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DADDY WARBUCKS: VINCE PIAZZA CONSIDERING JOINING MARLINS BID
Published May 21, 1998
Vince Piazza, the father of Mike Piazza, is considering joining Don Smiley's investment group trying to buy the Marlins, according to Mike Berardino of the Fort Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL. The elder Piazza said this week that he has had "preliminary discussions" with Smiley. But Smiley downplayed Piazza's interest yesterday, saying, "I haven't talked to Vince in a long, long time. I can't say any more than that." In '92, Piazza and Philadelphia-area business exec Vincent Tirendi were part of a group led by Vince Naimoli that wanted to buy the Giants and move them to St. Petersburg. The sale was blocked, and Piazza and Tirendi filed a defamation and antitrust lawsuit against MLB that was settled out of court in '94 (SUN-SENTINEL, 5/21). THE WORST OF TIMES: In the Marlins' first home game since Friday's trade, "just" 17,560 attended last night's game against the D'Backs. Two "particularly displeased fans were removed from the stands for wearing paper bags on their heads." One bag read "Trade me next." The other, "From champs to chumps" (SUN-SENTINEL, 5/21)....The Marlins have changed Sunday's giveaway: a Charles Johnson collector's card. Instead of fans being given the card by ushers upon entering the stadium, tables will be set up throughout the concourse where they can pick up the card of the former Marlins C (Clark Spencer, MIAMI HERALD, 5/21). BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO: Marlins C Mike Piazza took out a quarter-page ad in yesterday's sports section of the L.A. Times thanking Dodgers fans. A display ad of that size runs $18,898. The ad read: "An Open Letter to Dodger Fans -- It's never easy to say goodbye. But from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for the overwhelming support you have shown during my years in Los Angeles. I leave with nothing but great memories and deep appreciation. Sincerely, Mike Piazza" (AP/N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/21). Piazza spoke to the L.A. TIMES' T.J. Simers yesterday in Miami about the trade. Asked if the trade would have happened had Peter O'Malley not sold the Dodgers: "In my opinion, no, it wouldn't have happened" (L.A. TIMES, 5/21). OH, NO, IT'S MR. BILL: Bill Murray was on "Up Close" where he called the Marlins situation "just a terrible thing for the people down there, and for all the players." Murray, on Marlins ownership: "You know, if you're not ready to have pets, don't get them" (ESPN, 5/20).