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Sunday, November 16, 2003
Dad says Piazza wants to stay a Met

ESPN.com news services

Mike Piazza was stunned by recent reports suggesting he wants out of New York if the Mets are headed for a long-term rebuilding period, the catcher's father said Saturday.

Mike Piazza
Catcher
New York Mets
Profile
2003 SEASON STATISTICS
GM HR RBI R SB AVG
68 11 34 37 0 .286

"I talked to him. He's more surprised than I am," Vince Piazza told The New York Post for Sunday's editions. "He doesn't know where this is all coming from and how that got out there. He doesn't want to get involved with going back and forth. He's hoping all of this dies down."

Mike Piazza has yet to respond on his own. He is in Las Vegas, where he's begun his offseason workout program.

According to recent reports citing a source close to Mike Piazza, the All-Star catcher and his agent, Dan Lozano, want to tell the Mets that he would be willing to accept a trade (as a 10-year veteran with five years as a Met, Piazza has the right to veto any trade).

Piazza and Lozano are going to meet with the Mets shortly to discuss Piazza's future, according to the Post.

The Mets have had two poor seasons in a row, and Piazza is now 35. Also, there has been heavy speculation that Piazza would be reluctant to play for spells at first base next season. "He doesn't have a problem with that," his father told The Post. "He just wants to be absolutely sure that he doesn't embarrass the team and himself. I think he can do it. He's played the position before. It's an ideal situation, if he can catch a few games and play some first base. I don't see it being a big transition for him."

Vince Piazza also added that his son was not angered by the reports because he has acclimated himself to the rumor mill that can be New York.

"You know how it's been going all along," Vince Piazza said. "So many things have happened without his control. You just have to accept what's going on and see how it plays out."

A Mets official told the Newark Star-Ledger that the team was unaware of Piazza's intentions, has no current plans to trade him, and has not been engaged in any trade conversations involving Piazza. But over the past year there have apparently been internal discussions about the pros and cons of a trade, though no decision was reached.