* Piazza: Did he or didn't he?

August 19, 2009

Use PED, of course.

That’s one of the topics of Murray Chass’s Aug. 16 column, in he he ponders the advisability of a Mike Piazza auto-bio. I quote, at length:

Several months ago I heard that Piazza may be doing a book. The publisher, Simon & Schuster, I was told, had signed a contract for the book.

However, there was a hangup with the deal going forward because the publisher, before signing the contract and giving Piazza the huge advance, hadn’t pinned down exactly what he would say in the book for the hundreds of thousands of dollars Simon & Schuster was paying him.

Piazza’s dilemma: If he didn’t tell all in the book, the publisher would not get its money’s worth. There are only so many Piazza fans, and how many books could they buy? But if he did agree to tell all and all included his alleged use of steroids, he would jeopardize, if not flat out destroy, his chances of getting into the Hall of Fame.

The content of the book apparently is in the discussion stage.

“The contract hasn’t been canceled,” Bob Bender of Simon & Schuster said. “The book’s agent, David Black, was talking to Danny Lozano, Piazza’s agent.”

Black and Lozano did not return calls seeking comment.

(Subsequent to the posting of this column, Black, who said he sold the book proposal to Simon & Schuster for Piazza, called and said he had no direct knowledge of what Piazza planned to include in the book but said Lozano told him, “Mike’s going to talk about everything.”

Does that mean Piazza will write about steroids? “I would assume so,” Black said. “I was told he has nothing to hide.”

That, of course, does not mean Piazza will admit to having used steroids. He could write, “I have nothing to hide because I never used steroids.” But many would not believe that, including one prospective author who withdrew from the project because he had no guarantee that Piazza would be forthcoming about steroids. (emphasis original))

I asked Bender if the book would include a Piazza confession of steroids use. “We’re certainly hoping for a candid book,” Bender said without answering the question directly, “and based on a meeting we had with him we expect we’ll get one.”

The puzzling part of this tale is why does Piazza need a rich book contract when he made millions playing baseball. The contract he signed after the Mets got him in 1998 was worth $91 million.

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