The D-Train Leaves the Station
Filed under: Sports
That giant sucking sound?
It was the now-familiar whoosh of baseball talent being slurped away from the Marlins.
Everybody knows the biggest deal of the off-season was when the Fish front office traded the team's two greatest players (and its only marquee names) — power hitter Miguel Cabrera and pitcher Dontrelle Willis — to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for six young prospects.
Last Thursday the Park Sports Club at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino threw a going-away party for Willis. Riptide expected teary fans, a slew of models, and sports agents having to pry the man of the hour out the door. But it was, um, anticlimactic.
"I still live here!" he said, leaning back in a leather recliner, dripping in diamonds — diamond necklace, diamond earrings, diamond watch. His residence will remain in the 305; his office is just in a different time zone (and at a subfreezing latitude).
He hadn't really pondered what he'd miss about Miami or look forward to in Detroit. So far he hadn't even hung out with Eminem or gone to an auto factory. "I've only been at the field and the hotel," he said.
Willis, ever the gentleman, wouldn't comment about whether the Marlins had gotten their money's worth in the trade. (The team acquired four solid young players, two of whom don't even have Wikipedia entries yet.) "They're good talent," Willis said. "They're in the same boat I was in a couple years ago."
Nor would he dish any dirt on the team he was leaving: "I'm still friends with them. I wish them all the best."
Nor would he gloat about Detroit already being favored to win the World Series — before spring training has even begun. "We'll take it one game at a time."
And what will he do with all of that extra cash — $29 million over three years? "I don't know," he said, looking honestly befuddled. "Give it to my family?"
What about investing in other business ventures — you know, like Dan Marino and NutriSystem, or Tim Hardaway and that car wash?
"Ooh, a car wash sounds pretty cool," he said thoughtfully. "I'm always at the car wash, so I might as well buy one." — Deirdra Funcheon
Return of the Gadfly
Filed under: News
During the three years Fane Lozman moored his houseboat at a North Bay Village marina, he played the role of crackerjack investigator and along the way helped expose shady dealings by some of the tiny town's officials. In late 2006, Lozman sailed his boat north, relocating to Riviera Beach, where before long he was wreaking havoc with that city's political apparatus. But he never forgot North Bay Village and the harassment he endured from the municipality's police department.
This past December 24, Lozman sued North Bay Village Police Ofcr. Roland Pandolfi, former Mayor Alan Dorne, ex-police Chief Irving Heller, and the town itself in Miami federal court, alleging violations of his civil rights. The wealthy 42-year-old computer software entrepreneur claims he was threatened, intimidated, harassed, falsely arrested, and defamed in a campaign to silence and punish him for his civic activism.
Lozman's travails in North Bay Village began in 2003, when his investigation into questionable ties between prominent businessman Adolph Coletta and city Commissioner Bob Dugger led to Dugger's indictment and a plea deal in which he agreed never again to run for office in the town.
The gadfly next clashed with Heller, who resigned from his position amid a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation that he had drawn and circulated a series of crude, pornographic cartoons in which Lozman is variously depicted as a rapist, a political extortionist, and a "faggot cross-dressing piece of shit." The probe eventually ensnared Dorne and another city commissioner, who were subsequently arrested and removed from office.
Though Lozman left town in 2006 after the city banned houseboats in the wake of Hurricane Wilma, he kept returning to city commission meetings to stir up trouble. His primary target? Current police Chief Scott Israel, whom Lozman says is the reason he decided to sue. "He has continued the campaign of harassments against me," Lozman says. "Maybe now he will learn to treat me like every other citizen."
Israel says he doesn't understand Lozman's problem. "All the stuff he is alleging occurred way before I got here," Israel says. "I have no problem with Lozman."
The town's mayor, Joe Geller, acknowledges disagreeing with Lozman "on a number of issues" but says, "I have made it my business to respect everyone's right to be heard at our city commission meeting. We believe in free speech in North Bay Village." — Francisco Alvarado
Márquez for Mexican Cops: Roger That
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Police supervisors in a Mexico city are translating Gabriel García Márquez's classic, One Hundred Years of Solitude, into radio code to get their boys in blue reading.
Márquez's opening line: "Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Col. Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."
Márquez's opening line, retooled: "Many alfas later, in front of a 44 squad, Col. Aureliano Buendía had a 60 about that distant afternoon when his father 26ed him to 62 ice."
Can someone please translate Thoreau's essay on civil disobedience into cop-talk? Send a copy to Miami Police Chief John Timoney. — Janine Zeitlin