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Dodge for life – or not dodge

During a few days of misery in May 1998, the world of Michael J. Piassa was turned upside down.

After all, he was baptized into the Dodgers.

Tommy Lasorda and Vince Piazza, Mike’s father, both in Philadelphia Growing up in the working-class suburb of Lystown. The two are best friends, with LaSorda being the godfather to Vince’s son Tommy, who is Mike’s younger brother. When LaSorda signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers to pitch, he became a Vince icon.

At 13, when the Dodgers played in Philadelphia, Mike Piazza was their caddie. Years later, two years into college baseball, LaSorda implored the Dodgers to draft his dear friend’s son.

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They Made It… No. 62 of the 1988 Draft round, 1,389 players were drafted before him. In today’s 20-round draft, that’s impossible.

Fast forward to 1998, when Piazza, 29, was just one season into becoming the game’s greatest offensive receiver ever. The 362 had 40 home runs and 124 at-bats. His illustrious credentials included National League Rookie of the Year honors in 1993 and an All-Star title in each of his six seasons in Los Angeles.

In May ’98, Piazza was a year and a half away from free agency. The Dodgers offered $80 million over six seasons, but he declined, seeking a seventh year.

But in the corporate suite, things are changing and it’s affecting his status.

Fox Entertainment Group acquired the Dodgers from the O’Malley family in September 1997 for $350 million. General manager Fred Claire at the time of the sale told me that baseball was concerned about TV networks buying teams. The impact on Claire, Piazza and the franchise is huge.

“I remember the sale vividly,” Claire said. “It was unusual, unheard and unprecedented in Dodgers history that Fox traded Mike Piazza to the Marlins shortly thereafter, without my knowledge.”

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Dodgers president Bob Graziano played all 29 opponents in Dominican Republic Claire was in the box at Dodger Stadium watching the team play when he called.

” He said, ‘Fred, you need to announce a deal tonight. We’ve traded Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile to Florida Marlins in exchange for several players. He gave me including Gary Sheffield and Bobby Bonilla Player’s name.”

“I’m representing the Los Angeles Dodgers, and I’m representing more than this deal,” Claire said, if he knew about the deal, in his words, He would “go to the roof.”

This sparked another dramatic move.

Claire told me: “I said to Bob, if you tell me that this deal should be announced, there will be two announcements. After the deal is announced, I will announce my resignation because you No need for me. It’s not how baseball works. It’s nothing like what the Dodgers stand for or how they operate, and quite frankly, it’s very detrimental to the Dodgers organization. I remember when I went back to my office at Dodger Stadium Realizing that my world has changed.”

So did Piazza’s, who didn’t know a deal was coming.

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but wait, wait, there’s more!

Fred Clare got a call from the Dodgers media director to tell him he couldn’t announce a trade because of a no-trade clause in Gary Sheffield’s contract.

“Of course, Gary Sheffield has a no-trade contract,” Claire said. “Every GM in the game knew Gary Sheffield had a no-deal contract. When Bob gave me this information, my assumptions were settled. Well, not yet.”

And since it hasn’t been resolved, the deal cannot be announced.

Nor can Fred Claire resign.

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After Game, Pia Za and Zeller were told to go to a private area outside the coaching room, where they were told what was going on. Ironically, in the first year of his three-year deal, Zeller made it clear to his agent that he wanted to play in his hometown of Los Angeles.

Everyone in baseball knows the Marlins are Mike Piazza’s pit stop. Clubs began dismantling their roster under an order of ownership within ten days of winning the World Series.

The deal was finalised after the Sheffield contract was settled. Square played five games for the Marlins before being traded to the New York Mets eight days later.

That’s the hat that appears on his Hall of Fame plaque.

Fred Clare did not ultimately resign as a result of the trade, but his 30-year tenure with the Dodgers ended a month later, in June 1998, when he and manager Bill Russell Er was unceremoniously fired. To this day, Claire is not sure who at Fox Entertainment traded Mike Piazza without his knowledge.

He’s pretty sure no one has spoken to the Dodgers’ GM.

Dodge for life — or not initially on



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