Just finished reading Mike Piazza’s Long Shot for a review that will appear Friday on Bookreporter.com.
The quick react: is it great? No. Certainly nothing like R.A Dickey’s emotionally charged Wherever I Wind Up. Piazza grew up in an affluent environment, which seems to engender some ill will of its own, silver spoon and all that.
But I just don’t get the negative — or at least ambivalent — response it’s received so far. Some have called it self-serving. Well, it is a memoir, after all. Whom should it serve? Piazza is no better or worse than others who have penned such books. There’s nothing of a tell-all nature, no ribald tales of seduction (to prove he was no gay, as it was suggested in the New York media while he was a member of the Mets). Nothing exceptionally controversial. True, there are moments when he singles out teammates for their shortcomings, which strikes me as ungracious and unnecessary.
Here are some examples of what I’m talking about:
- “All Mike Piazza wants is your love,” by Rob Neyer/Baseball Nation
- “The Weirdest thing about Mike Piazza’s book,” again, by Neyer
- “Did Vin Scully really crush Mike Piazza in 1998?” again, by Neyer
- “Mike Piazza has a book out!” again, by Neyer. This refers to another website, which ostensibly compares excerpts published in the New York Post with Piazza’s first draft. But I have my doubts, the Internet being what it is, with the veracity of those claims.
As much as I admire Neyer’s work, were four separate pieces really necessary? Seems like overkill.
And not for nothing, but really? That cover shot? Is it just me, or does that white t-shirt/catcher’s mask/eye black combo fall woefully short? You’d think they could afford to use a real photo, as another great catcher, the late Gary Carter, did for his books.
Anyway, I’ll be posting the Bookreporter review when it runs. Stay tuned.