Monday, March 4, 2013

4 comments So Maybe Mike Piazza Didn't Admit to Steroid Use In His Book, But the Bacne Doesn't Lie

As I have said repeatedly, I think Mike Piazza used steroids but I have no proof of it and so I would still vote for him to make the baseball Hall of Fame. Murray Chass has a vote for the Hall of Fame and as he repeatedly has said he will not vote for Piazza to make the baseball Hall of Fame. Murray told us that Piazza was probably going to reveal his steroid use in his forthcoming book, which was released after the deadline to vote for potential Hall of Fame inductees, so he could admit he used steroids and still make the Hall of Fame. It turns out that Piazza doesn't admit to steroid use in his book, but have no fears, Murray still knows he is guilty. If you disagree with Murray on any issue related to Mike Piazza then you are a zealot who just can't see the truth. This is as opposed to Murray, who isn't a zealot concerning his dislike for Mike Piazza nor blind to the truth bacne isn't incredibly compelling evidence of steroid use, he just feels very strongly about Piazza not entering the Hall of Fame and refuses to listen to reason. Murray isn't a zealot because he think he's right. He tells us all about it on his non-blog.

Mike Piazza's bipgraphy is quite odd and I probably won't ever read it. If anything, Murray should just go after Piazza for his biography and it's content. Piazza accuses Vin Scully of crushing him and also plays loose with facts and claims.

With his many zealous fans lined up to buy their hero’s book, Mike Piazza figures to soon have a place on the best-seller list.

Because only the people who buy Piazza's book are his zealous fans who consider Piazza to be a hero. I'm reading a book about Joseph Stalin right now and that's only because I think Joseph Stalin is the greatest individual in the history of the world and he is my personal hero. Obviously, because I read this book I am a big of Communism. Murray is all about circumstantial evidence to prove something, so I guess he also believes someone would only purchase a book about an individual if that individual was their hero. In related news, Murray Chass is a horse's ass.

The book, however, will most likely be on the wrong list. It would be more properly placed under fiction.

Just like any book by James Frey or any book that doesn't say Fay Vincent is the greatest commissioner in the history of sports!

Up front, let me acknowledge that in his playing career, Piazza never tested positive for use of banned performance-enhancing substances. I will also acknowledge that I believe in the jurisprudence of innocent until proven guilty.

Well, Murray doesn't really believe either of these things are really true, but it sounds good to say in order to make him seem less like an angry old man and more like an open-minded person.

However, the steroids era of baseball has prompted me to adopt a variation of that theme.

Translation: I don't like Mike Piazza and any other baseball player accused or suspected (if only by Murray) of using steroids. Suspicion of steroid use is evidence of steroid use.

It’s now innocent until proven circumstantially guilty. Substitute common-sense for circumstantially if you’d like; it comes out the same way. If you’d prefer, you can use insultingly.

Here's my issue. I'm not one of those people who thinks this is a court of law. I recognize it isn't "innocent until proven guilty" and if a Hall of Fame voter wants to leave out Jeff Bagwell or Mike Piazza from the Hall of Fame then that is fine. I think it is sort of stupid to use the circumstantial evidence without some sort of proof outside of bacne though. The way Murray Chass harps and harps on Mike Piazza having used PED's drives me crazy. I think Piazza probably did use steroids (though my beliefs aren't proof enough to deny him a vote for the Hall of Fame), but Murray keeps believing there is some vast Piazza-led conspiracy where he wants to admit to using steroids but still get in the Hall of Fame. It turns out Piazza doesn't want to admit to using steroids at all in his book, which only further exasperates Murray and helps to convince him Piazza did in fact use PED's.

His denial belongs up there with President Clinton’s claim that “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

True, except for the fact it was later learned President Clinton was lying about not having sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky and we haven't yet learned Piazza is lying when he says he never used PED's.

The problem with Piazza’s denial is that his fans are the only ones who unequivocally believe him. Baseball people believe otherwise.

It's not about believing or not believing. It's about who has gotten caught and who hasn't gotten caught. I do not like Mike Piazza at all. I dislike him as a baseball player because he played for the Mets, but he, like Jeff Bagwell, has simply not been busted for using PED's. I have a hard time leaving them out of the Hall of Fame because of what I suspect about both players.

Also notice how Murray differentiates between the knowledgeable "baseball people" who don't believe Piazza and Piazza's delusional "fans" who obviously are too biased to know the truth that the "baseball people" know. He differentiates because it is important to do so and show that he, Murray Chass, is a knowledgeable "baseball person" and his opinion should be taken more seriously than the opinion of Mike Piazza fans.

“I think it’s fair to say the prevailing view is one of suspicion, without a doubt,” said a high-ranking executive.

This high-ranking executive? Probably Fay Vincent. Of course there is suspicion about Mike Piazza. There should be suspicion about every baseball player who put up great numbers during the Steroid Era. It's natural there is suspicion. My issue comes when this suspicion suddenly turns into circumstantial evidence that is used as empirical proof of a player's guilt in using PED's. Also, it is clear that Murray Chass is taking Piazza's potential Hall of Fame induction very personally and he needs to just let it drop. 

Amphetamines, he says, made him too jittery, and he opted for Dymetadrine, described as a light asthma medication that sends more oxygen to the brain. Also on his list of legal substances were Ephedra, which burns fat, and Vioxx, which Piazza says he used “because it was an intense anti-inflammatory and it made me feel good.”
But he didn’t use steroids.

There is a chance Piazza is doing the whole "admit to a lesser crime in an attempt to pretend you are being honest" thing, but maybe he isn't. The bottom line is the only proof Murray has is his own suspicions, bacne, and an autobiography where Piazza claimed he didn't use steroids but used amphetamines. That's enough for him and that's fine. Just let it drop at this point. Murray has made up his mind that Piazza used PED's. It doesn't matter if Piazza admitted he did or did not use PED's at this point.

I must admit my reaction to Piazza’s “medical list” was similar to that expressed on WFAN in New York by co-host Craig Carton, who said on the air, “If you don’t think that Mike Piazza did some type of steroid, you are crazy.

His co-host, Boomer Esiason said Piazza’s account “seems to me to be very honest.”

Esiason, it should be remembered, is a former football player, who just might have a different mindset about these things.

Notice how Murray always has an excuse for why anyone who has an open mind about Piazza isn't qualified to give this opinion. Esiason is a football player so his opinion doesn't count.

(Speaking of football and PED's, I can't wait until the NFL has a strict drug policy and cracks down on some of the drugs these players take. It's going to make the Steroid Era in baseball look like a passing fad. This goes for the NBA too.)

Bender did not return numerous calls over several days seeking comment on the contract and the book. Neither did his assistant. David Black, the literary agent, who put the deal together, refused to discuss the book after previously failing to return calls.
“I’m not going to talk to you,” Black said. “No comment.” Asked why he wouldn’t talk, he said, “No reason. I’m not going to talk to you. The person to talk to is Mike Piazza.”

More proof of Piazza's guilt! Piazza won't talk to a sportswriter with a non-blog who simply wants to corner him and eviscerate him for using PED's.

Even if someone had called, though, it’s unlikely that an interview would have been arranged. Piazza wasn’t taking to the news media.

Show us your back Mike! It's probably free of acne because you aren't using PED's anymore. You will never be as clean as that Hall of Fame dirt grinder Craig Biggio. Now that is a player who played the game the right way and we know Biggio never used PED's because Murray doesn't have suspicions about Biggio.

Then Murray goes on to detail how Piazza wouldn't grant interviews and this is weird because he is selling a book. It's a little bit odd, but it's clear that Piazza thinks he can sell his book without granting interviews.

Wheeler, Piazza’s co-author, wasn’t talking either. Although Lonnie and I aren’t close friends, I have known him for years. In fact, his telephone number in a very old phone book (lots of dead people in it) of mine still works. But when he answered his phone, he said apologetically, “I’ve been embargoed. They’re leaving the media to Mike, who’s on tour.”
And not talking to the media.

And not talking to the media is a capital crime which is punishable by death in the mind of Murray Chass.

Tommy Lasorda, Piazza’s benefactor and manager in Los Angeles, believes the former catcher.
There’s no proof Piazza used steroids, Lasorda told the Daily News last month. “I’ve got to say he didn’t take it,” Lasorda said. “That’s how I feel. I just don’t think he took them.”

So I guess Tommy Lasorda isn't a "baseball person" then. Because "baseball people" think Piazza used steroids. Congratulations Tommy, you are just among the delusional fans who believe in Piazza's guilt. You are out of the knowledgeable "baseball people" club. Burn in Hell.

Lasorda might want to rethink his position by becoming familiar with Tony La Russa’s experience with Mark McGwire eight years ago. When McGwire was summoned to appear before a Congressional committee looking into steroids in baseball and repeatedly said, “I’m not here to talk about the past,” La Russa supported his former first baseman, saying he didn’t believe he used steroids.

Sorry, Tony LaRussa you were not a good "baseball person" when defending Mark McGwire from PED allegations.

Jefferson’s comment didn’t come as news to reporters who covered the New York Mets when Piazza was their catcher. They talked about the difference in Piazza’s body, how he looked massive when he got to spring training, then shrunk as the season progressed. They talked about his severe mood swings.

So a player's body was big in Spring Training and then it shrunk as the season progressed and he had less time to lift weights and he lost muscle mass as a result? Crazy!

Maybe Piazza did use PED's, but a player's weight loss or gain can be explained as the season goes along. Baseball players spend hours in the hot sun playing baseball and don't have as much time to lift weights during the season to keep up their muscle mass. Some players may gain weight and other players may start to lose some of the muscle mass.

Even more noticeable than the size of his body was the acne that covered Piazza’s back. His fans have made a practice of ridiculing me when I have mentioned the acne, but acne is a telltale sign of steroids use.

Bacne is also a telltale sign of a player wearing a tight jersey in the hot sun which causes oil to accumulate on his body, which can result in a breakout of acne. Bacne is also a sign that a person is simply prone to bacne. It is also a sign of steroid use, but there are other explanations for bacne as well, and this simply isn't quite the smoking gun for Piazza's PED use that Murray believes it to be.

There was another telltale sign. When baseball began testing for steroids – not before but when – Piazza’s acne disappeared and his back was completely clear and as smooth as a baby’s butt.

Piazza was also in his mid-30's when baseball started testing for steroids, so it is entirely possible that as he got older his body started producing less oil and his bacne disappeared for this reason. If Murray took the time to look he would see that Piazza's statistics still looked pretty good for a player his age after baseball started testing for steroids. I think a telltale sign of steroid use would be if Piazza's statistics took a dramatic dip since he was no longer using steroids and had gotten older. Logic would dictate his numbers would take a significant dip for both of these reasons and Piazza's numbers didn't take quite the dip one would expect.

Had Piazza agreed to an interview this week, I would love to have had the opportunity to ask him about his back and the timing and disappearance of his acne.

Gee, and I wonder why he didn't put himself in a position to prove a negative in an interview with Murray? Piazza would never sufficiently explain his bacne to Murray and so it would be pointless for Murray to even ask him questions on the issue. Murray has made up his mind that Piazza is guilty and trying to prove a negative in an interview is a pointless exercise for Piazza.

The publisher, on the other hand, should care for the same reason, but neither Mr. Simon nor Mr. Schuster wants to ruffle Piazza’s feathers, you know, the ones left from the steroids.

It seems everyone is afraid of Mike Piazza except for Murray Chass. There's nothing to fear when you have the strength of the Bacne Defense.

I know from experience that when I write about Piazza and steroids, especially the acne part, I can expect to be inundated with a torrent of e-mail responses from Piazza’s zealous fans.

I will not be writing in to Murray, but I disagree with him and certainly am not a zealous Piazza fan. I like how Murray frames anyone who disagrees with him on Piazza's PED use as biased because they are a Piazza fan. I am not a Mike Piazza fan and I disagree with Murray. If anyone is being a zealot concerning Piazza and his use of steroids then it is Murray Chass. He is the one who is constantly writing about Piazza's steroid use being definitive because of the circumstantial evidence due to Piazza's bacne. Murray seems to the zealot in this case, out to prove Mike Piazza is a PED user.

There’s never enough time to answer all of the e-mail

Murray is just so busy and his non-blog is just so popular.

so I decided I would try something different. I am going to reply to reader mail before I receive it. A writer friend suggested I could call it not my response but my presponse. So here is my presponse:

I'm confused as to how a "presponse" differs from Murray writing a column on his non-blog about the subject, but maybe that is just me.

I know that you don’t agree with my view; in fact, I know that it offends you.

It doesn't offend anyone, they just disagree. It's possible to dislike a point of view and not be offended by that point of view.

You certainly are entitled to your opinion, and I don’t begrudge you your opinion. But you are not objective, and you are willingly blind to whatever your hero might have done.

Mike Piazza isn't my hero and Murray Chass is doing an excellent job of trolling right now. If anyone isn't objective then it is Murray Chass. He covered Mike Piazza when he worked in the New York media and he bases his suspicions of Piazza's PED use mostly on his own assumptions and Piazza's bacne. That doesn't sound objective to me. It sounds like Murray is providing his own proof to reach a conclusion he wants to reach. I think it is hilarious that Murray believes anyone who defends Piazza sees Piazza as a hero.
If he cheated, he cheated, and he deserves whatever negative consequence that befalls him.

Yes, but what if Piazza didn't cheat? Isn't that a slight possibility as well since nothing has been proven? What consequences befall Murray Chass for consistently linking Piazza to and accusing Piazza of PED use?

If you want to ignore the acne and make excuses for it and invent reasons for its sudden disappearance, please feel free to engage in any fantasy you desire.

There's no need to ignore the acne or invent reasons for its sudden disappearance when these both can be explained by non-PED use. It doesn't mean Mike Piazza didn't use steroids, but this simply means bacne isn't the smoking gun that Murray Chass relies so heavily upon it being.

Comments? Please send email to

Actually, don't email Murray. His preresponse says that all you ignorant morons think of Mike Piazza as a hero and that's the only reason you wouldn't make the same assumptions he makes based on circumstantial evidence. 


Mike Lum said...

The guy is just a blogger, shouldn't he lose his voting privileges when he is no longer a baseball writer. Jack Morris was only a good player Murr, eat shit and get dysentery.

JimA said...

I guess he also believes someone would only purchase a book about an individual if that individual was their hero.

Which explains why there are no books about Murray Chass.

Bengoodfella said...

Mike, you would think. Fortunately for Murray it is a good thing that bloggers are becoming more accepted in the mainstream because that means he still gets a HoF vote.

Jim, very well done. I wish I thought of that one.

waffleboy said...

If it was up to me they wouldn't allow baseball writers who were working during the steroids era to vote on the players. First of all, none of these guys were able to break the biggest baseball story in the last 50 years, even though the guys who were doing it swelled up like ticks in front of their very eyes. Also if you let guys like Murray decide who gets into the Hall of Fame you end up with situations like this where Murray Chase gets to pretty much arbitrarily decide who was a dirty bacene cheater, and who was a gritty gamer who played the game the right way, when you just know a lot of what goes into Murray's thought process is who would give him a good quote back in the day.
Also, if Murray Chase stopped writing about the Baseball Hall of Fame would he cease to exist?