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Mike Piazza makes his literary pitch

November 11, 2008 | 12:00 pm

Mike Piazza during the Mets' postgame event closing Shea Stadium. The former Dodgers may come into sharper focus with his new book out. Of all the amazing and wonderful feats Mike Piazza accomplished during his illustrious career, this was not one of them: standing in front of a bunch of reporters to deny New York tabloid gossip that he was gay.

So, when a news release -- sent on Piazza's behalf -- mentions that uncomfortable incident very prominently, you can guess why: A publisher has a Piazza book to sell!

Sure enough ...

New York, N.Y., November 11, 2008 -- Mike Piazza, a 12-time All Star for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets, will write his autobiography for Simon & Schuster, it was announced today. Publication is anticipated for 2010.

Piazza, considered by many to be the greatest hitting catcher in baseball history, retired just before the 2008 season. His time with the Dodgers and Mets was marked by enormous popularity with fans and national controversies –- notably the 2000 World Series incident when Roger Clemens threw a shattered bat at Piazza, and the press conference he held to deny rumors that he was gay.

Piazza will discuss those episodes in detail, as well as describe his tumultuous relationships with the Los Angeles Dodgers, their front office and Tommy Lasorda.  He will also talk about the personalities and players from his days with the Mets, including Bobby Valentine, Pedro Martinez, and Ricky Henderson and many others.  In the book Piazza will describe how he matured as a ballplayer and a man over the last decade.

“I look forward to having the chance to take people behind the scenes and to talk about the many great people and characters I’ve played with and for over the course of my career,” said Piazza.

-- Bill Shaikin

Photo: Mike Piazza during the Mets' postgame event closing Shea Stadium. The former Dodgers catcher may come into sharper focus with a new book. Credit: Al Bello / Getty Images