No, Vin Scully did not “crush” Mike Piazza back in 1998

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Mike Piazza’s book contains critical words about Vin Scully, with Piazza claiming that back in a 1998 interview Scully “was crushing” Piazza over his contract negotiation ultimatum and that that helped turned the fans in Los Angeles against him.  Scully denied it and, even if he hadn’t, it didn’t really pass the smell test because when was the last time Scully crushed anyone?

KTLA, the station which employed Scully at the time dug up the footage of the interview and the L.A. Times has it for you to go see. You’ll be shocked to learn that Scully does not “crush” Piazza.  He acknowledges there was a contract negotiation afoot because (a) there was; and (b) it was the biggest story of Dodgers spring training that year and it would be broadcaster malpractice to not at least acknowledge it. But crushing? Hardly:

Yet the closest thing to criticism Scully said referred to Piazza’s self-imposed Feb. 15 deadline to get his desired contract extension resolved, saying “ultimatum is a heavy word, you know that’s the kind of thing, if you don’t do this, we bomb you.”

Piazza actually gave a solid response to this incredible grilling, which Scully acknowledged with a “well said.”

I’m still not a fan of people that accuse Piazza of stuff without any evidence for doing so. But this episode does suggest that, when it comes to his own life, Piazza is not the most reliable narrator.