August 21, 2017

Happy Solar Eclipse Monday!: plus latest Hot Button Top10 (updated): See who's No.1 and what else makes our newest list; also, Litmus test imperative for new Marlins owners (my Sunday column), HB Daily (Mon) & more


1) It is MONDAY, AUGUST 21. R.I.P., Jerry Lewis, 91, and Dick Gregory, 84, two men with very different approaches to comedy, each a genius in his own way. 2) Dolphins time! Know any die-hard Dolfans? Surprise and delight them with our new book on club's first half-century. Learn more or order here: Fins At 50. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Miami impact in Top 200 fantasy rankings, Dolphins lose Fake Game 2, my call for open Fins QB competition & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.

Latest Sunday column: Priority for new Marlins owners should center on keeping Stanton: As Giancarlo Stanton powers through his best season with a majors-leading 45 home runs, the incoming new owners fronted by Derek Jeter should make a priority of committing to making Stanton a career-long Marlin. Click on Stanton the Litmus Test For New Owners to read.

EclipseHAPPY SOLAR ECLIPSE MONDAY!: I'm no astronomy nut (although I do proudly own and wear a T-shirt commemorating the great Pluto after its unfortunate 2006 demotion from full planet), but am looking forward to experiencing the partial solar eclipse Monday afternoon. It is projected to begin in South Florida at approximately 1:25 p.m. and end around 4:20, with the maximum eclipse seen by us at 2:58. Pictured is an illustration projecting the maximum eclipse we'll see in Greater Miami -- assuming fair weather and no cloud cover, of course. Weather will be a crapshoot. The forecast for this afternoon is partly cloudy, with widely scattered thunderstorms and a 20 percent chance of rain, so let's hope we get a good look at the eclipse. It'll be a bummer if the day is dark and overcast because of the weather. You need a sunny day for a partial solar eclipse to really stand out. Based on the illustration it seems as if the sun (weather willing) will be visible to us only as a sort of lopsided crescent grin when the eclipse is fullest. It looks to me as if we'll have around an 80 percent eclipse. Anyway, enjoy the wonder of science or the majesty of God, depending on your point of view. Either way, enjoy the marvel of a rare treat!

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (UPDATED): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive every-Sunday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, but from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week's HB10:

Hotbutton1. DOLPHINS: Fins any good? Week in Philly, 'dress rehearsal' may tell: Opening win, then lopsided loss. Who are these guys? Will they be any good with Jay Cutler? Does adding veteran LB Rey Maualuga help? Best answer yet may come this Thursday night in Philly as Fins culminate a week of shared practices with Eagles because Fake Game No. 3 is traditional “dress rehearsal” where starters play a lot. So. Will the real Dolphins please stand up? 

2. MARLINS: Stanton out of the park, Samson just out: It was reported Marlins president David Samson will be out once Jeffrey Loria's sale of club to Derek Jeter group is final. Meanwhile Giancarlo Stanton -- with MLB-leading 45 homers after one Sunday -- continues to make a so-so season matter. Stanton has a chance to hit 60 unless cowardly teams start walking him.

3. HURRICANES: UM look solid as opener nears, except...: Looking like Malik Rosier or Evan Shirreffs for the starting quarterback job after Saturday's scrimmage. Season opener vs. Bethune-Cookman looms in 12 days and Canes look like ACC contenders. Well, unless you're concerned about the minor matter of an unproven QB operating behind a suspect offensive line.

4. FIGHTING: Mayweather-McGregor: Ready, set, hype!: Only five more days until unbeaten boxer Floyd Mayweather and UFC star Conor McGregor will be in a Vegas ring this coming Saturday. Mayweather is heavily favored, but, with both men so unlikeable and such idiots in the buildup, can we please fix this thing so they simultaneously knock each other out?

5. HEAT: Hey, more Dwyane Wade speculation!: It was reported a Wade-Heat reunion may yet happen, based on a Chicago writer writing that Wade "is expected to reach a buyout agreement at some point in the next few months." Would you please wake me when what might or might not happen in a few months actually happens.

6. WRESTLING: Lesnar big winner at WWE SummerSlam: Brock Lesnar won the sport's "Universal Championship" in a "Fatal 4-Way Match," defeating Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman in Brooklyn. Samoa Joe sounds a Polynesian coffee brand.

7. GOLF: U.S. women trounce Europe to win Solheim Cup: There was a South Florida flavor as Miami native Christie Kerr and especially Lexi Thompson from Coral Springs were instrumental in the U.S. routing Europe 16 1/2 to 11 1/2 to win the Solheim Cup match-play event in Des Moines, Iowa.

8. BASEBALL: Yankees, Red Sox play rubber game: Sports' greatest rivalry renewed Sunday at Fenway Park and Boston took deciding game to grow its AL East lead to five games. MLB lacks tight division races this year, so appreciate this one.

9. GYMNASTICS: National championships wrap up in Anaheim: The 54th edition of the USA Gymnastics national championships ended Sunday in Anaheim, trying to make us forget about recent scandals over the abuse of young female gymnasts.

10. KEVIN DURANT: Star says Warriors would decline White House visit: The NBA champion Warriors will decline if invited to the White House over objections to President Trump, said Durant. In an unrelated story, Trump signed an executive order abolishing the Golden State Warriors.

Missing the HB10 cut: Nick Saban ranted against media predictions, saying, "Why do we play?" Here's another question, Nick. Should a man being paid $11.1 million to coach Alabama be complaining about anything!? ..... How much longer will it continue to be news that an NFL player sits for the national anthem? That reminds me. The Smithsonian will have a new exhibit featuring Colin Kaepernick items. Will one of the items be an unemployment check? ..... They're talking about taking down the Marlins Home Run Sculpture. What, is it linked to the Confederacy? ..... LeBron James called for healing and love in the wake of the violence "in Charlottesville, North Carolina." Hey, he's a baller, not a professor of geography!

HOT BUTTON DAILY: MON 8-21-17: Today's sports events of most interest in SoFla:

1. Solar eclipse, 1:25 p.m.: We'll experience it at its fullest around 3 p.m.

2. N.Y. Giants at Cleveland, 8 p.m.: Day's only NFL exhibition game.

3. Everton at Manchester City, 3 p.m.: Interesting EPL soccer match.

4. Little League World Series, 1 p.m.: Elimination games begin.

Note: Marlins have today off.

Select other recent columns -- Double QB Quandary A Rarity (On Dolphins, Canes' shared upheaval). New Owner, New Hope (Let's party at news Loria agrees to sell to Jeter group). A Diamond, Shining (Giancarlo Stanton's great season). Immortality Calling (Jason Taylor in Hall, now who's next?). Also: Right Time, Right QuarterbackThe Uncommon Pressure On the Miami DolphinsBlockbuster Would Be Slumpbuster for RileyParoled But Not FreeDon't Hold Your BreathAn Ageless Wonder, Even In DefeatAll-Star Week Proves Miami's Baseball Potential as Loria Era EbbsThe Gentleman-Athlete Earned Our ThanksHeat Lose Twice On HaywardBam Is Due Benefit Of DoubtMake Fun of the Farce, But You'll WatchNo Parade In SightFall From Greatness And From GraceNFL's Moral ObligationThe Dolphins' Eight IfsHome Run For MiamiThe Jose Statue's Positive PurposeAn American TragedyHistory Breathes at UM Sports HallIs There A Team Brave Enough for Kaepernick?Thank You, Mae RibackA Ghost Tour of Miami's Sports PastThe Miracle of Liberty CityThank You, Edwin Pope.

Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.

Twitter @gregcote

March 07, 2011

A crying shame! Heat lose 5th straight (with polls); plus Ochocinco casts for Dolphins, Charlie Sheen, alien life & more

[Celebrate Fat Tuesday by following a fat guy on Twitter.].

1aa1heatbad2 1aa1heatbad1 A CRYING SHAME: THE UNRAVELING HEAT:   [Update: Heat lose at home tonight to Portland for Miami's fifth straight loss and sixth in seven games]. Coach Erik Spoelstra was wrong to make what's private public and tell the world some of his players were crying Sunday after the team's fourth straight loss and fifth in six games. Amazing how CryGate has taken off as a national story. I was on ESPN's Outside The Lines, on The Sporting News national radio and on with Tony Kornheiser just in the past 24 hours, talking about it. That the star-studded Heat are crying makes it that much easier for all but Miami fans to laugh. This is not a team built to inspire sympathy (let alone patience). But the crying matter, of course, is peripheral to the point, which is that stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have been chokers more than clutch when needed most lately. And that Chris Bosh (one shot in the fourth quarter Sunday) is too acquiescent to the Big 2. And that the center position continues as a huge weakness even as the point guard spot has improved. And that the bench is weak. And that Mike Miller (one point in 31 minutes) continues as an erratic disappointment. And that Miami sorely needs Udonis Haslem back on the floor as much for the emotional lift as the rebounds. Suddenly, Miami slipping to a No. 4 playoff seed seems possible as championship hopes run away. What to do, what to do? I present two Heat polls here. the first is on who should have the ball in the closing seconds. It's been LeBron, but that ain't workin'. I think Miami should give the team and the ball back to D-Wade, who obviously wants it. The second poll is on the coach. It is admittedly most likely a moot question because I honestly don't think Pat Riley wants to coach again, or will. But it's still an interesting discussion point.

CHAD OCHOCINCO CASTS FOR DOLPHINS: Perpetually dissatisfied Chad Ochocinco-or-is-he-Chad Johnson-again is lobbying for a trade out of Cincinnati and putting out feelers to get back to his hometown of Miami. "The Dolphins have always been my team since I've grown up," he recently noted. Stop it! Just stop it. Please? Chad is 33 now, and Miami already fulfills the diva-receiva quotient with Brandon Marshall. If the Dolphins are thinking trade with Cincy, QB Carson Palmer is the guy they should try to pry loose, although Miami's lack of a second-round draft pick would hinder that possibility even if there were interest.

1aa1bradypony TOM BRADY COIF UPDATE: The pretty-boy Patriots QB was recently spotted sporting a mini-ponytail (see right). Trend? I'm not sayin', Chad Henne. Something to think about, though!

PANTHERS TALK!: I have a new column online and in Tuesday's pulp edition on the Florida Panthers and the task facing GM Dale Tallon. Why? Because sometimes the intrepid columnist must delve into topics he knows won't generate a slew of online hits. Somehow, inexplicably, it made today's top-10 columns list on

LOCALS ON COLLEGE HALL BALLOT: College Football Hall of Fame's new list of 79 2011 nominees includes six locally tied guys. First-time balloteers are former Dolphins and UM coach Jimmy Johnson, the late South Miami High LB Derrick Thomas, and ex-RB Lorenoz White of Dillard High. Back for another shot are ex-Cane DT Russell Maryland, vintage Dolphins safety Jake Scott, and briefly ex-Dolphins RB Bobby Humphrey.

1aa1charlies CHARLIE SHEEN STILL WINNING, TALKING: Yeah on Saturday the defrocked Two And A Half Men star debuted an online show of sorts on Ustream. Click on Giving Winning A Bad Name for details and the video. Warning: It's 13 minutes of your life you'll never get back. Charlie moves closer and closer to the homeless man wearing a cardboard shirt ambling down a busy street ranting to himself with arms flailing. Except people aren't taking Charlie as seriously.

SPEAKING OF PATHETIC...: I happened across the season debut of Celebrity Apprentice last night and noticed Jose Canseco among the participants. The hope here is that Donald Trump will pay Jose to go away and never appear publicly again. 

TV'S GREATEST WOMEN: names its "100 Most Memorable Female TV Characters" and the top of the list is 10. Edith Bunker; 9. Clair Huxtable; 8. Veronica Mars; 7. Carmela Soprano; 6. Buffy Summers; 5. Elaine Benes; 4. Peggy Olson; 3. Lucy Ricardo; 2. Laura Roslin; 1. Mary Richards. Quick thoughts: Have never watched 8 or 6. Have never heard of 2. I appreciate Mad Men but think 4 is way over-ranked. And Lucy should-a beat Mary. Finally, I find it interesting that all 10 of these women have one thing in common: They all agree Charlie Sheen is sad.

ANAGRAM DU JOUR: Charlie Sheen = Hearse Lech In.

AND IN OTHER NEWS, NASA SCIENTISTS FIND EVIDENCE OF ALIEN LIFE: Click here. I dunno. I'd have thought this might have been bigger news.

1aa1caution 1aa1fattues Click back. Adding more stuff to this latest post later...