When you think of Muhammad Ali, generally you want to avoid recalling his bouts against Leon Spinks or Larry Holmes.  When rhapsodizing about Willie Mays, his looking enfeebled in a Mets uniform is not what comes to mind.  Joe Namath as a Los Angeles Ram.  Brian Baker in Bad Religion.  These are all things you wanna block out of your mind as best you can.

Likewise, that’s how Murray Chass’ online activities following the end of his New York Times tenure will be regarded.  The former Times columnist, graciously defending the Baseball Hall Of Fame from suspected PED users, has once again, devoid of any evidence (or dermatology credentials) insisted there’s no place in the Hall for Mike Piazza.

Piazza has been on the ballot for two years and avoided mike-piazza-225the falloff problem in his second year. He gained 57.8 percent, then 62.2 percent, an indication that he could be headed for election. But I have written about my belief that he was one of the steroids gang.

His many fans have excoriated me for my view, but they are blind to what I believe is strong evidence of his use. When he played for the New York Mets, he didn’t hide his acne-covered back. Steroids experts say that Piazza’s condition is one of the signs of steroids use.

When I first wrote about Piazza’s possible use several years ago, his fans ridiculed me. They completely ignored a critical aspect of what I wrote. Piazza’s back cleared up completely when baseball began testing for steroids and remained clear to his retirement. It was not a stretch to conclude that Piazza had stopped using steroids to avoid being caught by a urine test.