One of the most popular Mets of all time will be at a store in Midtown Manhattan Monday at noon, signing copies of his new book.
No doubt, the majority of people who show up will be fans of Mike Piazza. They will be there for a chance to meet the former Mets’ catcher, to get his autograph on his new book “Long Shot,” tell him how he got screwed in last month’s Hall of Fame vote and how they believe he was a clean player throughout his career.
They’ve heard the whispers — the ones that most likely cost Piazza his place in Cooperstown this year — and not only don’t believe them, they are appalled by them. Until they see concrete proof that he took performance-enhancing drugs, they will never believe he could sink to the level of Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa, all accused of using steroids.
They will embrace the new book — in which Piazza admits to taking androstenedione before it was banned — as proof that he wasn’t perfect, but also wasn’t a cheater.
“I was into power, not prison,” he says in the book.
But there will also be many people who stay away. Not everyone in New York loved Mike Piazza — just ask any Yankee fan — and many folks still have a hard time believing that a guy who was picked in the 62nd round of the draft became a superstar in the height of the steroid era by hard work alone.
They will look at his admissions in the book with skepticism, not believing he’s telling the whole story, but putting one out there he hopes will finally quiet the steroid whispers once and for all. They will think he cheated, but was just smart enough, or lucky enough, to never have gotten caught.
So really, Piazza’s book — which does have great stuff regarding Roger Clemens and a tremendous story in which he rips Axl Rose for not wearing a Mets jersey during a concert — does nothing more than start the debate all over again, leaving those who care about Piazza’s legacy in limbo.
As a Met fan, I want to believe Piazza was clean. He is one of the few players in the history of the franchise who actually came to Flushing and lived up to the hype. For all the Jason Bays and Mo Vaughns and Bobby Bonillas, there’s only been one Mike Piazza.

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