01 February 2006

All-Baseball.collumn - Unfinished Business: Piazza Catching on With the Padres

Two California teams signed once-great players, now in the twilights of their respective careers, to one-year, free agent contracts this weekend. The San Diego Padres picked up Mike Piazza, easily the best hitting catcher in history, and to the north, the Oakland Athletics picked up Frank Thomas, possibly the best right handed hitter in history, easily in the top ten for that distinction. Rob Neyer has already written eloquently (and more concisely than me) on the latter of those signings, so I won't get into the Thomas signing, at least this week, but the Piazza signing interests me. Of course, any time a future Hall of Famer changes teams and/or coasts it interests me, and Piazza's such a colorful and controversial player that one can't help but pay attention when he does something like this. The Mets may not have wanted him, but Mike's convinced that his career isn't over yet, and so he'll take his Tools of Ignorance and his still-useful bat across the country to take care of some unfinished business.

Mike Piazza, C
Age: 37
2005 Numbers: .251/.326/.452, 19 HR, 62 RBI in 129 games

Read the rest at All-Baseball.com...

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