LOS ANGELES, February 18, 2013 — Former San Diego Padre catcher, Mike Piazza, has a new book called, “Long Shot,” (Simon & Schuster) emblazoned with the infamous picture of the “Mike Piazza Sad Face.
In his book the former Oakland A’s player discusses his career, drug use, and what he believes the real reason fans in Los Angeles turned against him was due to longtime Dodgers announcer, Vin Scully.
Piazza says that during a 1998 interview regarding the player’s contract negotiations, he was not “happy” about the interview, feeling Scully unfairly and unexpectedly aksed about contract demands.
A fan turn around that had nothing at all to do with Piazza’s unreasonable contract ultimatum, issued to the team during the offseason. A fan response Piazza responds to in the same interviews.
In his reponse to The Times’ Bill Shaikin, Vin Scully says, “I have no idea where he (Piazza) is coming from. I really have no idea.
I can’t imagine saying something about a player and his contract. I just don’t do that.”
There are two sides of this story but in this instance, Vin Scully gets to enjoy the benefit of the doubt.
Scully is the Hall of Fame broadcaster who has spent the last 63 years of his life behind the microphone for the Dodgers, starting with the 1950 season in Brooklyn and then moving with the team to Los Angeles in 1958.
But then you can decide as The Los Angeles Times and WKTLA Los Angeles have unearthed the 1998 interview that Piazza says turned the fans against him. Vin Scully’s question comes in at 1.15m.
In his career and book, Piazza could have taken a more introspective road and looked into how his own actions, and demands, may have affected the fans.
Perhaps then, the former Florida Marlin would have taken some responsibility in the way the Dodger fans perceived his contract dispute, which he alludes to in the above interview.
Unfortunately, that road remains less travelled.
The take on this is that there was no way Piazza could have done anything wrong, at least in the mind of Piazza where “Saint Michael of the Thunderous Bat” is the victim here.
But then Piazza also blames Vin Scully for being the reason he did not win the National League Most Valuable Player award in 1996.
In 1996, Scully would often remark “Ken Caminiti, everybody’s MVP!”. That comment by Scully apparently swayed every single voter that year as Caminiti won the National League MVP award unanimously.
Interesting to note is that Caminiti received 28 first place votes to Piazza’s none.One can understand the sour grapes. And should be in awe of Vin Scully’s power.
No word yet from Piazza if he blames Vin Scully for stubbing his toe this morning or for eating the last slice of pumpkin pie at Christmas.
Calling out Vin Scully, or more accurately, unfairly throwing Scully under an entire fleet of buses driven by cloned Mike Piazzas was an act from a man clearly unable accept himself and his actions.
The former Italian Baseball team star must have known that putting Vin Scully, who is loved universally, under a dark light would probably garner more media attention for the book, leading to the sale of a few more copies. Controversy does create cash.
Hopefully, it was worth it for Mike Piazza, who is now just another ego in a long line of baseball egos gone wild.
(This article was edited for clarity and additional content - 2/20/13)
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