Despite the gaudiest of offensive stats that compare favorably to any catcher in baseball history, Mike Piazza was denied entry to the Hall Of Fame earlier this week, a circumstance I prefer to blame entirely on his association with
Sam Champion Eddie Trunk. That’s probably not Murray Chass’ take, but I’m slightly less cynical, even to the point where I’m willing to swallow the claims of Piazza’s co-author for the upcoming “Long Shot”, Lonnie Wheeler, who tells Newsday’s Anthony Rieber, “I believe he’s clean.” Back acne aside, I’ve never heard Piazza’s hygiene questioned.
“Revelations, I guess, are in the eye of the beholder,” said Wheeler, a former sports columnist for the now-defunct Cincinnati Post and co-author of autobiographies of Hall of Famers Hank Aaron and Bob Gibson, among other works.
“I can’t get too specific about the nature of that discussion,” Wheeler said. “But he does tackle the question and discusses the PED scenario in length in three or four different sections of the book.”
Wheeler — an honorary BBWAA member who does not have a Hall vote — said Piazza also discusses the Roger Clemens bat-throwing incident in Game 2 of the 2000 Subway Series and the bizarre episode in which Piazza held a news conference before a Mets game to refute rumors that he is gay.
“The subjects that people want to hear him on, he has spoken on candidly and at length,” Wheeler said.