DADDY WARBUCKS: VINCE PIAZZA CONSIDERING JOINING MARLINS BID
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).