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Bill Madden On WFAN: Piazza Steroid Speculation Too Much To Ignore

NEW YORK (WFAN) -- In his third year of eligibility, Mike Piazza didn't receive enough votes for election to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Of the 549 ballots cast, 384 members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America voted for the Mets legend, but he fell short of the required 75 percent, getting only 69.9.

Bill Madden

One of the 165 writers that didn't vote for Piazza was the New York Daily News' Bill Madden.

Madden joined WFAN host Mike Francesa on Tuesday afternoon to explain why he didn't vote for the 12-time All-Star.

It didn't take long for the conversation to turn to performance-enhancing drugs, long a stigma that Piazza, who has never tested positive, has had to deal with. When asked by Francesa if players told Madden that Piazza did steroids, the veteran journalist replied "yes."

"They said he did steroids," Madden said. "It was a number of players -- in their opinion, or whatever ... Bottom line is, there were players in the major leagues who played against him -- I can't remember if there was anybody who played with him -- and it was more than just one or two that definitively said, in their opinion, he did steroids.

"These players weren't saying this about anybody else. So, I mean, I always had my doubts about Piazza, even though there was no positive testing and he wasn't listed in the Mitchell Report. And my feeling was, I'm gonna withhold my vote, and I'll give you a reason for that -- the classic example being Alex Rodriguez.

"Here was a guy that told everybody he never did steroids, and then he confesses to the feds that he did do steroids his entire career."

Because he played in the heart of the so-called "Steroids Era," however, Piazza is lumped in with such embattled sluggers as Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro.

In his memoir, Piazza, a 10-time Silver Slugger Award winner, admitted to using androstenedione and Ephedra before they were banned by baseball. He insisted he never took anything that would have put him in violation of MLB rules.

"Let's just say that I voted for Mike Piazza, and now three or four years down the road there comes up another Biogenesis-like scandal, in which a bunch of players are revealed to have been doing business or buying steroids." Madden said. "That's the thing that I was concerned about."

Madden admitted to Francesa that in his heart of hearts, he believes Piazza did steroids.

Among catchers all-time, Piazza ranks first in home runs, fourth in RBI, fourth in batting average, ninth in on-base percentage, first in slugging percentage, first in OPS, eighth in doubles and fourth in total bases.

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