Wednesday, June 27, 2012

6 comments Murray Chass is Suspicious about This Book Mike Piazza is Writing

Murray Chass believes that Mike Piazza used steroids when he played in the majors. Murray bases his conclusion on Piazza's bacne and he's argued this reasoning before. I think Mike Piazza used steroids also. Of course, I don't really care if he did or he didn't to the extent that Murray Chass cares. I consider Piazza innocent of using steroids until it is proven otherwise. Piazza never tested positive for PEDs and as much as I disliked him when he played for the Mets, that's good enough for me. He's under the Jeff Bagwell umbrella for me. I'm suspicious, but my suspicions aren't hard evidence, so I don't know if it should affect either player's Hall of Fame candidacy. Well, Murray Chass and his best bro Fay Vincent disagree with me on this. Piazza is writing a book about his baseball career and Murray Chass just knows it's a huge conspiracy to achieve book sales and make the baseball Hall of Fame while also admitting to using steroids. Murray takes to his non-blog to urge Hall of Fame voters, of which Murray is one (shiver), to not vote for Piazza to get in the Hall of Fame until the year after his book comes out.

Tying a significant record held by a great player is noteworthy, but it also is controversial and raises the primary question of the time in which we live:

What will be the net effect of the human race's existence on this planet in 3000 years? At what point does science go overboard with new discoveries that can dramatically alter human DNA? If we can clone a person, is that person a real person in terms of civil rights and should be treated that way? What happens when we die? Is deciding the gender of your child playing God?

(I have a lot of science-related questions apparently)

Should we give Rodriguez the credit a record holder would deserve if he were free of the taint of performance-enhancing substances?

Actually, this is an easy one. Yes.

Yes, Rodriguez’s grand slam in Atlanta was clean, as far as we know,

Yes, Murray Chass isn't a robot designed and placed on Earth to secretly rid the world of the human race at a specific time in the future, as far as we know.

But the three grand slams he hit when he played for Texas presumably were linked to steroids.

Well then subtract three home runs from his career amount of 23 home runs because none of those home runs would have gone out of the park if he wasn't on steroids. We know this for sure, don't we? Wait, we don't know this for sure?

There are skeptics who suspect he used them during a more extended period.

There are skeptics who believe the Holocaust never happened and there are skeptics that believe the 1969 moon landing was staged. Skepticism isn't proof, though I am skeptical Murray really understands this concept.

How should Rodriguez and others of the steroids squad be viewed as they rise in the ranks of the great hitters?

Apparently they should be viewed with a great amount of suspicion. Who am I to say this though? Let's bring in an expert's expert and the judge of all that moral is in the world. No, not Tony Dungy.

“It’s a very good question,” said Fay Vincent, the former commissioner, who is among the most moral men baseball has known.

Oh yes, it wouldn't be a Murray Chass column if we didn't get the opinion of the Stevie to Murray Chass's Kenny Powers, the Garth to Murray Chass's Wayne, the Chewbacca to Murray Chass's Han Solo, the Joannie to Murray Chass's Chachi...Fay Vincent. If Murray Chass has any questions about life, liberty, and the pursuit of libelous words he calls on Fay Vincent.

As a side note, unless Murray Chass has known every person in the history of baseball then he doesn't know Murray Chass is among the most moral men baseball has known. Yep, I'm nitpicking cliches today.

“You can’t ignore the record; it takes skill,” he added, speaking of A-Rod’s feat. “But nobody can compare his achievement to Gehrig’s without acknowledging his use of steroids.

Hang on for the words of a person who is among the most moral men baseball has ever known. It gets a bit rough when following the logic of these quotes.

We can’t measure the taint produced by substance use, but it’s a substantial taint.”

We actually can calculate this taint. The formula for Taint Accumulated over Time by Substance Abuse (or TATSA) is:

(Years of Substance Abuse x Taint During Years of Substance Abuse)/(Numbers of years without Taint + Amount of Bacne Acquired)

This equals the taint produced by substance abuse. For A-Rod, I don't have access to his bacne records so I can't really speak to whether the taint is substantial or not.

Vincent was not suggesting that steroids enhance performance. “It’s never been tested,” he said, recalling a conversation he had with Dr. Frank Jobe, the legendary Los Angeles Dodgers’ orthopedic surgeon.

So in summary, this is what we've learned from this conversation with Fay Vincent:

-We have to acknowledge A-Rod's use of steroids when discussing his baseball records.

-A-Rod's use of steroids put a substantial taint on his baseball records because they may have enhanced his performance.

-Scientists say steroids may not enhance performance.

-Fay Vincent isn't saying steroids enhanced Rodriguez's performance when saying A-Rod's career is tainted because he took steroids, Vincent is simply saying he thinks these steroids possibly enhanced A-Rod's performance and any records achieved by A-Rod should be viewed with suspicion.

-Steroids may not enhance performance and Fay Vincent isn't saying they do, but A-Rod's career was probably enhanced by his use of steroids.

To Vincent, though, it’s not how much better steroids might make a player but how much cheating undermines a player’s character.

And we all know the final determination on whether a player should be in the Hall of Fame is based entirely on that player's character.

In judging players for election to the Hall of Fame, Vincent said he would never support players who tested positive for performance enhancing substances or even players who were strongly suspected of steroids use.

Yes, but WHO strongly suspects this player of using steriods? Fay Vincent? If so, he is simply using his own beliefs in the absence of facts about whether Player X used steroids or not. Vincent's own personal belief that Player X used steroids does not mean a player is strongly suspected of steroids use. It means HE strongly suspect the player of steroid use, but he has no proof. His own belief in Player X's steroid use does not mean it is a widespread belief that should keep Player X out of the Hall of Fame.

“I wouldn’t vote for anyone who cheated,” Vincent said. “I wouldn’t have voted for Gaylord Perry; he cheated. What are you going to say? He cheated a little?”

But what if you don't know someone cheated at all? Fay Vincent wouldn't vote for him either apparently. This person doesn't fall under the heading of "cheating" or "cheating just a little bit," he falls under the heading of "not having been caught cheating at all." So a player suspected of steroid use wouldn't meet this "cheating" standard that Fay Vincent holds and should receive Vincent's Hall of Fame vote.

He waits with interest to see what the writers do with Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, neither of whom ever tested positive for substance abuse but both of whom have been tried in Federal court on steroids-related perjury charges.

How have those trials gone so far?

Then there’s Mike Piazza, who will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time later this year, joining Bonds, Clemens and Sammy Sosa as controversial candidates.

He's controversial because Murray Chass and Fay Vincent proclaim that Mike Piazza used steroids so they won't vote for him to enter the Hall of Fame. If you accept that Piazza never tested positive and don't hold your own suspicions against him, he isn't controversial at all. I personally believe Piazza used steroids, but there is no proof so I would vote for him to enter the Hall of Fame if I thought he deserved induction based on his statistics.

What if he is elected to the Hall of Fame and then it’s discovered that he used steroids?”

Or what if Piazza is revealed to be a robot designed and placed on Earth to secretly rid the world of the human race upon his induction into the baseball Hall of Fame? The best bet is to not vote for Mike Piazza, that's for sure.

Piazza never tested positive for steroids use, and that has been his defense against charges that he used steroids.

Murray Chass showed proof he has a heart and human skin, and that has been his defense against charges that he is a robot.

But within baseball he has long been a steroids suspect.

But within my own personal belief, I think he is a robot.

All of his teammates and anyone else in his teams’ clubhouses saw his acne-covered back, a tell-tale sign of steroids, until baseball began testing for steroids, and then the acne magically disappeared.

The acne magically disappeared? So Piazza is not only a steroid-user, he is also a wizard! Do we need steroid-using wizards in baseball's Hall of Fame? I think not.

When I have written in the past couple of years that Piazza was a steroids suspect, especially when I have mentioned the acne,

As the saying goes, "if he has bacne, you must...act-ne like he used steroids."

One reader said he was a teammate of Piazza on the University of Miami baseball team and that he was such a good, strong hitter that he didn’t need to use steroids. After checking Miami statistics, I figured the reader must have had Piazza confused with another teammate. In his sole season at Miami, Piazza was 1-for-9.

Hey Murray, do you think it is slightly possible this teammate saw Piazza hit the baseball in batting practice, simulated games, scrimmages or at any other point during the year they were teammates? He probably saw Piazza hit the baseball at other times during the season, rather than just in games. Sometimes it pays to think before you type.

More incriminating is a comment from a former major league teammate that appears in a book titled “The Rocket That Fell to Earth.” The author, Jeff Pearlman, quotes a former player, Reggie Jefferson, as saying, “He’s a guy sho did it, and everybody knows it. It’s amazing how all these names, like Roger Clemens, are brought up, yet Mike Piazza goes untouched.”

So the speculation of other players now serves as evidence?

"Hold on your honor, I can't place the defendant at the scene of the crime, but I can provide at least 10 people who say that seems like that restaurant would be a place the defendant would go to eat."

For nearly three years, Piazza has been said to be writing a book about his career. It appears to be taking him longer than Tolstoy needed to write “War and Peace.”

Piazza isn't a blogger like you and me are Murray. He can't match the caffeinated-aided output of bloggers like you and me.

Aides to the Simon and Schuster editor handling the book, Bob Bender, and the agent who put the project together, David Black, said they would find out the status of the book and let me know, but neither called with information. Another publishing source said he believed the book would be published next year.

“It’s taking a long time,” I remarked to Vincent.

“You can imagine why,” he responded.

Because it is an autobiography? Because Piazza isn't a natural writer, it takes time to fact-check his memory of events, edit the book and then release it? Those are the reasons I can think of. Of course I am not among the most moral people baseball has ever known, so what do I know?

If the timetable calls for publication next year, Piazza and Simon and Schuster would both get their cake and eat it, too.

Mike Piazza doesn't want cake. He wants steroids.

Piazza would be in the Hall of Fame with the writers having no recourse to unelect him. Just as he did in his playing career, Piazza would have fooled the voters and the fans.

So now Murray Chass has gone from speculating whether Mike Piazza has used steroids or not, convicted him of using steroids based on his own unproven suspicions, and accused Piazza of releasing a book just after his induction into the baseball's Hall of Fame (which may or may not happen) so Piazza can reap the rewards of books sales and not get punished for his steroid use? Hey, it may happen, but Murray Chass no proof of this. So all Murray is doing is writing down a ton of speculation and passing it off as fact. Come on Murray, us bloggers are above that.

Then, as if fate called Murray at home on his rotary sun-faded yellow phone, an aide to Piazza's editor updated Murray on when the book was going to be released.

The moment of truth is set for Mike Piazza. His book, “Long Shot,” is scheduled for publication next February, the publisher, Simon & Schuster, said Thursday.

While it have a picture of Piazza on the cover with a needle sticking out of his ass?

Now I know, and while I am not a conspiracy theorist, I smell a conspiracy here.

While I am not one to throw out unproven speculation, I think Ryan Gosling is a homosexual and Kristin Bell is a post-op transsexual.

The only question relevant to pre-publication is does Piazza write about steroids and if so, what does he write?

It's almost like the entire point of the book being published is to read it in order to find out this information. Just another conspiracy Mike Piazza is responsible for in order to get you to pay for the chance to read his book. What an ego this bacne-riddled man has!

But sometime last year a Piazza associate said he would cover his entire career, whatever that means.

I'm guessing, and this is just a guess based on context clues, it will cover Mike Piazza's entire baseball career. I find it interesting Murray Chass can't figure out what "cover his entire career" means, but he is smart enough to know for sure that Mike Piazza used steroids without any proof this is true and therefore doesn't deserve anyone's Hall of Fame vote.

It seemed unlikely that the former catcher would admit to steroid use and jeopardize, even for an $800,000 advance, his chances of being elected to the Hall of Fame.

Well, there you go then. Problem averted. Now Murray doesn't have to worry about Mike Piazza admitting he used steroids after he's being elected into the Hall of Fame. Of course, the problem isn't really averted because Murray Chass still believes Mike Piazza is up to no good...especially since the fact the book is being released in February (who releases a book in February?) of 2013.

Craig Muder, the Hall’s communications director, said no date has been set for release of the results but noted that the announcement usually is made between Jan. 5 and 15. Voting ends Dec. 31.

And Mike Piazza is conveniently releasing his book one month later. Of course, in Murray's mind it doesn't matter anyway because Mike Piazza is under a cloud of suspicion (caused by Murray Chass) of using steroids and wouldn't receive his Hall of Fame vote regardless of when the book was released.

If, on the other hand, the book includes a steroids admission, all I can say is shame on Piazza and his publisher.

Shame on you for giving Murray Chass the perception you are waiting until the Hall of Fame votes are tallied so the steroid admission that may or may not be contained in the book doesn't hurt Mike Piazza's chance of making the Hall of Fame. You will never be the moral man that Fay Vincent is!

With that possibility in mind, though, the voters would be wise to withhold their votes from Piazza until a future election. He will have 14 more chances.

Yes, voters would be "wise" to do this. If "wise" is now defined as, "So concerned and affected by the pure speculation from an unemployed ex-newspaper writer they lose grip with their sanity and join this writer in abstaining from voting for a player into the Hall of Fame in preparation for a steroid admission from a player that may or may not have used steroids that may or may not be contained in the book."


Darrell Sparkman said...

I am the teammate of Piazza at Miami. Thank you for having the brains that Murray Chass lacks. Yes, Piazza only had 9 at bats. All pinch hitting appearances, not exactly the way to get your timing down. Piazza would have played more had he stayed. Thank you for having the knowledge that those 9 at bats are not the only time one could see Piazza's potential. Batting Practice, Fall Ball, Scrimmages ( We had a Fall Ball World Series - Projected Starters verse the Backups, We called our Team the "Scrubs", and we won. )Working out after practice....I saw Mike swing enough to know the guy had potential...and when he hit it, he crushed it. Mike was a great player and deserves to be in the Hall.

Bengoodfella said...

Darrell, I think a lot of players used PEDs that we never suspected used, but as long as they are clean they should absolutely be in the Hall of Fame. I have suspicions about Piazza, but I could be completely wrong. I am glad you agree it is wrong to push players "suspected" under the heading of "convicted." It's ridiculous. It also doesn't even matter what I think. Was Piazza good enough to be in the Hall of Fame? If the answer is yes then there should be no debate. The same goes for Bagwell.

Murray is very short-sighted at times when wanting to prove a point. It's not like those nine at-bats is how often teammates got to see Piazza hit. It's stupid to think that would be true. I'm not a smart person, but it takes a little thinking sometimes to get past the consistent hack job Chass tries to do on Piazza.

Anonymous said...

both Darrell Sparkman and Mike Piazza used steroids at Miami and afterward. That's what the convicted strength coach at Miami said.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I can't find anything related to the University of Miami strength coach saying that. Perhaps I'm not looking hard enough.

Darrell Sparkman said...

@Bengoodfella.....Just saw this, whoever anonymous is they are joking. This was a reference to Rock Jacobs who was the strength coach at Miami. Mike and I were not customers.

Bengoodfella said...

Darrell, it's always people who say things like that who are anonymous and don't have an email address. I couldn't find the quote.

All I found about Rock Jacobs was a story of how he got three years probation back in 1988. I would love to know how anonymous knows Piazza and yourself used steroids at Miami or even afterwards.