Mike Piazza’s relationship with the Mets has ‘cooled,’ and his book, Long Shot, may have hurt his chances to be inducted in to the team’s Hall of Fame, people familiar with the situation told David Lennon of Newsday.
In the book, Piazza criticizes Jeff Wilpon for urging the catcher to play with an injury in a spring training game because it was a sellout; Piazza also criticized Jay Horwitz for not doing a better job of shielding the team’s players.
Piazza also did not attend SNY’s unveiling of the team’s 50 greatest players last year and, according to Lennon, “team officials buzzed about that dis for months.”
How exactly do you have a Mets Hall of Fame without Mike Piazza, and ignore the cornerstone of their last World Series team, the franchise player for the better part of eight seasons, and the greatest hitting catcher of all time? I don’t see how you can without diminishing the entire establishment. I thought the Mets learned their lesson when they finally inducted Darryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden into the Mets Hall of Fame in 2010: if they are going to have their own Hall of Fame, and have it be perceived with any kind of credibility, they would have to induct players based on merit, not how solid a player’s relationship was with the organization.
Let’s face it: it’s a joke Piazza isn’t in the Baseball Hall of Fame. I think he more than qualifies for the Mets Hall of Fame, regardless of whether he ruffled a few feathers in his book. If the Mets deprived Piazza of his plaque in Flushing and his number 31 on the left field wall, it would really leave a bad taste in my mouth.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
Brian says it well… though, it’s not like he hasn’t been inducted yet. I don’t doubt Lennon’s reporting, and Piazza may get passed over for now, but until that happens I want to trust the team will do the right thing for the right reasons. I’m still a big Piazza fan, and I know I’m not alone. He’s cherished by a majority of the fanbase. The team clearly values him in a way they value Tom Seaver, given how they repeatedly display these two men.
The thing is, nothing is ever pretty. I mean, Seaver has a chilly relationship with the organization, and he’s Tom freaking Seaver. He is mostly interested in wine, rarely watches games, and only attends team events if he is paid. And that’s totally fine, by me. I don’t romanticize the relationship between these people and their former employees. But, to deny me and other fans the opportunity to brag and tell stories to our kids and friends about players who should be the Hall of Fame for any reason than what happened on field would be foolish. Hopefully, the team agrees…