The co-author of Mike Piazza's autobiography said Thursday that the former Dodgers and Mets catcher will address the questions and rumors of steroid use in the soon-to-be-released book.
Lonnie Wheeler told Newsday he believes Piazza did not take steroids or the performance-enhancing drugs that may have weighed on the minds of Hall of Fame voters Wednesday. Despite his commonly held standing as baseball's all-time best-hitting catcher, Piazza received just 57.8 percent of the vote, less than the 75 percent required for election. High-profile first-year candidates linked to PED use such as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa also did not receive enough votes from eligible members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Wheeler said Piazza remained "upbeat" despite the HOF results, and hinted that the 44-year-old who rose from 62nd-round draft pick to 12-time All-Star will answer questions of whether he took PEDs when "Long Shot" is released Feb. 12:
"Anybody who's looking for Mike's answer to PED questions will find it there . . . I believe he's clean," Wheeler said. "I can't get too specific about the nature of that discussion."History could still be on the side of Piazza, who hit 427 home runs, 1,335 runs batted in, and a .308 batting average in his 16-year career. All 16 players who previously gained at least 50 percent of the vote in their first year of eligibility were eventually elected -- but none were linked to using PEDs.
"But he does tackle the question and discusses the PED scenario in length in three or four different sections of the book."