Another meandering mess o' miscellania...
(*) Pat Riley has ID'd Dwyane Wade, Shawn Marion, Udonis Haslem, Dorell Wright, Daequan Cook and the likely upcoming top-three lottery pick (repeat after me: Michael Beasley) as the core around which he'll build a better Heat. Will Miami make the leap from worst in the league to the playoffs next season? Yes.
(*) The Dolphins continue with their "disciplined spending philosophy" in free agency. Evidently what that means is, they're not spending enough to get anybody who's really good.
(*) Marlins pitcher/phenom-designate Andrew Miller, 21, could be great someday, but this spring he's been erratic, with control issues. I have one word if he's the team's Opening Day starter as now seems likely: Uh-oh. (Or is that two words?)
(*) New York, New York: Heat host Knicks tonight and Panthers host Islanders and the interest meter is barely a-wiggle. A once-fierce NBA rivalry finds the two teams a combined 29-97, while the hockey game matches two of the seven teams likely not to make the NHL playoffs. (Oops. Sorry. Are we still pretending the Cats aren't out of it?).
(*) Speaking of New York: The Yankees "signing" Billy Crystal -- what a bunch of heartwarming crap! The Yankees ought to be getting serious and figuring out a way to beat the Red Sox instead of wasting spring at-bats on a fawning celebrity. What's next? Jimmy Buffett starting at short for the Marlins tomorrow?
(*) Spoke to UM basketball great Rick Barry (click here for today's column), tied to the Canes opening ACC tournament play Thursday vs. N.C. State up there.
(*) Actress Dawn Wells, 69 -- Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island -- was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. Cops didn't buy her claim that it was planted there by Ginger.
(*) Dan Patrick had me on his radio show yesterday talking about D-Wade and so forth. What I love about Patrick's on-air style: Calm, conversational, no histrionics. Such a pleasant change from most local sports-talk radio. Not to name names!
(*) This just in. Geraldine Ferraro has announced she thinks I only got this blog because I'm white.
(*) Today's Little-Known Fact (TLKF): The No. 1 boat name in the U.S. is Obsession. (I didn't say interesting fact. I said little-known).
(*) The FHSAA held its first state cheerleading competition the other day, christening its elevation to varsity sport status. My question: Are there cheerleaders cheering for the varsity cheerleading teams?
(*) Headlines You Probably Thought You'd Never See (one in a series): Me? I feel for the guy waiting outside the door who had to go really bad.
(*) Dear Greg: Your blog's OK, but it would be much better if occasionally you'd show a picture of a sullen model who looks like an Addams Family reject wearing a dress that no woman would ever actually wear in public.
(*) Finally: Bad mortgage? Gas prices rising? Hate your boss? Look on the bright side. You could be Eliot Spitzer.