Mike Piazza discusses drugs, relationships in new autobiography

Mike Piazza smiles as he stretches with the

Mike Piazza smiles as he stretches with the Mets during practice. (Credit: Kathy Kmonicek, 2003)

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- In his soon-to-be-released autobiography, Mets great Mike Piazza maintains his long-running assertion that he did not use performance-enhancing drugs to become perhaps the greatest offensive catcher in baseball history.

"It shouldn't be assumed that every big hitter of the generation used steroids," Piazza wrote in the memoir "Long Shot," an excerpt of which was published by The New York Times. "I didn't."

Meanwhile, in his first public comments since being denied Hall of Fame induction last month, Piazza offered his reaction to falling short of the 75-percent threshold for induction to the Hall. He received 58.7 percent of votes from members of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

"I won't deny there is some disappointment, but I understand it's a process," he said. "All things considered, I got over 50 percent, a lot of people were very supportive. I mean, there's what, almost 600 voters? That's a lot. I'm on my homeowners board. I know how hard it is to get six people on the same page, let alone 600."

Trailed by speculation during his career that he used PEDs, Piazza's latest denials were expected. Last month, co-author Lonnie Wheeler hinted that the former Mets star would reiterate that he steered clear of steroids.

However, he admitted in the book to using androstenedione, the same controversial supplement that Mark McGwire used. Piazza said he eventually stopped using the supplement before it was banned by baseball. He also acknowledges experimenting briefly with amphetamines before those, too, were outlawed by baseball.

The autobiography includes insights about Piazza's tense relationships with longtime foe Roger Clemens, former manager Bobby Valentine and pitcher Pedro Martinez.

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