I breathed a big sigh of relief last night, after learning that Mike Piazza has signed a one year deal with the San Diego Padres. I was still holding out a tiny glimmer of hope that he would decide to come back to the Mets and back up Paul LoDuca, but my biggest fear was that The Evil Empire was going to sign him. It really would have killed me to see him playing for the Yankees. Piazza has been the face of the Mets for the past 8 years, and it just would have been wrong to see him donning the pinstripes. It also would have been tough to see him play for the Phillies, as the Mets would have to play against him about 18 times next season, since they are in the same division.
Most fans were hoping that he would sign with an American League West team, where we could root for him from afar but never have to root against him, but this is almost better. If he has a good year, it will will stick it to the Dodgers, who traded him away 8 years ago, and either way Mets fans will get another chance to say goodbye when the Padres visit Shea in August.
Coincidentally, I actually am going to be able to visit San Diego a few times this year, and the Padres are in town the same time I am, June 23-27! I'm going to have score myself a ticket. I'd love to be able to root for Mike to hit one out of Petco Park.