Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A Star on the Decline

Written by the Godfather

Since there are so many stories focusing on the negative aspects of many athletes lately, I thought I would submit a more positive story.

Mike Piazza will be a first ballot Hall of Famer. He has broken the HR record for catchers, has a .313 career batting average, and driven in over 1200 runs. His defense has always been poor, but when it comes to getting in the Hall, his offensive numbers for his position are not matched by anyone.

Piazza began the year batting cleanup for the Mets. This past week, he dropped as low as 7th in the order and probably will not make it much higher than 6th in the batting order the rest of the season. In a city where every action is covered by the media, this has been a very quiet development in NY. Piazza is playing for a rookie manager on a team that has gone through several periods where they have struggled to score runs. He has never complained publicly once about his role with the team. He has actually seemed to be more productive batting in the 6th spot.

The New York fans have been known to “boo’” their superstars when they are not producing. Over the past month, the fans have cheered until Piazza has come out for a curtain call for every HR he has hit. I don’t know if a .267 Avg., 14 HR’s and 54 RBI’s (at this point of the season so far) will land Piazza a DH job next year. With all of the egotistical players in sports today, it is nice to see some athletes actually will do what it takes to help their team win.


Alan said...

"it's nice to see some athletes do what it takes to help their team win."

Did Piazza do everything it takes to become a better defensive catcher? Some of his poor defensive can be attributed to a lack physical ability, but Piazza also has had a questionable reputation for handling pitchers.

Being able to call a good game takes a lot of work. Do you think Piazza works as hard as Varitek in scouting hitters and preparing a good game strategy?

Patriotsy2k said...

Last year Sosa was dropped in the Cubs batting order to 6th (or 7th?), and he then openly mouthed off about how he is a better hitter and not deserving of this. So I guess it is refreshing to see someone like Piazza, who can take a demotion and not whine.
And his selection of woman, especially the one he decided to marry, is very good also. This former Baywatch star has been seen in S Fla during Mets-Marlins games, according to the reliable source known as Gary.

The Godfather said...

You have definitely topped yourself this time. Piazza definitely works extremely hard as a defensive catcher. He doesn't call a good game? The mets made the World Series with Al Leiter, Rick Reed, Mike Hampton, etc as their starting pitchers. Not exactly a horrible rotation, but also not a bunch of All Stars.
The knock on Piazza's defense is his inability to throw out would be basestealers, not his inability to call a game.
But how can anyone top the all mighty Jason varitek?
Seriously, get a clue about baseball and then actually say something intelligent.
My days of even tryign to discuss sports with certain people are done.

Alan said...

Oh oh I criticized one of your heroes; that means I know nothing about baseball. Must be because I'm a Boston fan. Or could it be that I cheered too much when Ray Bourque won a cup? And how dare I mention that a Boston player might be better at something than the great Mike Piazza. I'm sure I'm the first person to criticize how Piazza calls a game. Pedro and Ramon Martinez just loved the job he did with the Dodgers.

Attacking someone's sports intelligence whenever they disagree with you is an extremely infantile thing to do. I remember you doing the same thing when I suggested that Curtis Conway might not be a good second receiver. I guess you measure intelligence based on how negative one is about Boston teams and how positive one is about the great Jets and Mets.