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A-Rod snubs his old school; plus Neil Rogers, Wade v. Riley, fight video, Family Guy poll, Dolphins-Estefans, Mickelson & more

     [Twitter.com/gregcote]

     A-Rod snubs Westminster Christian: A mole tells us Yankee Alex Rodriguez snubbed his former school, Westminster Christian, when that school's baseball and softball teams were honored for the 2009 state championships prior to Saturday's Marlins-Yanks game here. Joe Girardi, Derek Jeter and others met with and congratulated the kids. A-Rod was a no-show despite direct requests through both clubs and through WC coach Rich Hofman. Well, so much for Alex's post-steroids image rebuilding. Then again, he had a great excuse. He was suffering fatigue, remember!? Greeting those kids would have been just too, too exhausting for the poor fella!

     The rap on Vontae Davis?: New broke today that the Dolphins' recent No. 1 draft pick was arrested June 9 in his old college town of Champaign, Ill., because his vehicle was too loud and he was driving without a valid license. But the Dolphin say Davis was here at a practice that day. We'll see how this shakes out.

1neil      Uncle Neil off the air. OY!: WQAM just announced that longtime and legendary rant-radio fixture Neil Rogers is leaving the air by mutual agreement. That's big news in local Marconi wireless circles. Also a boost for rival 790 The Ticket, because Uncle Neil remained a ratings monstah. 'QAM plans to replace Neil with sports talk from 10-2 because, well, you know, there just are not nearly enough sports-yak blowhards in this market! ( :D ) Rogers says he has no plans to seek another on-air job, which means offers are invited and he'll be back on the air soon.

1adwyane      Wade vs. Riley: Who blinks?: It's amusing, this little public back-and-forth between Heat prez Pat Riley and superstar Dwyane Wade. Riles say he won't make any major personnel moves until D-Wade signs a long-term contract. Wade can wait until 2010 to do that and says the Heat should make their moves now, not wait a year. Hmm. What's it all about? What will happen? Rest assured the people who are intensely watching include Chris Bosh. And should include Michael Beasley, too. I'll explore all of this in an upcoming column. What Riley and Wade do -- and whether they do it this summer or in '10 -- is all that matters with the Heat now. That's especially so with Miami having no first-round pick in this week's NBA Draft. Picking 43rd and 60th is not likely to mine a lot in the way of lasting talent, considering Rasual Butler is about the only Heat 2R pick this decade who amounted to much of anything, although Mario Chalmers from last year obviously looks promising.

1estefans      The Conga line forms here: Star-struck Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is expected to announce Thursday that Gloria and Emilio Estefan (pictured) -- voice and brains behind the Miami Sound Machine -- will be new minority partners in the Dolphins. Earlier Ross brought Jimmy Buffett into the fold. If this is a systematic march through every So-Fla celeb in the music business, I can only presume the Dolphins will somehow find a way to skip over Luther Campbell and 2 Live Crew.

1joshj      $pending big to keep Josh Johnson: The Marlins, not known for opening the wallet on long-term contracts with the exception of Hanley Ramirez, need to pull the trigger again for pitcher Josh Johnson, who is 14-2 since returning -- better than ever -- from surgery. This guy is a legitimate ace, and still only 25. He had better make the all-star team, at 7-1, with a 2.66 ERA and 3.7-1 K's/walks ratio. Johnson's agent said over the weekend it may take close to CC Sabathia money to sew up Johnson. Will the Marlins pony up? A major selling point of the new stadium was the increased revenue streams allowing competitive payrolls. That was tantamount to a good-faith promise.  Well, it looks like spending to keep Johnson will be a major test on whether Jeffrey Loria will put his money where his mouth is. [By the way, click here for a YouTube video of a fight in the stands at Sunday's Yanks-Marlins game].

     'Family Guy' poll: I love Family Guy. It's one of the few things on TV I try not to miss. This is one of those niche polls for people who feel as I do. My favorite character is a dead-heat between Brian and Peter, followed closely by Stewie and Quagmire. Weigh in.

     Mickelson falls short: Phil Mickelson finished as U.S. Open runnerup for a record fifth time today, with Lucas Glover winning. Sorry, Luke, but outside of your family, I doubt many people in America wanted to see you deny Phil his emotional tribute to his cancer-stricken wife. Click here for my column on the U.S. Open finish, online now and shipping to Tuesday's paper.

1hut 1quonset      Pizza Hut becoming The Hut: Corporate rebranding for some reason fascinates me, like when Kentucky Fried Chicken over time became KFC and now plots to disassociate entirely from the once-iconic Colonel Sanders. The latest? Pizza Huts are dropping the 'Pizza' from their name and gradually becoming The Hut. Seriously. (See left). I doubt this is a good idea. The word 'hut' alone conjures the phrase "Quonset hut" (right) and invites the notion that when you enter a Hut restaurant you will dine in the humid squalor of Spartan, 1940s-era corrugated-metal army barracks and be served gruel by emaciated, time-warped prisoners of war.

1cycling      Cote Rules: Cycling: Guys, be a serious cyclist. Own an expensive bike. But, unless you are Lance Armstrong ascending the Alps, do not -- do not -- wear the colorful, logoed racing garb of a competitive cyclist. Seriously. Because, when you are biking on local roads looking like this guy here, 84 percent of the motorists who see you are thinking, "Dork," and struggling to resist a strong urge to "accidentally" run you into a ditch.

     That'll do it for now.

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