Upon reading a Gary Gillette chat at ESPN today, Gillette mentioned something that I had never heard or considered before:
"I believe that it is very likely Mike Piazza used steroids, but I have no proof. But I’m also not trying to suspend him, put him in jail, or strip him from the record books, either."
I think Gillette is a fine author and he’s one of my favorite columnists at ESPN. I was surprised to hear him say this so bluntly. However, it appears that this kind of speculation has been floating around for years. I found this blog post from two years ago, where the author quotes Piazza commenting on steroid testing way back in 1997:
"I think it’s unnecessary in baseball. I mean, would you drug-test billiard players or chess players? You can take a .200 hitter and give him all of the drugs you can find, and would that make him a .300 hitter? No."
It almost seems like one of those weird non-denial type things that we’ve seen in recent years. Like when Barry Bonds regularly tries to divert us by telling us that the world has bigger problems and that we should all be spending our time trying to cure cancer instead of investigating him.
Many sportswriters have recently pondered: does Bud Selig realize the possible unintended consequences of the Mitchell investigation? That perhaps "nice guys" like Piazza will be revealed as steroid users as well?