NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In his memoir, “Long Shot,” Mike Piazza admits to using substances later banned by baseball.
But the Mets great says he never took illegal steroids. In published excerpts, Piazza wrote that he “was into power, not prison.”
“In my opinion — I want to be very clear about how I present this, OK? — if you don’t think that Mike Piazza did some type of steroid, you are crazy,” WFAN co-host Craig Carton said Monday morning.
Piazza said he took androstenedione and Ephedra before the substances landed on MLB’s banned list. He also said he took the anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx, stimulants commonly known as “greenies,” and the asthma med Dymetadrine, according to the New York Post. Piazza wrote of a time when he asked former Mets trainer Fred Hina about human growth hormone, not knowing it was banned substance, the New York Times reported.
“You now want me to believe you’re willing to put all these random drug substances in your body for an edge, to help you get out of bed in the morning after catching 22 straight days, as he says, right? But, ‘I didn’t do steroids,'” Carton said. “Come on. Come on. Come on. Smoke, fire. Smoke, fire.”
Piazza never failed a drug test, hasn’t been directly linked to PEDs and wasn’t named in the Mitchell Report.
“Are we going to be that naive?” asked Carton.
Carton wasn’t alone in his skepticism of Piazza, who was selected by Los Angeles in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft.
Bill Price of the New York Daily News wrote in a column Monday: “How did a guy who every team in baseball but the Dodgers passed on become the greatest hitting catcher of all time? Did all those teams miss something, or did Piazza have help? It’s a legitimate question, no matter what you believe.”
WFAN co-host Boomer Esiason said Piazza’s account “seems to me to be very honest.”
“Don’t you think somebody would have come out and said, ‘Hey, he took steroids, and I know he took steroids’?” Esiason said.
Piazza, a 12-time All-Star, batted .308 and had a career .922 OPS in 16 seasons, mostly with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Mets. He holds the all-time record for home runs hit by a catcher — 396 out of his career total of 427.
He earned just 57.8 percent of the Hall of Fame vote on his first time on the ballot, needing 75 percent for induction.
“Apparently, my career was a story that nobody cared to believe,” Piazza wrote in an excerpt published by the Times. “Apparently, my success was the work of steroids. Had to be. Those were the rumors.”
Piazza will be signing copies of “Long Shot” on Monday in Manhattan. The book will be officially released Tuesday.
Do you believe Piazza, or are you with Carton? Be heard in the comments…