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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mike Piazza took karate lessons to prepare for fight with Roger Clemens

Mike PiazzaMike Piazza has a new book called “Long Shot” that is being released this week, and it has received a good amount of press coverage thus far thanks to the New York media.

In the book, Piazza denies using steroids; admits to using andro, amphetamines, Vioxx, Ephedra, and Dymetadrine; expresses his disappointment with the results of the Hall of Fame voting; elaborates on the rumors about him being gay; discusses his odd reaction to signing a big contract; and talks about a conspiracy he believes Latin players had against him.

The New York Times had a good review of the book with a few quotes from Piazza mixed in, and the New York Post had even more anecdotes to share. The Post’s review includes perhaps the best nugget of all: Piazza admits he took karate classes to prepare for a potential revenge fight with Roger Clemens for a July 2000 beaning.

Clemens, then with the Yankees, started matters when he beaned Piazza in a July 8, 2000 game. Clemens apparently called the Mets dugout during the game to apologize, but Piazza told him to stick it.

“I grabbed [the phone], threw it and said, ‘Tell him to go f–k himself,’” Piazza says in the book.

According to the Post’s review of the book, Piazza says he began “taking karate lessons and visualizing the next time” he and Clemens would go at it.

“I would approach with my fist pulled back. I figured he’d throw his glove out for protection. I’d parry the glove and then get after it,” Piazza writes.

The next incident between the men occurred during Game 2 of the World Series when Clemens splintered Piazza’s bat and chucked one of the pieces at the Mets catcher. The revenge fight never materialized for Piazza.

“There were complications,” he recalls. “The least of them was the realization that Clemens was a big guy, and I stood a pretty fair chance of getting my ass kicked in front of Yankee Stadium and the world. That was a legitimate concern.”

Now that’s a damn shame. Had he gone through with his plans, we could have seen a repeat of Chan Ho Park’s spinning kick on Tim Belcher. I’m thinking that reading this book might be worth it just based on this story alone. As for Piazza’s wife’s thoughts on the matter, well, those are pretty notable too.



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