03.04.09

Former Times Scribe Drags Metal Mike Out Of The Closet

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, Sports Journalism at 11:43 pm by

(l-r : Piazza, guy trying to look like Dave Scheid)

Sorry, that would be the steroid closet.  What did you think I was talking about?  Denied his full range of accusatory investigative journalism chops at the Gray Lady, Murray Chass uses the blogging medium to deliver a bombshell about Mike Piazza.  What’s next, Paul Lo Duca had a Napoleon Complex? (link courtesy Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

Early in a recent New York Post column Joel Sherman writes about Piazza™s acne-covered back. This was a physical feature I had always noticed with Piazza. Not that reporters spend their time in clubhouses looking at guys™ bare backs, but when a reporter is talking to a player at his locker before he puts on his uniform shirt or after he takes it off and he turns around to put something in or take something out of his locker his back is what is visible. And Piazza™s acne was always visible. Teen-age kids never had such a problem.

Now as naïve as I might have been about steroids, the one thing I knew was that use of steroids supposedly causes the user to have acne on his back. As I said, Piazza had plenty of acne on his back.

When steroids became a daily subject in newspaper articles I wanted to write about Piazza™s acne-covered back. I was prepared to describe it in disgusting living color. But two or three times my editors at The New York Times would not allow it. Piazza, they said, had never been accused of using steroids so I couldn™t write about it.

But wait, I said, if I write about it, I will in effect be accusing Piazza of using steroids and then someone will have accused him of using steroids. No can do, I was told. I always took the veto to stem from the Times ultra conservative ways, but I also wondered if it maybe was the baseball editor, a big Mets™ fan, protecting the Mets.

Whatever the reason, I never got Piazza™s suspicious acne into the paper. Then all of a sudden the acne was gone. Piazza™s back was clear and clean. There was not a speck of acne on it. His back looked as smooth as a baby™s bottom.

What a remarkable development. It was a medical miracle. If teenagers could get hold of whatever Piazza used to clear up his back, they would be rid of the acne problem forever.

9 Responses to “Former Times Scribe Drags Metal Mike Out Of The Closet”

  1. Rog says:

    So, Sam Champion spent his evenings popping every zit on the Catcher’s back. Awesome.

  2. cp says:

    The best sentence: ” I was prepared to describe it in disgusting living color”. Part of me (the same part that really enjoyed Glamorama) would love to read that hypothetical column.

  3. David Roth says:

    I know Chass hates blogs and doesn’t believe in the internet and everything, but he sure seems to embrace the petty shit-stirring and low-evidentiary-standard blog thing here. And not that he cares, but he violates pretty every rule of blogging — doesn’t link to or quote from Sherman’s piece; doesn’t make his personal digressions any more interesting than the ostensible reporting — while simultaneously violating a host of journalistic ethics in running this totally circumstantial, under-reported and single-sourced (that source being himself) accusation up the flagpole. I’m not in any position, as a card-carrying blog person and generally kinda lazy reporter, to get angry about this sort of thing, but why not be the change you want to see, jerk: report the fucking story, or don’t write it. But don’t do this and then think that you’re any different than fucking Christmas Ape spreading gay rumors.

    Or you could just rage, rage against the dying of your profession, Murray. Maybe go with that.

  4. CMG says:

    Backne? That’s all they got? I know stick figures at the gym who got it, muscleheads who got it, muscleheads with no backne yet it was so obvious they did drugs. Hell even I admit to getting backne but the closet thing to enhancement I ever got was Flinstone vitamins.

    If it was somebody like Rubin, I would give credence to this being a big revelation but Chass and Sherman are notable Piazza haters on top of being provocateurs. Also curious of this timing being now as you look at Piazza being a quite, reserved, and retired player who is on pace to being the first catcher to be a 1st ballot HOFer since Johnny Bench. Why now and not when he left the Mets or during the time the Mitchell Report came out last year when he was not on the list?

  5. GC says:

    “Why now and not when he left the Mets or during the time the Mitchell Report came out last year when he was not on the list? ”

    I believe Murray answered that question already. “When steroids became a daily subject in newspaper articles I wanted to write about Piazza’s acne-covered back. I was prepared to describe it in disgusting living color. But two or three times my editors at The New York Times would not allow it. ”

    Rob Neyer’s take on this, btw.

  6. Ben Schwartz says:

    Piazza’s pizza-back is a non-story if that’s all he’s got. But Chass’ blunt accusation of Mets bias at the NYT, that’s the headline. Can you imagine the FOXNEWS shitstorm if this were a news reporter discussing bias? Since sports writing is a step above gossip columning, of course, nobody cares.

  7. CMG says:

    The Mets bias accusation is laughable as the NYT sports section seemed to care more about their own Boston Red Sox more than the Mets. In the times eyes it was Yankees, National sports, Red Sox, and then Mets. The guys like Rhoden, Araton, and Vescey may have been chummy with Wilpon but they still love to write critical pieces on the Mets. I distinctly remember Rhoden saying the Mets should just give up the idea of taking over New York City and move to Utah, he was being completely serious about it. Anyway the Times is not a good sports section as it is small, too national, and the writers recycle the same old song and dance. From a NY perspective the NYT sports section is laughably bad.

    And GC, Chass could never have published that in the paper. This is not some tabloid where you can make such gossip of what you saw. It was circumstantial evidence and a very weak one. I mean McGwire had stuff in his locker, that’s a smoking gun. Backne can be a number of things other than steroids.

  8. david scheid says:

    oh man! i remember that photo… it was moments after i popped all of mike’s zits. that was a great day. i popped his zits. we shagged some balls and then we watched real sports with bryant gumbel.

  9. dave schied says:

    weird you have damn near the same name as me….noticed when i was reading lol

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