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April 09, 2014

Thu pm 4-10: Who is now Heat's main obstacle in East? Poll. Vote!; plus Kaepernick cop report, Dolphins draft, Hank Aaron, U.S. World Cup soccer vid & more

1) It is THURSDAY, APRIL 10. Quick question after watching Marlins blow a 5-0 lead at Nationals last night: What's the point of having a relief pitcher who isn't big on control or throwing strikes? Talkin' about you, Carlos Marmol. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): NFL Draft/QB poll, Heat-Nets, UConn, Masters odds, Mickey Rooney, Bob Coy & more. 3) Follow on Twitter @gregcote.

Miami cops investigating Kaepernick: Miami police are investogating 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick for an alleged sexual assault. Backgrounder HERE. Police report HERE.

Dolphins' latest first-round projection: This via Todd McShay's Mock 4.0 today on ESPN.com: Miami at No. 19 drafts Virginia offensive tackle Morgan Moses. (There is a growing consensus that Notre Dame OT Zach Martin will be gone by 19 and it might take a trade-up to get him).

On Hank Aaron, 40 years later: This week is 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's career home run record. In today's latest column I reflect on how Aaron was a victim of the times -- then, and now. Click on The Real Home Run King to read. 

1aa1athreeblind"Yes, that absolutely was a foul on LeBron James in the closing seconds the other night against Brooklyn. NBA officiating crew played by Three Blind Mice." --Greg Cote

NBA'S EASTERN LANDSCAPE SHIFTS, BUT HIERARCHY DOESN'T: Indiana was the hot pick to unseat champion Miami before the Pacers' recent fade. Brooklyn nominates itself as King-
1aa1ablocklebron

1aa1ablocklebronslayer now with its newly minted 4-0 season record vs. the Heat. Chicago and Joakim Noah always seem to give Miami a tough time. (Toronto is pretty good, too). Point is, Miami could have a tough time from somebody getting to a fourth straight NBA Finals in search of a third straight title ... but from who? Click on Still Chasing Heat for my column off Tuesday's 88-87 home loss to Brooklyn preceding last night's loss at Memphis. I write how the East's landscape may shift, but the hierarchy has not. Now it's your turn. We asked this same poll question before the season, last September, and will be interested to compare results. Who, right now, looks Miami's toughest challenge in the Eastern Conference playoffs? Vote and say why.

DOLPHINS PRESEASON SCHEDULE: Kickoff times and most exact dates not out yet, but NFL and Dolphins announced the team's preseason exhibition schedule would be at Atlanta (wekend of Aug. 7-10), at Tampa Bay (Aug. 14-18), then home games vs. Dallas (Aug. 21-24) and St. Louis (Thursday, Aug. 28).

AWESOME U.S. WORLD CUP VIDEO: ESPN has a new promo for the summer World Cup in Brazil and it is entitled "American Outlaws," after a U.S. fan group. The name of the group and video is apt, because American soccer fans are sort of the outlaws of American sports, growing, but still cult-sized compared to football, basketball and baseball fans. There is also an element of "us against the world," given the enormous mass popularity of soccer elsewhere more than here. The video is awesome. Goosebumpy.

      

Poll result: UCF's Bortles is top QB in draft: We asked who among the three consensus first-round quarterbacks will go first in next month's NFL Draft (you may still vote), and it was 50.97 percent for UCF's Blake Bortles, 32.04% for Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, and 16.99% for Louisville's (and Miami's) Teddy Bridgewater.

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