I’m a die-hard Red Sox fan, but I’m also a major baseball fan. I spend way more money than I should on the MLB cable package so I can watch as much baseball as humanly possible And, regardless of what happened in 1986, the New York Mets have always been one of my favorite teams to watch. (If not for the Red Sox being an American League team, my allegiance would be to the National League. I have no good reasoning behind this. I have never been able to really figure it out. But ever since I rooted for the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Baltimore Orioles in the 1979 World Series, my league of choice, when the Red Sox weren’t involved, has been the National League.) Even before cable, I found ways to follow National Leauge teams. So I’ve been following Mike Piazza for quiet a few years.
According to today’s Murray Chass piece in the New York Times, Piazza’s days as a catcher are more than likely over. The Mets don’t want him back in any position, and to date, not only hasn’t he signed with any other team, but teams aren’t really hunting him down to come and play with their club.
Piazza is 37. Same age as me (egads, I remember when all the players were OLDER than me, but I digress…). In his 14-season career, he has collected the "Rookie of the Year", award…a league MVP award, TEN Silver Sluggers…ten, in 14 seasons. 2003 was his only full-season that he wasn’t on the All Star team (and in 1996, he was the ASG MVP). His chances of getting into the Hall of Fame are, in my and many others opinion, excellent.
But today, no one wants him.
I’m not arguing that. I mean, I’m all for going for younger guys to improve your team. At some point, teams have to decide that having a big name who doesn’t produce isn’t as important as having a nobody who can hit the ball. So I’m not writing this to bash the teams, including the Mets, who don’t want Piazza to play for them.
I’m just sad that such a great talent and good guy has to go out like this. Piazza deserves better and I felt that needed to be acknowledged somewhere, so why not here?
Good luck, Mike. I still hope someone picks you up, but even if they don’t, thanks for all the amazing memories! You were an absolute joy to watch play the game!