what matters is not so much what Piazza wants or L.A. fans think. The final decision will be made by the Hall itself. He becomes eligible in 2013.

Like many a star, Piazza was discovered in Los Angeles. It’s where he burst upon the baseball scene. And the way he should ultimately be remembered.

-- Steve Dilbeck
 
Comments () | Archives (36)

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I think you dropped the last sentence:

"And then the Dodgers unceremoniously traded him."

Well, I can't say that I blame him, even though the Dodgers' baseball people had nothing to do with that trade, which, by the way, is one of the worse in club history...if not the worst. Those News Corp. people went behind General Manager Fred Claire's back to send Piazza to the Marlins for Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla and Charles Johnson because they were miffed that Piazza wanted a rich contract. Sure, Sheffield had his moments here, but by then Bonilla was on the downside and Johnson was, for the most part, a bust.

it should be what MIKE wants, not the hall or baseball, or the dodgers.

That's okay. It's always nice to have an additional Dodger in the Hall of Fame. But we all know in our heart of hearts that Mike Piazza used steroids. It's best that he doesn't taint the legacy of Dodgers heroes with the presence of an LA cap on his HOF plaque. That was a great performance on Baywatch though. I wouldn't mind him having a Hollywood star on the Walk of Fame. Did he win an Emmy for that?

if it were not for lasorda, piazza would be a nobody. his hitting ability is his only redeeming factor (although it never showed up in the playoffs), his defense was offensive and horrendous. piazza could not throw out a base runner to save his life. if there was a play at the plate, piazza would never come through and allow the ball to squirt away(another game lost to his defense). the dodgers tendered him a hefty contract , but he chose the mets for 2 mil more. do not sing the praises for piazza ! overall , he is a lousy subpar catcher .

it was one of the worst trades in dodger's history, along with trading pedro martinez! piazza is still bitter after all of these years. IT'S A BUSINESS. your best years of your career were with L.A.

who is mike piazza,,sounds like a pizza

He should also remember who will more than likely introduce him - Tommy Lasorda! For this reason he should be a Dodger.

I agree that the Piazza trade was the worst in Dodger history, and just plain stupid, not only on baseball grounds, but marketing grounds, too. But get off the Pedro Marinez trade already: at the time is was actually a smart move. Nobody (except bloggers with 20/20 hindsight) could've predicted Pedro would become, well, Pedro. But Delino Deshields had Hall of Fame written all over him: 20+ HR when it meant something, .320 BA, 100 RBI, 40 SB all within his capability for years to come AND a left-handed bat. No one could've predicted he'd tank like he did (except the above noted hind-sighters). Everyone knew Pedro was good, but that's the price of getting a guy with Deshields-type potential.

i have to say the hall could go with either team.. but they will prob choose the mets because of that memorable home run post 9/11
bottom line he didnt help either team win diddely.. good riddance mike, and please take your fat grumpy overated godfather or uncle or whatever the heck he is with you where ever you are

Who cares! The Hall of Fame doesn't have the integrity as it did when players were inducted before the steroids years in baseball. Every record that was broken and any players that played in the roids years should have an asterisk by their name.

Was Mike Piazza a Gold Glove catcher? No. But the notion that he was a pathetic defensive catcher is simply misguided, and I have the numbers to back up what I'm saying. And before I get to that, consider the fact that the pitching staffs of the Dodgers and Mets were generally at or near the top of the league in team ERA, and the catcher has something to do with that. I always thought Piazza called a pretty good game, and when I looked up numbers associated with that, I was even surprised at how good Piazza's CERA was (catcher's earned run average). Piazza's CERA for his career was 3.81, which is an EXCELLENT number. Not just good, excellent. The league average is about 4.44, just to give you an idea. Want more? Bengie Molina, a multiple Gold Glove catcher, has a career CERA of 4.15, and while certainly you could argue that Molina spending some time in the AL has something to do with that, the fact is that Piazza's numbers here are excellent, and to just dismiss his part in what his pitchers did is absurd, and the pitchers that threw to him would tell you the same thing.

Piazza's percentage of throwing out base-stealers for his career was 23%, with the major league average being 31% when Piazza played. Ok, so he was 8% below average, but it's not like that is pathetically egregious. There are plenty of catchers with percentages around 25% like Piazza, and nobody seems to slam them. Also, Piazza's career fielding % is .989; the league average was .990 during the time Piazza played.

So it's not like Piazza was some passed-ball machine and it's not like he never threw out base-stealers. The fact that he led the league a few times in most errors at his position is a function of the fact that he played far more than virtually any other catcher; you have to look at actual fielding percentage and not the number of errors/passed balls. He was a bit below-average throwing out base-stealers, and he was basically exactly average as far as making errors. And when you factor in his CERA, his ability to call a game, and his ability to block balls in the dirt, he was basically an average catcher. One that was the greatest hitter at his position, by far, ever (his .922 OPS and OPS+ marks of 142 are just exceptional for anybody, and extraordinary for a catcher).

Please stop maligning this man for an alleged defensive patheticness that simply does not exist.

I can't blame Mike for being bitter at the Dodgers. I was so angry at the hellish trade I boycotted the Dodgers for FIVE LONG YEARS, much to the amazement of my best friend who was true blue all the time. I could never forgive them for trading Piazza. That said, his career was made as an L.A. Dodger and I think it would be a credit to him to forgive and forget. If/when he makes it to the hall of fame -- I hope they install him as a Dodger.

The Piazza trade was not as bad as trading Pedro Martinez for Delino DeShields, but it was right up there. Terrible decision and the franchise suffered because of it for years.

Methinks Piazza should where the Nandrolone cap IF he gets in....

AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike is getting waaaay ahead of himself. Not so certain he is going to be seeing the HOF in 2013 or soon afterwards. Doesn't anyone recall that he was mentioned in the Mitchell report? and that his stats were bloated ad forever tainted by the Steroid Era? also, Mike has No MVPs, No batting titles, No World Series Championships, No Gold Gloves. frankly, if Mike does make into the HOF, better to have a Mets cap on his dome. let them take the stain.

what makes PIAZZA think he's going inti the HOF all he ever did was hit and only did that for bout 5 good years

Andrew, this is for you: there is no chance Piazza doesn't get in unless they can prove for sure that he was a roids user, and being "mentioned" in a report doesn't change that. You can't keep somebody out of the Hall based on suspicion, so as of now, he's a shoo-in first ballot guy. And using "he never won a batting title" in your argument is quite frankly absurd. Yeah, I guess a .308 hitting catcher with 427 home runs and a .922 OPS (and an OPS+ of 142) doesn't deserve to get in.

He should go in as a Padre.

Sadly he was my last true Dodger hero. I am hoping at last Eithier may finally take his place.
I was heartbroken when the Dodgers did not sign him and spent so much for Kevin Brown.
One of his home runs against the Rockies was so prodigious it took Scully by surprise.
But alas all of it was tainted by his steroid use, and that hurts even worse than the trade.
Mike isn't going into the hall any time soon, just like McGwire and Bonds.

dark materials.

The legacy of Dodger Heroes!!! What a joke, excatly who has been a Dodger heroe since the trading of Piazza.
Manny Ramirez? Kevin Brown? Gary Sheffield?, The Dodgers are a friggin joke with the McCourts in charge! How can anybody root for a team owned by these selfish, money grubbing, idiot owners. Much less spend good hard earned money to see this team.

Sericm

....is that the steroid HOF you are mentioning????.....if so, who cares!....baseball has become so ingrained in silliness, ineptitude that i am surprised that they don't track stats on how many times a player scratches his scrotum or spits per game.....is this another p/r baseball curve like baseball announcing which has become a trivia spectacle to the point that they don't have the ability to announce a good ball game like the days of durocher, enberg, drysdale plus present day scully ...baseball glory has lost it's luster when the likes of piazza, mcguire, sosa, et al, are considered HOF caliber......they ought to consider canseco if only for his fortitude and honesty for that matter.....................................

Good because as a longtime Dodgers fan, I am partial to Steve Yeager and even Joe Ferguson. Piazza was nothing more than a steroid laced catcher that could only hit, and he had no defensive skills at all.
Maybe he is a hall of fame catcher by todays standards which are nothing but about stats. You old school fans know that Piazza couldn't have handled that hit Yeager took from Dave Parker back in 1977. Piazza would have died on the field. Joe Ferguson could even play outfield, see the 1974 World Series for proof. Piazza couldn't even play first base. Bottom line is he is not a hall of famer like a Bench, Fisk, Munson, and nor is he even a good catcher.
If Piazza goes in, then go in as a Met because he is an embarassment to the great Dodger catchers from the past.
STEVE YEAGER FOR HALL OF FAME!

Assuming he'll be inducted in Baseball's Hall of Fame (he will), he should go in as a Met, if that's what he wants. He's probably still put off by the lousy trade from the Dodgers.

Trivia: Despite having many players who played for them in the HOF, the Angels have no representative in the HOF. Zero.

That was actually a pretty good trade. They should've held on longer to the players they received instead of dumping them all. Sheffield carried the Dodgers on his back for several years, unlike Piazza. Sheff should've been a Dodger to the end. To heck with Piazza.

Mike Piazza loved being a Dodger. Getting traded was like a blow to the gut. During his contract negotiations, the press vilified him ("Hey, Mike! Zip it!"), the fans booed him and after the trade, a healthy number of people thought that Charles Johnson would be better for the team.

I don't blame him at all for going into the Hall of Fame as a Met.


Are you nuts?? Posting that Delino Deshields was a potential 20 plus homer guy?? Wow!!! He was a carpet hitter in Montreal with explosive base running ability and an above average fielder at second base. Check his stats, he was an 8 HR guy, 55 RBI and 45-55 SB at best. Worst trade in Dodger history, 20/20 or not. As for Piazza, probably the second worst because at least Sheffield gave us impressive power numbers for several years.

I wouldn't worry too much about it. He hasn't been cleared of the steroid thing, and frankly, if he wasn't still worried about the gay thing, he wouldn't be trying to convince the world that he participates in his daughters' car pool. I'm pretty sure if I had over $200 million dollars, I'd also have a household staff.

Besides, he was really a DH, not a catcher. He didn't have any defense. No real reason to think he'll make The Hall.

Too bad..... NYC embraced Mike Piazza as LA never did, would or could.

If Mike Piazza is selected to the Hall of Fame, I am guessing that MLB will have him go in as a New York met. The Dodgers already have a pretty good collection of Hall of Famers. Tom Seaver is currently the only met. And if he does get selected, there is something terribly wrong with a Hall of Fame that has Mike Piazza but not Steve Garvey. Garvey put up some great numbers, and played an important part on a team that actually won the World Series. Can't say the same about Piazza. Oh well. Go Dodgers!!

His individual numbers were better early in his career with the Dodgers. But he was on better teams in New York and even carried them to the World Series in 2000. It is absurd that the Hall sometimes goes against player's wishes, but I doubt they will this time.

Maybe he got booed one too many times at Chavez Ravine for "leaving" by the dumbest fans in baseball.

Steve, you're the first guy I've read that made any sense about Piazza and why he should go in the HOF as a Dodger. Without the Dodgers, he isn't even in MLB. I don't care that he went to the WS as a Met or he hit a dramatic homerun after 9/11. The facts are what they are: He was better and more meaningful as a Dodger. Period. BTW, on a side note, his relationship must be nill with Tommy. And I talked to Dr. Steinberg last August and the Dodgers were trying to get the relationship with Piazza repaired. Negotioations are still chilly. Ridiculous on Piazza's part considering that it was Fox that made the trade and not the "real" Dodgers brass. Lastly, Dodger fans don't make it any easier by booing Piazza (or any great former Dodgers) when he/they came to Dodger Stadium. Whatever happened to "once a Dodger, always a Dodger"?

jackass. he was always a selfish bastard anyway. out for himself and never a "team" player. put him in the "roid" wing with a met cap, who cares.

Piazza......? Never heard of him.

Brian - you're dead wrong - the rest, you're Dodger fans - you root for a team that was stolen from Brooklyn - some if you ate bitter about Piazza not wanting to go in as an LA guy. Get over it - he affected the Mets more as a team player than in individual. Grow up, understand that the City of NY loves Piazza than LA can, and appreciate him. Move to Des Moine next - you'll be appreciated too.


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