« Fourth of July special: What is the most American sport? (with poll); plus my holiday video-greeting to you & more | Main | "U-S-A! U-S-A!": Americans beat Brazil on PKs in Women's World Cup; plus D-Wade plays Europe card, LeBron's decision 1 year later (with poll), O.J. 'n Casey, ranking 3,000-hit men & more »

Casey Anthony not-guilty verdict: Agree? (with poll); plus Jose Baez, U.S. falls to Sweden, Clemens trial & more

[Twitter.com/gregcote Thanks to all who tapped into our live chat today. Do it every Wednesday 1-2 p.m. Click HERE to join live, read transcripts or post questions any time. Random question of the day: "Rick Scott voters, what the hell were you people thinking exactly?"].

O.J. JURY REASSEMBLES, FINDS CASEY ANTHONY NOT GUILTY: That isn't to make light, but to express 1aa1caseya the view that not since O.J. Simpson was stunningly acquitted of double murder in 1995 has there been a major trial verdict as flabbergasting as Tuesday's Orlando-area decision finding Casey Anthony not guilty in the death of her toddler Caylee. All evidence, to me, pointed to a guilty verdict. Not saying I am right. But everyone who spent hours following this trial and weighing its testimony is entitled to have a reaction to today's verdict. Do you? Vote now and say why. [Click here for the MiamiHerald.com news story and related poll].

THE INCREDIBLE JOSE BAEZ: I can't hear the name Jose Baez (Casey Anthony's winning defense lawyer) 1aa1baezjose 1aa1baezjoan without thinking of '60s folkie Joan Baez, but that's on me, and a trifle offpoint. I l-o-v-e all that has come out about Jose's colorful past, from dropping out of Homestead High to non-child support to unpaid loans to bankruptcy to starting two businesses called Bon Bon Bikinis and Brazilian-Bikinis.com. This, ladies and gentlemen, is today America's most famous attorney! To some, Jose Baez might sound like an Horatio Alger tale come to life. To me, Jose Baez sounds like the quintessential character Carl Hiaasen wishes he'd imagined for one of his madcap only-in-Florida novels.

[Funnyordie.com takes on Casey Anthony. Click here. It's funny. But probably only if you think she's guilty...].

"U-S-A! U-S-A!" THAT'S RIGHT. I'M CHEERING FOR WOMEN'S SOCCER. DAMMIT: I believe if Casey 1aa1hopeblond 1aa1hopebrunette Anthony had played soccer as a youth none of this would have happened. Seriously, though, I am following quite ardently the U.S. squad in the Women's World Cup ongoing in Germany. TV ratings suggest you are not; nevertheless! The Americans are in the quarterfinal round despite today's 2-1 loss to Sweden, and will next face Brazil on Sunday. A win or tie today would have given the Americans an easier quarters draw vs. Australia. I am particularly a big fan of U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo, of the improbable name and excellent game. A friend and I got into a debate over whether Hope is attractive. Actually my friend said "hot." Whenever I use that word unrelated to weather, I feel like a white guy rapping, or trying to fake a gang sign. Anyway I came down enthusiastically on the side of yes, and present photographic evidence here of Hope both as a blonde and in her current incarnation as a brunette. Has my honest support of the U.S. women's team been compromised and plundered by sexism? Hey, life is one big risk, friends.

MICHAEL BEASLEY SMOKES POT? WHA-A-AAT!?!?: In arguably the least surprising news of the week, Minnesota media reports ex-Heater Michael Beasley was busted with 16.2 grams of marijuana (click here for the tale). I'm not sure this is what scouts had in mind when referring to Beasley as a 16/10 guy. Probably never good when your career scoring average (15.9) is exceeded by your career grams per bust average.

MORE OF THE ROCKET'S RED GLARE: Sorry about all the juris prudence in this post, but jury selection 1aa1clemens begins today in the Roger Clemens perjury trial. That means we're just a couple of days from more of Clemens' angry, righteous indignation and vehement denials of all wrongdoing. Attacking his accuser, trainer Brian McNamee, won't be as easy if testimony from the likes of Andy Pettitte corroborates McNamee. Mike Stanton might also testify to McNamee's truthfulness. Don't worry, Marlins fans. It's the pitcher Mike Stanton who used to be Clemens' Yankees teammate. Click on Roger, Over And Out for today's latest column by me. The Casey Anthony verdict proves anything is possible, but I don't like Clemens' chances.

THE TOUR DE FRANCE STINKS: Am I wishing for a massive pileup in which dozens of bikes wreck into each other and cascade down a mountainside? Not really. Although if assured no serious injuries, well. No I'm just saying the Tour de France, for me, has been ruined by its years of performance-enhancing drugs scandal that make baseball look saintly by comparison. Six of the past seven winners are tainted by PED accusations or strong suspicions. I don't care about a competition I can't trust. I don't care who is wearing the yellow jersey because all that matters is the yellow urine sample.

1aa1gaymarriage GAY MARRIAGE: I appreciate a good political cartoonist and I think the syndicated Drew Sheneman qualifies. I particularly love his work pictured, in which a gay-marriage protester complains, "The gays are making a mockery of marriage. Marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman performed by a priest, judge, Elvis impersonator, sea captain or mail-order reverend of the Universal Life Church." To that point I might add that a 50 percent divorce rate does a pretty good job making a mockery of marriage as well. The question isn't whether gays should be allowed to marry. It's why on Earth they'd want to! 

THE LIST: 3,000-HIT CLUB: Yankee Derek Jeter, with 2,996 hits, soon will become the 28th member of one of baseball's most exclusive clubs. The five most recent members:

Player, Team   Date of 3K hit

Craig Biggio, Astros   June 28, 2007

Rafael Palmeiro, Orioles   July 15, 2005

Rickey Henderson, Padres   October 7, 2001

Cal Ripken Jr., Orioles   April 15, 2000

Tony Gwynn, Padres   August 6, 1999 

Click back. Adding more stuff to this latest post throughout the day...