Beyond Piazza’s inevitability

My personal New Year’€™s resolution was "€œbe 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.