So why has Mike Piazza been given a free pass on questions concerning the use of performance enhancing drugs? An intriguing question, one that, despite increasing rumors, no one in the New York press besides Murray Chass has asked. Here’s his blog for today:
“Right up front I will tell you that an unusual e-mail prompted this column. I do appreciate ideas wherever they come from, and this idea is one I welcome the opportunity to write about. Mike Piazza was at Citi Field in New York this past weekend, one of a contingent from the Mets team that played the Yankees in the 2000 World Series. Piazza’s presence prompted the e-mail. Headed on the subject line by ‘Piazza gets another free pass this week from New York (pro-Mets) media,’ the e-mail said: ‘Mike Piazza sneaks into town again, at Citi Field for the Mets-Yanks opener and the New York media comes up short again. The press’s credibility is in question when it gives Piazza a free pass when he’s at a game or event. You should at least write a story about how he refuses to speak to the media again, after the Pearlman-Clemens book and steroid allegations from other sources. You should address how the press enables him, gives him a free ride. According to an internet post, Piazza is going to be at another event this week. You (or another writer) should go and request to talk to him and address the steroid allegations. If you are denied access, WRITE IT and tell readers you were denied or he refused to speak. Let’s stop the coverup. Piazza — the most famous Met in recent history — does a Greta Garbo and nobody writes about it.?? Looks very bad if the press continues to stick its head in the sand about Piazza.’ The writer, who gives only a first name — Rita from Manhattan — is 100 percent correct. The news media gave Piazza a free pass about steroids throughout his career and have extended it to post-career. A year ago March I wrote two columns about Piazza and steroids. I didn’t say he used them because I didn’t know and don’t know if he did. But the circumstantial evidence is pretty overwhelming. A district attorney could probably get a murder conviction on circumstantial evidence of similar strength.”
A provocative aspect of the Piazza drug rumors is that we might be forced to re-evaluate our view of what actually happened in the broken-bat Clemens-Piazza near-confrontation during the 2000 Subway Series. Were either of the two participants possibly reacting to a ‘Roid Rage? Possibly both?