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14 posts from May 2008

May 27, 2008

Dolphins QB in five years (with The Daily Poll), nude tennis, UM baseball, my acting career and more

    [Wednesday evening bulletin: So Memphis' Joey Dorsey predicts teammate Derrick Rose will fall to the Heat because Chicago will take Michael Beasley No. 1? In Pat Riley's dreams].

     A whole spankin' new mess o' miscellania...

     The most intriguing buildup to Dolphins training camp (if we can get past the Jason Taylor soap for a blessed, bleepin' minute) is the looming quarterback battle. Who, if anyone, has your confidence at this point? Vote in our poll and expound with a comment.   

     NAaa1ashley2_2udie alert!: It has come to the attention of the Random Evidence blog staff (that's me)Aaa1ashley_2 that U.S. tennis pro Ashley Harkleroad, 23 (pictured), will appear without benefit of clothing in the upcoming August Playboy. This is nothing that we approve of or endorse, of course, but we shall reserve final judgement until carefully (and repeatedly) scrutinizing the visual evidence upon the day of its publication.

     UM baseball regional: I don't get this propoganda about UM baseball drawing a tough regional beginning Friday. Huh? Opening with Bethune-Cookman? The three opponents with a combined 63 season losses? Looks to me like the Canes got the creampuffs an overall No. 1 seed should. It'll be The U in a diamond waltz.   

     Hoops, puck playoffs: Celtics-Pistons and Lakers-Spurs in the NBA semifinals and Detroit-Pittsburgh in the Stanley Cup Finals have my interest more than most years. The difference? Basketball is giving us real competitiveness. Hockey is looking like quick work for the Octupi.

     Golf in the Olympics?: Oy! What say?

     The glamorous life of a sports writer: So I call UM today trying to set up an interview tomorrow with football coach Randy Shannon for a column in Thursday's paper about his just-completed goodwill tour in the Middle East, only to be told that's not possible but that Randy might be available Tuesday. Gee, thanks 'Canes!

     Owls land a big one: I know about the controversial side of Mike Jarvis. I'd still call him a Aaa1mikejarvis great hire by FAU as new men's basketball coach. He left St. John's in disgrace in December '03 after off-court incidents by players, and his program retroactively forfeited 43 wins involving a player being paid by a member of Jarvis' staff (although Jarvis was cleared of personal wrongdoing). I also know Jarvis is 364-201 all-time at St. John's and before that Boston University and George Washington, with nine NCAA Tournaments and four NITs in 18 full seasons. That's solid. No doubt Jarvis will try using his small-scale comeback in Boca Raton as a stepping stone back to the big time. Meantime, FAU's program will be better for it.

Aaa1field      More Things You Don't Know About Me: Famed movie director Sydney Pollack just died. I could say, "He directed me in Absence of Malice," and it would be the truth, sort of. Anybody see that movie? it was filmed in 1981 at The Herald, and I was an extra. I appear, literally for about one second, shown sitting on a desk reading a newspaper. Regrettably, the role led to neither a brief torrid affair with a then-cute Sally Field (left, from the film), nor to other movie offers. 

Aaa1joakim     What!? You're kidding!: Question: What group holds its monthly meetings in a Mini Cooper with room to spare. Answer: The Society of People Surprised That Joakim Noah Smokes Pot.

     Culinary tip du jour: Ask your butcher or supermarket meat manager for a "chuck eye" cut of steak. It is nearly identical to the more common ribeye, but about $3 per pound cheaper. Seriously. You'll thank me.

Aaahulk      Question du jour: What is less respectful, and also looks more ridiculous, than Hulk Hogan wearing his do-rag in a courtroom while testifying for his son? (It's a rhetorical question whose correct answer is, "Nothing."). Click here for an audio snippet of Hoganville.

     Check back. More crap later.

May 26, 2008

Heat interested in O.J. Mayo at No. 2; Joey Porter says cheatin' Pats deserve asterisk

     [Tuesday update: Thanks to all who participated in today's live online Q&A. We return to our regular Monday slot next week. Thanks again!]

     ESAaa1mayoPN reported that a Heat source indicates the club isn't sold on Michael Beasley with the second pick -- assuming Chicago drafts the hugely preferred Derrick Rose No. 1 as expected -- and that Miami might instead pick USC's O.J. Mayo (pictured) second overall. This is fairly stunning if true, because Rose-Beasley/Beasley-Rose has been judged a 1-2 lock with near unanimity.  Read it here. Then tell us what you think.

     Porter rips Cheatriots: Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter blasted the Patriots over the Spygate scandal on NFL Live, saying the team cheated its way to championships and deserves an asterisk to shame its accomplishments. Good stuff. Read it here and tell us if you agree with Joey or not.

     Marlins hit the road: Team opens a huge 10-game road swing tonight at Mets. It'll say much about whether the team is "for real." Click here to read a column by me online now and headed to your Tuesday morning newspaper. You remember newspapers. It's what we did before computers.

     Next Q&A is Tuesday, not Monday: Our regular every-Monday live online chat will next be Tuesday (May 27) this week on account of the Memorial Day holiday. We will all be preoccupied Monday, paying tribute to our nation's fallen military troops by not working and drinking lots of beer. But then we'll all gather around the computer and chat from 1-2 p.m. Tuesday, almost like 1940s families gathered raptly 'round the radio for Amos and Andy.

     Have you noticed the ads?: I have noticed that ads mysteriously have begun to appear on my blog. I assume that means a cut for me, right? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

     More Jason Taylor!: If you're not quite sick of the Jason Taylor saga yet and can stand another dose, check out today's column by me (click here) and give us your thoughts.

     Check back. We may be adding more stuff to this post later.

May 23, 2008

Taylor vs. Dolphins reaches crisis stage (with The Daily Poll)

     Friday Update: Click on Both Sides to Blame to read today's column by me on the Dolphins-Jason Taylor mess. By the way, reports out of San Diego that the Chargers may be interested in Taylor, "may be" the key phrase there. No way Miami gets a second-round pick for him. Now back to the original post:

     Dolphins coach Tony Sparano revealed Wednesday that defensive end Jason Taylor would not participate in any of the team's preseason on-field activities -- including the main training camp in July. Then Sparano declined to elaborate or answer any questions about Taylor's status with the club. Read the bizarre tale by clicking here.

     Reports are that this decision is Taylor's -- that he and his agent are playing hardball in efforts to force a trade to a contending club. It's a strange, sad situation, a controversy that will simmer and fester throughout the spring and summer.

     Vote in our poll on this major escalation of the Taylor-Dolphins rift and share your thoughts in a comment.

     [Congratulations. You made the above our 18th blogpoll to surpass 1,000 votes within the first 24 hours. Keep 'em comin'!]

     Also Wednesday, the Dolphins concluded their latest voluntary microminicamp, with the entire team gathered minus the Dancin' Defensive End. Most notable other than the Taylor development: Second-year guy John Beck taking most first-team snaps at quarterback, ahead of veteran journeyman Josh McCown. A mild surprise. Rookie Chad Henne running third at this point. No surprise.

     For what it's worth, someone I know very well knows someone who recently played golf with Bill Parcells. The suAaa1beckbject of Beck came up. Tuna said he likes what he sees of Beck in terms of skills but needed to find out, "Does he have balls?" (Tuna's words). That means the Dolphins need to be convinced Beck is tough enough for the job and will be a leader. Do you think he is? If the club thinks so, look for McCown to carry a clipboard and Beck to run the team until which time a gradually developed Henne proves he's better.

     Who'll emerge as starting QB is a major story. So is the development of Jake Long on what seems a greatly improved offensive line. So is the continuing need for help at receiver and in the secondary. So is the running back mix with Ricky Williams' latest comeback and Ronnie Brown's return from injury.

     But all pale now compared to the continuing and now heightened drama over Jason Taylor's clouded future with the club. Weigh in.

May 21, 2008

We're No. 2!: Heat gets 2nd pick (with The Daily Poll), Jason finishes 2nd

     Heat's lands second overall pick: Don't let anybody tell you otherwise. The Heat and its fans would have been hugely disappointed last night -- with reason -- if the ping-pong balls fell wrong and robbed Miami of one of the top two picks in June's NBA Draft. I say "robbed" because Miami was the worst team by far this past season and should, in any equitable, parity-based system, have gotten the first overall pick. Instead Chicago is the luckiest team on the face of the Earth, but at least Miami gets Derrick Rose or Michael Beasley, whomever the Bulls don't pick. Weigh in on the lottery and how the Heat fared. Vote and expound.

     Taylor faces the music: I'm no dancer. I do something vaguely resembling dancing maybe twice at a year at a wedding reception, if sufficiently tanked up. But I told you certifiably that Kristi Yamaguchi would win TV's Dancing With the Stars trophy last night. Meaning Dolphin Jason Taylor, one of the three finalists, would not. Turns out I was right. But at least Jason made it to the top two, beating the guy with the fake arm injury. Comments welcomed here on JT's season of dancing. You know by my column (click here) that I applaud Taylor's unsual offseason and blame Bill Parcells for the rift between them. That column spawned several radio appearances including Dan Patrick, which gives you an indication what big news this is nationally, whether you think so or not.

     The NFL in crisis! (Not): Only obsessive worriers who like to fret over things that may or may not happen in two years are shaken by Tuesday's news that NFL owners have exercised their option to dissolve the league's Collective Bargaining Agreement early. Click here for the story. The 2008 and 2009 seasons will be totally unaffected, meaning the sides have two years to hammer out a new CBA. Who thinks they won't? Anybody? The NFL has long been a model of labor accord and smart business and, after the usual sword-rattling, tough-talk and lawyerly delays, owners and players will work a new deal in plenty of time. Bet on it. (Not that the NFL condones betting! Wink, wink. :)

     Jai-Alai Fever sweeps nation!: OK, not really. But I'll be at Dania Jai-Alai tonight partaking of the nonsense being staged by Le Batard's radio show. Mosey on down to the fronton and say hello. 

     Blog housekeeping note: The Miami Herald's Online Police tell us a one-time-only registration is now required of anyone wishing to comment in any of our sports blogs. I bid you to not have your voice here erased by this minor nuisance. Please register. It's the American way! Plus, one out of every 100 doctors says registering for a blog helps burn calories.

May 19, 2008

The Taylor-Tuna rift (with The Daily Poll) and a half-ton more

     [MONDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Looks like it's third and long for Jason Taylor on Dancing With the Stars, meaning third place (of three finalists) and long odds against winning it all. Taylor performed a so-so cha-cha tonight and a better freestyle dance (to Will Smith's "Miami"), but stands as a longshot entering Tuesday night's results show. Kristi Yamaguchi will win, of course. I just hope Taylor beats the guy with the fake arm injury pathetically pandering for sympathy votes].

     A fresh new mess o' miscellenia...

     The Taylor-Tuna rift: Well, TV's Dancing With the Stars at last is ending (finals tonight, results tomorrow), meaning Jason Taylor is almost back to being a Dolphin and Bill Parcells almost is rid of the cause of the rift between them. Click here to find my column on the matter. Now give us your opinion, with your vote and more importantly your elaboration in a comment form.

     (By the way, Taylor, appearing on WIOD this morning, affirmed his intention to return to the Dolphins this season. Nobody really thought he'd retire, but still: Good news for Dolfans).

     Golden Panther no longer golden: Ouch. Just got an email from the Atlanta Falcons saying they've released safety Nick Turnbull, from FIU.

     Chat chat bo bat: Thanks to all who joined our live Q&A Forum chat this afternoon. Today was the start of our doing it every Monday from 1-2 p.m., live.

     World's Dumbest Lottery: It is thoroughly asinine that the Heat, clearly the worst team in the NBA last season, has less than a 50-50 shot (46.5% to be exact) in Tuesday's lottery to land the No. 1 or No. 2 pick in the June draft. David Stern, fix this rotten system please. The idea that Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley both could go elsewhere should have any self-respecting Heat fan seething. 

Aaa1mckinney_2      Dolphins' OL adds more beef: Steve McKinney (pictured) looks like a very niceAaa1mckinney2_2   addition to the Dolphins' offensive line presuming he is well past the knee injury that wrecked his '07 season. Click here for his resume'. This is a career-long starter who has lately been a center but who has ample experience where he'll fit here: at left guard, a mentor at the elbow of rookie LT Jake Long. Team Tuna, casting for and landing a decent medium-sized fish.

Aaa1dwade      Holy bleep, what a gift!: Click here for an interesting dare say inspiring story about Dwyane Wade buying his mother a church. D-Wade scoring some serious good-son points here. Can you imagine giving someone a church as a gift?! I bought my Mom a nice plant for Mother's Day. Am feeling a bit cheap and looking for a hole to dive into right now.

Aaa1jacque      Jacque Jones in center: Nice the Marlins are signing Jacque Jones for center field, because (click here for his career stats) he should be a slight upgrade over the Cody Ross/Alfredo Amezega platoon. Watching the Marlins lately, though, what they need even more is somebody to consistently pitch six strong innings. 

     Best Weekend Performance by a Brown: 1--Big Brown, winning again to get two-thirds of the way to a Triple Crown. 2--P.J. Brown, ex-Heater with some huge baskets down the stretch as the Celtics survived Cleveland to advance.

     Hey, one out of three ain't bad: That reminds me, a column in my paper today mentioned the possibility of a rare Triple Crown along with the possibility Chipper Jones might hit .400 for the season and Brandon Webb might win 30 games. Umm, you had me at the horse, anyway. I'll cover a Marlins game naked if anybody hits .400 or wins 30 games. 

     Blog registration. It's fun!: OK, it's not fun. But it only takes a moment, and it's one-time-only. The Miami Herald at some point soon (it may have already begun) will require those who wish to comment to register first. This will apply only in select higher-traffic blogs, including this one. Please do your blogriotic duty and register. Don't abandon your voice here to a such minor nuisance.

Aaa1kurt      Read this book: A friend just loaned me Kurt Vonnegut's "A Man without a Country," short essays, quick read, one of the last great works of a titan of American literature. Devoured in a weekend. Recommended.

     Roller derby redux: Apparently women's roller derby is making a comeback because ESPN is certifiably shoving it down our throats. My question: Doesn't something usually have to be missed as a precursor to it making a comeback?

Aaa1elvis_duran      Attention Y-100: Those TV commercials, in which DJ "Elvis Duran" (left) does all those wacky, zany, zoo-ey things? Beyond awful. Don't take my word for it. Ask any 16-year-old for whom they are aimed. I did, as a bunch of my kid's friends were at the house the other day when an ad aired. One comment: "He's pretty good on the radio, but I can't believe he looks like that. He's old!" Some faces are made for radio. Capiche?Aaa1chihuahua

Aaa1elephant_2      It's true. There is a museum for everything: Dear Greg: Your blog's OK, but it would be much better if occasionally you'd show the curator of the Icelandic Phallological Museum standing beside a stuffed elephant penis. (Also a chihuahua dressed to go scuba diving, please). Thank you.

   

May 16, 2008

The Amazin' Canes, something about Ricky, Dan Le Baleaving (with The Daily Poll) and more

     A brand new big pile of steaming miscellania...

    The other day I posted a "baseball fever" blog item extolling the amazin' Marlins and they proceeded to immediately drop tAaa1alonso2_2hree straight to the Reds. But the Miami Hurricanes are so good they're even impervious to my baseball jinx. Thursday night at A-Rod Presents Mark Light Field I watched No. 1-ranked UM's 12-2 pounding of No. 2 North Carolina and wrote this column. This may be the best Canes baseball team ever, although, as coach Jim Morris rightly notes, "Potential means you haven't done it yet." Likewise homegrown slugger Yonder Alonso (pictured) will leave here judged among the greatest players in school history. I'll be surprised if this team doesn't collect UM's fifth national title. Meantime I'll continue to believe Hurricane baseball's current streaks of 51 consecutive winning seasons and a record 36 straight years in the playoffs (regionals) are the most impressive statement of success of any South Florida team in any sport ever. What's better?

Aaa1ricky      There's something about Ricky: Dolphin-again running back Ricky Williams told an Austin, Tex. TV station during a charity event that he plans to play two more seasons and then retire. My question: Considering his age (31) and track record ... is that even news? Yet Dolfans remain enamored of Williams. He is somewhat polarizing (plenty of haters with their drug jokes), but I think far more fans really like the guy. Maybe we'll poll that soon. Meantime, what is it about Ricky?

Aaa1dan      On missing Le Batard: Well Thursday officially began my boy Le Batard's one-year sabbatical from The Miami Herald, and we wish him well. I'd say he'll be missed ... but is it possible to miss someone who'll still be on local radio five days each week and perhaps in the paper occasionally? Anyway, until we meet again, Dan (which will be this Wednesday night at Dania Jai-Alai), bon voyage!

[My poll analysis based on the first day's results: Dan doing very well, as he should. Around 60 percent will miss him to at least some degree. Doubt I'd fare as well, even in my own blog!]

     Suggested bumper sticker: Honk If Charles Barkley Owes You Money. (Click here for story).

Aaa1mystery      It's Buyout Mania!: Tony Kornheiser has accepted a buyout from the Washington Post. Newspapers all across our failing industry are offering buyouts in an effort to pare costs by ridding rosters of higher-paid, older employees. I will now reveal the names of the five Miami Herald sports writers who were recently offered buyouts: They are ... Relax, colleagues. I'm just kidding. Your secret is safe with me! (Although if anybody guessed all five names correctly I might be impressed enough to admit you're right).

     If Jamar Hornsby were a Cane: Hornsby is the scum-Gator quietly booted off the Florida football team this week after he'd rung up almost $3,000 in charges using the stolen credit card of a dead woman. Can you imagine if a UM football player had done the same thing? Man, it would have been national news augmented with a rehash of every controversy ever involving a Hurricane. Am I wrong?

     The Best Available David: Down to David Cook vs. David Archuleta in the American Idol finals, and Aaa1archuleta Random Evidence is throwing the full weight of its prestigious endorsement behind Cook. It's a weak final two. Cook is generic on the rock side, sort of a Chris Daughtry Lite, but more palatable than the cloying, annoying Archuleta (pictured left) and the maniacal Stage Dad woking his strings. Archuleta's nasally voice lends a sameness to his songs. If he weren't seen as adorable by an army of gullible, swooning 15-year-old girls, he'd have disappeared weeks ago.

Aaa1joer_5     Results are in ... and it's Rose!: I don't mean the Heat will draft Derrick Rose if given the chance, although that's true, too. I mean Channel 6's Joe Rose (grinning at right) has won our 'Best Local TV Sportscaster' blog poll (see post below this one). Cannot confirm runnerup Steve Shapiro of Channel 7 is pulling a Hillary and refusing to concede.

     Benihana's does it again: Had a little family birthday dinner there last night and (not for the first time) our performance chef was not Japanese. This is a pet peeve I've griped about in the blog before. Doesn't a Benihana's patron have the right to expect a Japanese chef? You tell me, because I'll admit, once every five or 10 years I tend to be wrong about something.

     Quarterback Who: The NFL's latest Quarterback Update, emailed by the league today to mediaites, lists "expected" starters for 26 of 32 teams. The too-close-to-call exceptions: Miami, along with the Bears, Falcons, 49ers, Jets and Ravens.

     Countdown 3 Days: Finally, reminding again that I'll be taking on the Monday "Q&A Forum" online chat starting next week, May 19. It'll be live from 1-2 p.m. each Monday. Join us. Your boss won't know any better and will assume you're on your computer doing something important.

May 14, 2008

Who's the best local TV sportscaster? (with The Daily Poll) and much more

     A whole new mess o' miscellania...

     [Tuesday night bulletin: Dolphin Jason Taylor survived tonight and advances to next week's finals on 'Dancing With the Stars,' along with skater Kristi Yamaguchi and the guy with the fake arm injury whose name I can never remember. Eliminated: The chubby gal whose name I can never remember, either. In other entertainment news, if I never heard another note from David Archuleta, it wouldn't bother me].

     [Tuesday night bulletin II: Feds re-indict Barry Bonds tonight on 14 counts of lying to a grand jury about using performance-enhancing drugs. Anybody still wondering why Barry is an unsigned free agent?]. 

     Name the best South Florida TV sportscaster: Vote in our poll and drop a comment saying why you like who you do. Limited this poll to the regular on-air sports personalities for the Big Four stations serving Dade-Broward; the list is alphabetical with station channel number in parentheses:

     [Poll note: Our poll format limits me to 10 answers and there are 11 local sportscasters. Sorry, Prim Siripipat of Channel 4. You got bounced because you are the newest of the group to our market]. 

     Building a better NBA lottery system: Good column by colleague Israel Gutierrez today (click here) about the flaws in the NBA lottery system -- flaws that may well screw the Heat when the ping-pong balls fly a week from today. Aaa1beerpong Aaa1parcheesiThe whole idea of using ping-pong balls is ridiculous. Don't they know those are intended for beer pong? Might as well use tiddly winks or have the coaches of the worst teams vie for the No. 1 pick by playing Parcheesi. The real problem, of course, is that 14 teams (!) are in the running for the first pick including two that were .500 or better. Dumb. My solution: Limit the lottery to only teams that won fewer than 30 games. This year that would be seven teams. Then figure a way to weight it favoring the worst teams based on number of wins. In other words, a worst team with 15 wins (like Miami this season) would have a greater advantage than a year when the worst team has, say, 27 wins. There also should be a safeguard whereby the team with the worst record can never fall below the third overall pick. There. Next problem? How would you change the lottery system if at all?

     FAaa1jtootballroom dancing: Is it just me, or does a season of Dancing With the Stars seem to last as long as an entire NFL season? Found it interesting they hauled out Dan Marino for the video pep-talk last night. The reason is that (sad truth) none of Jason Taylor's current Dolphin teammates -- not a single one -- is a big-enough star or sufficiently recognizable nationally to pull that off. Bill Parcells is, but Tuna recently was voted "Least Likely to Say Anything Nice About a Player Doing the Fox-Trot."

Aaa1swimmer_4      It's why the Internet was invented: Sexually explicit photos of French Olympic swimmer Laure Manaudou apparently have surfaced on the Internet in the wake of her breakup with Italian swimmer Luca Marin. I believe Olympic swimming would benefit from more scandals of this nature. Manaudou is pictured here being sexy during a meet, but not too sexy (barely) for a newspaper blog!

     The new Mike Tyson?: His handlers are trying to makover Tyson's image. Good luck to them. Click here for today's column by me on this doomed transmogrification.

     Martial artist departist: Cuban judo star competing in the Miami defects. Gee, now that was totally unexpected!

     Mayo on the (unseemly) side: Basketball star O.J. Mayo took received cash via an agent while in high-school and at USC? Geez, will the shocking news never end!?

     Goodell inserts head in sand: NFL commish Roger Goodell met three-plus hours this morning with Matt Walsh and then declared Spygate dead. Man, the stunners just keep on comin' don't they?

     Countdown 5 Days:  Finally, a reminder that this coming Monday May 19 I take over the paper's weekly sports columnist chat in the Q&A Forum, accepting the metaphoric baton from the sabbatical-ing Le Batard. It'll be live from 1-2 p.m. every Monday. Tap in. It beats working.

May 12, 2008

Baseball Fever sweeps blog! Who should Marlins keep next? (with The Daily Poll)

     [Monday night update: We briefly interupt Baseball Fever to report Dolphin Jason Taylor did well again tonight on 'Dancing With the Stars', no doubt inspired by Zach Thomas showing up in the audience and a "pregame" taped message of support from Dan Marino. What, no taped message from Bill Parcells!? Not sure what Tuna would have told JT in a taped message, but I have a feeling a few of the words would have looked like this: @#$%&!]

     Now back to Baseball Fever. OK, yeah. Just when we start a blog swoon over the Marlins, they lose tonight. The Random Evidence Jinx. Still, seven wins in a row, first place in the NL East and national analysts (like the heads on ESPN last night) starting to talk about this team being "for real." This is heady stuff. Might not last. Or it might. It's OK to feel pretty damn good these days in either case.

     My question: Now that the big guy, Hanley Ramirez, is locked up contractually, who should the Marlins next be most concerned with not letting get away? I'm not talking here about prospects like Cameron Maybin or unproven young'uns like Andrew Miller. I mean among the established young fixtures. Vote in our poll and expound with a comment.

     (Timing is everything, so no surprise Dan Uggla is winning the poll. Tonight's home run was his eighth in the past 10 games. Egads! Does anybody still say "Egads," by the way? I feel like Maynard G. Krebs. Click here for a brief etymology).

     Hey, you! Let's foment some diamond fever here, people! Marlins kicking ass. U-Miami No. 1 nationally in the college polls. We are the Official King of the Red-Stitched Spheroid! Heat dormant, Panthers dormant, Dolphins dormant. Take me out to the ballgame, dammit! Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack. Or is it Fiddle Faddle? Better yet buy me a $9 beer.

     [Countdown 7 Days: I take over the paper's columnist slot in our weekly Q&A Forum on May 19, an online chat every Monday live from 1-2 p.m. Inviting all of our blog community to tap in with some Q's, serious to inane and all shades in between. Look for daily blog updates all week].

May 10, 2008

Hanley's huge deal, Shaq's huge derriere (with shocking video), latest Pats spying, PETA poll and more

     A fresh new mess o' miscellania:

     [Bulletin: Happy Mother's Day to all moms! By the way, I am not taking a one-year sabbatical in order to soul-search and seek enlightenment. However, I am taking Sunday off and plan to drink lots of beer].

Aaa1hanley     Marlins ownership spends big!: I can hardly believe I just typed those four words. A club that leads the majors in cheap has agreed to lavish a six-year, $70 million contract to keep young superstar shortstop Hanley Ramirez long-term, a milestone. Click here to find my column on the deal now online and headed for Sunday's paper.

Aaa1shaq     Shaq drops trousers, shows bare ass: Could I say it if it weren't true? Click here for the brief but remarkable video, except if you are the type to be offended by the naked bum of a 325-pound man. Remember: You were warned.

     Patriot games, Patriot shame: The latest on the Aaa1cheaties_2 Patriots' Spygate scandal indicates Bill Belicheat's shenanigans predated last year's episode and included spying on the Dolphins in 2000 and 2001. Can't get real excited about new news that rates as old news. Still, seems to me the NFL ought to sock New England with further penalties -- maybe more forfeited draft picks -- with the proof the scandal is broader than first thought. Alas, I think the NFL will consider it case-closed with no additional penalties.

     Employees listening to iPods: Contentious discussion over lunch yesterday as a busboy at Lefty's Tavern walked past with both ears plugged into music. It's a trend. I have also Aaa1babboon_2 seen this recently of a UPS delivery guy, a Publix kid corraling shopping carts, and a woman in an office whose job is to answer the phone (!). Dear employees: You are not on your own time when working. You are, in effect, on the customers' time. If you deal with or are seen by the public in your job, you have no business wearing iPods at work. Dammit. Am I wrong?

     Bad makeup on wheels: I just looked up "slow news day" in the dictionary and saw the front page of today's Herald dominated by a story about the comeback of women's roller derby.

     Pick a peck o' PETA poll: Had a recent column slamming People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for its reaction to the death of race horse Eight Belles, claiming without basis that the jockey was at fault. (Click here for the column). A huge e-mail response on both sides verified to me how people feel so differently about PETA. How about you? Vote in our poll and elaborate with a comment if you'd like. 

     Check back later. Might have some updates or add more crap throughout the weekend.

May 08, 2008

You name Dolphins' starting QB (with The Daily Poll), PETA kicks a dead horse, Jets seek drag queens and more

     Another little mess o' miscellania...

     NAME DOLPHINS' STARTING QB: The Dolphins have no idea right now who'll be the starting quarterback in the Sept. 7 regular-season opener. What's your best guess? Not who you'd like to start, but who you predict will. To me, for various reasons, it's a close call right now among veteran Josh McCown, second-year guy John Beck and rookie Chad Henne. Thinking McCown is the safest bet but wouldn't be surprised by either young guy. Who would your money be on and why?

     (By the way, I don't get the notion McCown somehow has finally landed in the right situation. His situation will turn wrong the nanosecond Team Tuna thinks Beck or Henne is ready).

     [Wednesday night update: Congrats. You all have made this our 17th blogpoll to surpass 1,000 votes the first day. Results surprise me. Showing much more faith in Beck than I imagined...]

     PETA KICKS DEAD HORSE: I'm getting tired of these People for the Aaa1petaEthical Treatment of Animals people, who now are exploiting the death of the horse Eight Belles for their own self-promotion. Click here to read the column on that by me and let me know your take on what happened and PETA's response.

     JETS AND DRAG QUEENS: This is delicious stuff, Dolfans. The Aaa1drag choreographer of the New York Jets cheerleaders says the squad is open to involvement by men dressed like attractive women. OY! Click here for the Jets blog that has the story. But I would never, ever suggest a Dolfan leave an appropriate snide comment for Jets fans.

Aaa1olsen      OLSEN'S FAST WORK: Watched Scott Olsen's Marlins gem on TV last night, marveling. The best thing about this kid right now isn't his 4-1 start and 2.22 ERA or even his maturity compared to past years. It is that he pitches as if he's on the clock. What a delight! So tired of enduring guys who labor and treat every pitch like childbirth. Olsen's catches, set, throws, rapid-fire. Sweet!

     FIU FLUNKS APR: Five Florida International University teams including football and men's basketball have been socked by the NCAA with scholarship reductions for insufficiencies in the annual Academic Progress Report. t academic progress. Might have been an ominous sign when some of the athletes had to give it some thought when asked to spell "F-I-U."

Aaa1dancingdolphin      DANCING DOLPHIN UPDATE: The more I see of Dancing With the Stars, the less I think Jason Taylor will win it all. That's a big statement, by the way. Not me predicting JT won't win. Me admitting I watch DWST.

     BRYANT WORTHY, BUT SO WAS KG: Can't argue with Kobe Bryant winning NBA's MVP award, although my vote would have gone to Kevin Garnett. What a strong field this year, with Chris Paul and LeBron James also viable.

     JOKE THAT MAY OR MAY NOT BE TOO RISQUE FOR A NEWSPAPER Aaa1mrpeanut BLOG: Little Sally came home  from school with a smile and told her mommy, "Frankie Brown showed me his weenie today!" Before the mother could speak little Sally went on to say, "It reminded me of a peanut." Relaxing somewhat, Sally's mom asked, "Really? Because it was so small?" Sally said, "No. Because it was salty!" Mommy fainted.

     THE BENEFITS OF LOOKING POOR: En route to Dunkin' Aaa1homeless Donuts for my ritualistic morning coffee I saw a man peddling 'Homeless Voice' newsletters and soliciting donations at a busy intersection. While listening to an iPod. Hmm. Dear Panhandlers: Rule of thumb. If you are destitute or a delegate for the homeless with your hand out, do not A) be dressed better than me, B) have on a Chopard watch, or C) be listening to an iPod.

Aaa1playboy      WOMAN KEEPS STREAK ALIVE: A young woman who recently semi-streaked a soccer game in Tampa will soon appear nude in Playboy. Click here to further investigate this remarkable story for scientific purposes only.

     GIVING UP THE GHOST: Finally, former Sen. George McGovern today urged Hillary Clinton to drop out of the presidential race. This surprised Democratic officials, who were under the impression McGovern had died years ago.