Former New York Mets‘ catcher Mike Piazza has written an autobiography about his unlikely rise to baseball stardom. The soon to be released book, “Long Shot” details his playing years focusing on his relationship with former Mets manager Bobby Valentine and his confrontations with former New York Yankees’ pitcher Roger Clemens.
It will be interesting to hear Piazza discuss his issues with Clemens, but perhaps the most important part of the book involves the power hitter’s denial of using steroids during his playing career. This comes after Piazza narrowly missed reaching the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame last month, receiving 57.8 percent of the vote. Piazza is likely to reach the necessary 75 percent within the next few years, and a steroids denial should help his chances.
The power hitting catcher denies using performance-enhancing drugs in the book, but did admit to using amphetamines before they were banned in 2006. There is no real evidence to dispute Piazza’s claim, however, it is hard to trust any professional athlete (specifically baseball players) with more reports of steroid use in sports all the time. Piazza believes that, “it shouldn’t be assumed that every big hitter of the generation used steroids” as he states in his book.
Piazza is the all-time leader in home runs as a catcher, finishing with 427 career homers and won 10 silver slugger awards. His power numbers are impressive, but that is not enough to assume that he used steroids to achieve them. Unless actual evidence to prove Piazza’s guilt surfaces, he should be a Hall of Famer sooner rather than later.