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Miami Mad For Marlins

Wed., Oct. 29, 1997

The Florida Marlins threw an all-day party that turned downtown into a howling river of teal, spilled over to Fort Lauderdale and ended at Pro Player Stadium, site of the team’s World Series triumph.

Beaming players drenched in ticker tape waved from convertibles Tuesday while thousands of fans, many dressed in the team’s teal blue, cheered and chanted during a parade down Flagler Street.

South Florida’s ethnic friction was put aside as Latin, black and white fans joined in the area’s largest, most festive gathering since at least 1987, when Pope John Paul II visited Miami.

Dough rolls in

The Marlins didn’t just score a baseball championship early Monday morning. They smacked a last-minute financial home run for South Florida.

From the Fontainebleau Hilton in Miami Beach to the Party Supermarket in Coral Springs, from Big Louie’s Pizzeria in Fort Lauderdale to Lids in Boca Raton, the World Series brought in dollars, dollars and more dollars. “They took everything - I mean we had hats, bats, balloons and we sold out everything,” Richard Hoschek, manager of the Party Supermarket in Coral Springs, said about sales of Marlins goods.

Orioles may fire Johnson

Baltimore Orioles majority owner Peter Angelos is seriously considering firing the team’s manager, Davey Johnson, without a settlement for the remaining season on his contract because Johnson directed second baseman Roberto Alomar to pay a $10,500 fine to a charity with which Johnson’s wife is associated, sources familiar with the situation said Tuesday.

Johnson and his wife, Susan, said Tuesday that Alomar’s fine - imposed by Johnson in July for Alomar’s missing a team banquet in April and the Orioles’ exhibition game at Class AAA Rochester, N.Y., during the All-Star break in July - was directed by Davey Johnson to be paid to a scholarship fund run by a doctor at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Susan Johnson said that she is involved in fund-raising for the charitable foundation.

Davey and Susan Johnson said Tuesday they see nothing improper with the demand.

The fine has not been paid because the Major League Baseball Players Association objected to it in general and to it being directed to Johnson’s designated charity. The union filed a grievance over the matter. Angelos, the sources said, believes he can dismiss Johnson if he chooses without being obligated to pay his guaranteed $750,000 salary for 1998.

Cleveland fans loyal

Thousands of fans flooded downtown Cleveland Tuesday, intent on forgetting the toughest loss in the history of the Indians.

The crowds poured into Public Square and were treated to a parade and rally through downtown. They watched highlights of the season on a large video screen as they waited for the players and marching bands. They cheered wildly each time the Indians made a big hit.

The Indians were just two outs from clinching their first title since 1948. But they couldn’t hold a 2-1 lead in the ninth inning and lost 3-2 in 11 innings to Florida.

On the move

Los Angeles Dodgers pitching coach Dave Wallace reportedly plans to take a front-office job with the New York Mets.

The 50-year-old Wallace has ties to Mets co-owner Fred Wilpon and is expected to become an assistant to general manager Steve Phillips.

Dave Stewart’s menacing glare was perhaps the ultimate game face, a fact that won’t be lost on the San Diego Padres pitching staff.

“I’m sure if we’re not doing the job he’ll let us know about it,” right-handed starter Andy Ashby said after Stewart was named the Padres’ pitching coach on Monday. “I don’t think too many people will say anything back to him.”

Stewart, 40, has been special assistant to general manager Kevin Towers since Oct. 18, 1996.

Contract talk

The Toronto Blue Jays exercised their contract option on pitcher Dan Plesac for the 1998 season. The 35-year-old left-hander is scheduled to receive a base salary of $800,000 next year… . Mark Gardner, a right-hander who went 12-9 with a 4.29 ERA in 30 starts this past season, will be back with the San Francisco Giants in 1998.

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