Speaking Thursday outside the Mets' spring training complex in Port St. Lucie after having a street named after him, Mets legend Mike Piazza talked about the electronic sign-stealing scandal that has led to the firing of Astros manager A.J. Hinch and Red Sox manager Alex Cora.
The Mets have not yet officially determined the fate of manager Carlos Beltran, who was the only player named in MLB commissioner Rob Manfred's report on sign-stealing that was released Monday.
"We won't be using any cameras to steal signs," Mike Piazza said with a laugh about Team Italy, whom he manages. "But we will have a lot of pasta and coffee in the dugout. No cameras, just pasta."
Things then turned serious.
"I think it's very sad, a very sad episode for the game," Piazza said. "I think signs or observing the other team on the field of play and sort of relaying signs -- my first bench coach, Joe Amalfitano with the Dodgers, he was 95 percent on pitchouts. When I was catching, it would be uncanny. He had the third baseman's signs, whether they were gonna steal or hit and run and he would call a pitchout and he would just watch them. And that's fair game.
"But obviously to use a camera to relay it to the dugout is something I can't relate to because a lot of the guys that I played with -- could you imagine if Nolan Ryan knew that we were relaying his signs? You'd probably be missing a head," Piazza said. "Unfortunately, it's sort of an unintended consequence of the digital age of all this information. I hope and pray it's behind the game, obviously there's being punishments dished out. There's no excuse for that. In my era it would've never happened."
Speaking about the recent fallout, Piazza called the situation both sad and disturbing and said there was "no place" for it in baseball.
"Now that the information has been coming out from the investigation, it's sad. It's really disturbing. There's no place for that in the game. I'm glad at least that the commissioner has made a very bold decision to punish those (responsible). It's sad. As I've said, sign-stealing on the field of play if a guy is sloppy with his signs, it's fair game. To use a camera, center, to steal signs is just obviously no place for that.
Watch Piazza's full comments below:
"There's obviously no place for that"- SNY (@SNYtv) January 16, 2020
Mike Piazza sounds off on electronic sign-stealing in baseball and says it "would have never happened" in his era pic.twitter.com/32PBQnu4fa