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2 posts from November 13, 2012

November 13, 2012

BETRAYAL! Marlins trade Reyes, Johnson, 3 others in massive salary dump. Like the moves? New poll. Vote now!

[1) It is THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15. Heat now a mortal 6-3 after last night's loss. Where the panic button at!?!? 2) You may still vote in our NASCAR poll in blogpost directly below this latest one. 3) Visit our video channel at YouTube/TheGregCote (under construction; new vids coming soon) and join us on Twitter @gregcote]

Click on We're Watching, Jeffrey for today's latest column by me. It is on the Marlins and how MLB and the commissioner's office should be watching and insisting that club owner Jeffrey Loria fulfill his obligation to a competitive payroll. Also, thanks again to ESPN's Outside The Lines for having us on yesterday to talk about the Marlins mess. Click here to listen. I come in around one-third in.

MARLINS BETRAY, ANGER FANS WITH MASSIVE SALARY DUMP: The most unenviable job in South Florida today? How about the marketing rep trying to sell Marlins season-tickets. Does it ever end with this Marlins regime led by owner Jeffrey Loria and president David Samson? Can this ownership/management go even a 1aa1joshr 1aa1joselfull year without alienating its battered fan base? This week the news broke -- broke like Marlins fans' hearts -- that the club had traded shortstop Jose Reyes (left), starter Josh Johnson (right), starter Mark Buerhle, utilityman Emilio Bonifacio and catcher John Buck to Toronto in exchange for shortstop Yunel Escobar, starter Henderson Alavrez and four minor-leaguers. Escobar is pretty good, but this deal is a plain salary dump, plundering the Marlins from a roster/talent standpoint but saving money. Losing Buck is no big deal, but losing Johnson/Buerhle guts the starting rotation, and losing Reyes/Bonifacio guts the top of the order and the team's speed. The deal was so shocking that Giancarlo Stanton -- the team's last star standing -- couldn't help but Tweet, "Alright, I'm pissed off!!! Plain & simple." (Note the three exclamation points). New manager Mike Redmond, who last managed a Single-A team, must feel like he is suddenly back on that level. The only hedge here is that the Marlins might now use much of this saved money -- along with the $$$ saved by earlier dumping Hanley Ramirez -- to make a splash in free agency. But has this regime earned that benefit of doubt? It has not. Loria and company promised competitive payrolls and a commitment to winning in exchange for the new stadium. That is why this feels like a betrayal. The people in charge of the Marlins must rebuild something approaching a major-league roster. Even more daunting, those same people must win back the trust of fans in the wake of this latest astonishing betrayal of faith. Share your thoughts on this Marlins trade in our new poll, and tell us why you voted as you did.

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

Vroom! @#$%&! NASCAR Week in Miami. (How much do you care?) Poll. Vote!; plus NFL pix 'n fantasy, Pavel Bure, SOPY, Big 3 Killed My Baby & more

IT'S RADIO TUESDAY: I'll be in-studio again today with Dan Le Batard and Stugotz on 790 The Ticket and FM 104.3 from 3 p.m. 'til 6 or so. Ears welcome.

[1) It is TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13. Jeremy Lin: Nuthin' but ... air! 2) See results of latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter (ouch!) in blogpost directly below this newest one. 3) Visit our video channel at YouTube/TheGregCote (under construction; new vids coming soon) and join us on Twitter @gregcote]

IT'S NASCAR WEEK IN MIAMI! (HOW MUCH DO YOU CARE?): The 2012 NASCAR season ends Sunday down at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and even non-gearheads might have to acknowledge it is a huge 1aa1homedeal that we have the season-ending race that crowns the champ. This year Brad Keselowski enters with a 20-point lead over five-time champ Jimmie Johnson, meaning Keselowski needs only a 15th place finish or better to win the season title. That might make this race seem anti-climactic, except this is NASCAR, where the chances of Keselowski being wrecked out of a race -- of his own error or intentionally -- cannot be discounted. Just look at this past weekend, when four-time champion Jeff Gordon intentionally wrecked 1aa1home2Clint Bowyer, fully admitting it, and causing a melee between the two crews on pit road and in the garage. Gordon was fined $100,000 and docked 25 standings points. He should have been suspended. Now Bowyer is not ruling out retaliation Sunday at Homestead. Maybe auto racing is not your thing, but one thing NASCAR isn't is dull. Speeding, recklessness, road rage .. the perfect event for Miami! I follow NASCAR casually throughout the year but get amped for this annual Homestead crescendo. Do you? Vote in our latest poll and say why.

NFL PIX 'N FANTASY: A mediocre meh and more misery. NFL predix: Am neither clicking-heels nor 1aa1fripixsullen over a 9-4-1 mark straight up and 6-8 against the spread. Nailed another Upset of the Week with Saints beating Falcons ("Aawwk!"), but got blindsided by that Dolphins loss. Greg's Lobos: My fantasy team continues to suck royally, now 2-8 after a 142-91 defeat. My mainstay Aaron Rodgers had a bye so I gambled. I signed and started Ryan Tannehill (silly me), figuring the Titans defense was historically bad. And how'd that work out!? Please don't answer.

'THE BIG THREE KILLED MY BABY': This is not an indictment of the Heat's LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who have -- to my knowledge -- never killed anyone's baby. (LeBron has no time for such shenanigans; too busy dropping 32 second-half points on Houston last night). But I was reminded the other day that the White Stripes once recorded a song called "The Big Three Killed My Baby." It was about the auto industry, not a darkly prescient ode to the Heat. Click here to listen.

On Heat's biggest challenge: In terms of likely NBA Finals foe, it isn't Memphis, despite the recent win over Miami. It isn't Oklahoma City, already vanquished and weakened by the James Harden trade. It could become the L.A. Lakers. But right now it's San Antonio. As for the Lakers, the problem isn't the coach, the problem is an old starting unit coalescing with little help from a roster lacking depth.

1aa1bureROCKET MAN BURE ENTERS HOCKEY HALL: Congrats to the Russian Rocket, Pavel Bure, for his induction into the hockey hall of fame. His three-plus seasons with the panthers included NHL goal-scoring titles with 58 and 59 in 1999-00 and 2000-01. For those two seasons Bure was Marino-esque and LeBron-like in terms of sheer goal scoring.

SOPY RANKINGS (WEEK 11): NOLES' MANUEL BACK ON TOP: This college football season has marked the blog debut of our weekly State Offensive Player of the Year (SOPY) rankings, which I like to call the "Sunshine State Heisman." Our chart encompasses the most productive seasons of any quarterback, running back or receiver from the state's seven FBS teams: Miami, Florida and FSU, FIU and FAU, and South Florida and UCF. (Note: Rankings consider only passing, rushing and receiving, not returns). Our formula awards one point per offensive yard gained running or receiving and a half-point per yard passing, plus six bonus points for touchdowns thrown or scored. Because our rankings are cumulative, players on a bye week take a temporary hit that evens out over course of season. After Week 11 it's Florida State's E.J. Manuel back on top. The SOPY Top 10 entering Week 12:

Rank (LW)     Player, Team-pos.     SOPY Pts. Week=Year

1 (2)     E.J. Manuel, FSU-qb     141 = 1,624.5

2 (1)     B.J. Daniels, South Florida-qb     BYE = 1,585.5

3 (3)     Stephen Morris, Miami-qb     138.5 = 1,503.5

4 (5)     Blake Bortles, UCF-qb     164 = 1,369.5

5 (4)     Jake Medlock, FIU-qb     BYE = 1,215.5

6 (6)     Graham Wilbert, FAU-qb     161 = 1,204

7 (7)     Jeff Driskel, Florida-qb     131 = 1,170

8 (10)     Latavius Murray, UCF-rb     135 = 1,049

9 (8)     Mike Gillislee, Florida-rb     53 = 1,006

10 (9)     Chris Thompson, FSU-rb     DNP = 965

Bubble: Duke Johnson, Miami-rb, 961.

State of the State rankings: 1. Florida (9-1); 2. FSU (9-1); 3. UCF (8-2); 4. Miami (5-5); 5. South Florida (3-6); 6. FAU (3-7); 7. FIU (2-8).

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