January 2, 2014

Piazza's Case For The HOF Is An Easy One

One of the biggest injustices of last year's Hall of Fame vote by the baseball writers was the exclusion of Mike Piazza from enshrinement. They have the opportunity to make that right this year.

Piazza has a soft spot reserved in the hearts of most Met fans. A fan favorite for the eight seasons he spent in Queens, he was the centerpiece of the 2000 team that overachieved it's way to the World Series under Bobby Valentine, the Mets' most recent appearance. Setting aside the 2006 season and it's unfulfilled promises, the era of Piazza and his teammates on that memorable squad is the last high-water mark or many of today's Mets fans.

Sentiment aside, Piazza is the best hitting catcher in baseball history. A quick look at the essential numbers, from Matt Snyder at CBSSports.com:

Over the course of 16 years, Piazza hit .308/.377/.545 (143 OPS+) with 344 doubles, 427 homers, 1335 RBI and 1048 runs.
He won the 1993 NL Rookie of the Year, made 12 All-Star Games, won 10 Silver Sluggers and finished in the top 10 of MVP voting seven times. Though he never won the MVP, he finished as the runner-up twice and was a third-place finisher one time.
Piazza played in eight different playoff series in five different seasons, hitting .242/.301/.458 with eight doubles and six homers in 32 postseason games...
Among catchers in career numbers, Piazza ranks eighth in average, 13th in OBP, first in slugging, first in OPS+, eighth in hits, 13th in doubles, first in homers, fourth in RBI, 11th in runs and first in offensive WAR. 
His numbers fare well among non-catchers, as well, ranking 30th in slugging percentage and landing inside the top 50 in home runs and 90th in RBI's.

Of course, we dispelled the whole "bad defense" misnomer here on Effing Mets a few weeks ago.

So why wasn't he inducted? PED suspicion. No proof, mind you, but speculation. It's time for the witch hunt to end, and Piazza to be inducted. Do the right thing, snobby, annoying baseball writers.

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