A planned Mike Piazza autobiography for Simon & Schuster was mentioned in this space last November, though serial Metal Mike stalker/backne specialist Murray Chass claims “there was a hangup with the (book) deal going forward.” From Murray Chass On Baseball :

Piazza’s dilemma: If he didn’t tell all in the book, the publisher would not get its money’s worth. There are only so many Piazza fans, and how many books could they buy? But if he did agree to tell all and all included his alleged use of steroids, he would jeopardize, if not flat out destroy, his chances of getting into the Hall of Fame.

“The contract hasn’t been canceled,” Bob Bender of Simon & Schuster said. The book’s agent, David Black, was talking to Danny Lozano, Piazza’s agent.

Black and Lozano did not return calls seeking comment.

I asked Bender if the book would include a Piazza confession of steroids use. “We’re certainly hoping for a candid book,”  Bender said without answering the question directly, “and based on a meeting we had with him we expect we’ll get one.”

The puzzling part of this tale is why does Piazza need a rich book contract when he made millions playing baseball. The contract he signed after the Mets got him in 1998 was worth $91 million.

Why does Chass need to blog when he received a buyout from the New York Times? Whether playing the drums, chasing Guillermo Mota all over a minor league complex or affirming his heterosexuality, Mike Piazza is no wallflower. Ok, except if you threaten him with a sawed-off baseball bat, but the rest of the time, he might well want to exercise the same right to self-expression as Mr. Chass. And at the risk of revising a previously used joke, it would be fantastic if Sam Champion and Todd Hundley were already battling it out to write the book’s foreword.