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March 27, 2014

Mon am 3-31: Gators in Final Four; plus Dolphins' big upgrade, NLRB's bad ruling, Heat's shot at No. 1, Greatest Ralph & more

1) It is SUNDAY, MARCH 30. Check out my latest Random Evidence Sunday notes-column package, leading with the Marlins. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Greatest Ralph poll, Heat fall to Pacers, the art of child-spoiling, topless protestors & more. 3) Follow on Twitter @gregcote.

An optimistic take on Marlins. No, seriously: In today's special Marlins preview section I write an upbeat column on the Marlins. I list 10 reasons to like this team and feel good about this season. Check it out.

DOLPHINS AN APPRECIABLY BETTER OFFENSE BY ADDING MORENO: Signing free-agent running back Knowshon Moreno yesterday makes Miami's offense better -- period. You don't need a bunch of nerdy metrics 1aa1amorenorbor useless stat breakdowns to know that. In Denver last year he rushed for 1,038 yards and 10 TDs and -- this is important -- caught 60 passes for 548 yards and three more TDs. Yes, much of that was thanks to Peyton Manning. Still, Moreno, used right, can be the dual-threat back the Dolphins had but underutilized in Reggie Bush. Moreno also is healthy, young, a very good pass-blocker and fumbled only one time in 241 carries last year. Lots of upside. He should complement Lamar Miller well, no matter who starts. The onus now is on Daniel Thomas to earn his roster spot and carries. The fact Moreno only signed a 1-year, $3 million contract could be smart for both sides. He isn't a financial burden for the Dolphins. At that price, he's low risk, high ceiling. Smart, smart. Moreno is pictured gesturing where he hopes to be on Miami's RB depth chart this season.

BRACKETS BACK! CINDERELL-O-METER (PATENT PENDING) AT 33.3% ENTERING ELITE 8 GAMES: Excluding the four even-seeded play-in games, there have now been 20 upsets (by seeding) in the 60 men's NCAA Tournament games through the Elite Eight round, or a Cinderell-O-Meter reading of 33.3 percent. We update the Cindy Meter throughout March Madness. Here are all 20 upsets thus far, ranked based on seed differential:

1. No 14-Mercer over 3-Duke (+11)

2. 10-Stanford over 2-Kansas (+8)

2. 11-Dayton over 3-Syracuse (+8)

4. 8-Kentucky over 1-Wichita State (+7)

4. 12-North Dakota State over 5-Oklahoma (+7)

4. 12-Harvard over 5-Cincinnati (+7)

4. 12-Stephen F. Austin over 5-VCU (+7)

8. 8-Kentucky over 2-Michigan (+6)

9. 7-UConn over 2-Villanova (+5)

9. 11-Dayton over 6-Ohio State (+5)

9. 11-Tennessee over 6-UMass (+5)

12. 7-UConn ovcer 3-Iowa State (+4)

12.8-Kentucky over 4-Louisvile (+4) 

14. 4-Michigan State over 1-Virginia (+3)

14. 6-Baylor over 3-Creighton (+3)

14. 7-UConn over 4-Michigan State (+3)

14. 10-Stanford over 7-New Mexico (+3)

18. 2-Wisconsin over 1-Arizona (+1)

18. 9-Pitt over 8-Colorado (+1)

18, 11-Dayton over 10-Stanford (+1)

The Cindy Meter composite standings among teams still alive in the tournament are: Kentucky +17 and UConn +12.

Elite Eight round: And my bracket wants...: I had five of eight teams still alive on my bracket. Saturday: I needed Florida to beat Dayton (thanks, Gators), and Arizona to beat Wisconsin. Got one of two. Sunday: I needed Michigan State to beat UConn and Michigan to beat Kentucky -- and got neither.

Sweet 16 round. And my bracket wants...: I had nine of 16 teams still alive in my bracket entering the Sweet 16 games. Thursday night: I needed Wisconsin, Florida and Arizona to win, and all did. (I didn't have a dog in the Dayton-Stanford hunt). Friday night: I needed Michigan and Michigan State to win -- and both did. I did not get the wins I needed from Iowa State and Louisville.

WHY THE NLRB'S NORTHWESTERN DECISION IS WRONG-HEADED AND SHOULDN'T STAND: So a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago rules that Northwestern football players may vote to unionize, and all hell breaks loose in college sports. The ruling affects only private universities (for 1aa1anlrbnow), so the potential reaches to Coral Gables and UM. The Northwestern players bid for compensation benefits for injuries well into their post-school futures, plus bargaining rights for working conditions such as number of practices. The NLRB in effect has ruled that football players are primarily workers and employees, not students. Pay-for-play is not a part of this whole thing, although the ruling surely opens the door for that, too. There are problems with the ruling. Where do I begin? Players already have medical benefits; your ankle injury is well-treated. And is it really good for college sports to have players negotiating how much they'd like to practice? Mostly this ruling is wrong because it assumes players contribute substantially to a school's football revenue. (In Northwestern's case that was $235 million from 2003-12). That's a faulty premise. The ruling alludes to the "enormous commercial value" of players' work. That's wrong. Players come and go, and very few actually impact a university's success or brand. For every superstar exception like Johnny Manziel or Jameis Winston, there are a hundred relatively anonymous low- or no-impact players along for the ride. About 99 percent of all players have zero relevance on attendance and revenue at Any Given University. They are incidental. They are passengers. The backup guard who seldom plays and should be grateful for his scholarship is lumped in this ruling with the star quarterback -- either that or somebody has to decide relative value. The whole idea of most athletes' entitlement beyond their scholarship is faulty. The brand is Ohio State or Southern Cal or Florida, and fans will be there no matter who temporarily fills the uniform. This NLRB ruling is an unnecessary mess for college sports. I'd call it a landmark ruling if I weren't pretty sure it'll be overturned on appeal and disappear. (At least for now...).

1aa1aheatindHEAT NOT CONCEDING NO. 1 SEED: Last night's 84-83 Miami loss at Indiana gave the Pacers a 3-game lead for the Eastern Conference's top playoff seed, and 2 in the loss column. But the tiebreaker (conference record) goes to IND so Heat must finish with a better record, not tied. Still, it ain't over! Miami has 12 games left, and seven are at home including an April 11 rematch with the Pacers. Only five of 12 Heat games left are against teams with a winning record. Indiana has only four games left, of 10, and five against teams with a winning record. In sum, Miami if it wins the rematch here in two weeks will have a shot at wresting No. 1 and home-court advantage in what should be a deliciously brutal playoff series.

1aa1akramdenBUS DRIVER BEATS POET FOR GREATEST-RALPH HONORS: We asked you in the previous blogpost to name the Greatest Ralph of All-Time (you may still vote), and I'm thrilled to report a delightfully diverse two-way battle emerged from among 11 finalists, and that Ralph Kramden of The Honeymooners (32.7 percent) beat Ralph Waldo Emerson (20.3%). Ralph Lauren and Happy Days' Ralph Malph were dueling for a distant third. A fictional sitcom bus driver winning my poll over a legendary essayist/poet says much about my blog readership -- all of it good!

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


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I guess the NFL has a hard on for LA..


on the Heat, tough loss for the Heat last night but they did play better defense, made way too many mistakes and turnovers and Bosh and Chalmers didn't show up the whole night, no excuses , they can still win the whole thing but it will be very difficult getting passed the Pacers.

Rawpimple's observations:

1) I am not sure the Heat and Pacers will meet in the playoffs. Both teams have flaws and would not be surprised if one of them gets bounced by say a Brooklyn and thus do not end up meeting.

2) This entitled generation is going to ruin our country (that is if weak president after weak president don't do it first). These young kids have no idea what hard work means and paying your dues.

3) Why on earth is the Heat allowing a soft big man to take a far jumper for the last shot and not the best player in the world? That is insane! Stop trying to over coach Spoelstra! Put Lebron in position to win the game, bozo!

Emerson? Fock him.


Ralphie boy, you were the greatest!

BB, sounds like two of your finest paid the ultimate price for their service to the public yesterday. The whole country is lesser today because those two firemen are not with us anymore.

Very sad news, BB.


I echo Woodcock's comments Big Baby. Here is an example of what our firemen do on a regular basis. This just from the other day.


Unbelievable. What heroes.

Firemen spend 99% of their time lifting weights and giving each other mustache rides.

Yea, and it would take them one percent of their time to kick your green redneck teeth down your focking throat.

very sad to hear about those fallen heroes...my prayers are with their family's..

and Burn..blow me you douche.

Looks like Johnny Man knocked it out of the park today...Kid's going to be a huge star.



Dolphins sign Moreno...

Doesn't that idiot Hickey realize Miller is a future HOFer and it was all Sherman's fault last year?


Now, that is a great move signing Moreno. The guy is a real pro.

"Tubesteak Dave!"


I like the signing but I still would have gone after Blount.

Moreno is just a little better than Miller but without an O Line?..

RE: knowshon moreno

his numbers from last year will not automaticaly transfer to the dolphins unless the offensive line adjusts to the remold which has been necessitated by last season's "antics". the lamar miller fan club, based in the kibbitz room at canter's,will have to sweat out a battle between moreno and miller, neither of whom compare with shady mccoy. anyway i doesn't hurt to be two deep in the backfield at any spot and this was a better move than signing the uber talented but at this point aging maurice jones-drew. MJD was fantastic for the bruins but had his talents, many talents, eclipsed by playing in the same town as reggie bush, who continues to have very, very good seasons in his post NO days.

Woodcock you truly are an idiot. Did you ever play the game? Obviously not so stop wasting our time with your ignorant posts and get back to what you do best, playing hide the weenie with your favorite inflatable doll.

Yeah lots of heavy hearts today in Boston area guys one of the men killed has three kids under 10 just sucks. Those guys run into danger fearless bunch most of those guys are.

Bill Polian calling Moreno a system running back not a number one I hope that old fool eats his words soon. Memo to Bill they are all system running backs now. The one you just hammered had a fantastic season last year. Good signing wish it was a longer deal but hopefully he has a good year and signs for longer.

Big Baby for your information Bill Polian is the foremost expert on football in the country. dUh.

BB a great offensive line will make average running backs look like Jim Brown..it makes zero difference if Moreno is a great back or not if you don't have the horses up front..

I assume the Dolphins know that.

Absolutely right FZB. But assuming the Dolphins know anything is a risky assumption with that asswipe Ross and clueless Joe.

And don't forget the BSB...she's the ring leader of the circus in Davie..

Bill Polian makes things up now as he goes along he lost whatever fastball he had years ago. Everyone gets to retirement age it's inevitable.

Right your are FZB. That BSB is the worst one of all. At least the other two have johnsons.

BB...you ragging on Polian?...ok then.

And Tubeee, what makes you think the BSB doesn't have a Johnson?..chit...garontee she has a bigger one than closet fairy Martin..yup.

keep posting tom.
i guess that's what happens when you don't get la!d.. oh well..

all i've ever posted is that the jury is still out on miller, as he was never given the ball last year.
i'm not sweating ANYTHING; my allegiance is to the miami dolphins and whatever will make them a better team.
competition is a good thing, and the one who should be worried is THOMAS, not miller; that much looks certain.
one year deal, 3 mil? sounds great.
he's a better blocker than both miller and thomas; maybe that will rub off on miller in camp.
considering lazor's credentials, it's safe to assume that WHOEVER gets the starting job will average considerably more than the 10 a game miller averaged last year.
AND considering tannehill will be handing him the ball and not manning, we'll see what he can do..

Amen to that real david. Tanny is no Manning but only because the Dolphins didn't run more last year. Heard Polian say that on Steak Shapiro's show this afternoon.

"Tanny is no Manning but only because the Dolphins didn't run more last year."
wow, you sound like a bigger idiot than tom, but that's only because you ARE tom. keep em coming..

hey baby.. moreno got more carries last year than OUR running backs, and he had manning.. just saying..

and yeah, FZB, they are ragging on polian, and all HE's done is put super bowl winning teams together.
it's funny; when they hear something they don't like, the person is a liar or they don't know what they're talking about.
and all polian really did was have the temerity to suggest that MAYBE having payton manning throwing for record yardage and TD's MIGHT have had something to do with moreno's numbers last year, especially considering his numbers were nothing before manning got there.
what a crazy thought!
either way, he's an exceptional run blocker, and an improvement over thomas, but miller is 22 and still has some upside as well..

my BFF good amigo real david I'm with you. Polian is a football God. i hang on his every word just like you. and he did say Miami would have made the playoffs had they run more. who can argue with that. that's not an opinion it's a fact. you said it. another fact you told us is Miller would have had a great year with all all pro talent we Miami had up front last year. too bad those idiots sherman, clueless joe and the BSB did not give him a chance.

Like Moreno. He will add some toughness to the fin's. Unfortunately, we still need much more toughness on this team and it needs to start with a tough coach, not our current assistant oline coach Joe P.

Polian traded me to the Rams in 1999 explaining as his reason that I was "out of gas". I ran for another 7,000 yds, caught another 475 passes for another 4,000 yds, was first team all pro 3 more times, won two offensive player of the year awards, an NFL MVP award and helped the Rams win a Super Bowl.

Out of gas?

Can we still be friends?

Hello it's me...

this Tubee guy seems like an asswipe to me, unless is the Dukes-Ter or OC or any of the regulars in disguise and I take it back..hehe

what up guys!!! is friday !!!

Shut up.

BB- You crack me up. Polian has lost his fastball? Why ,because he did not give a glowing review of moreno? The broncos thought so much of him that they let him walk because a rookie ball has more of a future. That 1yr 3mill contract speaks a lot about what the other 31 teams thought of him. Unless he is bringing his o-line from the broncos, and has a hof qb, with him(which he does not), he will be nothing more then average at best. If the dolphins were smart, and that is debateable, they should of tried to sign Blount.

Yeah smart Broncos they let a guy with almost 1600 yards and 14 td's who doesn't fumble and can block his ass off walk for pennies. That rookie fumbles and can't block worth a crap. Moreno will be better than average Miami has almost entirely rebuilt the oline with vg players not worried about it. lol let me know when Blount goes for Moreno numbers Knowshown is the much better choice. Maybe your team should try to sign Blount.

the only thing worse than Tubesteak Dave is a fake Tubesteak Dave.

Only a complete idiot would call Moreno a system back after the year he had. Moreno is 26 years old too. Honestly though the price tag speaks more to how teams value a running back in the league now. WR's make 6-10 mil a year corners too. Running backs can't even find work. Passing league guys.

Naples Jack no offense but you're an idiot. Bill Polian has said all the Dolphins need to do to be successful is run the ball more. Where have you been?

Who are you and why are you here?

The Moreno signing caps so far a solid 2014 for the Dolphins who seem to be recovering well after Bully-Gate.Thank you Greg for your greatest Ralph list.Voting and reading about the greatest Ralph was fun and a nice temporary diversion from the tragic news from the Indian Ocean,Washington State and Boston.

easy guys leave Tubee alone..

maybe is the Dukes-Ter conducting one of his experiments.

BB..don't get me wrong, I do like the Moreno signing but I would have preferred a big back like Blount.

You guys don't get it. The secret is not who is running the ball. That is really irrelevant. You have not been listening. The secret is to run the ball at least 50% of the time and BINGO you will win. Thus, the $3mil spent on Moreno was a waste of money.


whut ?

D Jackson being let go by the Eagles is a major surprise
and the thing with the LA gangs?..chit that is no bueno.

well our new offensive coordinator came from Philly and D Jackson came from Philly..so what do you guys think?..you think clueless Joe has the guts to get this guy?

assuming miami had fixed the inadequacies on the offensive line by the end of this years draft, these fins would still be very good with a chance at making the playoffs...BUT...today(with the signing of Knowshon Moreno)Mr. Ross just stamped his ticket for miami's first playoff season in years. finally, it's about time that someone realized just how important converting a 3rd and 1 is, even the simple threat of miami being able to convert 3rd and 1 by runningback adds a demnsion that will convert into at least THREE additional wins this year, and if you add a successful blitz pick up here and there you are now talking EXTRA points on the score board, instead of a drive ending tackle for loss, you now have sustained drives that at the very least will amount to points from the kicking game. GREAT MOVE! miami WILL make the playoffs this year, i'de stake the farm on it!!!! yep, everything seems to be finaaly coming together for this team, brandon albert will buy tannehill that extra second to launch some bombs to wallace, the secondary is now good enough make QB's hesitate allowing dion jordan to make an impact...this is VERY good miami team! i hope dustin keller is healthy and signs for another year...and i hope we draft louis NIX....GO miami!

Lol clueless Joe you called him the best coach since Shula before he helped get your man crush Ireland fired. We all say things we regret here at times but that is a very inconsistent message. Saban wasn't clueless either he had no QB and JJ had an end of the career Marino as well.

budtki agree 100 percent this Miami team is playoff bound despite the difficult schedule.

You're an idiot Big Baby. Of course Clueless Joe is better than JJ. dUh. Stop interjecting with you moronic posts.

be careful, budtki.. you're suggesting we run, and the geniuses on here like tubesteak tommy will start misquoting you and trolling..

BB..if I think clueless Joe is the best coach we've had around here since the great Don was roaming the sidelines then you know how bad our coaching has been..

clueless Joe has to win back my confidence, hey at least he recently had to admit he didn't have his team ready to play those last two games of the year...and said it was all his fault, the coaches and the players.

We have had Hall Of Fame coaches since Shula. Coaches are as good as their QB's in the NFL. It's that simple really.

ok now..let's not start this running THE FOOTBALL "MIERDA" again..everyone and I mean everyone that knows ANYTHING about fussbol knows that running the ball is essential to a great offense.

case close, this is not even open for debate...next subject.

You are so right budtki. awesome post!!! With our new OL that can actually block and a runner who can gain a yd when it is needed, we should definitely make the playoffs next year.

And I'll be doing the tubesteak boogie ZZ Top style yeeeehaaaah!

Running the football effectively certainly helps FZB but Miami will go as far as Tannehill takes them period.

I like that Big Baby. The "tubesteak" boogie in honor of (the real) tubesteak dave.

OK, I've been sitting back looking at the moves that the new GM has made with a wait and see attitude. After yesterday's signing of Moreno I have seen enough to render judgement. "I like what the Dolphins have done."

A left tackle, a nose guard, a hard hitting d back, and now they pick up Moreno. Have to say the new guy has done a very good job so far. If the draft is as good as the new free agents the Dolphins should see a measurable improvement on their roster.

Nonsense he will get picked up in a heartbeat.

Tubesteak is on a rolllll. Slinging poo in every direction, it is both obscene & impressive at the same time.

well the Russians seem to be a little piss with Obi..go get'em Obi!! U da man !


As the creator of the Tubesteak Dave trademark my law firm, We, Fokem, & Howe, will be sending this ass wipe a nasty letter and an injunction to cease and desist immediately or pay the consequences.

In the meantime, this Tubesteak impostor can shove his head up his ass.

Memo to "Tubesteak Impostor," your mom sucks the best cock in the business. She's been at my house watching film of the Johnny Football workout while I teach her the finer points of the game of football. And let me tell you something, Sony, no broad can suck and swallow like your dear old mom.

Rumor is Fins could be shopping Mike Wallace & considering a trade (3rd or 4th rd pick) for Eagles G Evan Mathis. Pro Bowl G Mathis graded out as the top run blocking guard & middle of the pack pass protector in the NFL 2013.

So true Woodcock. Put these new free agents with the great free agents from last year (like Wheeler and Ellerbe) and a productive 2014 draft class like Miami had last year this team is headed deep into the playoffs.

Woodcock. Great remark concerning the moves Hickey has made since coming in as the GM. Total agreement here fella, what he has done so far looks pretty solid. Now,,, go 2 new starters on the O line to bring in & a nasty MLB. I like Alabama MLB CJ Mosley as a #1 or ND tackle Martin (no relation to the vagina Johnny the town crier Martin formerly of Stanford).

P Diddy? Never heard of her.

chit..you people need to get a grip, I mean Obi and Puttin are about to go at it to see who controls the world and you people are talking fackin sports..

Jimbo..Hate to burst U'r bubble buddy but Wallace ain't getting traded until next year..however, I would take a looksie at D jackson fo sur.

Woodcock is right. The Tubesteak Dave impostor's mom does suck cock. I'm (the real) Tubesteak Dave.

Woodcock is confused as usual. He often takes issue with others who agree with him. It's a character flaw he has dealt with his entire life.

aaa haaa !!..that gave it away right there buddy..Tubee is OC!

oye bra, dejate de comer tanta mierda...dicelo Wood's.


Man this blog is sad.

Hickey is doing a great job so far. Moreno is a good signing. He'll help running and pass blocking. Jimbo I hope you are right about Miami trading for Evan Mathis. I read the Eagles want a 3rd round pick but would take a 4th rounder. The only downside is Mathis has only one year left on his contract so a new contract would have to be agreed to.

3rd rd pick is kind of steep for a guard who is over 30 & only under contract for another year. 4th rd pick seems like fair value.

Hickey comment: If his draft is solid, coupled with a good free agent offseason,, we found our guy. Did Ireland set up janitor Philbin & running for his life Tannehill last year? GM humor I suppose.

FZB, OC, Woodcock

check this article by Charles Krauthammer on Obama v Putin. Pretty descriptive, very accurate:


Krauthammer is a radical neocon who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground. President Obama is a negotiating wizard and will surely pay Putin to negotiate a settlement agreeable to Putin and almost none of the American public.

Jonathan Martin going to San Fran could have as many off field distractions as a heterosexual pro athlete going to South Beach.

When Charles..from the Washington Post speaks.....I hold my breath.He is absolutely one of the very wisest men in America especially with comprehending international politics and foreign nations anywhere.The man is a genius and there s no one I have more respect for in this country.Well...Neil Armstrong I did but RIP for him of course.How the 51 % voted for this Prez still baffles me.Anyway,he hardly needs to defer to Bolton (whom is another I respect almost as much)but just fortifies in me that I make a more earnest effort to go purchase Mr. Krauthammer s relatively recent new book.

nothing radical about Krauthammer. Obama told the Ruskies he'll have more flexibility after he's relected. Putin is holding him to his promise. Simple calculation on Putin's part. O is a pushover.

Mr. Woodcock,

the eagles letting desean jackson go is surprising. if not mistaken, he is from north long beach, an area that makes your beloved exposition park and surroundings look like south beach. the reportsn that he is a member of an LA based branch of the crips is puzzling as i would think that he would be running with the long beach crowd; didn't he go to high school at long beach poly? poy makes fremont, jordan, and locke look like country clubs- also produced willie mcginnest and was at/near the top of california high schools for many year while la salle of northern california (producer of d.j. williams) also was and methinks they met every year there for a while while la salle was rated #1 by those who follow high school sports.

Hillary & horsehead Kerry combined couldn't reach Condoleza Rice's effectiveness as Sec of State.

Mr Jimbo you need to learn to read between the lines.

here is what Kerry & Hillary would be combined:



get yourself braced for hilary clinton getting the democrats' nomination and then winning the election. she is a heinous carpetmuncher but the republicans/libertarians/tea partyers don't have anyone who can defeat her- what a thought!!! as incredible as it may seem, that is what is in store for our country- Heaven help us!!!

Ah Jimbo, Is that Kerry or is zat a Kennedy girl? Ahhhhhh hhhha, if it bleeds we can kill it!

shadow, Hillary seems plausable right now but not guaranteed. Baggage, old, more baggage. Empty shelf on accomplishments considering she was Sec of State & US Senator. Benghazi comment of "at this point, what difference does it make?". Don't discount a young up and coming uber liberal taking her out during the primaries. There is a LOT of time between now & Nov 2016. All indications are Republicans will gains seats in the House & take the Senate back as well. IMO Rand Paul should be the national front runner.

President Obama’s first meeting with Pope Francis produced a little schism of its own. The Vatican and White House gave starkly different versions Thursday of Mr. Obama’s meeting with Francis.


Sadly Mr Obama is doing what he always does. He and I will have a discussion some day. It may up a somewhat hot for him.

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