Originally Posted by mace
That's absurd. While everybody acknowledges he was the greatest hitting catcher ever, he was penalized for being 1) a poor defensive catcher, and 2) suspected of using PEDs.
As for 1): Yes, he had difficulties in throwing out baserunners. Yet, his catcher's ERA was typically excellent. And lest you dismiss that metric, more sophisticated studies have recently rated him as one of the best ever at blocking pitches and, most significantly, No. 3 all-time in handling pitchers. So his defense, in fact, was actually a positive.
Regarding 2): He never tested positive and wasn't named in the Mitchell Report. Critics are of course entitled to suspect him nevertheless, but to me that suspicion is not nearly enough to indict. That's tantamount to declaring him guilty until proven innocent.
Those Dodger and Met teams had some very good pitching on them. Now sure some guys drafted in the 62nd round have careers so spectacular to warrant HOF consideration... wait, that almost never happens.
I watched Piazza, grew up watching him. I'm a few months older than him in fact. He was really a bad catcher defensively, and played for teams with stellar pitching. With the bat, no doubt he was a force, though his numbers dropped significantly after 2002. And that actually lends credence to him not being a PED user. or if he was, he certainly saw the writing on the wall and quit. But as i said, i don't care if he did. My eyes say he was a bad defensive catcher and most HOF voters probably agree with that. If we are going by his bat alone, Edgar Martinez says hi.