[Urgent Friday night update: Satisfying your need to know about the off-hours meanderings of our sports stars, Random Evidence is reporting exclusively tonight that Kimbo Slice and his "Team 305" shirt wearing posse conspicuously occupied an upstairs VIP room last night at Art Bar, at Riverfront in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Coincidentally nearby at the club Automatic Slim's, Dolphin No.1 draft pick Jake Long partied more quietly (and less noticed) with a smaller group. Our blogmole for this report? My just-turned 21-year-old son. Note to self: Tell clubby son to take it easy on the bar-hopping].
New stuff, just for you:
THE GREAT CANE COLLAPSE: The Miami Hurricanes baseball team went to Omaha expecting to come back with the school's fifth national title. Instead they got sent packing way too soon with a 1-2 record in the College World Series, victimized by a lack of clutch hitting among other things. Coach Jim Morris is pictured at right, jokingly sticking his tongue out and making a face that perhaps approximates most Canes fans' displeasure today. "Disappointing" doesn't quite cover it. This was the No. 1-ranked team in America, with talk of it being the best team UM had ever fielded. Two questions: 1. Who do you blame? 2. Do you still count it a good season overall or does the quick Omaha ouster make it a failure? Partake of The Daily Poll and expound with a comment. Click here for today's column by me, a Canes baseball post-mortem.
[Poll note: This, I believe, is the closest vote in the long, rich history of The Daily Poll].
WADE MAKES OLYMPIC TEAM*: The asterisk (*) is that it won't be official until Monday. But you may now bet the mortgage and your children on it. The Heat just put out a media advisory on the USA Basketball teleconference to announce the 12 players. So ask yourself: Would Miami publicize an announcement it thought might amount to a public rejection of its star player? You're right. No. For better or worse, it now seems certain a big chunk of Wade's rehab for the next NBA season will be on a court in Beijing.
Speaking of the Heat, is it news that Chicago is going to draft Derrick Rose No. 1 overall if that's been the presumption for weeks and weeks? No. That isn't news. News is whether Miami spends No. 2 on Michael Beasley or O.J. Mayo. When you find that out, let me know.
JASON TAYLOR EXPLAINS HIMSELF: Got an interesting call at home last night from one of Taylor's reps. It was about the last item in my Sunday "Random Evidence" notes column, which read: 'A Miami Dolphins charity golf tournament is happening Monday, but Taylor is not expected to play. He heard it was a shotgun start and was worried that meant Parcells might be there with a shotgun.'
Taylor knew it was a joke, but apparently has been getting beaten-up on the message boards over snubbing a team charity event. That's where the explanation comes in. Taylor wanted me (and Dolfans) to know he was in New York Monday at a conflicting charity event, Samsung's seventh annual Four Seasons of Hope dinner at which Taylor and Michael Strahan helped introduce honorees Dan Marino, Arnold Palmer, Wayne Gretzky, Boomer Esiason, Rudy Giuliani and Joe Torre.
Bottom line? JT is open to fair criticism for wanting to be traded, for skipping a mandatory mini-camp, maybe even for dancing in the first place. But he had a legit reason for missing the Dolphin golf tourney, and does enough good with community-service stuff to catch a break on that.
As for the latest on Miami possibly trading Taylor, papers that cover the Packers are reporting Green Bay may be willing to give up a second-round pick if Taylor backs off his intention to play only one more season. Big if. Read the latest here. As I've written often, a 2R pick for Taylor is a solid deal that Miami should make if given the chance.
TIGER'S SEASON-ENDING SURGERY: Click on The Legend Grows for today's column by me on Tiger Woods winning the U.S. Open despite what we now know was a serious knee injury, not fakery. Woods says his doctors tell him he should be 100 percent by the start of the next PGA Tour season in late January. Of course some in the hand-wringing media wonder about that, such as the Sun-Sentinel's golf writer, Dr. Randall Mell, who frets over "what we don't know" and refers to Tiger's "now uncertain future." Please. He'll repair, he'll rest, he'll rehab like a maniac, and he'll be back kicking ass in '09. Who doubts it?
Check back. Probably be adding more crap later.