Taryn Cooper is a Mets loyalist and blogger. I invited her to jeffpearlman.com to explain why I’m wrong to insist Mike Piazza is no Hall of Famer. She graciously accepted. Here’s her take …
“Mike Piazza: Mets fans hate this. I get it, I get it, I get it. But there’s just no way in hell this guy was clean. No.”
— Jeff Pearlman
I know you do not get a vote for the Hall of Fame. It’s also been a week and a half since the vote—or non-vote—took place. Your mock vote post, though, gave me a bird’s eye view of how writers viewed this year’s nominees.
It’s a damn shame Mike Piazza didn’t get the necessary votes in 2013. Judging his legacy, Mike Piazza should have been a first ballot of Hall of Famer. Period.
It’s not just your assessment I disagree with. I disagree with the whole effing lot of them.
1) “There’s no way this guy was clean.” Where’s the smoking gun? Where’s the proof that he juiced? There is none. Writers made an example of him, for the faults of his generation.
Oh, but there’s a source! Who—Manti Te’o’s girlfriend?
Piazza very notably broke down as he aged. Not typical of a HGH user.
2) “He’s not a first ballot Hall of Famer.” I didn’t realize there was a wing in Cooperstown that distinguished those who made it on the “first ballot” as opposed to those who do not. Look at Piazza’s body of work. He’s the best-hitting catcher of his generation, probably ever. So now we penalize players for being too good?
3) “He had BACK ACNE!” So when you had a pimple on your ass in high school, does that mean I can accuse you of injecting steroids?
4) “Tim Raines gets my vote.” BWAH HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA HAAAAAA. A coke addict? Uppers? Stones, glass houses, etc, etc.
Perhaps James Earl Jones, as Terrence Mann in Field of Dreams, said it best, that baseball “has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past … It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. “
Each baseball generation has had its controversy. Prior to Jackie Robinson, was there a level playing field? Gaylord Perry admitted to cheating, that didn’t dissuade voters. In the 1980s, players popped uppers and greenies like M&Ms. Did that prohibit any of those players from getting the necessary votes to represent their best of the generation in Cooperstown. Nope.
Baseball fans are outraged because all of a sudden … writers are the morality police. Like baseball players are Girl Scouts. Now, a statement is made by withholding votes.
The number one rule of journalism is to never make the story about yourself. Yet, the writers who felt it prudent to elevate those who made the HGH era “golden” are penalizing those who might have done it. Not cool.
PS: Dale Murphy is Hall of Very Good, at best.
Taryn “The Coop” Cooper is a loudmouth sports fan. She is head writer at Gal For All Seasons, part of the Mets writers co-op Kiners Korner, and (co)host of the associated podcasts. Follow her maniacal tweets @Coopz22.