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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Whose Hat Should Mike Piazza Wear in Cooperstown?
2006-08-09 09:38
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

If you have an opinion, take this poll at MetsBlog.com. No, Florida and San Diego are not options.

Comments
2006-08-09 10:02:38
1.   Bob Timmermann
I'm apparently in the minority in that poll.
2006-08-09 10:05:05
2.   Humma Kavula
Oddly, although Dodgers outpolls Mets 32-11, the Mets bar is much longer than the Dodgers bar.
2006-08-09 10:05:58
3.   the OZ
I'm surprised by how difficult it is for me to make a decision on this topic. I really have no clear opinion.

Anyone else totally unsure?

2006-08-09 10:07:57
4.   Jon Weisman
I voted Mets, sadly.
2006-08-09 10:09:27
5.   Daniel Zappala
Having never been to the Hall of Fame (I really need to visit sometime), I'm wondering what the exhibits are like. Will there be photos or other memorabilia from both the Mets and the Dodgers? What significance does the cap hold?
2006-08-09 10:11:29
6.   Rob M
4 Why? He had his best years with the Dodgers, he came up in the Dodger's system, and there's that strong correllation with Lasorda. I'd have to vote Dodgers.
2006-08-09 10:11:37
7.   screwballin
Following up on yesterday's discussion about whether the Dodgers are good enough to get anywhere in the playoffs, BP's weekly Hit List of team strength has them listed as the 9th best team overall and 2nd in the NL. (The Mets are ranked 3rd overall.) I know the Cardinals were considered a dominant team in April, but they're not worrying me too much lately.
2006-08-09 10:12:55
8.   bgo
This is a no-brainer. The Dodgers. Piazza doesn't even make it to the big leagues w/o the his godfather or the Dodgers. Piazza did nothing spectacular with the Mets. He went to the World Series only to be swept. With the Dodgers he was Rookie of the Year, went to his first among numerous other All-Star games. He was the first Dodger in LA to hit 40 homers. If my memory serves me Piazza only hit a few more homeruns with the Mets in seven years. Piazza learned everything he knows today in the Dodger organization (Campanella, Scoscia, et al.). Is there really any question?
2006-08-09 10:14:47
9.   Bob Timmermann
5
The Hall of Fame part is a big room with a bunch of bronze plaques. It's actually not particularly interesting. On the other hand, the accopmanying museum has all sorts of stuff that will keep you fascinated for hours.
2006-08-09 10:14:50
10.   Cliff Corcoran
He was a Met for longer (7 1/2 years compared to 5 1/2 + cup of coffee in LA) and played in his only World Series as a Met, but his three best seasons (1995-1997) came as a Dodger. I'd say Met, but I'm sure that opinion is biased by my exposure to his Mets career as a NJ/NYer.
2006-08-09 10:17:05
11.   dzzrtRatt
To me, the no-brainer result goes the other way: The Mets.

Normally, I'm not a hair-shirt guy, but the fact is, the Dodgers orphaned Piazza, kicked him to the curb, ditched him in the forest. We have no right to claim him other than as a starting point.

Piazza took the Mets to the Series, and made the significant difference that year and many others when the Mets were poorly-run and replete with mediocrities. We couldn't use him, for some reason, but the Mets could and did.

2006-08-09 10:19:04
12.   Cliff Corcoran
8 The Mets won one game in the 2000 WS and Piazza famously made the last out of the series by hitting what looked to almost everyone like a game-tying home run off Rivera but fell just shy of the CF wall. He played in five playoff series with the Mets and just two with the Dodgers, though as Ernie Banks would tell you, that doesn't tell you anything about the player.
2006-08-09 10:21:08
13.   bgo
The "real" Dodgers were not responsisble for Piazza's trade. Peter Chernin was. He was playing with his daddy's new toy and traded away the then current face of the Dodgers. Don't let the New York media sway your thinking. Piazza statistically did far more with LA than in NY.
2006-08-09 10:23:10
14.   Cliff Corcoran
Speaking of the trade (hey, you've still got Elmer Dessens to show for it!), if Gary Sheffield makes the Hall, does he go in as a Marlin?
2006-08-09 10:27:11
15.   Disabled List
We had a long discussion about this a few months ago, I think back during the offseason.

Piazza will be a Met when he goes into the Hall. It's a lock.

2006-08-09 10:31:08
16.   screwballin
11 I think Piazza's infatuation with signing the first $100 million contract had a little to do with it, no? I've always thought he pretty much forced their hand.

(prepares to duck)

2006-08-09 10:37:38
17.   Jacob L
I think, as DL says in 15, if the question is "What will he go in as?" there's nothing to discuss. He'll go in as a Met. I just think that's how the media and public view him. That has much more to do with HOF decisions that what he did statistically.

Jon's questions was should and you can certainly make a case for the Dodgers, but I think the 2000 WS puts him over the top. Its funny when you think back on it, how connected he seemed to be at the time with both cities. In NY, it was the NYFD hats. In LA, his "Baywatch" guest appearance (which was briliant, if anyone remembers it).

2006-08-09 10:41:54
18.   Jon Weisman
9 - So true.
2006-08-09 10:47:12
19.   JKB
I think his team will be chosen with the calculating help of his agent, due to which commercial market will potentially provide them the most income well after their retirements. Sentimentally, I hope it will be the Dodgers.
2006-08-09 10:53:36
20.   Jon Weisman
"Piazza doesn't even make it to the big leagues w/o the his godfather or the Dodgers. "

Interesting, but is this true? If he goes undrafted, does his competitive desire and backyard batting cage not help him overcome the obstacle?

I don't think it's a no-brainer, but I just associate him more with the Mets now; I think of him more as someone who got away. If the tenures had been reversed, I might feel differently.

2006-08-09 11:11:50
21.   Jon Weisman
New non-Dodger post above this one, but below the Dodger post.
2006-08-09 11:30:08
22.   Franklin Stubbs
All of this talks around the real issue which is it shouldn't matter what hat they wear. This is an outmoded vestigial question that was relevent up untill free agency. Mike Piazza is a perfect example of how he should go in as Mike Piazza. there is no way that the LA years are more important than the NY years. But there is no way that the NY years are more important than the LA years. Both are roughly half of his outstanding career.
2006-08-09 12:04:00
23.   Jon Weisman
22 - Maybe I can get him to wear a Dodger Thoughts hat, then?
2006-08-09 12:11:38
24.   Disabled List
I just caught the tail end of the Jim Rome show, and the mouth-breather guest host just opined that Mike Piazza shouldn't even be in the Hall of Fame!

Well, I guess that settles that.

2006-08-09 12:31:07
25.   Robert Fiore
Is there any chance he'd go into the Hall as a Dodger? His connection to the Mets is later, longer, and Cooperstown is in New York. It would seem to me the only thing that would weigh in the Dodgers' favor would be a strong personal preference on Piazza's part. Does he have one? I wouldn't think so. (Or do they give that any weight at all anymore? I remember the mini-controversy about players being paid to elect a particular team's cap for the Hall.)
2006-08-09 12:44:36
26.   Eric Stephen
I think I lean toward Piazza going in as a Met, but it's certainly a tough call.

I wonder if the HOF would change the plaques (at least new ones, anyway) to show a blank cap, and just have the logos of the teams arranged chronologically at the top of the plaque.

Hey, speaking of ex-Dodgers destined for the HOF, Pedro Martinez can help the blue crew tonight by beating San Diego, possibly allowing the Dodgers to move into first place in the NL West!

2006-08-09 12:50:35
27.   screwballin
23 There are DT hats?

SOLD!

2006-08-09 13:10:37
28.   misterjohnny
It will be as a Met, it should be as a Dodger. Looking at Baseball-reference.com for a moment, leaderboards and awards, Top 10 listings: MVP 5 top tens as a Dodger, 2 as a Met; Batting Average 5 as a D, 1 as a M; OPS 5 as a D, 1 as a M; HRs 5-1/2 as a D, 1/2 as a M. ROY as a D; 7 All star games as a D, 5 as a M; All star MVP as a D.

In summary, he was one of the best players in the game as a Dodger, as a Met he was just one of the best catchers. If you replicate his Met years for the time he was a Dodger, Mike Piazza doesn't even sniff the hall of fame.

2006-08-09 13:52:25
29.   gibsonhobbs88
26 - He'll go in as a Met. In light of the generation of free agency, I do like your idea of a blank cap and the logos of the teams where a player made their mark at the top, i.e. (Sheffield can have a Brewers, Padres, Marlins, Dodgers and Yankee logos) as a hypothetical case. Hopefully the plaque will list his Dodger accomplishments as well.
9 - As a baseball fan, the HOF and museum was like being a kid in a candy store, I couldn't get enough of all the history. I made the pilgrimmage in the summer before my 40th birthday in 2000 and spent two full days in Cooperstown absorbing all the baseball history and nostalgia I could.
I also was able to attend games at Yankee Stadium and Fenway park and take tours of both parks on the same trip. Glorious!!
2006-08-09 14:04:27
30.   Jon Weisman
27 - Still waiting for the design for the T-shirt (and in turn, hat). The few people who have taken on the challenge have found my wife and I tough to please.
2006-08-09 14:14:29
31.   Michael G
26 Interesting point about the HOF changing... I agree that it should change since the times have changed. I suppose back then players did not change teams as often as they do now so it was not as much of an issue. Now players seem to change teams every few years, so the HOF should recognize each team that the player made significant contributions to. I like the idea of the HOF highlighting the entire career of its members by having the logos of the teams arranged chronologically at the top of the plaque.

Piazza will go in as a Met, but should go in as a Dodger. That is unless the Dodgers sign him at the end of his career so he can retire as a Dodger. The points have already been made that he had better years in a Dodgers uni. I could be wrong, but I think the Dodgers fans embraced him more dearly and took more pride in him than Mets fans (and organization) ever did. Sure the Dodgers traded him for Sheffield, but the Mets also let him go without any return. Why didn't they retain him at the price the Pads paid? Had he remained and retired a Met I would say that it's a no-brainer that he go in as a Met.

2006-08-09 17:42:57
32.   Gilgamesh
There are two distinct factions among DFs. I think the majorities opinion is like dzztRatt's, "the Dodgers orphaned Piazza, kicked him to the curb".
But a significant minority remembers things a different way, as screwballin said in post 16. Personally, I'm in screwballin's camp. Piazza wanted to be the first 100 million dollar man. He rejected a contract extension. The Dodger's did not feel he was worth 100 million; neither do I, and neither did the Mets. After being traded to Florida because the Dodgers hand was forced, Piazza signed with the Mets for $91 million, virtually the same the dodgers were offering.
As has been stated, his best years were in LA; 90 million was on the generous side. This crowd was mostly against giving Beltre 65 million, since it would be way overpaying. Piazza is obviously a higher caliber than Beltre, but 100 million!! no thanks.
Players don't owe there teams anything but an honest days work, and Piazza was no exception. He may have had more reason than most to show the Dodgers a degree of gratitude, but certainly by 1998, he had repaid in full. So if he was, 'show me the money', he had that right. Unfortunatly for both parties, piazza's demands were unreasonable. I'm glad the dodgers stood their ground.
Who's hat he wears in cooperstown? Who cares? His choices made what could have been a storybook career into just a very good one. He's a damaged icon for LA. But he's the Mets all time greatest catcher, so let them have him. We still have Campy, and that wouldn't have changed no matter if Piazza stayed or left.
2006-08-09 19:02:18
33.   Vishal
my heart says he's a dodger, my head says he's a met.

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