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October 11, 2012

Criticism of Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland fair or excessive? Poll. Vote; plus MLB Final Four set, my new video, NFL predix, Heat/Beijing & more

1aa1doom[1) It is SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13. New video! Me on Sunday's Dolphins-Rams game and the honoring of Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas. Click HERE to see and hear. 2) Thought Joe Biden won the VP debate last night, but thought Paul Ryan also did well and that it was close. 3) New song by Rolling Stones, courtesy Paste Magazine; click Doom And Gloom to listen. Sounds a bit generic to me but not bad, Mick. 4) Visit our video channel at YouTube/TheGregCote and join us on Twitter @gregcote]

Dolphins-Rams on local TV: Dolphins announced that Sunday's game will be televised locally. Also of note, RB Reggie Bush was added to the injury list as probable (knee).

DEFENDING JEFF IRELAND: I make the case in this new column that Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland, a lightning rod for fan criticism and likely the least popular figure in Miami sports, is maligned -- criticized unfairly. Has he been perfect? Far from it. But he has done enough right that fans 1aa1jeffishould get off his back. A point I didn't put in the column but will mention here is that the whole "Fire Ireland" movement, such as it is, has zero traction, because owner Stephen Ross is a big backer. The Dolphins finally appear to have the right QB/coach combination in rookie Ryan Tannehill and first-year boss Joe Philbin, both Ireland hires. The running game and run defense both are very good, equating to a solid foundation. Reggie Bush proved a smart signing. Mike Pouncey was a great pick. Seven starters and seven prominent reserves have come from the past three drafts. Ireland also had a voice in drafting Sean Smith and Brian Hartline, and in importing Cam Wake from Canada. Again, I'm not nominating the guy for NFL executive of the year. I'm just saying the cartoonish vitriol isn't deserved. Time to wipe the slate clean on Ireland. Judge him by the Tannehill signing and Philbin hire, his two biggest decisions. Then judge him by what he does in the coming offseason with all those draft picks and all that money to spend. I had an Ireland poll in the blog just a month ago, showing 70.9 percent with an unfavorable opinion of him vs. only 12.1% favorable and 17.0 undecided. I won't repeat that poll but will offer a different one. I think the anti-Ireland sentiment is softening, or at least should be. Let's see if these new poll results bear that out.

NFL WEEK 6 PREDIX: DOLPHINS A CLEAR FAVORITE (UH OH): I say "uh oh" half-kiddingly, because things are so unpredictable in the NFL -- take last night's Titans win over Pittsburgh -- that being 1aa1brosfavored hardly means anything. But I like Miami 19-13 over St. Louis (take that, Jeff Fisher!) because the Dolphins run-D will contain Steven Jackson and the Rams don't have a lot else offensively. Click on Week 6 Gems for all our latest picks. And click on JT & Zach for my Friday Page column. As Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas, 99 and 54, go onto the club's stadium Honor Roll on Sunday, I rank them among the franchise's all-time top 10 defenders. (Hint: They rank really, really high...)

BASEBALL'S FINAL FOUR COMPLETE AFTER NATS COLLAPSE: Loving this postseason so far. Bud Selig should be, too. A pair of historic wild-card play-in games, and then all four division series go to the maximum five games, a first. The results: Tigers-Yankees in the ALCS (after NYY wins with a benched A-Rod), and Giants-Cardinals in the NLCS (after STL last night overcame a 6-0 hole against Washington). Rooting interest: Strong for Tigers in the AL, mild for Giants in NL. Would have been much more interesting, for me, with O's and/or Nats.

1aa1chinaHEAT WIN IN BEIJING: Your Miami Heat beat the Clippers yesterday in Beijing, 94-80, in the first of two exhibitions in China. Pictured right: Chris Bosh being all adored and everything.

Poll result: Too much pink: I asked in the previous blogpost if a full month of NFL pinkness to promote breast-cancer awareness is OK or if it should be reduced to one week. The verdict: 59.5 percent said one week, 36.5% said keep it at four, and 4.0% were undecided.

Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost. I swear...

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