Speculation has one former New York Met getting into the Hall of Fame tomorrow with another falling short.
On the web site, Baseball Think Factory, its poll has Greg Maddux (100 percent), Tom Glavine (97.7), Frank Thomas (91.7) and Craig Biggio (81.2) getting in, with Piazza (72.2) looking in from the outside. To be voted in, a player must be on 75 percent of the ballots. To date, the poll results are from 134 ballots published, which is less than 25 percent of the votes submitted last year.
While all the votes have been submitted, the above is only a small sampling and things could change between now and tomorrow afternoon when the announcements are made.
Piazza was named on 57.8 percent of the ballots last winter and it is doubtful he can make up that ground in one year. Remember, it took several cracks for Gary Carter to get in.
“It’s a process,’’ Piazza said this summer after his induction into the Mets Hall of Fame. “I’m very proud of my career. Obviously I put my body of work up against anybody, I’ve said before. But, you know what? I truly feel that the process is a beautiful thing as well. It is what it is. I mean, looking back, Yogi [Berra] had three ballots. And, Joe DiMaggio three ballots.’’
That’s something I don’t get. Three ballots for DiMaggio? Babe Ruth got in on his first year, but wasn’t named on 100 percent of the ballots. That’s absurdity at the highest level. The player receiving the highest percentage is Tom Seaver. That could be challenged when it is Mariano Rivera’s turn, but there are some writers, amazingly so, who won’t vote for a player the first time on the ballot.
I know one writer who didn’t vote for Cal Ripken when he first appeared on the ballot.
Piazza was retrospective that day in Citi Field.
“You think of things in the bigger picture,’’ he continued. “And so if I’m so blessed and honored to get to that point someday, I will enjoy it and be proud and wear the honor that is so important. Up until that point, I can only do like an artist – here’s my work, my canvas -and it’s out of my hands.’’
And, it is an impressive picture with him being a 12-time All-Star and the career leader in home runs (427) by a player whose primary position was catcher.
Piazza had a lifetime .308 average, .377 on-base percentage and six years with at least 30 homers and 100 RBI. He’s among ten players in history with a .300 average and at least 400 homers.
Based on numbers alone, Piazza is deserving. But, keeping him out is speculation he was a PED user, something he continually, and vehemently denies.
No writer can say for sure Piazza was a PED user as he: never failed a drug test administered by Major League Baseball; never been charged or linked to PED in the courts such as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens; never appeared in the Mitchell Report or any study subsidized by MLB; and never has been accused on the record by another player, coach, trainer or manager of using.
His supposed connection to steroids is based on speculation and because a few writers saw some pimples on his back.
This is proof?
ON DECK: Looking at Tom Glavine.
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