On a back field, far from the Dodgers and Vin Scully (who was in Glendale to broadcast his first game of spring training), Mike Piazza and Team Italy were preparing for the World Baseball Classic at Camelback Ranch.
Piazza took a break from his duties as hitting coach to tell reporters that he had no regrets over what he wrote about Scully in his book “Longshot.” The former Dodgers catcher took plenty of heat for insinuating that Scully fueled the perception that, by setting a deadline to sign a contract extension in 1998, Piazza was being disloyal to the team.
On Monday, he responded:
“First off, my intent was never to, you know, I’ve seen some quotes where I was calling him out, or blaming him, or whatever — and I don’t feel that’s the case at all. I don’t think anybody who read the passage from start to finish felt that way,” Piazza said. “First and foremost, I mean look: Vin is a class act, he’s an icon, and ’til this day I have the utmost respect for him. But again, I think the problem is you have to go back in time, and understand that point in time in my career with the Dodgers was a very tumultuous time. And I was more or less just telling my version of the story, at least what I was experiencing. Again, it wasn’t — and I said at the end of the book, it’s not coming from a place of malice or rancor. I think anybody who remembers that time knows it was a very tumultuous time. The O’Malleys sold the team. Fox bought the team. So there was a lot of emotions. It was what it was. It was just a story, part of my life, that I tried to revisit and explain to people what I was going through. It was really the first time publicly that I addressed it. That’s what I was feeling at the time.”
“He’s a good man and I love him,” Piazza continued. “I’ve seen him before. That was not my intent, to cause any negative sentiment.”
Listen to audio of the complete interview here..