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View Full Version : Piazza is done, retires today


Stoky44
05-20-2008, 03:44 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3405188

Will he wear a Dodger or Met cap in the hall?

I am leaning toward Mets, based off more years spent, more awards, and his allegiance to Met fans. But he did become "Mike Piazza" as a Dodger, and then traded him. I don't know its going to be a tough call.

VeeckAsInWreck
05-20-2008, 03:56 PM
He should go in as Marlin!

Piazza himself has said that he wants to go in as a Met, I don't see why it won't happen.

doublem23
05-20-2008, 03:58 PM
Yikes, I remember when he first started with the Dodgers.

I'm getting old.

Billy Ashley
05-20-2008, 04:22 PM
Yikes, I remember when he first started with the Dodgers.

I'm getting old.

Same, best hitting catcher of all time. End of an era... sadly an era that I recall very very well.

Daver
05-20-2008, 04:23 PM
Same, best hitting catcher of all time. End of an era... sadly an era that I recall very very well.

Johnny Bench?

Billy Ashley
05-20-2008, 04:28 PM
Johnny Bench?

Man do I always seem to step into these every time I post here.

Yes, I'd say Bench wasn't even close. Piazza had a better career OPS+ and was a full time catcher longer. Bench may have been the better player given his defense but I don't think they're even that close offensively.

downstairs
05-20-2008, 04:30 PM
Johnny Bench?

Fisk?!?

downstairs
05-20-2008, 04:30 PM
I am leaning toward Mets, based off more years spent, more awards, and his allegiance to Met fans. But he did become "Mike Piazza" as a Dodger, and then traded him. I don't know its going to be a tough call.

Nah- easy call. He'll be a Met. World Series, and much more.

Daver
05-20-2008, 04:33 PM
Man do I always seem to step into these every time I post here.

Yes, I'd say Bench wasn't even close. Piazza had a better career OPS+ and was a full time catcher longer. Bench may have been the better player given his defense but I don't think they're even that close offensively.

Bench played for 17 seasons, Piazza for 16? And Piazza hasn't caught full time in four years or so?

Billy Ashley
05-20-2008, 04:35 PM
Fisk?!?


I like Fisk but he's not as good as Bench and Bench isn't as good as Piazza as far as offense.

Games at catcher:

Piazza:1629
Bench: 1742
Fisk: 2226

OPS+

Piazza: 142
Bench: 126
Fisk: 117

Billy Ashley
05-20-2008, 04:36 PM
Bench played for 17 seasons, Piazza for 16? And Piazza hasn't caught full time in four years or so?

I was mistaken, I thought Bench got more time over his career, my bad. They had very similar workloads though.

Rockin Robin
05-20-2008, 04:47 PM
Fisk?!?

Karkovice?!?

thomas35forever
05-20-2008, 04:57 PM
I remember his line from Two Weeks Notice:

"Hey, next time go to a Yankees game."

We wish you the best, Mike.

Tekijawa
05-20-2008, 05:00 PM
Olivo?

VeeckAsInWreck
05-20-2008, 05:05 PM
All this talk about Karkovice and Olivo but no love for Brook Fordyce? :redneck

RKMeibalane
05-20-2008, 05:39 PM
Mike Piazza was a great player and a certain first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. It's too bad that he was never able to win a championship, though he did come close with the Mets in 2000. Thanks for the memories, Mike!

Lip Man 1
05-20-2008, 05:53 PM
Not bad for a guy who was so little regarded it took Tommy Lasorda (his uncle I think?) to get the Dodgers to draft him more as a favor.

They did pretty well with that "favor" I'd say.

Lip

PennStater98r
05-20-2008, 06:08 PM
Hands down - Piazza was the best hitting catcher of all time. There was a four or five year span there where you could argue that he was the best offensive player in the game.

Note: Before I am criticized for the last statement - I am simply saying you could make a case that he was the best offensive player in the game during those four or five years.

Note 2: I would go so far as to say that Mike Piazza is to Frank Thomas what Ken Caminiti is to Jason Giambi - and let's face it Larry Walker won his MVP in the thin air of Coor's. We cry over the fact that Frank was robbed of his third MVP by a 'roider - but Piazza should have had three and ended up with zero - one of which was due to a cheater. I also wonder if he had a few more years of popularity when Larkin won it whether or not Larkin still would have won it that year (Piazza had the highest NL OPS).

Side Note: :tongue: Will Larkin go into the Hall?

getonbckthr
05-20-2008, 06:15 PM
Hands down - Piazza was the best hitting catcher of all time. There was a four or five year span there where you could argue that he was the best offensive player in the game.

Note: Before I am criticized for the last statement - I am simply saying you could make a case that he was the best offensive player in the game during those four or five years.

Note 2: I would go so far as to say that Mike Piazza is to Frank Thomas what Ken Caminiti is to Jason Giambi - and let's face it Larry Walker won his MVP in the thin air of Coor's. We cry over the fact that Frank was robbed of his third MVP by a 'roider - but Piazza should have had three and ended up with zero - one of which was due to a cheater. I also wonder if he had a few more years of popularity when Larkin won it whether or not Larkin still would have won it that year (Piazza had the highest NL OPS).

Side Note: :tongue: Will Larkin go into the Hall?
did u see his career in Montreal?

TheOldRoman
05-20-2008, 08:38 PM
Not bad for a guy who was so little regarded it took Tommy Lasorda (his uncle I think?) to get the Dodgers to draft him more as a favor.

They did pretty well with that "favor" I'd say.

Lip

Lasorda is his godfather.

Brian26
05-20-2008, 08:47 PM
Bench played for 17 seasons, Piazza for 16? And Piazza hasn't caught full time in four years or so?

Plus Bench had a Saturday morning tv show. Bench wins.

doublem23
05-20-2008, 08:52 PM
Bench played for 17 seasons, Piazza for 16? And Piazza hasn't caught full time in four years or so?

Piazza wasn't the Mets full-time catcher in 2004, but other than that he was a primary catcher until last year in Oakland.

Either way, Bench caught 120 games more than Piazza, but that's not taking anything away from Mike, who still was behind the plate for more than 1,600 games.

Johnny Bench probably the best catcher of all-time, but offensively, there's no argument.

Piazza: .308/.377/.545
Bench: .267/.342/.476

Noneck
05-20-2008, 09:11 PM
Piazza wasn't the Mets full-time catcher in 2004, but other than that he was a primary catcher until last year in Oakland.

Either way, Bench caught 120 games more than Piazza, but that's not taking anything away from Mike, who still was behind the plate for more than 1,600 games.

Johnny Bench probably the best catcher of all-time, but offensively, there's no argument.

Piazza: .308/.377/.545
Bench: .267/.342/.476

You have to put Yogi in this discussion. .285/.348/.482, 3 time MVP.

Daver
05-20-2008, 09:19 PM
You have to put Yogi in this discussion. .285/.348/.482, 3 time MVP.

I never thought about Yogi, since it was before my time.

I change my vote to Yogi.

fquaye149
05-20-2008, 09:21 PM
Johnny Bench?

Bench was BY FAR the better player, since catcher is a defensive position, and Bench was the best catcher ever to play the game, but Piazza was simply a better hitter by pretty much any measure

fquaye149
05-20-2008, 09:24 PM
Hands down - Piazza was the best hitting catcher of all time. There was a four or five year span there where you could argue that he was the best offensive player in the game.

Note: Before I am criticized for the last statement - I am simply saying you could make a case that he was the best offensive player in the game during those four or five years.

Note 2: I would go so far as to say that Mike Piazza is to Frank Thomas what Ken Caminiti is to Jason Giambi - and let's face it Larry Walker won his MVP in the thin air of Coor's. We cry over the fact that Frank was robbed of his third MVP by a 'roider - but Piazza should have had three and ended up with zero - one of which was due to a cheater. I also wonder if he had a few more years of popularity when Larkin won it whether or not Larkin still would have won it that year (Piazza had the highest NL OPS).

Side Note: :tongue: Will Larkin go into the Hall?

If you call "being upset because a cheater caused Frank to miss out on his 3rd MVP, which would have put him in hallowed company AND caused douchebag writers around the country not to spend the next 8 years debating whether he was HOF worthy" crying, then yea, we cry over that.

Daver
05-20-2008, 09:30 PM
Bench was BY FAR the better player, since catcher is a defensive position, and Bench was the best catcher ever to play the game, but Piazza was simply a better hitter by pretty much any measure

Gary Carter was damn good, but never put up a lot of offense. Thurman Munson was on his way to being the best the game ever saw before an accident ended his career, I am not ready to give the nod to Bench.

fquaye149
05-20-2008, 09:32 PM
Gary Carter was damn good, but never put up a lot of offense. Thurman Munson was on his way to being the best the game ever saw before an accident ended his career, I am not ready to give the nod to Bench.

Fair enough, but Bench had a cannon for an arm, great fundamentals, and was a great leader.

It's hard to argue who is better than whom at catcher, because if you're a good catcher, you're a good catcher. There's not a whole lot to separate great defensive catchers that you can measure in stats--or sometimes even notice by watching games

PennStater98r
05-21-2008, 09:50 AM
If you call "being upset because a cheater caused Frank to miss out on his 3rd MVP, which would have put him in hallowed company AND caused douchebag writers around the country not to spend the next 8 years debating whether he was HOF worthy" crying, then yea, we cry over that.

Don't get me wrong - I cry over it as well - as a baseball fan second - and a Sox fan first. Thomas is the greatest player to wear a White Sox uniform - and the discussion on whether he was HoF worthy was just silly. I just think Mike deserved at least one MVP - and he is to Thomas what Caminiti is to Giambi.

And incidently, Walker had a great career in Montreal and Colorado - it's just we know now that the numbers that he put up in 1997 were probably a bit inflated by that thin air. For Piazza to hit 40/124 in Dodger Stadium - that's impressive - as a catcher no less that only played 150 games...

One more thing that I'd say is taht Piazza led some great pitching staffs - and one would have to think that maybe he had a little something to do with how great some of those guys pitched (calling the games). He may not have been a Bench behind the plate - as far as defense goes, but he wasn't bad early in his career.

MeteorsSox4367
05-21-2008, 10:40 AM
All this talk of Karkovice, Fordyce and Olivo and nobody gives a damn about Mark Johnson? That's nice...

As for Bench or Piazza, Piazza or Bench, I'd pick Bench because I'm biased. He was one of my favorite players as a kid and the Big Red Machine was the first National League opponent I saw at Wrigley. Plus, Bench hosted "The Baseball Bunch" on Saturday mornings/early afternoons.

Combine that with "This Week in Baseball" and that was all a kid could want to watch before a game.

As for Piazza, to be drafted where he was and to finish with such a damn good career, you have to tip your cap (just don't mess up his mullet).

Red Barchetta
05-21-2008, 10:43 AM
Not bad for a guy who was so little regarded it took Tommy Lasorda (his uncle I think?) to get the Dodgers to draft him more as a favor.

They did pretty well with that "favor" I'd say.

Lip

Sort of makes you wonder how many other good, if not great, ballplayers are out there who never had a chance to play MLB. I know our current system pretty much weeds out the also rans, however I'm sure there are still players out there who for some reason or another, never had a real chance to prove themselves.

Droso5
05-21-2008, 11:25 AM
Fordyce? 'The Officer' Karkovice? Mark Johnson? Josh Paul? All of these shinning starts get a call out? What about Spanky? Good ole' number 27 was a real breath of fresh air after the Fisk Debacle.

fquaye149
05-21-2008, 11:38 AM
Don't get me wrong - I cry over it as well - as a baseball fan second - and a Sox fan first. Thomas is the greatest player to wear a White Sox uniform - and the discussion on whether he was HoF worthy was just silly. I just think Mike deserved at least one MVP - and he is to Thomas what Caminiti is to Giambi.

And incidently, Walker had a great career in Montreal and Colorado - it's just we know now that the numbers that he put up in 1997 were probably a bit inflated by that thin air. For Piazza to hit 40/124 in Dodger Stadium - that's impressive - as a catcher no less that only played 150 games...

One more thing that I'd say is taht Piazza led some great pitching staffs - and one would have to think that maybe he had a little something to do with how great some of those guys pitched (calling the games). He may not have been a Bench behind the plate - as far as defense goes, but he wasn't bad early in his career.

We're on the same page.

A small, nitpicky note. If you want to set up the analogy correctly, you should say "Caminiti is to Piazza as Giambi was to Thomas"

That way you can say "a roider who took an MVP away from a deserving candidate is to that deserving candidate as a roider who took an MVP away from a deserving candidate is to that candidate."

Right now, the analogy reads, "a deserving MVP candidate is to another deserving MVP candidate as a roider who took away and MVP is to a roider who took away an MVP"

Paulwny
05-21-2008, 11:46 AM
I'll give the nod to Bench as the best overall. He did it both offensively and defensively. As for Berra , it's hard to evaluate him against base stealers.
Until Aparicio came on the scene base stealing in the late 40's early 50's wasn't in the scheme of things for many teams.
Most teams looked like today's Sox as far as base stealing is concerned.

DSpivack
05-21-2008, 11:58 AM
We're on the same page.

A small, nitpicky note. If you want to set up the analogy correctly, you should say "Caminiti is to Piazza as Giambi was to Thomas"

That way you can say "a roider who took an MVP away from a deserving candidate is to that deserving candidate as a roider who took an MVP away from a deserving candidate is to that candidate."

Right now, the analogy reads, "a deserving MVP candidate is to another deserving MVP candidate as a roider who took away and MVP is to a roider who took away an MVP"

A lot of Sox fans complain about Thomas not getting the MVP award in 2000, yet Carlos Delgado put up better numbers.

One hit .344/.470/.644 with 41 HRs and 137 RBIs on an 83-79 team, the other hit .328/.446/.625 with 43 HRs and 143 RBIs on a 95-67 team. Although the Big Hurt was on a better team, and did finish second in MVP voting.

PennStater98r
05-21-2008, 12:28 PM
A lot of Sox fans complain about Thomas not getting the MVP award in 2000, yet Carlos Delgado put up better numbers.

One hit .344/.470/.644 with 41 HRs and 137 RBIs on an 83-79 team, the other hit .328/.446/.625 with 43 HRs and 143 RBIs on a 95-67 team. Although the Big Hurt was on a better team, and did finish second in MVP voting.

Where the White Sox finished that year should mean something. Does anyone have any numbers on Frank's win shares?

Hitmenof77
05-21-2008, 01:53 PM
For Piazza to hit 40/124 in Dodger Stadium - that's impressive - as a catcher no less that only played 150 games...

One more thing that I'd say is taht Piazza led some great pitching staffs - and one would have to think that maybe he had a little something to do with how great some of those guys pitched (calling the games). He may not have been a Bench behind the plate - as far as defense goes, but he wasn't bad early in his career.

Riverfront, where Bench played was much more of a hitter's park than Dodger Stadium, always a pitcher's park. So you're point about Piazza having some of his best years at Dodger Stadium, is very true.

But Piazza led some great staffs? Nomo won the ROY with Piazza as his catcher. But I don't think anybody won a Cy Young with Piazza as his catcher.

And while the Dodger's staff of the mid 90's were good, Ramon Martinez, Nomo, Valdez, Park. None were what I would call great staffs. They certainly didn't compare to the Braves big 3. The Hampton and Leiter led staffs on the Mets weren't great either. Good. Yes. Great?

PennStater98r
05-21-2008, 02:18 PM
Riverfront, where Bench played was much more of a hitter's park than Dodger Stadium, always a pitcher's park. So you're point about Piazza having some of his best years at Dodger Stadium, is very true.

But Piazza led some great staffs? Nomo won the ROY with Piazza as his catcher. But I don't think anybody won a Cy Young with Piazza as his catcher.

And while the Dodger's staff of the mid 90's were good, Ramon Martinez, Nomo, Valdez, Park. None were what I would call great staffs. They certainly didn't compare to the Braves big 3. The Hampton and Leiter led staffs on the Mets weren't great either. Good. Yes. Great?

I think my point was that he had staffs with pitchers that saw their primes while pitching with Piazza behind the dish. With the exception of Ramon Martinez, Park, Nomo and Valdez put the best seasons of their careers up pitching to Piazza.

TheVulture
05-21-2008, 04:30 PM
I never thought about Yogi, since it was before my time.

I change my vote to Yogi.

Don't forget about this guy:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/c/cochrmi01.shtml

.320 BA .420 OBP to go along with nearly Nellie-ian strikeout rates. Not too shabby.

WhiteSoxJunkie
05-21-2008, 11:07 PM
Fordyce? 'The Officer' Karkovice? Mark Johnson? Josh Paul? All of these shinning starts get a call out? What about Spanky? Good ole' number 27 was a real breath of fresh air after the Fisk Debacle.

Charlie O'Brien anyone?

My God the Sox have had some ****ty catchers recently.

Hitmenof77
05-22-2008, 12:42 AM
Charlie O'Brien anyone?

My God the Sox have had some ****ty catchers recently.


They also have drafted some catchers who never came close to the majors. I believe at one time the Sox drafted the most catchers in the first round.

Save McCuddy's
05-26-2008, 10:53 AM
I think my point was that he had staffs with pitchers that saw their primes while pitching with Piazza behind the dish. With the exception of Ramon Martinez, Park, Nomo and Valdez put the best seasons of their careers up pitching to Piazza.


Piazza's negative defensive reputation is somewhat over inflated. You make the valid point that Dodger pitching didn't seem to suffer the ill-effects of his so-called lack of defensive ability. Some argue that he was an above average receiver. The statistics don't lie when it comes to throwing out runners. There the argument definitely holds up that Mike was sub-par.

However, throwing out attempted base stealers is only one aspect of a catcher's job. I'd say that the other aspects, such as calling the game, receiving the ball and being a team leader supersede throwing prowess. Piazza was unquestionably an outstanding team leader.

For those that are debating Bench vs Piazza. I would argue that the drop off offensively from Piazza at his peak to Bench at his (over their best ten seasons) is much greater than Bench's defensive advantage. Give me Piazza all day long.

LongLiveFisk
05-26-2008, 11:27 AM
Fair enough, but Bench had a cannon for an arm, great fundamentals, and was a great leader.

It's hard to argue who is better than whom at catcher, because if you're a good catcher, you're a good catcher. There's not a whole lot to separate great defensive catchers that you can measure in stats--or sometimes even notice by watching games

I think the "intangibles" are important as well. The thing you have to give Fisk a lot of credit for was handling the pitching staff. He called a great game and worked extremely well with the pitchers. Now those are things I never hear a lot of other great catchers credited with (although it's very possible they could have been strong in these areas as well).