PITCHERS AND CATCHERS

Mike Piazza Wants You To Know He’s Absolutely, Definitely Not Gay

Screen Shot 2013-02-10 at 8.20.11 PMLegendary Mets catcher Mike Piazza has released his memoir, Long Shot, in which he refutes two major rumors that haunted him through his professional career: that he used performance-enhancing drugs—and that he’s gay.

The New York Post reports that in the book, the former baller admits to taking stimulants, prescription anti-inflammatory drugs and androstenedione—an over-the-counter muscle supplement—but denies using steroids.

As for the rumors he bats for the other team, he says they began in 2002, when Mets manager Bobby Valentine said that Major League Baseball was ready for an openly gay player.

“The whole episode was such a strange, incredible phenomenon… I still don’t get it. I don’t know where the rumor came from, although I’ve heard many theories, including one that I suppose makes the most sense to me, involving a former teammate and his agent.”

Piazza doesn’t name the instigators, and is vague about how the rumor spread from there. He felt compelled to address the gossip publicly, telling reporters, “I’m not gay. I’m heterosexual. I can’t control what people think. I can say I’m heterosexual. I date women. That’s pretty much it.”

Questions about his sexuality bothered him less than the insinuation that he was somehow phony.

“I found it hugely insulting that people believed I’d go so far out of my way — living with Playmates, vacationing with actresses, showing up at nightclubs — to act out a lifestyle that would amount to a charade,” he writes. “If I was gay, I’d be gay all the way.”

Piazza’s much-publicized heterosexual liaisons include trysts with Home Improvement‘s Debbe Dunning, Playboy Playmate of the Millennium Darlene Bernaola, and Playmate Alicia Rickter, whom he married in 2005.

Photo: slgckgc