I think of Piazza as a Dodger, but a Mets cap on his plaque is the right call


Yesterday’s announcement that Mike Piazza will be wearing a Mets cap on his Hall of Fame plaque made sense to me. I, personally, am one of the few people who tend to think of him as a Dodger first, but from a historical and cultural perspective Piazza as a Met is probably more satisfying. His better play happened in Los Angeles, but his more memorable moments and his overall image is as a Met. And, of course, it was his preference, so there is no controversy to be had with this.

Not everyone is 100% happy about it, of course. Apparently Tommy Lasorda is a bit disappointed. That makes sense too given that Lasorda and his friendship with Piazza’s father had a whole heck of a lot to do with Piazza being noticed and, ultimately, drafted. I’m sure that Lasorda isn’t truly angry about it — it’s a funny little idea and I’m sure he and Piazza will trade jokes over it — but I’m generally happy with anything that upsets Tommy Lasorda even a little bit, so this is good from that perspective too.

The logos on Hall of Fame caps have been discussed at length in recent years. It’s been a fairly lively topic at least since Wade Boggs caused a stir when it was suggested that he had an agreement with Tampa Bay to have a Devil Rays cap featured on his Hall of Fame plaque. Either because of that — or by virtue of a grand coincidence — the Hall took the choice away from the players after that and decided that it, with an eye toward properly representing the players’ history, would make the final decision.

The player has input still, and the Hall will go pretty far to accommodate those wishes as long as the choice is not blatantly ahistorical. This is why some guys have blank caps now. The most recent blanks: Greg Maddux and Tony La Russa, much to the chagrin of Cubs, Braves, A’s and Cardinals fans, I suppose. I certainly was miffed that Maddux didn’t have a Braves cap on. His best, most and most famous seasons all happened in Atlanta. But I get it. He has a fondness for his years in Chicago, still works with the Cubs in spring training sometimes and his personal opinions are due respect.

Ultimately, that’s what the caps on the plaques are all about, I suppose. As fans we spend decades making players our own. Judging them. Demanding things of them. Even if they’re more than accommodating in that regard, the fans have an inordinate claim on a player’s time and his image. With the caps on the plaques, the player is given the last word on how he will be remembered, at least within reason. And it’s hard to take issue with that.


Tyler Glasnow scheduled to rejoin Rays’ rotation

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow is scheduled to rejoin the rotation at Cleveland after missing nearly 14 months because of Tommy John surgery.

The Rays’ Opening Day starter last year hasn’t pitched this season after undergoing the procedure on Aug. 4, 2021.

“I think we’re pretty confident he’ll be starting for us,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said before the game with Toronto. “This is the first time he’s thrown pain-free in quite some time, so he’s encouraged by it.”

The 6-foot-8 right-hander went 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts last year and is a key addition as the Rays near a wild-card spot.

“Compared to the past, like, three years it feels way better as far as postday and the week leading into starts and stuff,” Glasnow said. “It’s good to have an UCL, you know.”

Cash said Glasnow will throw around 45 pitches in his initial outing, which should allow him to go two or three innings.

“Two innings of Glasnow is still a huge plus for our team,” Cash said. “Like to get three innings. If we do, great. If we don’t, that’s fine, too.”

Glasnow allowed one run, one hit, four walks and had 14 strikeouts over seven innings in four starts with Triple-A Durham.

“I’m really excited,” Glasnow said. “I’m approaching it like normal, staying on routine. Feels normal.”

Glasnow signed a two-year, $30.35 million contract that will delay the start of his free agency by one year last month. He’s making $5.1 million this year and will get $5.35 million next season and $25 million in 2024, which is the first year he would have been eligible for free agency.