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Lasorda defends Piazza against steroids claims

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07:12 AM ET 03.30 | It's going to take more than accusations from former players to make Tommy Lasorda doubt Mike Piazza. Piazza, a former Dodgers catcher, was one of a handful of players singled out as a steroid user in a new book by Jeff Pearlman, a columnist on Sports Illustrated's Web site, SI.com. But when told of the accusations Sunday, Lasorda rushed to Piazza's defense. "I don't believe that at all," said Lasorda, the longtime Dodgers manager . "He worked so hard. I saw him in the weight room working out all the time. Whatever (is in the book) is hearsay. I just don't believe it. He comes from a family that's full of good people. "I wouldn't comment on it if I didn't feel strongly about it. He has too much to lose. And he's such a nice young man. He goes to church, he's got a nice family. I know him. I know what kind of man he is and I just don't believe it." Piazza, a 12-time All-Star generally regarded as a certain Hall of Famer who holds the record for most home runs as a catcher (396), was drafted by the Dodgers in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft partly as a favor to Lasorda, a godfather to one of Piazza's brothers. Pearlman quotes former major-league first baseman Reggie Jefferson and another anonymous player in his book, "The Rocket That Fell to Earth." In the book, Jefferson says, "He's a guy who did it, and everybody knows it. It's amazing how all these names, like Roger Clemens, are brought up, yet Mike Piazza goes untouched." Another anonymous player is quoted as saying, "There was nothing more obvious than Mike on steroids. Everyone talked about it, everyone knew it."

Los Angeles Daily News

Mike Piazza, Jim McIsaac/Getty Images Mike Piazza, Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

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