NEW VIDEO! THIS IS NOT A FIRE SALE-* Visit YouTube/TheGregCote for my latest The View From Miami video, on why this week's two Marlins trades were smart (with an asterisk). All six videos I've done so far are posted.
[1) It is THURSDAY, JULY 26. Join us on Twitter @gregcote. 2) Happy for ex-Canes coach Randy Shannon catching on as linebackers coach at Texas Christian. 3) A belated R.I.P. to Sherman Hemsley, whose George character (left) in 'The Jeffersons' could strut a pimp-walk better than anybody not wearing a purple felt hat]
Juicy!: The Dodgers visit Miami for three games August 10-12 and the crowd reaction to Hanley Ramirez will be interesting. Mostly cheers? Mostly boos? Maybe the poll results below will offer a hint. Click on Good Riddance for my newest column, on the departure of Hanley. and on Train Wreck for my previous column, on the Marlins' nightmare season.
MARLINS TRADE HANLEY RAMIREZ (THAT'S GOOD), BUT DON'T GET MUCH FOR HIM (THAT'S BAD): Hanley Ramirez (right) became the Dodgers' problem just past 3 a.m. in the East yesterday when the news began to break that the Marlins had sent to Ramirez and reliever Randy Choate packing for Los Angeles. What's headed out doesn't bother me. Hanley has shown three years of diminishing returns and a continuing attitude issue. He was hitting .246. They tried to build a team around Ramirez but he wasn't up to the role. It was time to move on, as I say in this video on my YouTube channel, filmed early last evening prior to the trade. As for Choate leaving? He was a spot-role mid-relief guy with an expiring contract. No biggie. The problem with this trade is that, with about six teams reportedly interested in Ramirez, one would think the Marlins could have gotten more in return than what they did: 22-year-old rookie starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi (1-6, 4.15 ERA) and 22-year-old minor-league pitcher Scott McGough, both righties. Eovaldi is pictured at left. As with any trade involving prospects, this deal will look much better if either incoming young pitcher turns out great, of course. For now, though, it sort of seems like the Marlins just gave Hanley Ramirez away. L.A. agreed to assume his remaining contract, so it's a salary-dump for Miami. But does it make the team better? L.A. was the only interested team that would pick up Hanley's entire remaining salary, so the presumption is Miami might have gotten more in return from another team but opted for the financial relief instead. Piggybacked onto the earlier trade of pitcher Anibal Sanchez and second baseman Omar Infante to Detroit for three young prospects, the Marlins definitely are retooling. Fire sale? Not yet, but it could begin to feel like that if, say, Josh Johnson is the next to go. Certain players ike Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Reyes should be off-limits and the club should make that clear to clam fans. Meantime, weigh in on the departure of Hanley Ramirez. Poll open. Votes welcome.
Shame on Showtime: How ridiculously lame and lazy of Showtime's The Franchise to not re-tool last night's episode to center around the Hanley Ramirez trade. They had time. The show could have been fresh and right-now topical; instead, the episode was full of fluff 'n filler: Ozzie Guillen's family, Edwards Mujica's family ... yawn! The only memorable quote for me was owner Jeffrey Loria lamenting of his team, "I don't think these guys have any sense of urgency."
RICKY WILLIAMS KEEPS PUTTING THE 'ODD' IN ODYSSEY: The life story of Ricky Williams gets stranger just when you thought that impossible. The latest: The retired Dolphin and his Ricky Williams Foundation are now heavily involved (spiritually and also financially) with a controversial organization -- many would say cult -- called Access Consciousness. Williams is a "facilitator" for the group and teaches classes for it. Its founder, Gary Douglas, is on record saying he believes he can heal wounds with his bare hands and read minds among other claims. The Austin (Tex.) Chronicle just did an interesting piece on all this. Click on Ricky's New Chapter for that story, which includes audio of an extensive interview with Williams and Douglas. Williams' ongoing search for enlightenment is admirable on some level, and I won't judge the motives or legitimacy of Douglas beyond suggesting they seem questionable. I wish Ricky and his bank account well on this venture, and hope he has trusted advisers in his life who are doing their job.
Poll result: Penn State punishment about right: We asked in the prior blogpost how you felt about Penn State's punishment over the Jerry Sandusky scandal (you can still vote), and 52.1 percent said it was about right. Another 26.8% called it too harsh and 21.1% too lenient.
Click back. Will be updating/adding much more to this latest blogpost...