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Padres Sign Mike Piazza, Completing a “I Hit Homers in Horrid Hitters Parks” Trifecta
Monday, January 30, 2006

Superman catcher Mike Piazza will be returning to SoCal for the 2006 season, just two hours south from where he started his career at Dodger Stadium fourteen years ago. Piazza and the Padres came to agreement on a one year, $2 million contract that will split Mike’s time behind the plate, at first base, and as designated hitter in interleague games. Piazza has dealt with various injuries and the expected strain that comes with 14 seasons of catching duty, but has maintained his incredible batting average and slugging numbers despite his struggles. In the past two seasons with the Mets Mike’s performance has declined both at the plate and behind it – he doesn’t exactly strike fear into baserunners’ hearts – but this was likely due to the aforementioned strain of serving as everyday catcher for scores of years. Piazza reportedly told the Padres that he would feel comfortable catching 70-90 games next season, so Padres fans can expect former BoSox catcher Doug Mirabelli, who the Pads acquired in December, to start the remaining games.

Mike is just three homers shy of hitting the coveted 400 mark, and while Petco is certainly not an easy park to hit long balls in, he should have no trouble slugging his way into the record books. Piazza has hit 397 career home runs thus far, all of them in decidedly “pitcher friendly” parks (both Shea and Dodger Stadium rank among the bottom half of major league hitters parks), so Petco’s 367-foot left field line should prove daunting to the lifetime .311 hitter.
posted by Yankees Chick @ Monday, January 30, 2006  
  • At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Captain Scurvy said…

    I just checked the Padres' schedule, and they play 10 games this year at Coors Field. They'll be nuts not to start Piazza in those games!

    Mike'll also get to play 3 games at the Big Shea, and here's hoping that he gets the ovation he deserves from the New York fans.

    The Padres also signed young pitcher Chris Young from the Rangers. He's a friend of a friend and has put up terrific numbers in his first two seasons in the bigs, even despite the bandbox that is Ameriquest. Look for him to excel in the most pitcher-friendly park in the majors.

    Hey YC, are you going to get up to San Diego to see Piazza play a few games?

  • At 11:01 AM, Anonymous Mets Guy said…

    For $2 million, the Mets couldn't have signed him for one more year? I'd much rather do that than give up a prospect and pay Lo Doca $6.25 million.

    I'm sure Piazza will get a standing ovation every time he comes up to bat at Shea this coming season.

  • At 11:26 AM, Blogger RizzoSports said…

    Piazza could end up anywhere at the trading deadline. But I expect him to hit 30 HRs this year.

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