Mike Piazza and the Steroid Issue

If you missed it, loyal MetsToday commenter “Walnutz15″ unearthed a New York Times article from 2002 that collected responses from New York baseball players regarding the then-recently published Sports Illustrated story focused on Ken Caminiti and steroids in MLB.

To refresh your memory (or add to it, depending on your age), SI published a controversial story about steroids in baseball (written by Tom Verducci), based primarily on conversations with Caminiti, Jose Canseco, and other admitted steroid users. If you haven’t read it, you should — and you should read it once a year, right around this time, while considering whether certain players from a certain era should or shouldn’t be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Why? Because it paints a very clear picture of what was happening in baseball (MLB, minors, college, and yes, high school) at that time. I can confidently support the article because I speak from personal experience; I played with and against young men who “juiced” — at the high school, college, semipro and pro levels — and I can tell you that at least a few of them went from marginal amateur prospects to #1 draft picks and/or MLB players as a direct result of taking steroids. No, I’m not naming names; but as an example, I watched one individual go from throwing 84 MPH as a high school senior to 97 MPH as a college junior — and not because he hit a natural growth spurt or learned better mechanics. So anyone who claims that steroids can’t artificially improve a baseball player’s skill set, probably has never stepped foot on a regulation baseball field and seen the effects first-hand (and that would account for about 90% of all beat writers/bloggers/broadcasters/pundits and 99% of all BBWAA HOF voters).

Now, back to the NY Times article, which is still compelling as we review it almost ten years later. Among the players quoted — who expressed their anger over Caminiti’s expose and steadfastly denied using steroids themselves — included (among others) Jason Giambi, Mo Vaughn, Mike Stanton, and Mike Piazza. Interesting group, eh?

Just for kicks, let’s look at a few of those quotes.

The Yankees’ Jason Giambi said: ”This is a sport that’s about flexibility and staying healthy.”

”The one common thread that all the greats of the game have had is longevity,” he added. ”You don’t get that by taking shortcuts. You get that by working hard.”

Shortcuts, no. Hard work plus PEDs, though, can make one better than the all-time greats, and provide more longevity.

Mike Stanton, the Yankees’ player representative, noted that privacy issues were one argument against testing, but he added, ”I think it’s a concern for everybody.”

Yes, and it is also concerning that an MLBPA rep was an HGH user. No wonder the MLBPA refused to allow testing for so long, if the leaders were using.

Mo Vaughn said he never used steroids and was angry that Caminiti was making his admission after his playing career and ”belittling other people’s success.”

Mo probably wasn’t lying about steroids — he “was afraid of big needles” according to his HGH supplier Kirk Radomski.

Regarding, and from, Piazza:

Catcher Mike Piazza, who finished second in the M.V.P. voting behind Caminiti in 1996, repeatedly questioned why Caminiti was coming clean after retirement.

”It’s good for Ken that he’s at least getting his life back on track,” Piazza said about Caminiti, a recovering alcoholic and former drug user. ”From what I understand, steroids were one of the more milder things he’s done in his life.”

Piazza has said he briefly used androstenedione early in his career, stopping when he did not see a drastic change in his muscle mass. He said he had never used steroids because ”I hit the ball as far in high school as I do now.”

”If being big and strong is a prerequisite to hitting 70 home runs,” Piazza said, ”you’d have every Mr. Olympian contestant coming out because God knows there’s no money in body building, at least not the money we make.”

Uh-oh … Piazza admitted to using Andro. That’s a steroid, folks. And he stopped using it because “he did not see a drastic change in his muscle mass”. However, Piazza eventually found SOMETHING that caused a “drastic change”, considerng that he gained 20 pounds of mass the winter before the 1998 season.

Why am I unearthing the “old” steroid issue and dragging Mike Piazza through the mud now? Partly because of the hypocrisy of the recent Hall of Fame voting, partly because Walnutz15 pointed out a relevant tidbit from yesteryear, and also because Murray Chass has reopened the can of worms. You may remember Chass — a former New York Times columnist — stirred up controversy by discussing Piazza’s “bacne”. This past week, Chass re-hashed the debate, pointing out that Piazza (along with several other suspected PEDs users) will be eligible for the HOF vote in two years. Interestingly, Piazza’s biography should be published right before the vote; my guess is that the book will clear Piazza of any wrongdoing, and position him as a legitimate HOF candidate.

Since Piazza is near and dear to our hearts as Mets fans, and this is more interesting than discussing Boof Bonser‘s chances of making the 2011 rotation, please provide your comments. Do think Piazza’s admission to using Andro should keep him out of the Baseball Hall of Fame, since a similar admission has cost Mark McGwire HOF votes? What if it comes out that Piazza used other PEDs — does he deserve to be a “Hall of Famer”?

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Ryan January 9, 2011 at 3:55 pm
    “adversely improve” is a contradiction of terms. artificially maybe?
    • Joe January 9, 2011 at 6:19 pm
      Good catch. I’m editing it, thank you.
  2. will January 9, 2011 at 4:49 pm
    Absolute nonsense. If you know names, then name them. Your baseless speculation is useless and counterproductive. Also, just because you played with “suspected users” doesn’t give you any special authority. When you get your degree in pharmacology, report back to us.
    • Joe January 9, 2011 at 6:18 pm
      The point of this article is not to “name names”.

      I have more “special authority” than jackasses who never set foot on a field yet claim that steroids don’t improve baseball playing performance.

  3. paco January 9, 2011 at 5:35 pm
    andro is not a steroid.it is nothing compared to steroids. over the counter junk that doesnt work.
    • Joe January 9, 2011 at 6:14 pm
      Oh, my bad. Guess you just can’t trust Wikipedia for anything.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Androstenedione

      The FDA describes it as a “steroid precursor”:
      http://www.fda.gov/food/guidancecomplianceregulatoryinformation/complianceenforcement/ucm081788.htm

      More to confuse things is this article on Rice U’s server:
      http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/andro.html

      • metsopolis January 10, 2011 at 10:13 am
        You really should edit this post. Saying Piazza took steroids based on that article is false.

        Please do your homework before “dragging Piazza through the mud” over him using OTC substances.

        • Joe Janish January 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm
          I didn’t say Piazza took steroids — Piazza said he took steroids. Maybe he should go back and edit his history.
        • Donal January 10, 2011 at 4:06 pm
          No, he said he took Andro.

          Perhaps that requires further investigation, since Andro does act as a masking agent. But it is not an admission of steroid use itself. Andro was believed to have other benefits (which now seem to be just marketing gimmicks).

        • metsopolis January 10, 2011 at 6:59 pm
          You’re getting ripped apart here. At least you’re getting a lot of blog traffic for speculation.
  4. Tony January 9, 2011 at 5:36 pm
    Andro comes in many forms!! “Early” in Piazza’s career it was not a banned substance and was in many over the counter supplements. It does not surprise me that he stopped using it when he didn’t see a noticeable difference in mass because if your lifting, that is a main purpose.

    Many players felt the mass limited their movement and hurt more than it helped, so they stopped.

    I used to lift, and even with the supplements and strict regimented workouts I was gaining slowly when compared to a point in my life where following cancer treatments I was put on a Combination of a prescription steriod, and synthetic testosterone. The steriod caused me to gain a great deal of muscle and fat, when I my treatments allowed I stopped taking it, and took only the synthetic testosterone, because chemo killed my natural levels..

    My shoulders grew four inches in width in 6 months. It’s in the same family of the “clear” that Barry bonds took. Also got much stronger in general.

    In other words I respect Joe’s analysis, but understanding the medical side, I’m not ready to judge piazza yet, especially considering his swing, his power came from his wrists, and he had been squeezing those grips hundreds of times a week since HS.

    • Joe January 9, 2011 at 6:23 pm
      Tony, thanks for sharing your personal experience.

      One thing though — power in a baseball swing comes from more than just the wrists. And while squeezing those grips hundreds of times a week will make the forearms / wrists stronger, every human has a limit to how strong he/she can get. One of the reasons people take PEDs is to artificially go beyond those limits.

      • Walnutz15 January 9, 2011 at 11:56 pm
        When I look at Piazza’s 1st 2 years in A-ball, I see decent numbers.

        He hit for some power, but certainly wasn’t a .320+ hitter.

        Taking a look:

        http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/P/mike-piazza.shtml

        My belief is that Piazza probably loaded up on something somewhere in his minor league career (probably continued at some point later on, as more potent stuff made its way around the league) — and his admission of Andro use is more or less direct proof that he’d used “supplements” that bordered on steroids, to begin with.

        His numbers spike big-time by his 3rd year in A-Ball…and if some want to look at it as “natural progression” as a ball-player, that’s fine.

        What may have boiled down to aesthetic-looks for Piazza (muscle mass) — may have also resulted in increased bat speed, jam-shots that turned into dunkers over the infield cutout, and warning-track fly balls that may have instead sailed over the wall.

        Hence, an increase in not only batting average, but in power as well….

        Again, nobody’s saying that ALL of these guys have taken stuff everyday of their careers. But for some, PED’s can mean the difference between getting to The Show or not….getting drafted, or getting a job in “the real world”.

        **cough** Piazza **cough**

        To subscribe to the theory that any of today’s stars is “completely clean” throughout their entire professional voyage — is pretty naive. Like you, Joe – I had a teammate in the late 90’s who is still pitching for mega-millions somewhere….and will remain nameless…..he was taking “gorilla hormones” when we were in H.S.

        hmmm….”gorilla hormones” – you say?

        G.H. — where have we heard those initials before?

        Growth Hormone, perhaps?

        It was all over the place then. And what’s to say that guys fighting for millions….and fame in the game didn’t take them to keep their jobs?

        We’ve seen a ton of exposition since then.

        Only problem is……..MLB never really had an iron-clad policy — so in essence, they made their own mess.

        I just think it’s interesting that there’s a list out there of hundreds of players, who will remain under wraps due to confidentiality clauses. Pick and choose until that time, and it’ll always be an un-level plain in terms of Cooperstown — and players who actually “matter” in the history of the game.

        • Joe Janish January 10, 2011 at 12:35 am
          Wow — Piazza went from 1 HR for every 45 ABs to one every 15 in one year. That’s pretty remarkable. But, he did squeeze those grips hundreds of times a week.

          As I’m equally confident that Piazza went from 200 lbs. to 240 of solid muscle in two years thanks to a dedicated weight training program and met-rx.

        • goquakers January 10, 2011 at 12:05 pm
          Joe,

          First the 1 HR per 45 is right after 1 HR per 24.5 in his first year of pro ball, which is the makings of big time power. It is also a really small sample size. Piazza’s power jumped as he moved to a better hitting environment. Also, he was 20, 21 years old, when people legitimately can gain a lot of muscle in one year.

          Is it possible Piazza used? Of course. Given his excellence after being not much of a prospect, there is decent circumstantial evidence. But the evidence is just that, circumstantial. Same with Bagwell and same with loads others, some of whom no doubt used, some of whom no doubt didn’t. Absent better evidence, however, equating vague circumstantial evidence with steroids use is akin to slander.

        • Joe Janish January 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm
          Can you slander someone in the comments of a blog? Particularly when the person in question already admitted to taking a performance enhancer?
        • Joe A. January 10, 2011 at 7:03 pm
          Not sure if you really wanted an answer to that, but the answer is YES.
        • Alan January 10, 2011 at 7:58 pm
          Anyone can speculate about anything. Circumstantial or not, it is not proof. We can all find “truth” in statistics, which can be manipulated and “interpreted” to show what we wish to illustrate–but the fact is that until concrete blood or urine tests are released, it is ALL speculation.

          It’s disgusting people use suppositions to write articles about others. Piazza is first and foremost a person with feelings. Andro is not a steroid; it’s a precursor. Are we splitting hairs? Not really–it is or it isn’t a steroid. It is not. It is related biochemically, but so are many other substances.

          It was also not an MLB-banned substance when he experimented with it. But just writing “Piazza admited to using andro” and then “andro is a steroid” (or even a “steroid precursor”) is an attempt to indict in the court of public opinion. And that’s not just wrong, it’s disgusting. Come on, people.

          Come on, JOE…be a responsible journalist. Making such “associations” is just plain unfair and leaves discerning people questioning other things you write, as well. That, too, is a shame, because I’ve enjoyed your analyses and posts.

          For the record, I am personally against steroid use and believe it came close to destroying the game. I do not believe steroid users belong in the HOF.

  5. Rob January 9, 2011 at 9:50 pm
    There was an article in Sports Illustrated many years ago where the writer took all of the PED’s that were the subject of today’s conversations (i.e., HGH, testosterone, etc.) and he basically showed that the drugs did in fact improve his body (his eyesight, his reflexes, his ability to recover, etc.). Based upon that article, there’s no doubt in my mind that the PED’s of today do in fact help players to recover quicker, hit balls farther, run faster and throw harder. While one could argue that hitting a baseball is still a skill that you can’t take a drug to create, let’s accept that all baseball players can hit to one degree or another. The PED’s just enhance that skill.

    Whether Piazza took them or not has yet to be proven. He certainly had tremendous upper body strength, since he never really used his legs to hit. But he retained that strength throughout his career. If he took andro for a short time, I doubt that it helped him later in his career. But who knows. I’m just glad that I don’t have to make the HOF decisions.

    Thanks, Joe and keep up the great thoughts while we wait for the next big Mets signing to be announced.

  6. Walnutz15 January 9, 2011 at 11:40 pm
    I’ve always seen this as one of the most biased conversations I’ve ever had with fellow Met fans.

    An overwhelming majority will almost always choose to turn a blind-eye to the possibility, yet anyone who’s ever been around a locker room knows: Andro was illegal in most professional sports (not to mention: banned by them) at that very time.

    Not MLB, of course – but that’s where most of their problems are going to lie. Andro, like Creatine…was one of the most popular “masking agents” around the gym in the late 90’s.

    Just think it’s interesting that people come down so… hard on certain players, even when they’re just “suspected” – while one of our own gets off scott-free in the eyes of so many.

    ……Like parents who subscribe to the “Not my kid!” theory.

    It’s really not surprising that Piazza wouldn’t delve into any of this in the book he plans on writing, simply because it’d open up a tremendous can of worms….and no doubt, cast more suspicion his way as Cooperstown becomes more of a reality.

    No, it doesn’t “prove” anything – other than the fact that he used a substance that wasn’t yet banned by MLB. It could lead to a ton of questions, and definitely is a cause for suspicion, in my opinion.

    Just like a large majority of MLB at the time, I firmly believe Mike Piazza used Performance-Enhancers – and that many Met fans are in flat-out denial when it comes to his name and this stuff because he’s “one of ours”.

    Really, MLB made their own bed……and as the years pass, they’re going to see The Hall become even more of a dog and pony show as a result.

    Keep in mind, that when I used to find syringes in the desk of my roommate at school…..playing for a Division-1 program in the Northeast — I don’t really think it’s out of the realm of possibility that a privileged kid who wasn’t really going anywhere with his baseball career (Piazza couldn’t hack it at Miami, and turned to JUCO at one point) could have turned to performance enhancers to improve his chances.

    It’s just something I’ll always believe, and think that we’ll see more of a “witch hunt” on Piazza as his time comes closer.

    Whether or not anything comes to light? That remains to be seen.

    • Joe Janish January 10, 2011 at 12:14 am
      Good points, ‘nutz, and thanks again for sparking this post.

      Funny, I had forgotten that creatine was/is used as a masking agent (people who use diuretics to flush out evidence of drugs tend to show low levels of creatine, so they take creatine to avoid suspicion). I didn’t forget, though, that there were dozens of MLBers singing the praises of creatine in the mid- and late-1990s. Nice cover.

      • Dr. Dave January 10, 2011 at 12:19 pm
        Joe,
        Please stop discussing drugs and supplements as though you have any idea of the pharmacology. You are just spreading half-truths and bullshit. Creatine in essence is labeled as a builder. It is not a steroid it is one of the body’s building blocks for energy. Creatine was actually used to bulk up because it draws water into the muscles and thus makes you appear artificially bigger and can help gain 10-15 lbs of water weight. The diuretics you are talking about are a whole other class of drugs.
        And you are never tested for creatine but creatine can have an effect on your CREATININE (a measure of kidney function).
        Please stop.
        • Joe Janish January 10, 2011 at 1:52 pm
          Thank you “Doctor” Dave — I’m guessing YOU are a pharmacoloogist? I hope not because although you do understand how creatine affects creatinine, you don’t understand why a drug user would take it. And that’s a scary thought that a doctor wouldn’t understand how the two are related.

          People who use diuretics to flush their system of drugs (be they steroids, cocaine, THC, whatever) could show low levels of the creatinine that you mention. That low level of creatinine can be a red flag, suggesting that the person has taken a diuretic to flush their system quickly. So in turn, they take creatine with the hopes that it will raise their creatinine levels back to normal. It’s a big shell game.

          I’m happy to stop talking about drugs. It would be great if you would stop also — but that’s your prerogative.

      • Mets8619 January 10, 2011 at 6:40 pm
        You’re a clown Janish. Ando is not a steroid and was legal back in the 90’s.
    • Ceetar January 10, 2011 at 8:50 am
      Sure. he probably did something. They ALL probably did something. Piazza, Jeter, Rivera, even probably Rey Ordonez.

      At least point the Hall has made it about reputation. I don’t think Piazza has enough suspicions outside of that idiot Chass to keep him out of the hall, especially when he’ll be standing next to Bonds and Clemens during voting time.

      It’s always been my stance that you should put them all in and let us determine the context rather than keep the cheaters out, or i should say, keep the “bad” cheaters out and only let the ones that got away with it in.

  7. Walnutz15 January 10, 2011 at 12:34 am
    Anytime, Joe – this is something I frequently discuss with co-workers, whenever new names come out in the Steroid Saga.

    “Speculation” is all we’re going on, that is – until there are positive tests on a player.

    I’m sure there were plenty of people saying that A-Rod was completely clean throughout his entire professional journey as well.

    ….And we saw how that went.

    Don’t be surprised, is all I’m saying…..and always do, whenever the subject is dismissed by an expert defense attorney (lol).

    Anyone who’s ever been around the culture of steroids, PED’s, etc. knows that aesthetics can be part of it — but that the recovery time, and quicker results aspect of it all is what drives users.

    Guys I know still take them to play sandlot ball, or hang out at the beach – and they’re in their 30’s working city jobs……stupidity.

    Just because Piazza was 6′ 3″ and built doesn’t mean he “HAD” to take anything…..what I’m saying is that Andro use was admitted to, and there has been plenty of precedent about what Andro can do for you…..especially when used like Creatine was, as a masking substance.

    Whether it was ever used as a masking agent for anything else…..Brady’s “creatine” use…..or A-Rod “not knowing” he was taking a steroid that leans and cuts you up…..we won’t know until there’s a positive test.

    I feel it’s a definite possibility for Piazza. And a bunch of juicebags I speak with every-day feel the same.

    The difference between andro, and the more common “steroids,” tagline we hear is virtually nothing at all….because so many who used one, used the other.

    Andro’s now classified as a steroid — and has been banned for the longest time in professional football, the Olympics, and even collegiate athletics — provided your program tested for it.

    Which would make sense that Piazza likely would have waited until he actually got to the professional ranks of baseball — considering Miami would’ve tested him during his stint there in college.

    To a much lesser extent, the JUCO he transferred to probably never even broached the subject.

    MLB didn’t ban Andro until much later on than the other sports. This we know, 100%.

    Just because it wasn’t banned, didn’t mean he wasn’t getting the same “edge” as some of these other guys being classified as “cheaters”.

    And what we know of masking….it wouldn’t exactly be shocking to find out along the line that his name’s on a list somewhere.

    Steroid use is ridiculously common amongst ballplayers; something the general public was more than naive to through the years – pre-exposition.

    And if we did everything that these clowns in the media want to do with asterisks, re-awarding of awards, naming it “The Steroid Era” (what a revelation…sarcasm here) etc — then every record-book ever compiled would be “tainted”.

    We shall see…..and if not, then more power to Piazza. I don’t buy it.

  8. LongTimeFan January 10, 2011 at 7:55 am
    Hey Joe, I’m suspecting you too took steroids. I mean, you played with and against others who took them, so that must mean you took them too. Well maybe you didn’t, but I think you did. Something must account for your arrogance or were you just born that way?

    Aside you and Piazza, let’s look at several others who must have taken steroids:

    Stan Musial – From one homer every 179.3 AB’s across three minor league seasons, including 1 in 405 AB’s in 1940, to 1 every 27 AB’s in 1941, but he did squeeze those grips hundreds of times a week.

    Cal Ripkin – 1 homer every 57.8 AB’s in 1979 in the minors and then sudden jump to on every 20.8 in 1980 but did squeeze those grips hundreds of times a week.

    Mickey Mantle – From one homer every 46.1 AB’s in 1949, to one every 19.97 the following season but he did squeeze those grips hundreds of times a week while he guzzled his booze.

    Johnny Mize – 1 homer every 50.6 AB’s in the minors in 1932, to one every 17.9 AB’s in the minors the following season but he did squeeze the heck out of those grips millions of times per week.

    Piazza – one homer every 45.3 AB’s in 1990, followed by one every 15.4 AB”s in 1991.

    The difference between Piazza and these other folks is that you’d like to believe he also stayed in a Holiday Inn because you say so.

    • Joe Janish January 10, 2011 at 1:34 pm
      Nice research, thank you for opening my eyes.

      Did Stan Musial gain 40 pounds of muscle in two years? Did Mantle? Mize?

      • Pat January 10, 2011 at 6:51 pm
        So now its 40lbs of muscle..it is amazing how you change numbers to fabricate what you want. Earlier you mentioned Piazza gained 20lbs of muscle…its that fact or is that fabricated as well. It must suck always thinking the worst of people.
    • Joe Janish January 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm
      No I didn’t take steroids, nor creatine, nor any other illegal performance enhancer, so my “arrogance” is 100% natural!
  9. Matthew Cerrone January 10, 2011 at 8:53 am
    Instead, the question I’m always asking myself is: Do I want to know the truth about any of this? What do I gain as a person, a fan who enjoys watching baseball as entertainment and an escape from reality? How does the truth help or make that experience?
    • Joe Janish January 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm
      So instead of finding the truth you prefer to stick your head in the sand? How does that help you as a fan?

      But this doesn’t have anything to do with fandom — the main subject of argument is the Hall of Fame vote. The voters have the option to stick their heads in the sand, too, and vote in people who cheated. Or, maybe they don’t care about the cheating — which makes sense, since they didn’t care to write about the suspicions while it was happening.

      In which case, Mark McGwire should be getting more votes for HOF (even if he’s not inducted — surely there are many not voting for him precisely b/c of the PEDs issue), Rafael Palmeiro should get in, Roger Clemens should get in, etc.

      • mrtasan January 10, 2011 at 8:27 pm
        now you know how much of a douchebag he is
      • Moses January 11, 2011 at 2:13 pm
        There is no proof Mike Piazza ever did steriods, I don’t care what your assumptions are. 20 lbs is not a crazy amount for a guy who just entered his prime. He was always a strong dude, but not McGwire,Bonds, or Sosa huge.

        Mike Piazza is a beloved Met, if he did it or not, the memories he created will never be tarnished.

        He is a clear-cut hall of famer.

  10. Walnutz15 January 10, 2011 at 9:12 am
    The thing is, we’ve already been fed the truth about certain guys — who have paid the price in the voting.

    Seeing an obvious double-standard is what troubles me most. Like the people who conveniently forget that certain guys had things come up in their tests.

    Why does it apply to some, yet is forgotten about with others? Not talking about Piazza, but in the instance of an Andy Pettitte….he got nabbed, and didn’t “only use it once” (sorry, can’t take an ounce of truth with that).

    Same deal with guys like A-Rod and Manny….I hear people talk about them as shoo-in’s for Cooperstown all the time — yet there have been failed tests/revelations about them.

    I see them both as HOF’ers, by the way. Just can’t stand the — “six of one”/”half-dozen of another” mentality. It’s all the same in the end.

  11. Mike January 10, 2011 at 11:08 am
    The McGwire argument at the end is irrelevant. Big Mac wont be in the hall because he doesn’t deserve to be. Not because he used creatine. Piazza shouldn’t feel bad for being a hall of famer over McGwire. McGwire has a ring and numerous records and moments that Piazza never will. Not at all do I feel bad for McGwire.
  12. Curtis January 10, 2011 at 12:15 pm
    As a follower of Syracuse basketball, every October we’re treated to stories about two or three players who’ve added 25 lbs of muscle mass over the preceding seven months. Am I supposed to believe that these guys are juicing?

    Innocent until proven guilty. And screw confidentiality. People who ‘know’ and tests that reveal should go public. That’s the only way to ever get a level playing field, not innuendo and backbiting. Joe, you’re acting the same way as the writers who ‘knew’ and get silent. You’re not part of the solution; you’re part of the problem.

    I’m going to do some wrist exercises now.

    • Joe Janish January 10, 2011 at 2:02 pm
      25 pounds of muscle mass in 7 months is close to a biological impossibility for a fully grown man. Maybe 25 pounds of weight — including fat, water, and muscle.

      At the same time, many college kids still have some growing to do, so it’s possible for them to gain that much weight in a short amount of time if they hit a spurt, combined with engaging in an intense, world-class training program for what’s likely the first time in their life.

      But if someone is done growing, has already been training for many years, and suddenly puts on 25 pounds of mostly muscle, I’m suspicious.

      • goquakers January 10, 2011 at 5:48 pm
        Many college kids, but apparently not Mike Piazza when he was the same age? Also, the workout supplement issue with Andro is a red herring, as Andro was never illegal (like steroids without prescription) or banned at the time Piazza said he used it.
      • Paul January 11, 2011 at 12:13 am
        If you have the right frame type, work ethic, and eat the correct way it would not be hard to gain 20 LBS in a month without steroids. I am a 24yr old male and have been training for years, I gained 25lbs of muscle mass going from 180-205 in 3 months using only creatine ( I’m 6’1). Granted I did lose that muscle due to a serious surgery, the fact is it is as fathomable someone could gain 20 lbs in a years time. If Piazza were using steroids (which is a possibility) with his frame 6’3 200lbs (per baseball-reference) it would be easy for him to gain that amount of weight. Didn’t David Wright gain 20 lbs last off-season? He’s only 6’0 210lbs and it would be much harder for a person of his stature to maintain that size. Especially with MLB’s current testing it seems more than likely David did it legally. So a spike in weight is not a accurate measure for steroid use. I mean if someone went from eating 2000 calories a day to 4000 calories and ate lean, healthy, with a large amount of protein they could gain a ton a mass within a a couple months. That being said if you were in the MLB in the 90s you would probably be stupid not to take steroids because I would take any legal (which it was) advantage I could get. Is it much different then taking amphetamines in the 50s? Artificial advantage is an artificial advantage should MIckey Mantle, Hank Aaron, or Ralph Kiner be under this same scrutiny as players of the 90s?
        • Joe Janish January 11, 2011 at 2:10 am
          First off, I doubt you gained 25 pounds of “muscle mass” in 3 months. You might have gained 25 pounds in that period, but it was water, fat, and muscle. Likewise, yes, a person can gain 25 pounds in a month, but it would be mostly water and fat.

          As for artificial advantage, you can have your opinion but mine is that there is a significant difference between amphetamines and steroids. Greenies will make you more alert and “hyped up”, but they can’t make your body swing a bat faster or throw a ball harder than you’re naturally capable. Steroids, on the other hand, completely change your biology and can push you far beyond your natural limits. Greenies don’t help a hitter go from 15 homers to 50, but steroids can.

  13. micalpalyn January 10, 2011 at 12:29 pm
    Piazza was the best catcher ever…nuff said

    PS: Back to present day….CB for Kazmir…just floating one out there.

    • Joe Janish January 10, 2011 at 1:33 pm
      You mean the best hitter who squatted behind the plate. The best catcher ever was Johnny Bench.
  14. Walnutz15 January 10, 2011 at 12:50 pm
    By the same token, many feel that Barry Bonds was “the best outfielder ever…nuff said” — your comment hasn’t truly provided anything to the discussion, and actually takes away from it in an attempt to talk about another completely different topic.

    Do you throw all of these guys in the same bucket….say Piazza was found to have used a performance-enhancer. Does that change your statement that he’s “the best catcher ever”?

    In having played at a high-level of competition, I’ve seen plenty of steroid use. Whether or not it helped someone get drafted, signed, or even crack a starting position – depended on the actual talent of the player…..and how much they were able to raise their game.

    In terms of Major League Baseball – on contrast to all other major sports, I think it’s beyond weird how some athletes will get a pass from the public (typically home team fans)……

    It seems as though it’s tied to how they handle it: meaning if you “come clean” or say “I used it once” – or something to that effect, the public lets it go a bit easier.

    If you “deny, deny, deny” then sportswriters will keep hounding you until something comes out in the press.

    A few things about the whole topic that annoy me:

    1) athletes in the other major sports are not held to the same steroid standard…….guys get caught using steroids or enhancers — and in the same season, a player can win a prestigious award/be praised by the press without much of a problem.

    2) The single season home-run record may never be broken again. Thats a baseball star’s “American Dream”-type number; a magical record for me growing up (probably the first stat i ever learned from my Uncle).

    Interesting to read over on Mike Silva’s blog – there’s a radio interview with Jeff Pearlman (of Sports Illustrated) on the site:

    “I also brought up the accusations about Mike Piazza and steroids, citing some reasons why it could be possible that Piazza is not a user. Jeff against believes that Piazza did “more than just Androstenedione, legal in the nineties, and said, in his opinion, that the thought a case for Piazza being clean is “laughable.”

    http://nybaseballdigest.com/?p=32984

    My thoughts are in-line with Mr. Pearlman’s. Was just the nature of the game…running rampant.

  15. Gideon January 10, 2011 at 4:10 pm
    Given the two days’ worth of discussion on the topic, I’m surprised no one’s talked about greenies, yet, the amphetamines players in the 70’s and 80’s took to make sure they stayed on the field. Rob Neyer and Jim Caple, of ESPN.com, waxed eloquently and fervently on the subject this past week:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/6738/change-will-roll-into-the-hall-someday

    The gist of it? Performance-enhancers, legal or not, have been in the game for decades. Star players from that Greenies era have gained induction to the HOF, or at the very least, aren’t vulnerable to vitriol of angry writers and fans. Barring a rebuttal to the Neyer/Caple stances above, I feel it’s hypocritical to condemn players as cheaters from this so-called Steroid Era.

    Poor role models, perhaps? Sure, the stuff can ravage a human body–look no further than the late Ken Caminiti. but do the fans or writers really care? Bronson Arroyo, a couple years ago, put it into perspective:

    “According to the report, Arroyo said fans and the media seem more concerned with the sanctity of the game’s records than whether the substances will hurt players later on.

    ‘I can see where guys like Hank Aaron and some of the old-timers have a beef with it….But as far as looking at Manny Ramirez like he’s Ted Bundy, you’re out of your mind.

    “At the end of the day, you think anybody really [cares] whether Manny Ramirez’s kidneys fail and he dies at 50? You were happy if the Red Sox won 95 games. You’d go home, have a cookout with your family. No big deal.’

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4396083

    Moreover, if we ARE going to exclude Steroid Era players, we can’t exclusively indict the ones “built like a house.” Gaining muscle mass is only one way to use ‘roids. Wasn’t the first player to publicly test positive for steroids one Alex Sanchez, a speedster? Why aren’t we putting Roberto Alomar under the microscope? He came from the same era!

    So, my thoughts are, as warped as this era was, we put the best from every generation of ball players into the Hall. Whether they used or not, the best of the best still bust their butts, and for those that used, put their bodies on the line for the game. Some might say a paycheck, but that’s part of the game.

    To otherwise exclude them would be hypocritical.

    All the same, I appreciate everyone’s feelings about punishing users, knowing that some of you and Joe, played on that same diamond.

    • Joe Janish January 11, 2011 at 1:08 am
      Gideon, thank you very much for being one of the few commenters who have stuck to the argument presented, and providing thought-provoking points.
  16. Walnutz15 January 10, 2011 at 4:24 pm
    While “greenies” and other amphetamines of the day are in a whole different stratosphere than hardcore enhancers, such as winstrol, deca, and other steroids….I do believe that either all of the players who are “Cooperstown worthy” should ultimately get in.

    I agree, 100% with Arroyo’s take. Which is why it’s such a joke that these guys cling to the stories they spin (Bonds, Clemens, et al) — it’s why there’s so much venom directed at them.

    They played the general public, and most baseball fans for fools….in believing them hook, line, and sinker for stuff that was obvious.

  17. Walnutz15 January 10, 2011 at 4:26 pm
    (** typo correction**)

    *either all of the players who are “Cooperstown worthy” should ultimately get in, or none of them should.

    Unfortunately, there’s no way to determine this….and players who used may have already gotten in.

    • Donal January 10, 2011 at 5:12 pm
      Well, if that tattle tale book about Mickey Mantle that came out a year or two ago is to be believed, then at least one already did.

      Of course, your mileage may vary with regards to that kind of book.

  18. Donal January 10, 2011 at 5:10 pm
    Considering how anabolic steroids were first synthesized in 1934 and we have documented evidence of many players throughout history injecting, ingesting or somehow putting various things in their bodies, including testicle extracts (no, I’m not joking), does anyone here realy believe that anabolic steroids and other artificial PEDs didn’t become en vogue in MLB until the 1980s?

    Really?

    Because if so, I have a bridge to sell you.

  19. Nathan January 10, 2011 at 5:19 pm
    Of course it is possible that Piazza used PEDs of some sort. It is just as possible that 90% of MLB players betwwen 85 and 03 have tried them. Playing sports by nature is very competitive and young people will do just about anything to get ahead. I mentioned this before but will bring it up again, Piazza’s most compelling evidence against steroids is that he was a Met. I believe that the Mets were a more strict team on PED use. This is not fact just presumption based on the performance of players that signed with us. Burnitz, Bonilla, and Alomar. The sharp decline of their numbers suggests a change. I don’t know what that change was but it was profound.
  20. Joe A. January 10, 2011 at 7:11 pm
    Andro was perfectly legal in baseball at the beginning of Piazza’s career. Remember this story? McGwired used Andro as the cover for his steroid use:

    “Sitting on the top shelf of Mark McGwire’s locker, next to a can of Popeye spinach and packs of sugarless gum, is a brown bottle labeled Androstenedione.

    For more than a year, McGwire says, he has been using the testosterone-producing pill, which is perfectly legal in baseball but banned in the NFL, Olympics and the NCAA.”

    • VL January 10, 2011 at 8:03 pm
      I’m not saying he hasn’t used steroids but can someone produce the actual quote where he admitted to using andro…I have never heard this and I have followed piazzas career and all of these steroids questions surrounding it
      • Joe Janish January 11, 2011 at 1:20 am
        Try reading the post that accompanies all of these comments. You have to read past the title, though. There’s a part about an article in the New York Times; start there and you will find evidence to satisfy your questions.
  21. Jim January 10, 2011 at 7:31 pm
    Joe,

    Thanks for blogging about this and please continue to do so. As painful as the truth can be, I don’t care to have my head in the sand. If I’ve understood correctly, then at the time Piazza claims he took Andro, it was available legally over the counter but was banned by other pro sports and the olympics. One of my main arguments against player’s steroid use has been because it is against federal law. But if andro was legal at the time and every player had legal access to it, then the playing field was level as far as that substance was concerned. If I were a HOF voter, I might need something more to not vote for Piazza. And definitely something more than “bacne” which I would think is an easy thing to get when you’re squatting for nine innings wearing gear and playing in the heat.

  22. MrZoSo January 10, 2011 at 8:17 pm
    You want proof Piazza was not a juice head? Well, no one but Mike Piazza can say for sure, and he has already said no. Maybe Charlie Samuels? Now if we are looking at stats… how about behavior?
    Look at the Clemens incident in the world series. Clemens acting like he just shoot an 8ball of heroin and Piazza looking out at him like he is a lunatic crack smoking whack job. Like most of us normal folk did.
    Not exactly on an equal (shooting up) playing field if you ask me. Why didn’t Piazza hit 70 home runs like Big Mac and Barry? Why didn’t the roids give him the arm strength to throw someone out at second base? Was he not taking enough juice? Was he not as talented as those juice heads? Maybe he was buying cheap Chinese knockoff type roids?
    Pointless subject really, but better than how fast Terry Collins is going to get the axe. Piazza is first ballot IMO, hands down.
  23. CVB January 10, 2011 at 9:07 pm
    Why is it that you are unwilling to name the players you know cheated, but are willing to connect Piazza’s name to this scandal through mere speculation?
  24. Thomas January 10, 2011 at 9:16 pm
    1) Andro. was legal.

    2) If I can put on 10 lbs. of muscle in 4 months of lifting at over 40 years old without taking any supplements at all, a 30 year old world-class athlete can put on a lot more, being capable of much greater strength and greater devotion to training.

    3) Many males get “bacne” when they sweat, esp. if they have back hair.

  25. Mike H January 10, 2011 at 9:33 pm
    You guys are ripping Janish when hes not even the first to mention Piazza and steroids. Pearlman did in his book and Chass has been on it. Where there is smoke there is fire. Im as big a Met fan as anyone but if you think Piazza is clean your nuts. Take a look at past drafts to see how players picked as late as Piazza faired. The vast majority dont even sniff the majors never mind have any success
  26. Kenny January 10, 2011 at 9:36 pm
    Most of you morons wanted no part of Barry Bonds because he was a steroid user. Now you defend Piazza when it’s plainly obvious that he used.

    Piazza was a great player. He used. Get over it.

    • GTL_4_LIFE January 11, 2011 at 9:17 am
      Same deal with Sammy Sosa. Everybody has him “pegged”, but there’s nothing on him. Like Piazza, he ain’t even on the Mitchell Report.

      I bet everybody’s ready to call him a juicer, though. With Piazza’s, it’s the same kind of thing (except with Met fans).

  27. tk January 10, 2011 at 9:38 pm
    That Boof Bonser remark was epic!! Bye!!
  28. kjs January 10, 2011 at 11:00 pm
    My guess: 99% juiced. Just look at the physique of ballplayers when an old Mets Classic is on vs. the NFLesque bodies that suddenly began emerging about 20 years ago.

    Selig and the rest of MLB turned a blind eye. History may have been different if there was no baseball strike in 1994 and the sport was more “secure.”

    But I have an even greater question:

    Why is George Kell in the HOF?

    • Joe Janish January 11, 2011 at 1:13 am
      Now THAT is a subject worth discussing! And after Kell, we should probably talk about Rabbit Maranville …
  29. Mike Kennedy January 10, 2011 at 11:21 pm
    Joe, you make great points in the article, but the venom starts to get spewed when you get attacked on some of your facts. Was is 20 pounds of muscle or 40 pounds? I don’t remember ever seeing Piazza that big. Bacne? I’m 38 years old and still break out occasionally.

    Interesting facts about the homerun increases by Musial, Mantle, Ripken, etc. during their early days. Hard to believe that they were not legit.

    Andro was available OTC and not banned by MLB when Piazza claimed to have taken it, so no problem there.

    I have a problem with you bashing Piazza, but not naming all the players you knew were juicing back in the day. Please don’t cite Wikipedia as your reference points, as my kids routinely add random “facts” to Wiki pages as a joke.

    And it’s hard to put any stock into anything written by someone named Walnutz15. If you are bashing, nay, slandering (libel), someone’s character, and you claim to have facts, you should reveal your name, qualifications and sources. Walnutz15 may be credible, but who wants to believe someone with apparent “keyboard courage”.

    Mike Kennedy
    Evansville, Indiana

    • Joe Janish January 11, 2011 at 1:17 am
      Did I bash Piazza? I’m pretty sure I merely re-published previous quotes from through the years.

      As I read through all these comments I wonder if half the people writing them actually READ THE POST, or are they merely reacting to the title. Because the post had absolutely nothing to do with whether or not Piazza did steroids — the question was whether or not you would vote him in if it came out that he did. It’s a hypothetical question, not an indictment.

  30. Walnutz15 January 10, 2011 at 11:40 pm
    OK, Mr. Kennedy. You’ve obviously shown that you’re the one with the comprehension problem.

    ….Which is why I point directly to an article from the NY Times – in addition to pieces written by Murray Chass, and even a radio interview given by Jeff Pearlman of Sports Illustrated.

    I didn’t make anything up, at all…..and am going on what has been written in the past – supported by my own observations in playing through the years. I’m said it multiple times that until anything comes out in the form of a positive test – or admission, that everything we’re going on is speculation (Bagwell, Piazza, Clemens, Bonds….no matter how obvious/muddled the situation may be).

    No one’s claiming to have “facts”, and the idea that you’re making it that I’m publishing factual information — when I’ve stated time and again that it’s my belief (my opinion) that Piazza used….I don’t even know what to tell ya there, cuz it hasn’t happened.

    Perfect example of the expert defense attorneys we see online these days, Joe. “Keyboard courage” – lol…it’s a friggin’ sports-blog, no different from any internet message board.

    You can come down off your high horse, buddy.

    • Walnutz15 January 10, 2011 at 11:43 pm
      Once more, this is from Baseball Digest – and re-counted from an interview with JEFF PEARLMAN of SI. Read carefully now, my friend – maybe even listen to the interview.

      Silva:

      “I also brought up the accusations about Mike Piazza and steroids, citing some reasons why it could be possible that Piazza is not a user. Jeff again believes that Piazza did “more than just Androstenedione, legal in the nineties, and said, in his opinion, that the thought a case for Piazza being clean is “laughable.”

      For the record, Pearlman reiterated his position on Jeff Bagwell saying he was “so certain he used steroids from being around that team, era, and researching his Clemens book.” He would go on to tell me that if Bagwell didn’t use then the “world is flat.”When I asked him if Craig Biggio falls into the same category as Bagwell because he played for Houston, a team that he said earlier in the show was hotbed for PED use, he said yes.”

      http://nybaseballdigest.com/?p=32984

  31. Terry January 11, 2011 at 12:17 am
    I regret stumbling upon this article…. just as I am getting excited for spring training and another season of baseball with anything possible.

    Lets move on and enjoy the game.

  32. Balonius P FUnk January 11, 2011 at 12:18 am
    Joe,

    You are a total tool who seems to have a chip on his shoulder because in the end baseball said “you suck”. Go Fcuk yourself, you bag of chiz.

    • Joe Janish January 11, 2011 at 1:12 am
      What is chiz? Was that a compliment? If so, thank you! I’m an old fogey and don’t really understand a lot of the terms used by the kids today.
      • All That And A January 11, 2011 at 3:04 pm
        bag of chiz, kid!

        You da bomb, Joe.

  33. Mike Kennedy January 11, 2011 at 12:44 am
    Walnutz15, how dare you call me a defense attorney! All kidding aside, I respect and understand your opinion. Unfortunately, opinions, when published like Chass’ or Pearlman’, whether positive or negative, can cause irrereparable damage.

    From the small sample of your writing that I have read on this topic, you should really “come out” and publish your opinions/articles under your real name. I’m sure Janish, or a host of others would welcome your regular contributions.

    It’s sad that baseball fans argue about who has or has not juiced. I remember when it was Mets vs Cards or NL vs AL. I still love the game, no matter how much it has changed.

    I would love to read your and various other opinions on Bud Selig’s “plausible denial” on PEDs in baseball.

    Mike Kennedy
    Evansville, IN

  34. bigdognard January 11, 2011 at 1:19 am
    You read my mind funk. It sounds like someone who is bitter and is way better in his head then reality. I cant stand people who come out and say they know all these things and then say im not naming names. Like that makes him a good person. If you dont want to name names then dont share your opinion and bring it up. Hey joe maybe you and uncle rico can find a time machine and go back in time. You might actually make it this time NNNOT.
    • Joe Janish January 11, 2011 at 1:25 am
      I can’t stand people who can’t comprehend the English language and then write a comment that has no connection to the content of the actual article. This isn’t a forum, it’s a blog. There’s a specific argument, and it has nothing to do with naming names or my personal past.
  35. Chris Williamson January 11, 2011 at 1:25 am
    Why is it that everybody gets nuts about the steroid issue and cheating but guys like Gaylord Perry get a pass?
    • Joe Janish January 11, 2011 at 2:21 am
      Good point, Chris.

      I would say it’s because although Perry threw a spitter, it was only one pitch and it wasn’t the only reason he was successful. He had outstanding control of all of his pitches, which included a fastball, curve (which he threw at several different speeds), slider, changeup, and forkball. He probably didn’t throw more than a half-dozen spitters in a game — if that many.

      It’s likely also because Perry openly admitted to throwing the spitter. People seem to be more forgiving when a player doesn’t hide from the truth and owns up to his actions.

      For the record, there was quite a bit of controversy regarding Perry’s HOF consideration and eventual induction. But it happened before the advent of the internet so there isn’t much available to research on it. If my memory serves correctly, there were plenty of people angry about the HOF allowing a “cheater” like Perry in.

    • MrZoSo January 11, 2011 at 2:22 am
      Anyone who has to go through life with a name like Gaylord should automatically get a pass. Sorry for getting off subject Joe…I return you to your fan base who likens you to a bag of Chiz…WTFE that is.
  36. Mookie January 11, 2011 at 8:13 am
    GREAT STUFF, JOE…ENJOYED THAT.

    YOU CAN FEEL THE TONE OF METS FANS NOT WANTING TO DEAL WITH THE REALITY THAT HE MORE THAN LIKELY USED.

    ONE CAN SENSE THE HOSTILITY!

    – THE MOOK

  37. CatchDog January 11, 2011 at 9:44 am
    75 posts and counting! Awesome traffic in the room this week.

    A couple comments; I have no opinion either way if Mike took roids. But if ‘bacne’ is one of the tell-tale signs, then I too was guilty of juicing when I toured. Apparently, I am allergic to certain chemicals that were used to clean my stage wardrobe. And sweating caused my back and parts of my shoulders to break out. To this day I can only use certain detergents. Perhaps Mike has the same sensitivity.

    Secondly; I believe Jeff Bagwell will be a good test for Mike. If Bags gets in (I believe he will), then Piazza will get the nod also.

  38. Kiners Korner January 11, 2011 at 10:20 am
    I am amazed that people defend Piazza so blindly. The guy was a walking add for ‘roids. Does anyone remember Reggie Jeffereson’s quote from Pearlman’s “The Rocket Fell to Earth”? Here you go folks…
    As the hundreds of major league ballplayers who turned to performance-enhancing drugs throughout the 1990s did their absolute best to keep the media at arm’s length, Piazza took the opposite approach. According to several sources, when the subject of performance enhancing was broached with reporters he especially trusted, Piazza fessed up. “Sure, I use,” he told one. “But in limited doses, and not all that often.” (Piazza has denied using performance-enhancing drugs, but there has always been speculation.) Whether or not it was Piazza’s intent, the tactic was brilliant: By letting the media know, of the record, Piazza made the information that much harder to report. Writers saw his bulging muscles, his acne-covered back. They certainly heard the under-the-breath comments from other major league players, some who considered Piazza’s success to be 100 percent chemically delivered.

    At least two former Major League players, one being Reggie Jefferson (another was not named), were quoted as saying they were sure that Piazza used steroids.

    “He’s a guy who did it, and everybody knows it,” says Reggie Jefferson, the longtime major league first baseman. “It’s amazing how all these names, like Roger Clemens, are brought up, yet Mike Piazza goes untouched.”

    “There was nothing more obvious than Mike on steroids,” says another major league veteran who played against Piazza for years. “Everyone talked about it, everyone knew it. Guys on my team, guys on the Mets. A lot of us came up playing against Mike, so we knew what he looked like back in the day. Frankly, he sucked on the field. Just sucked. After his body changed, he was entirely different. ‘Power from nowhere,’ we called it.”

    When asked, on a scale of 1 to 10, to grade the odds that Piazza had used performance enhancers, the player doesn’t pause.

    “A 12,” he says. “Maybe a 13.”

    • Balonius P FUnk January 11, 2011 at 7:24 pm
      Well. There we have it. All the proof needed. Reggie Jefferson and “another major league player” (who happens to be able to count to 13). Stellar research and proof. Please disregard all other comments making it plausible that MP didn’t use.

      You’re a genius.

  39. Patrick January 11, 2011 at 10:41 am
    I think you need to go back and look at the circumstances surrounding Andro, baseball, Piazza and McGwire and research them more carefully.

    Andro was something anyone could get off the shelves at a GNC or other stores. Does it make it okay that he or anyone else used it? Not really, but I do believe there is a difference between purchasing cigarettes and buying a quarter ounce of marijuana too.

    McGwire to my recollection put the Andro in his locker for all to see in August of 1998 when there were some minor rumblings of suspicion being pushed up the flag pole about he and Sosa. McGwire wanted Andro to be a smoke screen of “yes I use it, it is totally legal you can get it in the vitamin and health/body stores.”

    Does that make Piazza any less suspect by admitting he took Andro. Not really.

    I guess the way I see Piazza is that it does not make much sense that his overall performance began to fade as early as 2001, not dramatically, but starting to decline nevertheless. Considering how much he still had to gain both in statistical achievement and the possibility of another big contract, it is odd to me that he either had the largest conscience of these players or simply felt he earned enough. When you consider that Manny Ramirez was only caught in what 2009? And the very likelihood that players like Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemens and many others who have been since nailed either circumstantially or by their own admission, were liking taking through as late as 2006 and very likely 2008 with good masking agents, I find it hard to believe that Piazza would have had a Jiminy Cricket moment and suddenly stopped.

    Do I think he took Andro for more than a brief moment, sure do, but I also don’t believe Andro alone made Mark McGwire become a prolific homerun hitter at age 33.

  40. Kiners Korner January 11, 2011 at 10:55 am
    I would never call Mike a dope. He was very aware of his legacy and I’d guess he decided to get out while he could. He was getting old for a catcher and a position change obviously wouldn’t work.
    The interesting thing about the Perlstein book is he said Pizza admitted use to reporters. So if he did their are reporters that know. Chass omitted that part from his post so I wonder, did Chass here him admit it and not use it because it was “off the record”? or was he not involved with day to day coverage enough during the Pizza era? I suspect if a group of reporters know then most reporters know. Verducci used to write for Newsday so it wouldn’t be far fetched that he knew. If most do know, then Pizza will not get in.
    All that being said, I enjoyed him on the Mets. Always friendly and a gamer.
  41. MiddleAgeSports January 11, 2011 at 11:10 am
    Joe,

    The question is how many cheaters are in the Hall of Fame anyway. Spitballs, Amphetamines, Corked Bats, Extra Sharp Cleats, Steroids for far longer then any of us imagine, and the list goes on and on.

    But what about all the other cheaters in the hall? Do we kick them out? If these folks cheated at the moment is irrelevant to this discussion. How is Gaylord Perry that different then Roger Clemens? Cheating is bad and maybe they should all be kicked out?

    By the way in response to your Perry answer. Piazza aside many of the players that have been mentioned would be sure Hall of Farmers with or without Juice. Bonds front and center but how do we make the determination?

  42. Jim W. January 11, 2011 at 11:51 am
    This is the article to read. From USA Today, May 7, 1997. Various ballplayers — including Piazza — extolling the virtues of creatine. Link below. First, a quote:

    “It helps your body recover more quickly,” says Dodgers catcher Mike Piazza. “That’s what you’re doing with working out anyway, adding muscle because you’re breaking your body down all season. It’s just insurance.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/bbw/2001-04-04/2001-04-04-archive-pumped.htm

    Caminiti, McGwire, and others who proved to be known steroids users are also quoted here singing creatine’s praises.

  43. GTL_4_LIFE January 11, 2011 at 12:15 pm
    Talk abut heavy hitting. Perhaps baseball should scrap its two-year-old “What a Game” marketing campaign and adopt the slogan the Padres had printed last year on T-shirts that sums up the game’s obsession with strength and power: “Who cares if you can hit .300 when you can bench 300?”

    Ha.

  44. Pat N January 11, 2011 at 12:25 pm
    Joe,

    Just wondering… you keep saying Piazza gained 20 lbs of “muscle mass” in the offseason before the 1998 season… yet the article you referenced from Tom Verducci only states that Piazza gained “20 pounds”. He doesn’t say anything about muscle mass at all. I was just wondering if there was another source where you got the “muscle mass” info from that I missed.

    He also mentioned that Tino Martienz added 12 pounds in just one month. I don’t recall ever hearing any rumors about Martienz being a juicer. (Not saying anyone has said this, just an observation).

    As a baseball blogger (www.itsouttahereblog.com) and a Mets fan, I very much hold Piazza to a high regard. I will honestly say I’m unsure how much of that would take a hit if it came out he was taking some form of steriods.

    I look at Andy Pettite and feel no anger or reduction in respect for him after it came out he had used steriods. I believed his reasoning behind his use. Then again, I don’t beleive a word that comes out of Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and A-Rod’s mouths. Perhaps it’s the way these players choose to present the situation to the public. Who knows.

    • ChrisAnt January 11, 2011 at 2:05 pm
      “…yet the article you referenced from Tom Verducci only states that Piazza gained “20 pounds”. He doesn’t say anything about muscle mass at all.”

      Yup, I was going to point that out too. Heck, I can gain 10 pounds in just one single week over the course of the Christmas holiday season. And I’m much much shorter and smaller than Piazza. So if Piazza gained 25 lbs over a winter after working out, that’s nothing for a man of that height (6′ 2″ I think).

      Janish’s attempt to paint it as 25 lbs of “muscle” makes me wonder what his agenda really his. At least he should be honest and thorough with his facts.

      Instead, he also fails to note that Andro was legal at that time Piazza used it — BOTH in the U.S. and within baseball. He also fails to mention that it is NOT an anabolic steroid, but instead a precursor.

      As for HOF eligibility and PEDs, my criteria is that if there is evidence of the type that would be admissible in a court of law (and won’t make a jury laugh) then they shouldn’t be voted in. So far, Clemens, Bonds, and McGwire all fall under that category. Piazza and Bagwell don’t, though It’s debatable how much Bagwell belongs in there anyway. So, until there is clear and convincing evidence of Piazza having juiced, then he is innocent in my eyes. The back acne is not enough, and that’s the type of stuff a jury would laugh at.

    • ChrisAnt January 11, 2011 at 2:25 pm
      “I’m said it multiple times that until anything comes out in the form of a positive test – or admission, that everything we’re going on is speculation (Bagwell, Piazza, Clemens, Bonds….no matter how obvious/muddled the situation may be).”

      Walnutz, this is an insult to Piazza and a blind reading of the facts. There is TONS of evidence against Clemens and Bonds that they took ILLEGAL PEDs for long periods of time. The difference in the evidence between those two and Piazza and Bagwell is astounding. You could indict both Bonds and Clemens on what’s out there (and, of course, both are under indictment), but they would laugh someone out of court if all you brought against Piazza was back acne and highly circumstantial statistical evidence.

      Do you really think the federal government would spend millions to bring Clemens and Bonds to trial on perjury charges is they didn’t have substantial and convincing evidence both did illegal PEDs? LOL, no, it isn’t just about speculation with Clemens and Bonds. They are two of the biggest confirmed cheats in baseball over the last couple of decades.

      • Walnutz15 January 11, 2011 at 2:42 pm
        I hear you, and I’m not trying to insult – nor am I trying to give a blind man’s brail “gloss-over” on Piazza.

        Like I said, I absolutely loathe Clemens and Bonds; but at the same time – believe both have HOF-worthy careers.

        Ditto, Bagwell and Piazza….2 of my FAVORITE players of the 90’s. It doesn’t change my opinion that I believe both players used steroids.

        My thing is: take a freakin’ stance, and put out some guidelines on which to view this “era” of baseball. It’s not pick and choose, based on speculation of whether a player did or didn’t do something.

        I know full well that Creatine isn’t a steroid.

        I know full well that Andro wasn’t banned by MLB until well-after all the other major professional sports.

        I know that there’s a ton of evidence out there that hasn’t been released; and that players went out of their way not to be tested in the late-90’s, early-2000’s – and that the Union always backed it.

        Of course Clemens, Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, and others juiced.

        No one’s pulling the wool over my eyes to tell me that guys like Piazza, Bagwell, and a ton of others around the league didn’t.

        In a court of law, sure….”backne” wouldn’t pass as convictiable evidence on it’s own.

        In the court of common sense, you’d understand the suspicion of certain players.

        That’s the end of the story for me….and I haven’t once deviated from it.

        Boo-hoo, Mike Piazza….cry me a river. Met fans are ridiculous with him….and really, tell me why the Mets haven’t retired his number yet?

        They’re waiting for his induction to do it? Really?

        In a stadium he’s never played in…..when the farewell at Shea would have been the PERFECT time to do so?

        Somethin’ is up, if you ask me.

        • ChrisAnt January 11, 2011 at 3:55 pm
          “My thing is: take a freakin’ stance, and put out some guidelines on which to view this “era” of baseball. It’s not pick and choose”

          There will NEVER be an official guideline for HOF voting. If there were, you really wouldn’t need the sportswriters to vote, right? It is up to each individual fan/writer/player to decide what is enough to bar someone from HOF eligibility. For me, that means whenever there is substantial and convincing evidence that someone cheated then they would be ineligible. I’ve held to that position all along. It hasn’t wavered. It’s not pick and choose.

          “I know that there’s a ton of evidence out there that hasn’t been released;”

          But the point is that there IS a ton of evidence that has already been released. Via BALCO, the Mitchell report, Canseco books, leaks, and investigative reporters. And the fact IS,. a ton of this evidence centers around Bonds and Clemens (and to a lesser extent McGwuire) — but NONE of it on Piazza and Bagwell. That’s what my reference to “blind reading of the facts” was about. I think you’re “blind” to simply lump Piazza and Bagwell in with Clemens and Bonds and are ignoring the evidence.

          In a way, a court of law is the court of “common sense” for it requires a jury of your peers and common citizens to convict someone of an offense. It’s better than leaving such decisions up to the highly individualistic whims of a single person.

          Piazza may very well have juiced, but there is simply not enough evidence out there on him at this point. So until there is, he deserves the benefit of the doubt.

          If you want to indict just about everyone on flimsy evidence, that’s your choice. But don’t expect others to have such specious standards as yours.

          Also, your point about Piazza’s number not being retired yet is ludicrous. The Mets are notoriously slow and even reluctant to give any of their ex-players recognition and honors. Your trying to read something into nothing makes me think you too have an agenda.

        • Walnutz15 January 11, 2011 at 4:10 pm
          “I think you’re “blind” to simply lump Piazza and Bagwell in with Clemens and Bonds and are ignoring the evidence.”

          ^ I’m not ignoring anything. This topic’s strictly about Piazza, my friend. Always has been.

          Whether or not you choose to believe anything beyond what you’ve seen in concrete print, that’s your thing.

          It’s not mine, especially after having seen steroid use up close and personal – and the effects of having done it/having chosen not to.

          That’s my thing, and there’s no agenda behind it.

          Whatsoever.

          We’ll see what happens over the next couple of years….especially in regard to a number retirement.

          I’m with you, too – Robbo. Thanks…I was at Shea the day McGwire homered in both games of an August double-header in ’98, while Piazza himself blasted one out of the left-field bullpen….after legions of Met fans booed him for hitting a rough patch.

          I never got on him, simply because I knew I’d be rooting for him later….a lession I learned very early on. I still believe he used some kind of performance enhancer, aside from what any of us haven’t witnessed him being “nabbed” on.

          I’d venture to guess that most of us are Met fans here — I’m just sayin': there are plenty of players who’ve played for the Mets through the years who’ve juiced.

          Next thing you know, we’ll have people going apespit over me saying that I believe someone like Rey Ordonez did toward the final years of his career because there’s “no evidence”.

          C’mon now.

        • ChrisAnt January 11, 2011 at 4:21 pm
          Sure, you’re ignoring the TONS of evidence already out there on guys like Clemens and Bonds. That’s why some of us distinguish between Piazza/Bagweel and those confirmed cheaters.

          And, yes, this thread is about Bagwell too. Because many others have already brought up his name — and I didn’t even read every post here.

          Your comment on the uniform number was so illogical knowing how the Mets have always operated — and that’s why I thought you had an agenda. Or some bias at least.

          You can believe what you want. I’ll stick to my opinion. I simply don’t know whether Piazza did or not (unlike with Clemens and Bonds), and until there is good evidence out there, I’m not going to point fingers at someone who may be innocent.

        • Robbo26 January 11, 2011 at 4:45 pm
          ChrisAnt…In no way was Walnutz ignoring any evidence in regards to Clemens/Bonds…You yourself said you “HAVE NOT READ EVERY POST”…If you did you would see that…I respect yours as well as everyones opinion in this thread…I have read ALL of the posts because I want to insure the fact that I get my facts right before I post…Right , wrong or indifferent these are opinions we all have and thats what makes it fun to post them…
        • ChrisAnt January 11, 2011 at 5:13 pm
          Please explain how anything said in this thread changes the fact that there is a ton of vetted evidence out there indicting Clemens and Bonds and just about NONE on Piazza or Bagwell.

          Just name one or two things which change the facts that are already well known. OK. Just don’t say you know things from this thread that paint a different picture. What are they?

        • Robbo26 January 11, 2011 at 5:25 pm
          How would you know EVERYTHING that was said in this post when YOU yourself said you have not read every posting…Read ALL the posts and then you will see…Clemens and Bonds are both guilty…The evidence points that way…WE ALL KNOW THAT…Are we not clear…All of the posters on this thread are knowledgeable so we are not as so dumb to think any other way…They are guilty guilty guilty by all of our opinions…Show me where in this thread someone defended them…
        • Robbo26 January 11, 2011 at 4:37 pm
          Funny how no one would give a hoot if it was a Rey Ordonez or Joe Orsulak who was to have been found to be using…Seems like there are only opinions in regards to the upper echelon players…Fernando Vina was to have been found on the Mitchell Report list…How much did it help him…Lets face it , just because players did the “roids”, in no way did it guarantee success…So if its a “stance” some people call for then here is my mine…”I have NO STANCE”…If Bonds gets voted in then so be it…If Mcgwire and Palmiero, then so be it…It in no way affects me or my enjoyment I get from watching Baseball…If I was a HOF voter or a sportswriter then maybe I would have to take a stance , but I am not…Walnutz has been pretty specific and straight forward in all his posts…I get it…Not everyone has to
        • ChrisAnt January 11, 2011 at 5:16 pm
          Oh, I get what Walnutz is trying to say. I just don’t agree with him. I think he’s wrong and blind.
        • Robbo26 January 11, 2011 at 5:32 pm
          You are entitled to your opinion…But to say Walnutz is wrong and blind is ridiculous…Wrong and blind because he doesnt agree with you?..Come on…Bottom line is he gave his OPINION that he thinks Piazza juiced…So what!!!…I have not read anywhere [yes I read them all] in which he thought that Bonds and Clemens were “not guilty”……………….Time to go for now…NY Rangers time!!!
        • ChrisAnt January 11, 2011 at 5:58 pm
          Robbo, where did I say Walnutz said Clemens and Bonds are “not guilty?” Never said that. Stop making things up!

          My problem with Walnutz is his quick indictment of Piazza and his failure to distinguish between Piazza/Bagwell and Clemens/Bonds. That’s why I said he was wrong and blind. I still feel this way. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

          You’re free to agree with him.

        • ChrisAnt January 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm
          Also, I am still waiting for you to explain what in this thread that I didn’t read which changes the facts concerning this issue?
        • Walnutz15 January 11, 2011 at 7:04 pm
          Thanks for the support, Robbo. If you see my cane and dark glasses anywhere, just let me know where I can pick them up.

          There are definitely a lot of people “blinded” by the blue and orange lights….I’ll say that much.

          ChrisAnt: what is your stance on Sammy Sosa….since he’s never been on a list of any sort, and the only evidence against him is that he forgot how to speak English in front of Congress?

          LOL

          Another juicebag, of course….but where’s the evidence?

          He wasn’t named in the Mitchell Report, to my knowledge, and I’m not sure if there were any failed tests out there.

          Curious to know your stance on him.

          Bagwell and Piazza are just as likely to have dabbled in any of this stuff, and if that classifies me as “blind”, then so be it. That’s your opinion – and I would never try to tell you it’s wrong beyond a shadow of a doubt.

          I just don’t agree.

        • ChrisAnt January 11, 2011 at 7:41 pm
          Walnutz, thanks for proving my point about your blindness/ignorance! You are too easy.

          Sammy Sosa tested positive for anabolic steroids in 2003 — in the survey testing done by MLB that year and in which A-Rod also tested positive. This was reported by The New York Times in 2009. Moreover, in Sosa we have one of the starkest examples of a suspicious bump in power stats after the age of 30 when such numbers are more likely to decline..

          There is not as much evidence on Sosa as there is on Clemens and Bonds, but what we do have on Sosa is clear, convincing and substantial.

          Proclaiming someone a “likely” juicer based on flimsy evidence is wrong, dead wrong. Hey, but you can continue to be wrong if you want to.

          A cane isn’t going to help you much!

        • Walnutz15 January 11, 2011 at 7:56 pm
          I stand corrected there on Sosa. He did test positive in 2003, so that’s my bad – and I always own up to where I’m wrong.

          Piazza was on the field for 68 games in 2003 (ripping his groin from the bone…hmm…), so really – I don’t have a clue as to whether or not a test was administered that year, which coincidentally saw him fly at Guillermo Mota in ST – in a fit of rage. Hmmm……

          One thing I’m not is blind, sir. “Flimsy” evidence to you, but hey – you’re not going to be convinced of much, short of jumping into a time machine and asking players from the past to take a test.

          And that’s about the extent of it for me.

        • ChrisAnt January 11, 2011 at 8:07 pm
          You’re really desperate, aren’t you. A groin injury? Running after Mota? His number not being retired by a franchise infamous for inadequately honoring its past heroes?

          If you brought that crap into a court of law (along with the back acne) a judge would throw you out on your butt.

          And, no, a test isn’t the only way to nab a cheater. Eyewitness accounts, admissions, receipts, and other hard evidence will suffice.

        • ChrisAnt January 11, 2011 at 8:15 pm
          One other point — I’m pretty sure an injury wouldn’t have prevented Piazza from being tested in 2003. Every player was tested that year, and some multiple times.

          Your going to such ridiculous lengths to try to indict Piazza I think just demonstrates how weak your case is.

        • Walnutz15 January 11, 2011 at 8:43 pm
          A “groin “injury” where the muscle completely tore from the bone is a bit different than a pull or tear, dude. If you want to ignore the severity of it – and the time in which it occurred, then that’s your prerogative.

          You’re doing a bit of glossing-over yourself….but I wouldn’t call you blind for it. No big deal.

          When muscles are too big for the frame holding it….I tend to get a bit suspicious.

          Similarly, I tend to take issue with guys making quick exits from big-time events like the finale at Shea. If you don’t recall, Piazza was in and out of the park quicker than Wilt Chamberlain was in a hooker’s hotel room.

          Factor in the “off the record” talks Piazza had with certain members of the media during his tenure in NY – along with said “rampant steroid use” in the Met locker room for the longest time — and yeah, this blind guy starts to feel his way around a bit.

          There have been players who wonder why Piazza’s name has been excluded from the PED realm, along with direct quotes such as:

          **According to several sources, when the subject of performance enhancing was broached with reporters he especially trusted, Piazza fessed up.

          “Sure, I use,” he told one. “But in limited doses, and not all that often.” (Piazza has denied using performance-enhancing drugs, but there has always been speculation.)” **

          **“Whether or not it was Piazza’s intent, the tactic was brilliant: By letting the media know, off the record, Piazza made the information that much harder to report. Writers saw his bulging muscles, his acne-covered back. They certainly heard the under-the-breath comments from other major league players, some who considered Piazza’s success to be 100 percent chemically delivered.”** (Pearlman, SI)**

          **Another veteran baseball player anonymously agreed, telling Pearlman, “There was nothing more obvious than Mike on steroids.”

          Pearlman asked that player what he thought the odds were that Piazza had used PEDs, the player replies:

          “A 12,” he says. “Maybe even a 13.”**

          It’s even more interesting to hear that Piazza’s “memoirs” were delayed when a portion of the book that was supposed to be dedicated to PED talk was refused to be discussed.

          Is it unfair to Piazza? Maybe it is….I’m just a simple fan who’s played the game for a very long time – and has been around enough gyms/collegiate locker rooms to know: steroids have been a tremendous part of the game for the longest.

          Piazza’s bacne factors very little into the discussion with me. While others have, I’m not touting that as a key piece of evidence.

          I find it interesting, though – that there are such hardcore defenders of someone who is just as likely to have used as anyone else under suspicion.

          ….and that was always the key point of inference for me.

        • ChrisAnt January 11, 2011 at 9:26 pm
          “I’m said it multiple times that until anything comes out in the form of a positive test – or admission, that everything we’re going on is speculation (Bagwell, Piazza, Clemens, Bonds….no matter how obvious/muddled the situation may be).”

          Again, Walnutz, above is the part of your posts that I really took issue with and which demonstrates your stance (and blindness). You’re simply lumping Piazza and Bagwell in with Clemens and Bonds and that to me is misguided.

          Whether someone was “likely” to have used based on flimsy evidence is irrelevant to me. You just DON’T know for sure. So give the players the benefit of the doubt. Not just Piazza, but others like Pujols. And give the players for whom there is hard evidence the discredit they deserve.

          Your “quick exit” and “delayed bio” evidence are other far-fetched wacky and ludicrous theories. For the Shea ending, Piazza made himself available to the media with interviews on the FAN and with other media people during those few days. He was not ducking the press as you like to imagine. Again, the ridiculous lengths you seem to go to to try to indict him is really telling, showing how hard up you are.

          And the quote by the anonymous player that Jeff Pearlman pulls out of his azz? LOL, that was just opinion. It wasn’t even an eyewitness account. It would FAIL in court. Especially since the player is never named.

          As for the groin injury, dude, give me a break. You are not a doctor, and plenty of baseball players get muscle/groin injuries as severe as the one Piazza had.

          As for Piazza’s so-called admission, it’s just more trash by Pearlman. Not only does he use anonymous sources (why???), but that occasion cited in his book could very well have been the very same instance where Piazza admitted to using andro. If you notice, Pearlman is careful not to use the word “steroids” in connection with that passage.

          “along with said “rampant steroid use” in the Met locker room”

          Huh? Another instance where your ignorance of the facts stands out. Please name all the Mets players of the last 20 years who were said to have juiced WHILE playing for the Mets. Or name the many instances where people were caught dealing PEDs in the Mets locker room. In case you’re thinking of going down the Radomski route, keep in mind his documented drug dealing came AFTER he was no longer employed by the Mets. Yankee players were his biggest clients.

          You really should brush up on the facts before you throw around all those accusations.

        • ChrisAnt January 11, 2011 at 9:34 pm
          Hey, and I know you don’t give a damn about legal principles. But none of that garbage Pearlman wrote would stand up in a court of law. Either the judge would throw it out (like the anonymous player who merely “believes” Piazza juiced) or it would be dismissed by the jury (like the pure speculation about the cause for Piazza’s 2003 injury).
        • Walnutz15 January 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm
          *Strrrrretches*

          Wow – didn’t even realize there was more to this topic. Haven’t checked back on the site.

          —- “along with said “rampant steroid use” in the Met locker room”

          You said:

          “Huh? Another instance where your ignorance of the facts stands out. Please name all the Mets players of the last 20 years who were said to have juiced WHILE playing for the Mets. Or name the many instances where people were caught dealing PEDs in the Mets locker room. In case you’re thinking of going down the Radomski route, keep in mind his documented drug dealing came AFTER he was no longer employed by the Mets. Yankee players were his biggest clients.”

          Are we HONESTLY questioning that the Met clubhouse had steroids in it?

          You don’t like my opinions, that much is clear — but to gloss-over the list of names that have been implicated to be involved with steroid use…..in addition to ones that have come out in the Mitchell Report, etc……the Mets have plenty of guys out there, who’ve played for their organization, passed through their clubhouse/executive offices, what have you.

          The Mets aren’t special.

          Ask David Segui, Lenny Dykstra, Todd Hundley, Rey Ordonez, Rico Brogna, Matt Lawton, Gary Sheffield, Guillermo Mota, Paul Lo Duca, Fernando Vina, Matt Franco, Todd Pratt, Mike Stanton, Mark Carreon, Paul Byrd, hell…..take a trip up to Buffalo and strike up a convo with Ricky Bones (their Triple-A pitching coach) — whether or not the use occurred as “employees of the Mets” — this gives you a pretty good look at how wide-spread (not to mention, just how many scrubs delved into) the world of Performance Enhancers was…whether on the Mitchell Report, or through admitted use.

          I see no reason to believe that guys like Piazza and Bagwell didn’t test their hand. My opinion is iron-clad and will never waver.

        • ChrisAnt January 14, 2011 at 3:41 pm
          “Are we HONESTLY questioning that the Met clubhouse had steroids in it?”

          LOL, you’re too easy. I never questioned whether the Mets clubhouse had steroids in it. Let’s get this straight: I bet there is NO clubhouse in the recent history of MLB that didn’t have SOME steroids in it. What I questioned was your characterization of the degree of steroids use in the Mets clubhouse. You said:

          ““along with said “RAMPANT steroid use” in the Met locker room” (caps emphasis mine)

          The current EVIDENCE suggests that the Mets had relatively few steroids users over the last few decades (or at most, they were average), and what evidence there is concerns mostly lesser players (unlike the Yankees, for example).

          “but to gloss-over the list of names that have been implicated to be involved with steroid use”

          Show me where I glossed over the names of those who have been implicated. Quote me exactly.

          “…the Mets have plenty of guys out there, who’ve played for their organization”

          Incorrect — NOT plenty who cheated while with the Mets. And their numbers in relation to other teams like the Yankees, especially in regards to high profile players, is relatively low (or average at worst).

          “The Mets aren’t special.”

          EXACTLY! But it’s YOU who tried to paint them as such in a lame attempt to make your anti-Piazza argument stronger. You tried to paint the Mets clubhouse as a hotbed of steroids activity when the evidence is to the contrary (relative to other MLB teams).

          “Ask David Segui, Lenny Dykstra, Todd Hundley, Rey Ordonez, Rico Brogna, Matt Lawton, Gary Sheffield, Guillermo Mota, Paul Lo Duca, Fernando Vina, Matt Franco, Todd Pratt, Mike Stanton, Mark Carreon, Paul Byrd”

          LOL, there you go again with your loose (aka blind) reading of the facts. Out of the 15 names you mentioned, only 6 were documented to have used while a Met — Segui, Hundley, Franco, Pratt, Stanton, and Mota. LOL, all big names, right?

          There has never been anything but suspicion on Ordonez, and for the rest of those names, they either did it prior or after becoming a Met. LOL, some weren’t even Mets until after steroids was implemented (Lo Duca and Sheffield). You’re really hard up there and stretching.

          “…this gives you a pretty good look at how wide-spread (not to mention, just how many scrubs delved into) the world of Performance Enhancers was “

          The overall incidence of PEDs usage in MLB during that era is not even relevant to the discussion in this thread. Moreover — 1) There is widespread disagreement even among current and former players as to how widespread it really was, with guys like Canseco saying everyone did it and players like Jeter saying less than 20% and 2) if you’re arguing Piazza did it because just about everyone did it, well then you’re going to have to use that same silly rationale and lump in players like Jeter, Glavine and Smoltz whom I seriously doubt were PEDs abusers.

          So what do we have? We’re back to square one with no evidence that the Mets clubhouse was “rampant” with steroids use as you say, and with only flimsy – and in some cases ludicrous – “evidence” that Piazza was a juicer.

          You’ll have to do better than that.

          If no clear and convincing evidence comes out before 2013 on Piazza, I predict he is a first ballot HOFer. And, I bet Bonds and Clemens won’t get in for at least quite a few years after their eligibility … if at all. And this is how it should be.

        • ChrisAnt January 14, 2011 at 3:45 pm
          Should read: “… some weren’t even Mets until after steroids TESTING was implemented (Lo Duca and Sheffield).”
        • Walnutz15 January 11, 2011 at 8:16 pm
          That’s why we’re on Metstoday.com, and not in a court of law – and why I’m stating OPINION about Mike Piazza….and not swearing on a stack of bibles about anything before a court.

          Don’t know what else you’re trying to squeeze out of something that has been, from the word “go” – openly stated as nothing more than speculation and opinion.

          There are names on that same 2003 document, with records on players who were never named….so – you’ll continue to assume that because said-player’s name hasn’t been release to the public, that he’s never used an illegal substance?

          That’s bordering on “blind” to me.

          It’s a confidentiality thing that the Justice Department said would not be pursued any further…..yet 10 names made their way to the forefront.

          What about the rest?

          And that’s precisely where it gets dicey. Pretty bush that some were named, while others are kept under wraps…all the while, the tests were said to be “anonymous and confidential”.

          Think what you want about my opinion, and I’ll continue to think what I want about yours.

          Conclusion: we simply don’t agree.

        • ChrisAnt January 11, 2011 at 8:34 pm
          Of course this isn’t a court of law. You said people should take a stand and not pick and choose. And that’s exactly what I did. I drew a line — that line being something that would stand up in a court of law. And guess what? None of that crap people have been spewing about Piazza would have a chance in a court. But the stuff that exists on Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, and A-Rod would.

          I know these are simply opinions here and everyone is entitled to theirs. I just think yours is wrong. You’re not the only one to feel the way you do — lots of other fans feel the same way. And IMO, you are ALL wrong.

          I very well know there are names on the list that have never been revealed. But they could be literally ANYONE — even supposed choir boys like Jeter. And, NO, I never said I assume someone not on the list didn’t do it. As I already said earlier, for someone not on it, I really don’t know. BUT I will give those for whom there is NO or FLIMSY evidence the benefit of the doubt. IMO that’s the best tact — instead of giving everyone a free pass or indicting everyone.

        • Robbo26 January 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm
          Nutz you are spot on the Piazza opinion…I was and always will be a big Piazza supporter…However it does not sway me from my opinion that he was a “juicer”…[operative words being “my opinion”]…If it ever came out that there was definitive evidence he did use , then so be it…It still will never take away my support of him and the great memories Piazza gave us in a Mets uniform…ESPECIALLY…The HR he hit against the Braves the first game back after the 9/11 attacks…
  45. Rob G January 11, 2011 at 2:17 pm
    No one truly knows exactly how many players actually did some form of a steroid…Was it 80% in a particular era [possibly]…Was it 70% [maybe]…The bottom line is that Baseball made us all victims of having to speculate…After the year of the strike , Baseball was suffering the affects of an angry fan base…The fact that Selig and his cast of clowns were able to turn blind with the the Sosa and Mcgwire HR derby was a joke no doubt…But how many of us were truly engaged in this assault on the HR record…Admittingly I was…I remember reading an article [sorry dont have the link at this moment] that Barry Bonds was infuriated during a batting practice at Candlestick Park when the batting cages were roped off so as to give Mark Mcgwire his own stage…That is when Bonds decided he too will join the ranks of “USERS”…Bonds was a 2x MVP and a great player before he became “Bunyunesque” …Having the help of “Roids” only further put him into another stratosphere as a player…But the bottom line is this…We can only make assumptions on certain players and Baseball is to blame…Myself?…I have moved past it…It doesnt bother me that players decided to gain an advantage by “Using”…So whether it be Piazza or Bagwell or Biggio or anyone else for that matter its still the game of Baseball…Let the players suffer the consequences and Questions…We as fans should all just try to go back and the enjoy the game for what it is “Our National Past Time”
    P.S. I was giving “Predisone” due to an injury I suffered…Although it was a low dosage that I took for 1 month My body never felt better…At the time I was 44 [and still to this day play competitive sports] after 2 weeks of the Predisone my body felt like I was 21 again…I thought to myself the wear and tear of a true athletes body takes a tremendous toll…I can almost understand why they would take some form of a “Roid” to help repair it