15 May 2011

The Curse of the Piazza, 13 years later

Well, it's May 15 again...

The ides of May is to Dodgers fans what the ides of March was to Julius Caesar. Both involve being stabbed in the back by those you once trusted. But while ol' Jules was benevolently granted death upon his betrayal, we Dodgers fans have had to put up with thirteen years of miserable life, post-Piazza.

Thirteen years ago today, the Curse of the Piazza began.

While it's true the Dodgers hadn't even sniffed the World Series for the ten years leading up to FOX's ill-advised trade of the greatest hitting catcher who ever lived, the thirteen years since have only brought forth exponentially more agnoy. I am convinced that all the awful things that have happened to us in the past baker's dozen years-- the McCourt ownership, Andruw Jones, and the disappearance of Cool-A-Coos -- can be attributed to the fact that we traded away Mike Piazza for Gary Sheffield and a bunch of bums.

Mike Piazza was Herculean to me. I was 9 when I came home from school on May 15, 1998 to hear that my hero had been dealt to the Florida Marlins. That moment, where the tears began to materialize in my eyes and my raspy, high-pitched voice begged for it all to be some sort of elaborate hoax or lie or practical joke (there was no such thing as being Punk'd back then but, dear God, I wished I was being Punk'd)... that was the point where I became a cynical, miserable Dodgers fan.

Ever since then I've put up with clowns like Carlos Perez, whiners like Odalis Perez, and the certifiably insane Milton Bradley.

I've put up with overpaid underperformers such as Darren Dreifort, Jason Schmidt, and Kevin Brown (who got the big contract we should have given to Piazza).

I've put up with seeing guys like Ricky Ledee, Jason Phillips, and Aaron Miles get legitimate starting time.

And I've put up with the continuing growing pains of Matt Kemp, James Loney, Clayton Kershaw, and Jonathan Broxton.

And through all that I've seen the Dodgers (mostly Broxton) choke twice in the NLCS against Philadelphia, only to then collapse under the weight of the McCourts' misersly stewardship and settle into a status quo of mediocrity.

Though it may not have any semblance of logic behind it, I will continue to stick behind my theory that if the Dodgers had only made a long-term commitment to the greatest hitting catcher of all time, a guy who had the potential to leave guys like Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, and Steve Garvey in the dust as he claimed the title of the Greatest LA Dodger ever, things would be much, much, much better and we wouldn't have a starting infield of Loney, Miles, Carroll, Castro.

But alas, Juan Castro is in today's lineup and Mike Piazza is on his way to being enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame as a New York Met.


  1. Like a masochist, I watched the last two Dodgers games. I haven’t decided yet if I will watch tonight’s game or have myself flogged. That @#$* McCourt had the unmitigated gall to say that even without financial problems, this is the team he would put out on the field. How much longer will this man be allowed to drag a proud franchise through the mud?


  2. Thirteen years of agony makes the 23 years since Kirk Gibson's home run seem like an eternity.