I understand not voting in known PED users like Clemens, Bonds, McGwire, etc, but I can't understand the snub Mike Piazza received. Morons like Murray Chass, who claim Piazza did use roids or other Performance Enhancing Drugs because of back acne, are absurd. No one knows if Mike Piazza did cheat. No one. What we do know is that he was never brought before Congress, his name was never mentioned in any BALCO investigation, and he never failed a baseball drug test. Those are proven facts. Believing he did drugs to amass his stats is not fact.
Mike Piazza's offensive statistics are greater than Yogi Berra's. Bill Dickey's, Johnny Bench's, and Carlton Fisk's. All of those players are rightfully in the Hall.Berra and Dickey, who hit less HR's played in Yankee Stadium with a short Right Field porch, and were left handed hitters; Bench played in Riverfront Stadium which was not a difficult stadium to hit HR's in; Fisk played in Boston and Chicago - Boston with the short Green Monster which was a target for right-handed hitters. Piazza played his home games in Dodger Stadium and Shea Stadium - difficult HR ball parks.
All four of these Hall Of Fame catchers played more years than Piazza (16 years); Dickey and Bench 17 years; Berra 19 years; Fisk 24 years.
If the writers feel Piazza did cheat the system, they've had the last five years to prove it. In these five years they haven't.
Although not surprised #31 was snubbed, I am furious. But, what infuriates me more is the good ole boys club the BBWAA is.
I have always respected Adam Rubin, but he proved yesterday that he succumbed to the club. He didn't vote Piazza in, and when questioned on voting for Piazza in next year he replied:
"I said I will, barring some event in next 11 months that would dissuade me."
Piazza's Hall Of Fame statistics haven't changed in five years, and won't change next year. My question is, why will he be more worthy in future years than he is this year? He will still have a lifetime .308 batting average, 427 lifetime HR's, and 1335 lifetime RBI.
Marlon Anderson showed some of the same lunacy as the BBWAA scribes did when he tweeted:
Marlon, did Piazza do "it" the wrong way? You two were teammates in '05 - what made you think he didn't do it the "right way?"
Nothing has proven to me more that the reporters/writers of the BBWAA have this God complex - given the right (not honor) to vote on players than their action in the last few days.
If writers can decline a players admission into the Hall because of a suspicion, but not proof, then they should conduct their own investigation in the fives years the player is retired before voting. If they have no PROOF, and they players stats warrant enshrinement, then they should be voted in.
I don't see anyone looking to kick out Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb, and other greats because they were louts as human beings, drank too much, cheated on spouses, were promiscuous, racist, etc. They were voted in on their athletic talent and accomplishments. Writers didn't wait years looking to prove a prejudice they might have.
Unfortunately #31 and Biggio were found guilty because of the era they played in, not because of anything they did wrong.
Because Piazza's accomplishments are legendary, does that mean he doped? His body didn't change throughout his career, like Bonds, Clemens, and McGwire's did. He electrified a city and fan base, broke many offensive records for catchers, was a person who would speak to the press, and was well respected.
To be able to block someone of a much deserved honor must be based on proof, not suspicion.
Until then, we'll have to wait til next year.
Other Sources: Baseball Reference