Beyond Piazza’s inevitability
My personal New Year’s resolution was "be less outraged," and I’m sticking to that. But man, Mike Piazza getting hosed out of Hall of Fame induction yet again ~ for absolutely no good reason ~ is sure making it harder than I thought.
He came super-duper close this year? Cool! Is he a cinch for election in 2016? Without a doubt, it would seem. Should that be any consolation for making him wait another year? Unfortunately, it will have to be.
The arguments that’ve propelled this years-long smear campaign — is there really any other word for it? — claiming Piazza’s supposed PED usage have been hashed out and rehashed and broken down into a fine powder and reconstituted as something only vaguely resembling matter as we see it. It’s old hat, and it’s become tiresome. But these specious (at best!) arguments remain and so we must fight them for yet another year.
On the one hand, I hope, when Piazza does get in next year, this becomes (at least in the public’s eye) nothing more than a trivial addendum to a historic career, the kind we might not see again for some time. At the same time, as a new member of the BBWAA — one whose 10-year waiting period for a HOF vote has now started ticking down — I will likely never forget the tribulations that this all-too-obvious Hall of Famer had to overcome.
There are certainly many valid and worthy debates to be had regarding potential HOF candidates. Unlike some of his contemporaries, Piazza-as-PED-user was never truly one of them.