Mike Piazza took karate lessons to prepare for Roger Clemens, saw Guns N’ Roses after 1998


We’ve seen some of the excerpts from Mike Piazza’s upcoming book. But beyond PEDs and the Hall of Fame, there’s other interesting stuff. Like how he was all ready to fight Roger Clemens after the helmet beaning incident:

Piazza tells how he mapped out a plan for revenge — taking karate lessons and visualizing the next time they would go at it.

“I would approach with my fist pulled back. I figured he’d throw his glove out for protection. I’d parry the glove and then get after it,” Piazza writes.

Except he didn’t, and Piazza chides himself in the book for never throwing a punch, in part because he was worried he’d get his butt beat.  Which, whatever. If Robin Ventura could recover from his ass-whupping, I don’t see why Piazza couldn’t have risked it.

But that’s not the only embarrassment Piazza reveals:

After a Guns N’ Roses concert, Piazza — who’d been drinking vodka all night — chided lead singer Axl Rose for wearing Rangers, Knicks and Yankees jerseys on stage. But not his team’s.

“I’m obliterated. I go, ‘Hey, yo, Axl! What the f–k, man? Like, you know, you think you could’ve mixed in a Mets jersey?’ ”

That would be relatively hilarious if it had happened during the “Use Your Illusion” tour, but if Piazza was yelling at Axl to wear Mets stuff it had to have happened after he was traded there in 1998.

I’m sorry, but actually admitting to going to a Guns N’ Roses concert in those weird years before “Chinese Democracy” was released is way more embarrassing than getting your butt beat by Roger Clemens.

CC Sabathia checking into an alcohol rehab center

sabathia getty

This is totally unexpected and definitely unfortunate: The New York Yankees just released a statement from CC Sabathia saying that he is checking himself into an alcohol rehabilitation center.

Sabathia, who was involved in a relatively minor incident outside a nightclub back in August, has battled injuries and ineffectiveness for the past three seasons but has, in his last few starts, shown himself to be effective, even if he’s not to the level he once was. And, should the Yankees advance past the Wild Card game, one would have assumed that the Yankees would’ve been counting on him for the playoff rotation. Now, however, that seems both doubtful and completely superfluous.

And for what it’s worth, Sabathia’s statement, just released by the Yankees, suggests that he is aware of the need to get his priorities in order:

“Today I am checking myself into an alcohol rehabilitation center to receive the professional care and assistance needed to treat my disease.

“I love baseball and I love my teammates like brothers, and I am also fully aware that I am leaving at a time when we should all be coming together for one last push toward the World Series. It hurts me deeply to do this now, but I owe it to myself and to my family to get myself right. I want to take control of my disease, and I want to be a better man, father and player.

“I want to thank the New York Yankees organization for their encouragement and understanding. Their support gives me great strength and has allowed me to move forward with this decision with a clear mind.

“As difficult as this decision is to share publicly, I don’t want to run and hide. But for now please respect my family’s need for privacy as we work through this challenge together.

“Being an adult means being accountable. Being a baseball player means that others look up to you. I want my kids — and others who may have become fans of mine over the years — to know that I am not too big of a man to ask for help. I want to hold my head up high, have a full heart and be the type of person again that I can be proud of. And that’s exactly what I am going to do.

“I am looking forward to being out on the field with my team next season playing the game that brings me so much happiness.”

Here’s hoping Sabathia deals with whatever problems he’s facing and comes out healthy on the other end.

Diamondbacks fire pitching coach Mike Harkey

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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have fired pitching coach Mike Harkey following a season in which the staff ranked ninth among NL teams in runs allowed.

That actually represents a big improvement from last season, when the Diamondbacks allowed the second-most runs in the league in Harkey’s first year as pitching coach, but the Tony La Russa-led front office has decided to make a change.

Prior to joining the Diamondbacks two offseasons ago Harkey served as the Yankees’ bullpen coach from 2008-2013. He pitched eight seasons in the majors.