Thursday, January 10, 2013

Piazza Denied: BBWAA Should Be Ashamed

As everyone knows by now, there will be no players inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame this summer. That is a tragedy.

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:

"I believe sportswriters made a bold statement today! I'm glad they stood up for "ALL" the players who did it the right way. THX!!"

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

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mike Piazza and the HOF. Today is the day

Its kind of funny that right now all the chatter is about will  Mike make the HOF leap today or be lumped with all the other steriod players and have to wait another  year. 

Later today after the annoucement at 2pm the talk hopefully turns into what Hat will Mike wear when he is inducted later this summer. 

The guy deserves to be a 1st ballott HOF.  Best of luck to the Former Mets Catcher!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Will 2013 Be Terry Collins Last Year As Mets Manager?

With Spring Training beginning in approximately 5 weeks or so, Terry Collins will be entering this season as a "lame duck" manager.

After the 2011 season, Elvis picked up Collins' option through the 2013 season, thus ending (or at least quieting) any speculation that Wally Backman, Tim Teufel, etc. would be the Mets next manager.


The biggest question at hand isn't so much is Collins deserving of an extension on his present contract, but has Collins done a good job as Mets skipper? I have been in Wally Backman's corner since he was skipper for the ChiSox AAA affiliate, the Birmingham Barons, and was certainly a card carrying member for the Mets to hire him after Gangsta Manuel was dismissed.

All that being said, Collins has done a good job with this young team. My main complaint with him, and most of the recent Mets managers, has been the poor management of the bullpen, often going to the bullpen much to early in the game, and not allowing a pitcher to pitch out of jams. Collins has done a good job of getting a poor team to perform well, even if it was only for 81 games.

That being said, do I believe Collins should be extended beyond this year? I'm not sure. Collins has been good, but I am to the point with the Mets going nowhere for the foreseeable future, might it be better to hold onto TC, or make a change. Secondly, if the Mets do make a change, I believe Wally Backman is the clear cut man for the job, but knowing this organization, it would probably be the easy going 3B coach, Tim Teufel.

I like Backman's fire, and has done a real good job with young players, just like his mentor, Davey Johnson. Backman would be that link to a better era of Mets baseball (like Teufel), but he has the fire to keep this young team competitive.

The thing we must be careful of, is it better to bring a first time manager to run a team that will be a cellar dweller, or to let TC remain at the helm for another year or two until some of the young talent is ready to produce?

If I were in charge, and everyone with a pulse knows I'm not, I would make the switch at the end of this season, and let Backman develop the young prospects the Mets have that will be at the entry stages of The Show.

As Alderson said regarding Collins' status:

“Sometimes it becomes an issue. I think it’s a function of whether Terry makes it an issue, or the club makes it an issue, or the media makes it an issue.
"I don’t think the club or Terry will make it an issue. If it does become an issue, we’ll manage the issue. I understand the possibility it could become something. I hope it doesn’t.”  

Let me fill you in on something Sandy, it will be an issue, especially if the Mets perform better than anticipated.

Source:  Adam Rubin ESPN NY