Piazza Insists On Staying Behind Plate

Mike Piazza has a .325 career batting average.

Should Mike Piazza remain a catcher or not? Well, Piazza has the answer for that: Yes. The Mets catcher tells why he's at his best while playing behind the plate.
  • What to do with Pudge?: Ivan Rodriguez begins his 12th season -- and possibly final one -- with the Rangers. Phil Rogers looks at the All-Star catcher's future in Texas.
  • The hot names for '03: Sean McAdam looks ahead at the potential big free agents who could be available at the end of this season.

    The Preview: Going Around The Diamond

    As the season approaches, ESPN.com will give you an intriguing storyline at each position each day, along with our AL and NL rankings for the starters at the position:

    Friday, March 22: First base
    •  Carlos Pena, A's: The rookie replaces the best hitter in the American League. The A's will need his production and Pena says he'll provide it.
    •  Diamond Mind's computer projections for 2002 final standings

    Saturday, March 23: Second base
    •  Bret Boone, Mariners: The Mariners won a record 116 games thanks in part to Boone's monster season. Can he do it again?
    •  Alfonso Soriano has the tools to be a great one.

    Sunday, March 24: Shortstop
    •  Jimmy Rollins, Phillies: He had a solid rookie year on a surprising team. For the Phillies to contend, he'll have to keep improving.

    Monday, March 25: Third base
    •  Edgardo Alfonzo, Mets: Out of shape and troubled by a bad back last year, Alfonzo must bounce back while moving over to third base.
    •  ESPN talent predictions

    Tuesday, March 26: Left field
    •  Chipper Jones, Braves: The game's best third baseman is moving to left.
    •  Adam Dunn: The game's next great slugger could own the next decade.
    •  Baseball Prospectus projects the statistical leaderboards

    Wednesday, March 27: Center field
    •  Corey Patterson, Cubs: The Cubs were counting on the phenom as a key to their title hopes, but Roosevelt Brown may be the center fielder.
    •  ESPN analysts pick best in the game in different categories

    Thursday, March 28: Right field
    •  Jermaine Dye: Oakland signed him to a big deal in the offseason. Now he has to recover from the broken leg he suffered in the playoffs.
    •  Young guns: Lance Berkman, J.D. Drew and Adam Dunn are three NL Central players with MVP skills.

    Friday, March 29: Starting pitcher
    •  Pedro Martinez, Red Sox: He remains the most important player in the game.

    Saturday, March 30: Reliever
    •  Byung-Hyun Kim, Diamondbacks: The recovery.
    •  ESPN.com's baseball writers predict the divisions and award winners.

    Sunday, March 31: Catcher
    •  Ivan Rodriguez, Rangers: In his free-agent year, will the Rangers contend ... or look to trade him if they fall out of the race?
    •  Mike Piazza, Mets: Should he remain a catcher or not? The Mets backstop gives his take on the matter.
    •  Free agents: Players who may cash in big bucks after this season.

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