September 27, 2006

Today's Column: Marlins' fun ride, NL rookie race

     Most days that we have a column appear in The Herald, we'll post an entry on it here so readers/bloggers have a chance to agree, disagree or comment in any way.

     Today's column: Find it here. We write, off last night's opener of the Marlins' final homestand, how even official elimination from the playoff chase should not prevent us appreciating the larger joy of this season -- how a bunch of rookies expected to be awful overachieved like no other team in baseball.

     As a subtheme we delve into the tight NL Rookie of the Year race. For my BBWAA vote I think I have narrowed to three finalists, listed alphabetically below with key stats.

     Who would you support? Can't promise you'll influence my vote, but give it a try if you'd like:

     (*) Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez: .289-15-57; 115 runs, 45 doubles, 10 triples, 51 steals, .820 OPS.

     (*) Marlins 2B Dan Uggla: .283-26-89; 103 runs, .821 OPS.

     (*) Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman: .286-19-107; 47 doubles, .819 OPS.

September 25, 2006

Today's Column: Ronnie Brown

     Most days that we have a column appear in The Herald, we'll post an entry on it here so readers/bloggers have a chance to agree, disagree or comment in any way.Aronnie_5

     Today's column: Find it here. We write, off Sunday's Dolphins-Titans game, about the underachieving Ronnie Brown. It comes on a day when a late 27-yard run gave Brown a decent 90 yards rushing, but his season and career thus far have not seen the consistent impact or production expected of an overall No. 2 draft pick.

     It is much too soon to call him a bust -- and I'm not. But it is not too soon to wonder if he is an elite back in a manner suggested by his draft status. Your thoughts welcome.

September 22, 2006

Today's Column: The Curse of the Marino

     Most days that we have a column appear in The Herald, we'll post an entry on it here so readers/bloggers have a chance to agree, disagree or comment in any way.

     Today's column: Find it here. Our every-Friday NFL column examines the cursed fate of those who have tried to follow Dan Marino here and whether Daunte Culpepper is the exception or the rule. Conclusion? Give the guy a break. It's been two games.

September 19, 2006

Today's Column: Our Lost Weekend

     Most days that we have a column appear in The Herald, we'll post an entry on it here so readers/bloggers have a chance to agree, disagree or comment in any way.Acoker_4 Anick_6

     Today's column: Find it here. We pick through the rubble of that melancholic 24-hour period in which the Hurricanes got spanked in Louisville, the Marlins endured their worst loss of the season in Atlanta, and the Dolphins looked lifeless in losing their home opener. But, as if manning a Suicide Hotline, we offer reasons toward the end why it isn't so bad, after all. No, seriously.

September 18, 2006

Today's Columns: Coker's future, Dolphins loss, Gators

     Most days that we have a column appear in The Herald, we'll post an entry on it here so readers/bloggers have a chance to agree, disagree or comment in any way.

     Pulled double duty yesterday so there are two today. Meandered on Larry Coker's UM future while en route back from Knoxville, then dispatched from the Dolphins' home opener. Also including a link below to our Sunday column off Gators-Vols. Busy weekend.

     On Coker: Find it here. Trying to visit some sanity to the anti-LC hysteria. Give him this season to save his job, and don't discount the chance he still could. Also, shift some of the heat on Coker to his underachieving players, please.

     On Dolphins: Find it here. Can't recall a more flat, disappointing effort in any home opener. Soft schedule ahead; then again, didn't we think Buffalo was supposed to be a part of that?

     On Gators: Find it here. Huge comeback win at Tennessee by the Swampers led by QB Chris Leak, who finally deserves some of the love he has never quite gotten in Gainesville.

September 12, 2006

Today's Column: Marlins' magic and emotion

     Most days that we have a column appear in The Herald, we'll post an entry on it here so readers/bloggers have a chance to agree, disagree or comment in any way.

     Today's Column: Find it here. We write, from the Marlins' 16-5 win over the Mets, about the biggest game of the year when you combine the might of the victory and how crucial it was, and the fact it came on an emotional night marking the five-year anniversary of 9/11.

     An amazing season keeps getting moreso. So here's your what's-more-amazing question of the day: A starting staff that was supposed to be Dontrelle and the Four Dwarfs having the most rookie pitching wins by any team since 1952? Or a lineup that was supposed to be Miguel and Eight Dwarfs about to set a franchise record for sesaon home runs?

September 08, 2006

Today's Column: Champions vs. Wannabes

     Every day that we have a column appear in The Herald, we post an entry on it here so readers/bloggers have a chance to agree, disagree or comment in any way.

     Today's Column: Find it here. We write, from the Dolphins' opening loss in Pittsburgh, about the distinction that became pretty clear. One team reminded why it is a champion, and the other why it remains a wannabe. I don't mean that Miami is a fraud-contender, only that much work is left.

     I wouldn't react too harshly to the loss or to Daunte Culpepper's performance in it. I look at this schedule and still see 11-5. Still see what will be a huge upgrade at QB. Still see a program ascending. Lots of negativity from y'all in our main game post (just above), leading me to believe Dolfans may have set an NFL record for bandwagon-jumping. Chill. Long season.

September 06, 2006

Today's Column: The heat on Coker

     Every day that we have a column appear in The Herald, we'll post an entry on it here so readers/bloggers have a chance to agree, disagree or comment in any way.Acoker_2

     Today's Column: Find it here. We write about the rabid heat on UM coach Larry Coker and whether that's justified for a man who is 53-10 with a championship ring. An excerpt:

     "The anti-Coker sentiment is hysterical, reactionary, overwrought with vitriol and premature. But it is something else, too. It is, slowly, by degrees, becoming more understandable. The doubting Coker, the wondering, is beginning to sound less and less flagrantly unreasonable and more and more like simply giving honest vent to an increasingly fair question: Is this job too big for this man?"

September 05, 2006

Today's Column: Amazin' Marlins deserve support

     [Originally posted 9-3 as Marlins reached .500 and updated 9-4 as they went one game over].

     Every day that we have a column appear in The Herald, we'll post an entry on it here so readers/bloggers have a chance to agree, disagree or comment in any way.

     Today's Column: Find it here. We write, off yesterday's comeback win, about what a terrific story the 2006 Marlins have been, and how sadly underappreciated. A crowd of 12,000 to open a big homestand in playoff contention? The last men in uniform to return to a homecoming that warm were Vietnam veterans.

September 01, 2006

Today's Column: What Little We Know

     Every day that we have a column appear in The Herald, we'll post an entry on it here so readers/bloggers have a chance to agree, disagree or comment in any way,

     Today's Column: Find it here. We write, off last night's Dolphins game, how remarkably little the preseason tells us (except winnowing the roster). Everything starts over this coming Thursday night in terms of showing us how good this team really can be, instantly rendering the month of August useless as a gauge. The 2-2 record? Irrelevant. Last night's convincing win? Doesn't matter. August disappears. Thank goodness. Whether the Dolphins are a Super Bowl contender or overrated -- the preseason didn't help us with that question. The answering starts now.