NBA playoffs begin! Who'll win championship? Poll. Vote now!; plus Record Store Day, Dolphins preseason details, debut of new Marlins blog feature 'Weighing The Fish,' Fins cast as Star Wars 'Greedos,' Mayweather-Pacquiao & more
GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.
1) It is SATURDAY, APRIL 18. Today is national Record Store Day, championing the cause and comeback of vinyl and the indie shops that are its main purveyors. Vinyl sales last year were the highest in 20 years, and growing. Find an indie store near you and explore! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Kiper draft picks for Dolphins/Hurricanes, rooting-for-LeBron poll, Aaron Hernandez verdict, Back in My Day audio, LeBatard vs.Cain Velasquez & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also on Facebook, Instagram and Vine.
Dolphins preseason details: Club announced specific dates and kickoff times today. The schedule: Aug. 13 at Chicago 8 p.m.; Aug. 22 at Carolina 7 p.m.; Aug. 29 vs. Atlanta 7 p.m.; and Sept. 3 vs. Tampa Bay 7 p.m. Pictured right, the Dolphins logo and helmet reimagined with the Rodia Greedos character from Stars Wars by by Mexican artist John Raya. Click on pic for enlarged image.
Mayweather-Pacquiao and Miami: Watch this video and hear Floyd Mayweather confirm that his upcoming May 2 megafight vs. Manny Pacquiao would never have happened if the two hadn't run into each other at a Heat game in Miami on Jan. 27. (Which pretty much makes that the best thing to come of this Heat season).
Click on Awful Decisions And 1.5 Miles for my latest column, on the Aaron Hernandez verdict.
VEGAS LIKES THREE TEAMS IN NBA PLAYOFFS. NOW WHICH TEAM IS YOUR PICK?: Las Vegas sets odds to reflect its estimation of public perception and then moves the line if needed to reflect actual betting trends. Based on that there is no clear favorite in the NBA playoffs that start Saturday -- but there are three teams clearly out front. Cleveland and Golden State, co-favorites at 11-5 (per Bovada), and San Antonio, third at 7-2, are those teams. The fourth-best odds show a sharp drop to 12-1 for Atlanta and Chicago. So Mr. Vegas is feeling a LeBron James vs. Steph Curry final but also showing much respect for the playoff-tested oldies of Tim Duncan. Curry and James are pictured. Not much love for the beast-of-the-East Hawks, who could attract lots of wagering action as the under-regarded, relatively star-less, disrespected 'dog. Who would you anoint as the favorite as the playoffs begin? Not who you hope wins but who'd bet actually will. In the poll I list the seven teams with the best odds, plus an "other" category covering the longshots. Vote and say why you feel as you do.
Poll result: Very little rooting interest for you in Miami, LeBron: With the Heat out of it, we asked if you would now be rooting for LeBron James to win the NBA title, and it was 58.0 percent "no" vs. only 15.2% "yes. The other 26.8% said they no longer care who wins.
NEW BLOG FEATURE: WEIGHING THE FISH (10 GAMES): We throw the occasional bell 'n whistle into
the blog, and today we debut a new feature. "Weighing The Fish" -- WTF! -- will be a once-every-10-games ranking of every Marlins batter who is averaging at least one at-bat per game. Nine qualify for our first ranking. WTF is cumulative and factors six offensive categories. It serves as an ongoing de facto team MVP race. The numbers might not mean much, but, relative to each other, it gives an idea who is having the best season or, in this case, who's off to the best start and who most needs to pick it up. Early leader Dee Gordon is pictured. Weighing The Fish after 10 games (at 3-7):
Dee Gordon 86.8
Giancarlo Stanton 74.8
Michael Morse 60.5
Adeiny Hechevarria 57.8
Martin Prado 54.6
Christian Yelich 52.8
Ichiro Suzuki 44.4
Marcell Ozuna 39.7
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 34.9
Check back a lot because we constantly update and add to our latest blogposts...