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May 19, 2010

Farewell, Zach Thomas. You done good; plus Andre Dawson schools Hanley, NY titillates LeBron, Brandon Marshall's hip, Rima Fakih, World Cup odds & more

[Twitter.com/gregcote]

1aadolzach ZACH THOMAS RETIRES A DOLPHIN: An emotional, grateful and characteristically classy Zach Thomas officially retired as a Dolphin yesterday. I was there and you'd click Farewell Zach for my column that is online in Friday's paper. It is an unabashed ode and appreciation. Zach was one of the nicest. most grounded, most real people I have had the pleasure to cover on any team in any sport. I wish him only the best. What a terrific career and terrific guy.

MARLINS' HANLEY DRAMA PUT TO BED: Sorry seems to be the hardest word, but Hanley Ramirez mustered an apology yesterday before the win in St. Louis. Earlier he had told ESPNDeportes.com: I’m sorry that all this got so ugly. My intent was not to cause a distraction. I’m sorry that things got this heated. The team, the fans don’t deserve it. We are all professionals here and we’re pulling for the same side. I’ll try to close this chapter and focus on playing baseball.” Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Tony Perez, bohit club executives, met privately with Ramirez, and Dawson didn't mince words, blasting the younger player for showing up his manager. Click here for the great story of that meeting in the Palm Beach Post.

[Update: ESPN.com's Mid-May Top 300 is out today and Marlins place 10 guys: Hanley Ramirez 2nd overall, Josh Johnson 54th, Ricky Nolasco 73rd, Dan Uggla 107th, Jorge Cantu 115th, Leo Nunez 182nd, Cody Ross 206th, Chris Coghlan 226th, Gaby Sanchez 253rd and Cameron Maybin 266th. I'd have thought Anibal Sanchez might sneak in. The Sporting News' top 50, also new, has Hanley 7th and Johnson 35th]. 

My post earlier yesterday, pre-apology:

1aahanley 1aahanley2 HERE'S THE SOLUTION TO HANLEY VS. FREDI: Quick recap: Star Hanley Ramirez loafs in game, gets called out and benched by manager Fredi Gonzalez. Hanley fires back, rips Fredi. Now Fredi wants Hanley to apologize to team, but Hanley sulks, seems disinclined. Stalemate! The manager is right in this and the player is wrong. If you don't believe it, click on Fredi Sends Right Message for the column by me. But let's move on. The only pertinent question now is:

What now? What's next?

I broker peace with a three-point plan.

1. No ridiculous overreaction please. You already hear the knee-jerk "trade Hanley!" huffing on local sports-rant radio. Stop it! Take a deep breath. This could turn out to be a blip (albeit a potentially staining one) on the young man's career timeline. Hanley is only 26 and is signed long-term. He is the game's most gifted player at one of its key positions. You do not stop counting on him as a franchise cornerstone just because he is not the Derek Jeter/Cal Ripken model in terms of perfect personality/ideal teammate.

2. Marlins, do not be intractable. Don't draw a line in cement that will harden and cause a permanent rift. Yes, Hanley must apologize in some way, but let the definition of that be flexible. Must he stand up on a soapbox in the middle of the clubhouse? Must he admit he dogged it Monday night? To me it would be enough if Hanley apologizes personally to his manager and tells his teammates (not necessarily en masse) that he regrets his overreaction and the distraction it created.

3. Hanley, step up and be a man. You didn't give full effort Monday night, for whatever reason, then you overreacted horribly Tuesday in a fountain of immaturity. Look that in the eye. Take ownership. Make amends and move on. There is an olive branch on the table, but it is yours to pick up and extend, not the manager's or the team's. Oh, and you might also tip a cap to the fans in whatever version of a mea culpa you can manage. Did you hear them booing? They want to embrace you. Give them a reason.

SUMMARY: The Marlins need Ramirez too much, in this 2010 playoff chase and beyond, to allow this tempest to sour what should be a long and fruitful relationship. The manager and club are on the righteous side of this, but still must find a way to have their best player content mentally and on the field. Hanley? He must mind that he doesn't invite a national perception that he is, well, a head-case. Potential endorsement dollars run away from you with stuff like that. More important, so does the respect of teammates and fans. It's OK to be eccentric ("Hanley being Hanley"), but not when it involves effort and leaves a clubhouse sour. You are great player, Hanley. Is it too much to ask that you be a good guy, too?

BRANDON MARSHALL PICKS NUMBER, SITS WITH HIP: The number might not be permanent but for Wednesday's practice he chose 19 -- Ted Ginn's old number. Big footsteps, Brandon!  :)  Also it turned out Marshall has undergone minor hip surgery and might miss minicamps and not practice until training camp. This is where my media brethren and some fans make like that's a huge, ominous deal even though it really isn't a very big deal at all.

WORLD CUP ODDS: Got World Cup Fever yet? Getting close, amigos. Latest odds from BetUS.com have Spain a narrow favorite at 4/1 followed closely by Brazil 9/2 and England 11/2. Then it's Argentina 7/1 and Germany and Italy both 10/1. The USA is midpack, tied for 14th of 32 nations at 60/1. 

1aascores LEBRON GETS TITILLATING ENTICEMENT: Can I say that in a blog? Apparently so. New York's famous and shamelessly publicity-seeking Scores "gentleman's club" entices LeBron James to sign with the Knicks by offering him a lifetime pass for free lap dances. Seriously. What's good about that is, the poor fella could never afford that on his own! (Thinking a New York male strip club should chime in with a similar offer to LeBron's mother, based on recent suggestions of her amorous side). Anyway, time for the 305 to step up for LeBron. Where my Miami strip clubs at!?

1aafakih RIMA FAKIH TAKES POLE POSITION: The above reminds me. The newly crowned Miss USA, Michigan's Rima Fakih (pictured), caused a stir when it came out she'd posed for pix on a stripper pole a few years ago. Amazing what passes for a scandal these days. I think if pole dancing became part of the competition, ratings for beauty pageants would return to their 1970's heyday.

1aalondon2 LONDON UNVEILS CRUMMY MASCOTS: The London 2012 Olympics committee unveils its mascots Wenlock and Mandeville (pictured above molesting area schoolchildren), their shapes as odd as their names. When and why did mascots gradually transmogrify from cuddly animal likenesses to unidentifiable and at times creepy-looking blobs?

THE LIST: DOLPHIN 19'S: Should Brandon Marshall keep No. 19, here are the five previous players in Dolphins history to wear that numeral, listed chronologically:

Reyna Thompson (CB, 1986)

Scott Mitchell (QB, 1990-93)

Bernie Kosar (QB, 1994-96)

Nate Jacquet (WR, 1998)

Ted Ginn Jr. (WR, 2007-09)

[Blognote: Our "Sports Radio Wars" champion is declared and it's 790 The Ticket over WQAM. See poll results in post directly below this one]. 

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The Marlins, ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

Hanley whatever his name is, ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

Baseball in Miami, ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

The Marlins new stadium, AAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!

When does football season start.

Hey Woodcock...

The Marlins have more championships since their inauguration in 93, than the Dolphins do in the last 36 years!

So what. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

The University of Miami has more tennis national championships than the football team.
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

Granted I was 8 years old and not living in Miami, but I didn't know that Bernie Kosar played for the Dolphins?

I'm assuming this is after his Browns career, did he start? Did he win?

No he didn't win and he didn't start, we had Marino, but he did drop most of his salary at Solid Gold. Back then they were paying Bernie in one dollar bills so that he wouldn't have to waste time getting change before he got to the club.

Brandon just said his number isn't set in stone. He said he would have one in place by the start of training camp.

Hahaha - that's the bernie we all know and love!

ted ginn's number....blahahahahhahahahahah

Shemp says it's an omen

nets new ruskie owner says the max free agents shouldn't come to miami because "if you play in miami you are not a global player".

also changing the name when they move to brooklyn.

brooklyn bullets.

yawwwwwwwn.
Gimme some Dolphins news with teeth.
When is training camp?

Has anyone noticed that the former Dolphin QB Daunte Culpepper is trying out for the UFL Sacramento Mountain Lions? Stationary bike included.

DuhMarcus Russell has been keeping busy and keeping the weight up too....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVfXak-lJ9U

Well Cote you must remember Miami has had some horrible luck with players. Overstreet dies. Yatil Green doesn't get on the field due to injuries. Ted Ginn Jr can't play the game period. Marino ruptures achilles and no one even touched him. Anthony Carter traded to Vikings for Robin "the freeze dried ain't never been" Sendlein. Cecil B & E and B M Collins. The list goes on and on. DuhMarcus Russel continues to feed though at least he's not Dolphins problem. Heard he's trying to get Sally Struther's old Christian Childrens Fund gig so he won't have to pay for any of his meals. If Camarooney was still coach DuhMarcus would be starting QB for the Fins.

Jimbo, holy crap frappe it's Precious...

Sweet Jesus I would have guessed mascots like that came from France...

marshall will eventually buy the number from bess

They look like one eyed phalluses.
OH!!!

Zach Thomas to retire a dolphin...which dolphin is he retiring? LOL c'mon Cote...make good use of that FAU education will ya?

Free Santana Moss!

if he took HGH it was just localized to get over an injury, because he's like 175 soaking wet.

Holy Crap Cote! What does Garrett Wittels need to do to get a mention in your crappy blog?!?!?!?

The FIU SS, now with the #3 NCAA record hit-streak OF ALL TIME is easily the biggest story in Miami right now... and he just extended his streak to 46 GAMES IN A ROW against your FAU Hooters tonight.

Get on the ball Cote, put your anti-FIU basis away and recognize a HUGE story when its spitting you right in the face!

Congrats to FIU and Garret Wittels on wooping FAU and keeping the streak going!

Who is Garrett Wittels and why should anyone care about Sun Belt Conference baseball?

I can't watch women's basketball - not because they're women or because they're inferior athletes, but because they use a smaller ball on the same size hoop - I have no frame of reference for the game they're playing and I have no way of comparing it to all the other basketball I've ever watched.

Same with college baseball and their metal bats.

ricky,

as one of the current #15's biggest fans, i would not like a number switch no matter how much brandon marshall is willing to pay him. bess is too small for a number in the 80s which is what wideouts are supposed to wear; put brandon marshall in the 80s as he is a more of a "pure split end" type while davone bess is a slotback primarily. the real numbers in which we are interested are the number of catches that they make, not what their uniform #s are. would we be happy with marshall above 90 catches and davone bess above 70, with hartline and camarillo checking in at +/- 45 apiece? says here yes!! 260 catches without those to the TEs or runners spells a good offense for the still run-oriented dolphins.

Hey Kazaam, i'll try to answer your questions:

Garrett Wittels is a sophomore shortstop for the FIU Golden Panthers. GW is a local product from the Magic City, he plays (mostly) short-stop, but can also play 3rd, 2nd and if need be, can pitch as a reliever.

Garret has only had 9 fielding errors this year, but the main story is not his glove, but his bat. Garrett has now hit IN 46 GAMES IN A ROW. I dont care if your using wood, metal, plastic, a whiffle ball bat, anybody that's played baseball at any level knows that getting a 10-game hitting streak is hard, 46 is HISTORIC.

The mark is now the 3rd all time, and if Garrett hits tomorrow it will tie him for the #2 hit streak OF ALL TIME. For an in depth look at Garret Wittels, feel free to check out this ESPN piece that profiles him in depth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQyXeFo_g2Y

Now, why would anybody care about Sun Belt baseball? Well, maybe because this season the Sun Belt has earned a top-5 RPI among all conferences, due to their success against schools in other conferences.

Hope that helped with both of your questions.

Go Panthers and GW, keep making history bud!

Don't tell me my Zach Thomas fathead poster is no good! Come back and play Zach, the Dolphins need you.


You have to hand it to Spike Testosterone TV. Only this channel comes up with shows like The Deadliest Warrior. Tonight ze Waffen SS vs de Vietcong. Waffen SS wins like 600 out of 1000 computor simulations. Hey there's a surprise eh Jimbo...

Posted by: r. duke | May 19, 2010 at 12:18 AM

Duke. I don't think the Vietcong would have fared well vs Waffen SS even protecting their homeland. Storm troopers were well equiped, trained, ruthless, particularly in the east going thru Poland, Ukraine & Russia. Brave American fighting soldiers were saddled by politicians and poor generals vs VC & NVA. Give a Patton led Army in Vietnam with a censored media, the North would have surrendered in 8 months.

AH LITTLE CRIPPLED BILLY YOU'RE BACK! YOU'RE A GOOD BOY SON BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY A GOOD AMERICAN! REMEMBER DON'T EAT ANY ICE CREAM MADE WITH FLORIDATED WATER OR ALL YOU'LL THINK ABOUT IS PUSSY!!! UPON RELIEVING YOURSELF YOU'LL INVARIABLY NOTICE A SENSE OF FATIGUE AND EMPTINESS DUE TO LOSS OF ESSENCE! AND THEN THE COMMIE BASTARDS LIKE COTE HAVE YOU!!!!!!!

Mr Base Commander,
That's exactly what my Uncle Chester says. Momma says that her Jason Taylor blow up doll has to be thrown out because it sprung a leak.

fellers,

when a player retires from football, doesn't he retire from the last team for which he played? the absurd practice most recently demonstrated by a teary-eyed zach thomas is silly; get ready for JASON TAYLOR TO RETIRE AS A DOLPHIN AFETR HAVING GONE TO THE JETS!!! i am going out to get my truckload of kleenex before the mobs of dolphin fans hit the stores- i am gonna be prepared for old 99's press conference at whatever the stadium will then be called.

Still can't care about Sunbelt baseball but I watched the story on Garrett Wittels, always good to see local kids having success on the diamond - I hope this guy makes the Bigs in a couple of years!

46 game hitting streak is damn impressive, but Cote's only going to write about it if he can somehow turn the story into a judgmental tirade.

I'm surprised there isn't more pressure on Marshall to pick a number, it seems like the earlier the NFL can start churning out those jerseys the better.My vote is the Marcus Vick memorial #16 for achievement in the field of poor sportsmanship and bad judgement.

And I like players signing one day contracts to retire with their proper team - it gives them the chance to have the retirement press conference with the right background behind them.

Curly wants to know if Zach T is related to Rosie O. Same HEAD!!
boohoo...

shadow I still can't stop sobbing...

Not for nothing but Zack's sister has same noggin' as Zack, Rosie O, Keith Ubermensch, Tiki Barber and Peyton Manning. I'm just sayin'.

LITTLE CRIPPLED BILLY, MAYBE MOMMY SHOULD TRY A REINHARD HEYDRICH DOLL. BETTER GERMAN CRAFTSMANSHIP. MAKE SURE YOU TELL HER TO KEEP IT AWAY FROM GRENADES, LOADED GUNS AND MERECEDES WITH HORSEHAIR SEATS...

r. duke,

try to hold back those tears- water is the most precious commodity on the planet!! have as great weekend

I'm trying to shadow. I just took a Prozac. Maybe some old Debbie Reynold's movies will remind me how beautiful the world really is. You have a great weekend too shadow!
PS And some people think I have no emotions. Sometimes I feel too much...

Jimbo I agree the Waffen SS were superior in virtually every way to Vietcong. And in terms of ruthlessness and brutality they had very few peers. I truly believe Rommel would have been fragged by his own men if he were a commander in the Waffen SS. The man had a few too many scuples, at least according to historical records, to not cause a stir.

Next up, the Waffen SS vs the Blackfoot Indians. Now that's entertainment!

r. duke,

prozac and debbie reynolds- a winning combination!! i believe most of our friends on the blog are the vicodin and pamela anderson types!! we know bret favre loves "playing for the vikes"!!

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