GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.
1) It is SATURDAY, April 8. Interesting story here on how Vegas sportsbooks are split on whether to refund bets on Dustin Johnson after his (very) late withdrawal from The Masters. 2) LegoLand Florida's Beach Retreat adjunct (pictured) opened Friday in Winter Haven. How delightfully weird! 3) Know any Dolfans? Buy them all our new book on club's first half-century, Fins At 50. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Jeter/Bush among Marlins bidders, playoff odds swing against Heat, '18 NCAA title odds, Romo to CBS with poll, your Marlins expectations verdict & more. 5) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.
"LaVar Ball, briefly out of the spotlight, sought it again this week by blaming his son's UCLA team's ouster from NCAA Tournament on teammates he referred to as 'three white guys.' Not to repeat myself, but: You, sir, are an idiot." --Greg Cote
POLL: NAME YOUR FAVORITE POTENTIAL NEW MARLINS OWNERSHIP GROUP: I have a new column out touting Derek Jeter to replace (supposedly) departing Jeffrey Loria as Miami Marlins owner. Click on Because Jeter Is Everything Loria Is Not to read that column. Now it's your turn. Select your preferred next Marlins owner from among the currently identified plausible options. Vote now:
UPDATED: HEAT PLAYOFFS ODDS TUMBLE: Miami remains the 9th seed but is now one full game off playoff pace behind Chicago and Indiana after last night's hurtful loss in Toronto. With it, ESPN's Basketball Power Index playoff odds now give Miami only a 39.3 percent shot, down from 52.5 percent%. The Bulls' likelihood is now put at 94.7% and the Pacers' at 75.0%. The Heat's ace in the hole and best hope? A tiebreaker edge over Indiana, which would end up securing that 8th seed if their final records are tied. Closing schedules, though, still clearly favor CHI/IND and grow skepticism on Miami's playoff chances:
Chicago Bulls 39-40: @ Brooklyn .241 tonight; vs. Orlando .354 and vs. Brooklyn .241.
Indiana Pacers 39-40: @ Orlando .354 tonight; @ Philadelphia .354 and vs. Atlanta .519.
Miami Heat 38-41: @ Washington .608 tonight; vs. Cleveland .646 and vs. Washington .608.
Poll result: Romo a Hall of Famer? Oh hell no!: We asked if QB-turned-CBS analyst Tony Romo had a Hall of Fame-worthy NFL career, and it was 79.3 percent no and only 11.6% yes. The other 9.1% were undecided.
HOT BUTTON DAILY / SAT 4-8-17: Up to five events on today's sports calendar that interest SoFla most:
1. Heat at Washington, 7 p.m.: Miami, in final road game, still fighting to sneak in playoffs.
2. Buffalo at Panthers, 7 p.m.: Home finale for Cats' hugely disappointing season.
3. The Masters, 3 p.m. (TV): Third round of year's first golf major.
4. Marlins at N.Y. Mets, 7:10 p.m.: Fifth of six-game season opening road trip for Fish.
5. Duke at Hurricanes, 7 p.m.: UM baseball opens three-game ACC series.