Mike Piazza to deny PED use in upcoming book
By THE SPORTS XCHANGE
|New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza walks off the field as the New York Yankees celebrate winning the World Series at Shea Stadium in New York October 26, 2000. (REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)
When Mike Piazza’s autobiography “Long Shot” is released in February, the former major-league catcher will deny using performance-enhancing drugs during his career.
Suspicions of steroid use among several prominent players surrounded the Baseball Hall of Fame vote this week. Along with Piazza, players who fell short in their first year of eligibility were pitcher Roger Clemens and slugger Barry Bonds.
Piazza received 58 percent of the vote, which was below the required 75 percent for election.
The 12-time All-Star finished his career with 427 home runs and a .308 batting average in 16 seasons. Despite being a 62nd-round draft pick, Piazza went on to become one of the top hitting catchers of all time.
“Anybody who’s looking for Mike’s answer to PED questions will find it (in the book),” veteran sports reporter and author Lonnie Wheeler said in an interview with Newsday. “I believe he’s clean.”
Wheeler also said Piazza in his book will discuss PED use in baseball.
Given the climate of controversy with the candidates this year, Piazza wasn’t disappointed about being left out of Cooperstown in his first year of eligibility, Wheeler said.
“He was laughing about it,” Wheeler told Newsday. “I think he understood that the whole situation was so murky and complicated, and with nobody getting elected, that it was just an unpredictable scenario that he got caught up in. Frankly, he knew it was coming.
”I think, like I did, that he felt that he deserved it and was optimistic that he would get in and saw no reason why he shouldn’t.“