Now, he’s biased, OK? He has money at stake. And the reality is, he doesn’t know with absolute certainty.
Actually, Lonnie Wheeler tried real hard not to say it, before naturally, saying just that in response to a question on whether Piazza denies taking performance enhancing drugs in the book.
Said Wheeler on Thursday to Long Island Newsday: “Anybody who's looking for Mike's answer to PED questions will find it there .... I believe he's clean.”
“Long Shot” is scheduled to be released Feb.12.
Wednesday was the first time Piazza was eligible to be voted into the Hall of Fame, but he fell short of the 75% of the votes required, earning 57.8%. Most felt Piazza, the greatest hitting catcher in baseball history, was left out because of continued suspicions of steroid use.
Wheeler, a former columnist at the now-defunct Cincinnati Post, said he spoke to Piazza after the vote was announced and discovered him to be fairly upbeat.
“I was surprised,” Wheeler told Newsday. “He was fine. He was laughing about it. I think he understood that the whole situation was so murky and complicated, and with nobody getting elected, that it was just an unpredictable scenario that he got caught up in. Frankly, he knew it was coming.
“I think, like I did, that he felt that he deserved it and was optimistic that he would get in and saw no reason why he shouldn't. But given the way the wind was blowing, he was prepared for that outcome.”
Wheeler would not specifically address what Piazza said about steroid use in the book, but said the subject was addressed at length.