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12 posts from July 2008

July 31, 2008

Manny Being Marlin? (with poll) No. But it was a good try!

Aaa1manny_3     [Thursday afternoon update: It's official. Manny is now being Manny in Los Angeles, not in Boston, not in Miami. He's a Dodger now. The Manny-to-Miami deal did not happen, after all. You know what, though? I give the Marlins credit for what apparently was a very serious effort to make a very significant deal aimed solely at this pennant race and the 2008 postseason. I have crirticized Marlins ownership often over the years for the fire sales and for always seeming to build (cheaply) toward the future rather than playing to win now. The Manny talks were a refreshing change for this club. It didn't work out, apparently. But the good-faith effort was there]. 

     Original post:

     Stunningly, ESPN.com's very reliable Peter Gammons first reported Wednesday that the Red Sox and Marlins were in "serious discussions" to trade disgruntled superstar slugger Manny Ramirez to Florida. Gammons more recently called the deal "unlikely," but the fact negotiations continue and the trade remains possible is a major story. The trade deadline is today/Thursday at 4 p.m.

     (By the way, I see a colleague evidently liked my "Manny Being Marlin" headline posted here last night enough to borrow it for his lead in today's paper. It's OK, dude. Just buy me a beer). 

     Reports are the Red Sox also would give up "cash considerations" to offset Manny's enormous salary, while the Marlins would send Jeremy Hermida (or possibly Josh Willingham) to Boston, reportedly along with young pitcher Ryan Tucker and outfield prospect Michael Stanton.

     Other possibilities swirl about, including a three-way trade involving the Pirates.

     Manny's bat would give the Fish that much more offensive punch for the stretch playoff run, be a statement of serious postseason intentions, and also presumably boost attendance. But how would Manny's mercurial personality play in what is now a very favorable clubhouse chemistry? And do you want to give up three young players for a 36-year-old veteran who'd be a free agent after the season?

     For sure Manny would be unlikely to exercise his trade-veto powers, considering he has a home in Weston and his kids are in school down here.

     Let's say the deal would be Ramirez and cash in exchange for Hermida or Willingham and a couple of prospects such as Tucker and Stanton. Would you make the trade? Play "Deal Or No Deal." Partake of The Daily Poll and share your reasoning in a comment.

     Speaking of the third option above: Can you believe the Dolphins have invited Quincy Carter in for a tryout at quarterback? QUINCY CARTER!? Good Lord. Let's hope this is simply a gesture by a former coach (Bill Parcells) to remind the NFL Carter is still alive and seeking work. Because if this is the Dolphins thinking Quincy Carter may be any sort of upgrade, it means confidence and faith in Josh McCown/John Beck/Chad Henne has reached a critically low level. I mean, seriously.   

July 29, 2008

Ricky Williams' run for redemption (with poll); Terry Glenn headed to Dolphins?

Aaa1ricky      My latest column, online now and in Wednesday's paper, is on Ricky Williams' remarkable comeback from suspended, vilified Dolphins castoff to a man poised to be a significant player in 2008. Click here for the column.

     Williams is a lightning-rod personality evoking strong opinions on both sides, but I sense Dolfans have rallied around him and support him strongly, putting aside any past anger regarding his drug suspensions or his quitting the team. Am I right?

     Partake of The Daily Poll and add a comment on how you feel about Ricky. Do you trust him? What kind of season do you expect from him?       

     [Wednesday night poll update: Man, you people looovvve Ricky, don't you!?]

Aaa1glenn2_2    Also, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram cites two sources in reporting that ex-Cowboys receiver Terry Glenn is "expected" to sign with Miami. Click here to read the story.

     Signing Glenn, waived Friday and a free agent, would be a low-risk Band-Aid on a thinness at the Dolphins' wideout spot, although it hardly is in keeping with Miami's rebuilding motif to sign a 34-year-old receiver coming off a season lost almost entirely to a knee injury.

     Bottom line? Solid move, obviously assuming his knee is good. You get, for very little, a guy with four 1,000-yard seasons including back-to-backers in 2005-06. Click here to review Glenn's year-by-year and career stats.

     The signing would be predictable because Dolphins major domo Bill Parcells previously coached Glenn in both New England and Dallas. Tuna once infamously referred to the rookie Glenn as "she." A decade later, if Glenn is healthy, she'll help the Dolphins.

     Thoughts invited on the supposed Glenn move, and of course on Ricky.

Cote goes country (with song); accolades just won't stop!

Aaa1countryguitar     The Singing Sportswriter (that's me) has returned with a full-length, original country song. It is a midtempo tune called "Letting Go," written by my friend Alan Cherry of the band, The Fibes. The vocal here is by me, but the song -- lyrics and music -- is all Alan.

     Click on Letting Go to hear my version of the song, and let me know what you think. Be honest. I can take it.

     Click on Alan Cherry to find a bunch of his and The Fibes' work on YouTube.

     Thanks to 790 The Ticket radio and my buddy Dan Le Batard for airing the song in its entirety just past 5 p.m. Tuesday. Click here for the radio performance (with surrounding banter) now posted on YouTube.

     Thanks too for the song being plugged in Broward New Times by Bob Norman in his very good blog, The Daily Pulp.

     Now, the humbling accolades continue as my version of "Letting Go" is featured No. 1 in today's/ Wednesday's Miami Herald online What the 5! feature -- including mini-reviews by some colleagues. Click here for the What the 5! spot.

     This has just a fun little project for me. No, I am not quitting my day job, much as many readers would probably like me to!

July 25, 2008

What is your biggest Dolphins concern? (with poll)

     The Dolphins officially kick-off preparation for the 2009 season on Saturday with their first practice of training camp. You've lived through the abyss of 1-15. You've seen all the changes. You probably have a handle on the level of improvement. And I'm betting you also have an opinion on what concerns you most as "the new beginning" begins.

     Partake of The Daily Poll and add a comment below. Why'd you vote as did?

     [Personal note: The Singing Sportswriter (that's me) is about to return. Not with the accustomed sports-related jingles on 790 The Ticket, but with a full-length, original country song. It is called "Letting Go," written by my friend Alan Cherry, of the band, The Fibes. The song will be posted on this blog Monday morning].

July 22, 2008

Taylor's place in Dolphins history (with poll), Wade's failure, UM hoops ranked 145th, mascots and more

     [Thursday update: Cam Cameron apparently was the Dolphins' head coach again for about 10 minutes today! The club sent out a training camp advisory to local media early this afternoon, but it was mistakenly the one from last year's camp, touting Cameron's debut. Oops! A revised release was quickly forthcoming.].

     The newest batch of miscellania, just for you...    

     Judging Jason: Now that he's gone and his Dolphins' body of work is complete, it is fair to judge Jason Taylor's place among the franchise's all-time greatest defenders. Our alphabetical finalists include defensive players who are in the Hall of Fame, individually on the team's Honor Roll, or made at least five Pro Bowls. Partake of The Daily Poll. Then leave a comment telling why you voted as you did, or who most should have been on the list but wasn't. Click here for my column making the case for Taylor. Meantime, have your say.

     [Poll update: Congrats, again. You helped make the above our 26th web poll to surpass 1,000 votes within the first 24 hours. Thanks. And keep 'em comin'!]

     [Jason Taylor postscript: Many fans who don't know any better (and a few mediaites who should) are making way, way too much of Taylor's current stated intention to play as long as he can vs. his earlier public suggestion of playing only one more season. Players who say they are retiring often don't, and vice versa. Ever heard of Brett Favre? Taylor changing his public stance to please his new team is not the least bit surprising. Nor would it be the least bit surprising if after this season he announced he was done].   

     Why D.Wade's Sports Grill failed: A lawsuit by his business partners blames Dwyane Wade's lack of Aaa1dwyane promotion. Uh uh. Sorry. Too easy. Too simple an excuse. Based on reports from two people I know who lunched separately at the just-closed Fort Lauderdale location, D.Wade's Sports Grill failed because the food was unoriginally mediocre, the service was indifferently slow, and you only get one chance to win over customers in an intensely crowded, competitive business. Photos on the wall won't cut it if the food on the plate doesn't. Investors thinks they can stick a sports star's name on a restaurant and that'll make up for what's missing on the menu and in the wait staff? No. That doesn't work even when the economy isn't bad. Wade's eponymous venture didn't fail because the Heat star didn't pimp it enough. D.Wade's Sports Grill failed because it sucked.

    Shockey a Saint. That's a good one!: The relieved Giants unloaded nuisance tight end Jeremy Shockey in a trade to New Orleans. Reasons to be glad the ex-Cane didn't somehow end up in Miami: Ego, injuries, inconsistency, me-me-me-me. 

    "We're No. 145! We're No. 145!": ESPN, in love with lists, this week ranks the most prestigious programs in the modern era of college basketball. The top 30 is yet to come. So far, UM is ranked in a tie for 145th, FAU in a tie for 233rd and FIU in a tie for 260th. Oy! Click here.

     Michelle Wie = Shameless: Michelle Wie is playing in another PGA Tour event on a sponsor's exemption. I propose a new rule: Until you prove you can win a women's tournament, you can't play in a men's tournament.

Aaa1billy

Important mascot news!: Random Evidence has learned exclusively that Billy the MarlAaa1ibisin and UM's Sebastian the Ibis are among six pro and six collegiate nominees for 2008 induction into the Mascot Hall of Fame. No state of Florida mascot has been among the 14 inductees in the Hall's four-year history. Click here for the MHOF website. Voting begins in August.

     Sporting fact that seems ridiculous but is actually true: A round of golf is 18 holes, so determined in ancient Scotland, because there are precisely 18 shots in a fifth of scotch.

     Tuna talks! Sort of: HBO has sent out a transcript of a Bill Parcells interview airing at 10 tonight. I'd give you the link, except Tuna didn't say much that was either interesting, or illuminating.

     Naughty, randy Chris Evert: Chris Evert admits in an upcoming Vogue interview that her marriage to Greg Norman began as an extramarital affair. Oh-my-god-what-a-bleepin'-SHOCK!!!!!

     Headlines You Thought You'd Never See, one in a series: Click here. My question: How'd it get past the cheddar detector.

     Check back. Probably be adding more stuff to this post later.

July 20, 2008

DOLPHINS TRADE TAYLOR TO REDSKINS! (with poll) and more

     [Monday update: Thanks to all who joined today for our Monday live online chat from 1-2 p.m. We do it each week. Click here to read a transcript or to post a question for next week].

     Back from a week's vacation with some instant quick-hit blogifying...

     The Jason Taylor news: ESPN's Chris Mortensen first reported that veteran Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor has been traded to the Washington Redskins for "multiple" draft picks -- a second-round pick in 2009 and a sixth-rounder in 2010. That's a good, smart deal for Miami, which now looks good for holding out and not taking less for Taylor earlier. Click here to read today's column by me on the trade. Meantime, what are your thoughts? Partake of The Daily Poll, but also elaborate with a comment. It's the right thing to do.

     [You did it again! You made the above our 25th web poll to surpass 1,000 votes within the first 24 hours. Thanks. And keep 'em comin'!]      

     Amazin' Marlins' walkoff win: Today the hero was Jorge Cantu in the 11th, in a 3-2 win over the Phillies that drew Florida within a 1/2 game of the Phils in the tighter-than-my-belt-walking-out-of-an-all-you-can-eat-buffet NL East. (Meantime, continue to support the new Marlins stadium under attack in court. Don't let the short-sighted critics get you down. If the Miami megaplan [and new stadium] end up being revoked, plaintiff Norman Braman will volunteer himself as one of the the great civic villains in South Florida history).

     Shark chokes again: Sorry, I know Greg Norman (or is it Mr. Chris Evert now?) leading the British Open after three rounds, at age 53, was a great story. But the more telling story was "the Great White Shark" blowing it today and ending up losing by six strokes after a final-round 77. Choking in majors has been Norman's career epitaph.

     Check back. Will be adding more stuff later tonight.

July 14, 2008

Vacating 2008: Thanks for coming along

     Sunday, July 20: Just returned from our eight-day New York vacation, mostly in NYC, with the last couple of nights on a lake outside Syracuse. Thanks to the thousands who followed along. Now, time to get back to work! 

     WAaa1lakeelcome to Friday, Day 6 of our NY vacation. Getaway day. We are rental carring today from Manhattan north about 4 hours to Syracuse. Actually just north of there to the Finger Lakes region. Tonight through our Sunday return, we'll be staying with friends at their place on Lake Skaneateles (pictured). From NYC to a tranquil lake. Sounds like culture shock. But the welcome kind.

     Last night we ate at an Italian place called Felidia's on 58th. Upscale? Put it this way. The menu was all but indecipherable. The food? Sublime, as you'd expect. Thed price? Made me glad I don't live in NYC.

     Fittingly I'll be without Internet access up there, so this will be my final dispatch until late Sunday when I return. See you then.

     THURSDAY, DAY 5, A 75-MINUTE CRUISE, ART, EMBARRASSING BUS: Hello Thursday, Day 5 of our New York vacation. Today we devote to general sightseeing as we wind up the Big Apple portion of our holiday and prepare tomorrow to drive up to Syracuse to visit friends on a lake. We'll be trading the hurly burly for something closer to tranquility. I have always loved the phrase "hurly burly," and always will.

     Last night we supped at S. Dynasty on Lexington, one of the best Chinese/Thai restaurants I have ever experienced. Followed by the obligatory pub, Annie something. You may get the idea by now that i enjoy a pub.

Aaa1art Aaa1cruise_2       Today we took the Circle Line harbor cruise (pictured right) out of Port 83, well narrated and enjoyable, then lunched at Charley O's at 8th and 45th. Later we did the epitome of tourist-kitsch: we took one of those double-decker bus tours! Hey, don't I get points for admitting it? It actually was a worthwhile excursion uptown including an intersting tour of the new Harlem. Along the way we did Central Park, rolled a couple of homeless people, and hit the gargantuan Metropolitan Museum of Art (pictured left; while my anti-enlightenment sons kicked and screamed). Stole a gorgeous Renoir!

     Thinking Little Italy for a late dinner. Will check in later.

     Anything new in So-Fla sports by the way? I heard Norman Braman severed the new Marlins stadium with a chainsaw, but maybe something got lost in the translation.

     [Non-vacation update: Phillies acquire another starting pitcher, Joe Blanton, in a trade with the A's. Marlins chances to win NL East get that much tougher].

Aaa1uggla      WEDNESDAY, DAY 4, DAN UGH-LA, CONAN THE O'BRIBARIAN, CHAINSAWS: All-Star Game now in the top of 116th inning, still tied 3-3. Of course the AL finally won 4-3 in this morning's wee hours, in the 15th inning, ending the longest game (4:40) in all-star history. Hanley Ramirez rapped a pair of hits but Dan Uggla (lacking spinach) had what has to be the worst individual game ever in the Midsummer Classic: 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a double-play grounder, and a record three errors. Uggla, indeed.

Aaa1jerseyboys      Took in "Jersey Boys" at the Austin Wilson Theater last night while Cote Boys subwayed to the game. The story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons was really great, even though I've never been a huge fan of their music (or his voice). The guy who played Frankie was spot-on. Post-play late meal at nearby Rosie O'Grady's.

Aaa1conan      Today (we'll somehow manage without baseball!), we lunched at McAnns on 46th, then hit the Top of the Rock (Rockfeller Center), which is a supreme sacrifice by me because I'm not thrilled with heights. Later we were in the audience for the taping of tonight's Conan O'Brien and His Fantastic Hair. Meryl Streep was not on, but Seth Green (the Robot Chicken co-creator and voice of Chris on Family Guy) was funny, and British comic Russell Brand was funnier. Got close enough to Conan to have a sense of the amount of makeup being worn. Looked a bit like a corpse that had been animated. But funny! 

     Probably hit Chinatown for dinner tonight and hope they've removed "fragrant meat" (aka dog) from menus like the Bejing restaurants have in anticipation of the Olympics. Back later.

     By the way, what's been happening back home? Fish traded for Favre yet? :) Heard about Josh McCown's cut finger. Slow news day? Aside to Dolphins: Free advice. Write it into contracts that your quarterbacks may not play with chainsaws.

     TUESDAY, DAY 3, I LOVE A (LOOONNNG) PARADE, HO YIP, ALL-STAR GAME: Welcome to Tuesday, Day 3, of our NYC vacation. Just got back from the All-Star Game Parade down 17 blocks of 6th Avenue. Poorly run. Took two hours because there were long lapses between many player-bearing cars; should've taken 45 minutes.

Aaa1madonna      Biggest applause: A-Rod (with some "Where's Madonna!?" calls), Derek Jeter, Hank Aaron and Reggie Jackson. One of the few to hear boos: Bosox manager Terry Francona. Most notable no-show: Manny ("Being Manny" Ramirez). Most creative no-show: Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman had someone else riding in the car marked as his -- and signing autographs. Marlins Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla received modest but not embarrassingly small applause.

     Had a quick pre-parade lunch at a little Chinese joint. I think the name of it was Ho Yip. Unless "Ho Yip" in Chinese means something really obscene, in which case I got the name wrong. Probably. 

     Still can't believe Josh Hamilton didn't win the HR Derby last night. Justin Morneau!? My kids had a big debate on how the winner should be determined: Total Home runs or as is. What do you think?

Aaa1larrydavid Aaa1benjamins      Dined last night at Benjamin's on East 41st Street. No celebrity sighting, except for a guy who looked just lik Larry David, but wasn't. There is probably a bad steak somewhere in the city, but I haven't found it yet.

     Tonight's the All-Star Game. The kids are going, while the wife and I hit the play "Jersey Boys" and then a dinner-to-be-named.

     MONDAY, DAY 2, HANLEY GETS MOBBED, HR DERBY, OLEG THE HUMAN COMPUTER, McSORLEY'S : Looks like Josh Hamilton will win the Home Run Derby! Sure. Ex-heroin addict wins with a 71-year-old guy pitching. Ho hum.

     Aaa1mcsorleys6 p.m. Monday vacation bulletin: Just returned from McSorley's in the East Village, and a couple of hours' libation, along with the mandatory cheese, crackers and onions side for $3 -- the best bargain in NYC. Bear in mind as you consider my apparent adult-beverage intake that I am on vacation here, not working, save for the blog updates. The absence or limited number of typos in these updates testifies (if misleadingly) to my relative sobriety. Anybody been to McSorley's? Been in the same spot since the 1850s. God bless America!

     We're at one of the official MLB hotels, where All-Star related press conferences took place today, so it's perfect for star-gazing. My sons are loving it. Saw Hanley Ramirez mobbed by autograph seekers until security shepherded him into an elevator alone. Heard a 20-something in a Yankee cap tell a buddy, "After A-Rod, that's the best player in baseball." Chase Utley over there. Jonathan Papelbon. Jim Leyland fast-walking down 42nd in a silver-gray suit.

     Took the 6 downtown to Canal Street for pizza lunch at Lombardi's in the Little Italy/Soho area. Improptu subway serenade by four older black guys doing do-wop harmonies. Applause. They passed a crumpled McDonald's bag in lieu of a hat. Two bucks well spent.   

     Woke up earlier Monday, Day 2, to an overcast New York City. Saw "Avenue Q," the play, at the cozy Gordon Theatre last night, and it was unexpectedly terrific. Really funny. Irreverent. I must say this, though. The puppets and even their voices seem to be somewhat of a Sesame Street ripoff. There's even a disclaimer about the play having nothing to do with Jim Henson. Other than that: Great.

     Grabbed some pub grub and a couple of Stella's post-play at a local tavern (the Wheelpost, I think?), then a nightcap at the hotel bar.

Aaa1oleg      Had a memorable taxi ride. Got in and the guy started doing his act. For a second I thought we'd lucked into Cash Cab, the TV show. Instead we were in the taxi of "Oleg Roitman, The Human-Computer," (pictured) one of those math nerds who asks your birthdate and instantly tells you the day of the week you were born, and is right. The NY Times did a piece on him; click here. Weird. But it made a six-buck fare fly by.

     Tonight is the Home Run Derby. My kids will be  there; bought two tickets through the Baseball Writers Association of America. (Yes bought; didn't get for free!). I must say, the Derby field seems weak, lacking a classic, big slugger like Manny or A-Rod. I mean, we love that Dan Uggla is in it. But nationally? Partake of The Daily Poll on the HR Derby. Not who you hope wins, but who you predict will.

     Check, will be adding more stuff as Apple Monday unfolds.

     SUNDAY, DAY 1, COTE IN THE APPLE: Jet Blue-d into LaGuardia today with the wife and two sons foAaa1dog_2r a week's New York holiday. Love New York. Not New York fans. But their city. Ever flown on Aaa1apple_3a plane with a dog on board? How bizarre to hear barking at 35,000 feet. People who would travel with a dog are the same people who would buy little plaid sweaters for them. I won't be in the paper during my time away (that's your vacation) but I will be updating this blog post throughout the week, in a blatant plan to write off my hotel's Internet charges. Given the state of American newspapers, I hope The Herald can afford it.

     All-Star Fever grips the Apple as you'd imagine. Staying in Manhattan, near Grand Central. Lunched at Bryant Park Grill (Tuscan Platter). Shared a hotel elevator with Rockies pitcher (and all-star) Aaron Cook. The professional memorabilia army is out in force, lurking around the hotel, a bunch of autograph-seeking sycophants. I say professional because these are not wide-eyed kids, but armed adults seeking profit. I understand why players regard these "fans" the way soccer moms do pedophiles.

     Not enough Yellow cabs or car horns in Manhattan, by the way. Almost as many taxis here as home-foreclosures in South Florida. New York Post front-page headline: A-ROD LOVE NEST!

Aaa1giambi Aaa1avenue_q      Hitting Broadway tonight. Seeing "Avenue Q," which, because it involves puppets (I think), promises to be either wonderful or absolutely abysmal. Anybody seen it? Might hit Little Italy afterward. Also in search of a fake Giambi mustache. All-Star stuff begins in earnest tomorrow with the Home Run Derby. Stay tuned.

July 12, 2008

Brett Favre; Marlins vs. Norman Braman (with poll); Heat signing; steroids and more

     [SATURDAY MORNING BRETT FAVRE UPDATE: ESPN's website has a speculative piece (click here) rating all 32 teams' likelihood of ending up with Brett Favre now that his unretirement is all but official. The Dolphins are ranked ninth, in the 'Other possible options' category, with a comment that Favre could "show Henne the way." Don't let anybody tell you otherwise: With Jason Taylor as a bargaining chip, Favre-to-Miami is in play if (admittedly a big if) Team Tuna wants to pursue it].

     BRAMAN VS. MARLINS: I know. It was officially "Braman v. Miami-Dade County, et al," in the local auto magnate's suit to halt the county's $3 billion downtown development project. But practically speaking it's also Braman v. Marlins considering the club's at-long-last-approved new stadium is an important piece of the megaplan. Click here for Thursday's column by me. The judge quickly halted the trial and ordered the sides back to mediation, but the issue remains the same. I've had my piece, now you play judge. Partake of The Daily Poll and expound with a comment.

     HEAT SIGNS THREE-POINT ACE: Miami has back the three-point threat it lost with Jason Kapono now that ex-Cane James Jones is back in town. Double-J, a 6-8 swingman, shot 44.4 percent from beyond the arc last season with Portland and will be a shooter off the bench in the Heat rotation. You'd not call this a major free-agent signing -- Jones is a role player now on his fourth team entering his sixth NBA year -- but it could be an important one not only for what it means but for what it portends. It all but assures Ricky Davis is outta here, and suggests the Dorell Wright experiment is about done, too. It also suggests Miami will target its main needs, point guard or center, if it deals Shawn Marion.

    HOW STEROIDS CHEAT EVERYBODY: Click here for the latest column by me online now and shipping to Friday's paper. I use swimmer Dara Torres, 41, as an example.

     R.I.P., FRANK: Personal note. A dear friend of mine, Frank Touri, has passed away. Former big-band drummer. Mayor of Appleby's. Once and forever king of our block. God bless, Frank.

     BOB RUBIN SIGHTING!: Any of you old-time Herald readers remember our very fine former sports columnist, Bob Rubin? Sure you do. Well Bob, a mentor of mine, is alive and well and living in Weston. We played golf at Bonaventure this morning. Badly. He sends a special shout-out to my bloggerhood. Well, I'm sure he might have, had I asked him to.

     VACATION/BLOG ADVISORY: Me and the fam will be setting out on a week's vacation this coming week. That means A) the newspaper's readers will get a needed break from me, and B) my regular Monday live online chat will take a week's hiatus. However, THE BLOG NEVER SLEEPS! I'll be dragging my laptop with me and feeding the beast from the road, details to come.

July 09, 2008

My response to the "You/This blog" post

     Thanks to the many who shared a little of their backgrounds and stories, some of them quite touching. It's obvious you all come to the bloggerhood from all over the nation and beyond, drawn by a common bond.

     I like OC Dolphin's suggestion about some sort of an essay contest. Consider the idea in the incubator. Stay tuned.

     Most of you like the frequent polls. To those who don't, express your disdain by not voting!

     There was a mention of our monthly Q&A, which we called "Ask the Blogmaster General." We stopped doing that when we recently took over the paper's weekly live online chat (it's every Monday from 1-2 p.m.), but I'm thinking I may bring back the regular blog Q&A as well if there is interest.

     To answer one comment: I think of myself a columnist who also does a blog, but there is no question the online product (for me that's the blog) is becoming more and more prominent in my overall role with the newspaper.

     A few of you mentioned the need for more moderation to weed out political posts and comments that are mean-spirited. Frankly, I spend enough (unscheduled) time on the blog as it is without delving into the additional role of censor. I agree with the one commenter who said the discourse at times sounds like "a collection of 8-year-olds screaming at each other," which is why I ask again that commenters stick to one name/nickname and keep it civil. Let's respect each other, as opposed to what we saw most recently with The Bostonian vs. Flipper72. Rule of thumb: Don't post a comment you'd be embarrassed to read aloud to your mother! (Bostonian, we've been through this. Don't start trouble. As much as I disdain the censorship thing, you'll force me to permanently ban your IP address, for real, if the personal attacks continue).

     In sum, thanks to all my regulars. You are appreciated. To the many lurkers who read or poll-vote but don't comment, express yourself. It's free and practically painless! Grow the bloggerhood by telling others about us, and welcome all.

July 07, 2008

Favre to Dolphins? (with poll); trade hurts Marlins; TV dumps Marino; A-Rod's divorce; Isle of Capri and more

     A brand new mess o' miscellania, just for you...

     [By the way, thanks to all who contributed to the "You. This Blog. Two Questions" post. Keep those thoughts coming. I'll respond in a separate post in a day or two. Thanks also to those who joined today in our live online chat. We do it every Monday from 1-2 p.m.]

Aaa1brett      FAVRE TO DOLPHINS?: Hey don't blame me. I didn't start this. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel did, with a column speculating Miami among logical landing spots for Favre if he un-retires as now seems quite possible. Read the latest out of Packtown here. Sure sounds like Favre has the itch to play. And sure seems like Brett would be a huge upgrade over Josh McCown as a one-year stopgap while kiddie QBs John Beck and Chad Henne develop. Click on Favrelous for my column on this, online now and shipping to Tuesday's paper. Meantime, your thoughts are invited. Partake of The Daily Poll and expound with a comment.

     By the way, just finished reading a predictably contrary opinion on the Favre matter in another of my paper's blogs. A bit snipey, yes? So I would volley a tweak in return by noting the same writer broadcast his Dolphins expertise last August by predicting a playoff year for the team that would go 1-15. You could look it up! :) 

     [Note: Congrats once again. Because of you, the above is our 24th blog poll to surpass 1,000 votes within the first 24 hours. Keep 'em coming. Pretty close battle].

     NIGHTLIFE SIGHTINGS: On the same recent night at the Riverfront in downtown Fort Lauderdale: Kimbo Slice and his 'Team 305'-shirt-clad posse in the VIP room upstairs at Art Bar ... and Dolphins rookie Jake Long with four other rookies nearby at Automatic Slims. Do I need to tell you who drew the most attention by far? Starts with a K.

     A-ROD'S DIVORCE: The wife of Miami's own Alex Rodriguez has hired filed for divorce, citing extramarital affairs, and A-Rod in turn has hired Shaquille O'Neal's divorce lawyer, Ira Elegant. Read the latest gossip here. Sad for them both, with two young kids involved. He's filthy rich and she'll get a huge chunk, but money doesn't heal all.

     SABATHIA DEAL BAD FOR MARLINS: Cleveland trading pitcher C.C. Sabathia to Milwaukee deals a blow to the Marlins' playoff hopes. If Florida can't beat Philly to win the NL East, the Brewers and Cardinals are the teams the Fish must catch in the wild-card chase. And Milwaukee just got a good bit harder to catch.

Aaa1cheddar      DEAR GREG...: ... Your blog's OK, but would be much better if occasionally you would show a photo of a 2000-pound block of cheddar cheese depicting the signing of the Declaration of Indepedence. Thanks.

     MARINO SACKED: USA Today reporting today that Inside the NFL, in its move from HBO to Showtime, has dumped Dan Marino in favor of Phil Simms.

Aaa1rafa      THE ISLE OF CAPRI (PANTS): People are buzzing about Rafael Nadal's five-set Wimbledon win over Roger Federer yesterday. Great match. And now a great rivalry, something that golf and women's tennis lacks. Nadal seems like a nice kid as well as a terrific player. One suggestion, though: Check into some sleeves. Hide the guns, and while you're at it, Rafa, try men's pants. 

     YOUTUBE FIND DU JOUR: Click here for a somewhat amazing jam featuring Little Richard, Ray Charles, B.B. King, James Brown, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino and possibly other luminaries who escaped my eye.

Aaa1ana      GRATUITOUS SEXIST PHOTO DU JOUR: Tennis player Ana Ivanovic (left) appearing provocatively in the August FHM magazine. Which reminds me: Lilly, a Dolphins cheerleader, is appearing in Maxim's NFL preview issue. Click here for her photo shoot. Not that I condone this sort of thing!

     A PERSONAL FAREWELL: An outstanding editor named Bill Van Smith just retired from The Herald after some 40 years, and I think the newspaper will miss him almost as much as I do. In my long tenure at the paper, only Sir Edwin Pope himself has been a greater presence in our department. Farewell, BVS, and keep 'em in the fairway!

     Check back. Might be adding more stuff here later.