Mike Piazza will go down as one of the three greatest catchers to ever don a Dodgers uniform and one of the greatest ever to do so, period — as evidence by his being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame Wednesday. In terms of what he meant to the Dodgers as a player and as a figure, he should have his number retired, except, there’s a good chance it won’t.

His relationship with the Dodgers since being traded to the Miami Marlins has been strained, to say the least, and only worsened when he accused Vin Scully of turning fans against him, which, you know, turned fans against him.


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Piazza said the following in his book (via the L.A. Times’ Bill Shaikin):

“The way the whole contract drama looked to them — many of whom were taking their cue from Scully — was that, by setting a deadline and insisting on so much money, I was demonstrating a conspicuous lack of loyalty to the ball club,” Piazza wrote. “I understood that.”

I don’t want to get into a he said-he said here. To me, that doesn’t matter. Not even a little bit.

scullypiazza

Look, last month, we would’ve celebrated one of my cousin’s 33rd birthday. I say we would have because he passed away three years ago. Months before he died, I could’ve sworn he stole my then fiance’s purse (and obviously everything in it). I hadn’t spoken to him in the months leading up to his death because I merely thought he stole from us.

So, when we got the call from my mom early on a Saturday morning, you can imagine the thoughts that went through my head. All of a sudden, the maybe 50 bucks that might’ve been in the purse seemed *bleeping* miniscule. I’d’ve paid that back in full endlessly just for the opportunity to have a damn conversation.

For weeks, he would call and even when I was in town (I live in SoCal but most my family lives in El Paso, Texas), I’d ignore him. I didn’t want anything to do with him for 50. Damn. Bucks. I honestly haven’t gotten over that feeling — it’s legitimately one of my deepest regrets I’ll ever have in life.

I bring that up for the unequivocally obvious and obnoxiously overlooked lessons of how short life can be and the finality that comes with death.

Again, I’m not even remotely interested in who said what and the details of how the rift was formed between Piazza, Scully and the Dodgers. There are few things I’ll ever care less about. That’s between those three entities.

What I’m interested in is a whole bunch of grown ass men growing up and letting bygones be bygones to do the right thing. Piazza’s number should be retired by the Dodgers. He should stand there at home plate for the ceremony with Vin Scully standing there next to him.

One day, we’ll look back on what should have happened, and we can only hope it can still be resolved when that time comes.

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8 Responses

  1. MarkCarlson1

    Anthony it’s very big of you to take the high road. Piazza is worthy of the HOF and a terriffic Dodger during his time. He was one of my personal favorites. On the other hand, screw him. Why should the Dodgers give him yet another chance to thumb his nose. Let the Mets retire his number and we’ll all move on.

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  2. PhilFountain

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Piazza obviously doesn’t want to be associated with the Dodgers, so let’s respect his wishes. I’ll remember his days in blue very fondly and congratulate him on a great career, but if he has no love for the organization or the fans, oh well, he can ride to Cooperstown piggy-back on Mr. Met.

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  3. JaimiHarrison

    Mike Piazza obviously does not have much respect for the Dodger organization, or the loyal Dodger fans that held him in high esteem for many years. Why should the organization retire his number…If he was going into the HOF as a Dodger then it would maybe be a different discussion.  His comments after the HOF announcement about what he “owes” the Mets fans was a slap in the face.  He would not have had the career he did without his start with the Dodgers. and yes – I bleed Blue!

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  4. Robert Hamilton

    MarkCarlson1 The  Rupert Murdock ownership hurt Sandy Koufax with inunedos and he said  that  he  wouldn’t be a part of Dodger  Nation  until they are gone. He was true  to his word, and returned  when those bums were gone. Piazza could put first the fans who loved him and help make him a star. So to me he’s an ungrateful bum. We have many HOF’s to feel sorry for Met.

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  5. Anthony_Irwin

    For me, it’s about moving on. Eventually, when the wounds aren’t so fresh as he just recently mentioned going into the Hall as a Met, all sides might look back and say it’s time to be bigger than this. When that time comes, I only hope all parties (Vin and Mike, mostly) are here and capable of understanding they were all in the wrong in some fashion. 

    That was what I was going for in the article…

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  6. CharleySmith

    With the way Mike views the Dodgers, we should NOT retire his number! And this is coming from a guy who was his biggest fan when he was with our team. I tried to wear my mustache like his, but couldn’t get it to grow that well, lol, and his is the only Dodger jersey that I own. As long as he views the Dodgers with such disdain, and wants a Mets cap on his HoF plaque, I can’t support the team retiring his number.

    Reply

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