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Mike Piazza and the lost crusade against Vin Scully

February 14, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Apparently, Mike Piazza is not a fan of Vin Scully.
Apparently, Mike Piazza is not a fan of Vin Scully. (Jeff Zelevansky / Associated…)

Another day, and no news that Mike Piazza has blamed Jonas Salk for polio. Not a word that Jack Nicholson is the core problem for the Lakers, Sandy Koufax is the cause of Clayton Kershaw’s hip problem, that Walter Cronkite was actually on the grassy knoll.

Mother Teresa remains safe, but the day is early. He’d probably like to go after the pope for something but is not sure should whether to focus on the lame duck or await a new pontiff.

Not sure what’s the upside to taking on beloved icons, but Piazza is blazing his own trail. Apparently it traverses into some netherworld you and I have never imagined, or would want to.

Piazza has a new autobiography out, “Long Shot,” which apparently refers to the chances of anyone in Los Angeles now taking it seriously. In it, he calls out Vin Scully.

Right, the most beloved figure in Los Angeles history. Good luck with that. There are battles that should not be fought and those where if you even consider it, the entire world doubles over in absolute laughter.

As The Times’ Bill Shaikin wrote, Piazza is blaming Scully for turning Los Angeles fans against him preceding his 1998 trade to the Marlins.

That’s right boys and girls, that evil Vin Scully was at it again! Surely by now you’re well versed with Scully’s sinister side. Few know he was actually the inspiration for Darth Vader. Or was it Dean Wormer?

In 1998 Piazza wanted a $105-million contract and gave the Dodgers a Feb. 15 deadline to sign him to an extension. In the book, he said Scully asked him about it in an interview.

"He wasn't happy about it," Piazza wrote. "And Scully's voice carried a great deal of authority in Los Angeles."

Note to Piazza: He still does. Piazza sensed the fans were spiraling against him and he knew why.

"The way the whole contract drama looked to them — many of whom were taking their cue from Scully — was that, by setting a deadline and insisting on so much money, I was demonstrating a conspicuous lack of loyalty to the ballclub," Piazza wrote. "I understood that."

Poor Piazza. It’s a wonder he had the emotional strength to rise from bed. As Shaikin noted, Piazza ripped the Dodgers in a 1998 opening-day interview with The Times. Which, you know, just might have had an impact with fans. The Dodgers lost their first four games of the season.

"On top of that, Vin Scully was crushing me," Piazza wrote.

That’s the Scully we all know! Just crushes people. A regular trademark. Guys on the team shudder in daily fear of what criticism Scully will unleash next.

Scully denied ever taking a shot at Piazza and told Shaikin he was “flabbergasted.” Which puts him at the head of a long line.

I can’t remember Scully ever criticizing any player over contract negotiations. Maybe there’s a recording of that interview out there somewhere, but chances are great that at best Scully simply asked about it.

Piazza ripped the Dodgers again and again in his book. He sounds like a bitter old man, which is supposed to be my gig.

He could blame himself or his agent or Fox or Chase Carey or Al Qaeda. Nope, he blames Vin Scully. And the whole world is doubled over in laughter.

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