Mike Piazza was curiously on hand with the Marlins when they closed out their season last week despite playing only five games with the franchise back in 1998. Piazza later confirmed his reason for visiting Sun Life Stadium was to announce that should he be elected to the Hall of Fame when eligible in 2012, he will enter as a Marlin.

“It’s pretty clear he was paid off. They’re moving into a new stadium and have openly stated they’re more willing to open their wallets,” said a source close to the team. “You think the Mets or Dodgers are matching that with their financial situations? No chance.”

Piazza, a surefire Hall of Famer, was reportedly a lock to represent the Mets when he got there and if not New York, then surely he’d go in as a Dodger.

“I’m crushed,” said Mike’s close friend, and Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda. “I’ve been knocking back eight Slim Fasts a day since I heard the news.”

While some are accusing the Marlins of bribery, Piazza said it had nothing to do with that.

“Truth be told, I’m just too embarrassed to enter as either a Met or Dodger,” said Piazza. “Those two franchises are in shambles. When I look at the Marlins, I see a team on the way up. That and I really like the way I look in teal.”

Piazza would have been only the second Met in the Hall of Fame behind Tom Seaver. The Mets had planned a ceremony to retire his No. 31 next season, but instead will now honor Charles Johnson, who was briefly Mets’ property in 1998.