Saturday, January 12, 2013

Mike Piazza to address steroid rumors in upcoming book, author claims Piazza is clean


On Thursday, the man who co-authored the autobiography of Mike Piazza said that the former MLB catcher will address rumors and questions of steroid use in his upcoming book.

Piazza was among the Hall of Fame candidates who failed to receive the call on Wednesday. Piazza received 57.8 percent of the vote, which fell well shy of the 75 percent mark needed for election. He wasn't alone, though.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America did not vote a single player into Cooperstown for the first time since 1996. The biggest reason is perhaps the amount of players on the ballot who have at one time or another been suspected of PED use. However, Lonnie Wheeler, who also co-authored autobiographies of Hall of Famers Hank Aaron and Bob Gibson, stated that he doesn't believe Piazza was one of them.

"Anybody who's looking for Mike's answer to PED questions will find it there [the book]...I believe he's clean."

The book entitled "Long Shot" is slated to hit shelves Feb. 12.

When asked if any sort of detailed revelations were included within the pages from Piazza, Wheeler hinted that there were.

"I can't get too specific about the nature of that discussion," Wheeler said. "But he does tackle the question and discusses the PED scenario in length in three or four different sections of the book.

"The subjects that people want to hear him on, he has spoken on candidly and at length," Wheeler added."

One of Piazza's former managers, Hall of Fame skipper Tommy Lasorda, seems to think that Piazza abstained from PEDs as well.

"I don't think he would do anything wrong because he's such an outstanding young man, Lasorda proclaimed. "That's how I feel. That's it."

Although Piazza's first bid at cracking the Hall of Fame proved unsuccessful, history does favor his future odds. All 16 players who previously gained at least 50 percent of the vote in their first year of eligibility were eventually elected.

Piazza is widely considered one of the best offensive catchers of all-time. He sported a .308 batting average, smacked 427 home runs, and drove in a whopping 1,335 runs during his 16-year MLB career. He appears to be a near lock to make it into baseball immortality, but suspicions of steroids may have played a role in keeping him out (and others) for now.

If Wheeler is correct, this book may help his image in the eyes of voters.

Via Newsday.

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