Mike Piazza for MVP Award!
written in 2000
Seemingly, the only real opponent that Mike Piazza has in being the National League Most Valuable Player is Barry Bonds. Bonds, who is batting .316 to Mikeís .326, has 47 HRís and 101 RBIís in 130 games. Piazza has 35 HRís and 104 RBIís in 123 games. The last time the Mets played SF, the weekend of August 13-14th, the Mets swept them. Winning 4-1, 3-2 and taking the final game 2-0.
Where the Mets relief pitching and defense at SS was once questionable, the position behind the plate is not, since they have hopeful MVP Mike Piazza. As of two weeks ago, the Mets where 37-13 when Mike drove in a run and 32-34 when he did not. In addition, Mike has the highest Batting Average, slugging percentage, rates of Homeruns and RBIís among catchers that have caught at least 1,000 games.
Rest: that is what is key for Piazza, as well as all the other Mets to contend later in the season. Last season Mike had played 94 games by this point, this season he has played 88. When the Mets where playing the Giants a few weeks ago, with south paw Shawn Estes pitching against the Mets, Mets manager, Bobby Valentine, rested Mike, even though he was hitting .400 against lefties. One reason why Mike is hitting so well against south paws is that he is stronger and is more determined.
After the tough loss last year against the Braves in the NLCS, Mike spent three weeks recuperating in bed. He was physically drained. One of the reasons he was so tired was because Piazza played in all but two of New Yorkís final 32 regular season games. During Mikeís three weeks after the season, which he could only describe as the feeling you get after running a marathon, but having that feeling everyday, one thought crossed his mind: ďWhat could I have done differently?Ē
Mike has improved greatly this season. He is no longer catching pitches backhanded, with his left thumb pointed down. That would sometimes cause pitches to smack against his thumb. Piazza has also been taught how to keep his left thumb out of harmís way. Mike insists that he has a good arm, and that it is just because of his smallish hands, (for a catcher,) that his throwing is so poor.
Although his throwing may be erratic, his offense is superb. THAT is what keeps the New York Mets winning. Mike is able to swing his 34 and a half-ounce bat with amazing speed and great control. Mikeís AB/HR is 14.8! That is almost 6 points less then Johnny Bench, and almost 3 less then Roy Campanella. Also, his On Base Percentage, (.393) is second only to Mickey Cochrane, (.419). Piazza is the heart and soul of the Mets. Piazza for MVP!