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BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : DODGERS

Piazza Dismisses Rumors of Steroid Use as Ridiculous

February 26, 1997|BOB NIGHTENGALE

Catcher Mike Piazza hears the rumors but knows there is little he can do to stop them.

"They're saying, 'Piazza is on steroids. Piazza is doing this. Piazza is doing that,' " he said Tuesday. "People can say what they want, but I don't use steroids.

"I'm not upset by the rumors, but I'll be upset at myself if I ever start listening."

Piazza figures the rumors began when his body started changing and he emerged as one of the game's most prolific power hitters.

"I think if people saw how much work I put into this game, I think those rumors would stop," said Piazza, who weighs 235 pounds.

"And it's not only training. It's my diet. And it's rest. People think in the off-season I run around all hours of the night. It's ridiculous."

Piazza contends that steroids wouldn't greatly enhance anyone's performance, anyway.

"If there is something you can put in your body that can help you hit a slider, sure, I'd take it," he said, laughing. "But there's nothing you can take to teach you how to hit."

*

Todd Hollandsworth, National League rookie of the year in 1996, said he believes he can be even better this season.

"The pressure's off me," he said. "Now I can pass the torch along to the next guy."

*

Pitcher Chan Ho Park more than doubled his salary Tuesday by signing a one-year, $270,000 contract. . . . Pitcher Scott Radinsky plans to fly to Los Angeles today to be with his wife, Darlenys, for the birth of their baby.

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