What I Make Of Piazza Admission

I concede disappointment in Mike Piazza’s admission in his autobiography he took androstenedione, but only because it further lends to speculation he might have used PEDs.

From andro to steroids is the logical, but unsubstantiated conclusion. Once again, Piazza denied using steroids, but this certainly won’t enhance his Hall of Fame chances. Piazza received over 50 percent of the vote, but still was far short of induction. Part of that percentage was from my vote, and for that I still have no regrets.

My criteria was there was no admission of steroid use; he never failed a drug test; was not mentioned in the Mitchell Report; and nobody accused him on the record. There was only the subject of columns pointing out his back acne. To me, Piazza had the statistical career to warrant induction and the acne is only innuendo. As a journalist, I don’t operate on speculation.

Andro was not a banned substance by MLB when Piazza claims to have used it, nor was it illegal. Steroids, however, are different in that before they were banned by MLB, they were illegal in society without a prescription.

Regarding PEDs, Piazza wrote:  “Apparently, my career was a story that nobody cared to believe. Apparently, my success was the work of steroids. Had to be. Those were the rumors. … It shouldn’t be assumed that every big hitter of the generation used steroids. I didn’t.’’

Of course, Piazza could by lying. Lance Armstrong lied. Pete Rose lied. Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa lied. It wouldn’t be a shock, but for now I believe him and do not regret giving him my Hall of Fame vote.


4 thoughts on “What I Make Of Piazza Admission

  1. Your statement that he never failed a drug test is a total assumption that cannot be proven. Unless MLB and MLBPA agree to release the results of the first test where over 100 players failed, you can not state that Piazza or any other active player in 2003 never failed a drug test.

    • Nathan: What you claim is only partially correct. Those first tests to determine the percentage of steroid users is to remain sealed, so we can’t determine whether Piazza even was a part of that panel, let alone failed a test. However, drug testing began in spring training in 2003, after which Piazza played five more seasons. If he had failed any test after 2003, we would have known and he would have been suspended. So, I feel safe to say Piazza didn’t fail a test during that time. However, it can’t proven he never took PEDs and they were out of his system when he was tested. But, I have to stand by my original claim he has never failed a test.-JD

  2. I hate the argument that a player never failed a drug test.

    Baseball started testing when? After Congress got into the act and threatened baseball?

    The argument that a player never failed a test that was not given is a farce.

    Your other points about him not being named is fair. But the issue is that PED’s are widespread in the game as well as other sports ( and society ). I hadn’t read that he took Andro, but McGuire admitted that too. Do you expect Piazza to come clean and say I took PED’s? I don’t.

    I wonder what compelled him to admit to this?

    He had a great career. Too great in an era with widespread cheating. It may not be fair, but considering all the players who are caught today after they finally instituted testing – and peeing into a cup is pretty weak. They should really give blood tests if they want to be serious. – shows that not only the stars but the marginal players and the average players cheat.

    My biggest thing with him is the injuries. He had that freak groin injury that I have always wondered about. As you say it is all circumstantial. But in this era of cheating and big contracts and that he played so long and so well in the most physically demanding position of the game makes me wonder.

    • dave: You are correct that he or any player can’t fail a test that is never given. Punishment should not be meted out before a policy is implemented. However, after the policy was in place Piazza proved clean. I have no idea what prompted this admission. Maybe he wanted to come clean. I understand about the freak groin injury, but it is circumstantial and can’t be linked to steroids. Right now, I have to either believe him or call him a liar, and for now I have nothing to refute what he claims other than innuendo.-JD