Latest Hot Button Top 10 (updated): Jeter leaves Marlins, MLB impasse, Inter Miami opens, Heat hot, Cats slump. See who's No.1 and what else falls where this week; plus new Greg Cote Show ;podcast drops Monday, personal news & more
GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND
1) It's MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28. Farewell, February, "Shorty" to the other months. See you next year. 2) Join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow the Greg Cote Show podcast separately on Twitter, Instagram and now TikTok, too! 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): MLB has bigger problem that labor impasse, Mickelson tempest mirrors sports' blind eye on human rights, Top 15 non-athletes in Miami sports history, new Greg Cote Show podcast.
GREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE WITH RYAN LOMBERG OUT NOW!: Our 10th episode of 2022 and 101st overall is out Monday. A new pod drops every Monday at 7 a.m. ET on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 100 we've done so far HERE, free. In our newest pod, we welcome in the Florida Panthers' 5-9 dynamo hitman, Ryan Lomberg. Fun chat with an interesting dude. Guaranteed, you don't need to be a Panthers fan or a puckhead to enjoy the conversation. Thanks as always for the support, pod family. Please listen, rate, review and follow. (Our pod simulcasts on Sirius XM every Monday 5-6 p.m. ET).
A PERSONAL NOTE, AND THANKS: I was very honored this week to once again be named by Associated Press Sports Editors as a national Top 10 columnist in the major-outlet category. The Miami Herald also was honored as a Top 10 daily section, and earned a Top 10 in special projects for ours on the 5-year annniversary of the Jose Fernandez tragedy, a project in which I also was involved. (I have included a recent photo of myself that seems somber and somewhat unflattering; it is my 'serious journalist' look). Some of you have asked, so: These are the four nominated columns from 2021 (earliest to most recent) that won us the APSE distinction for column writing:
Our most recent columns: Players Are On Right Side In Labor Dispute, But MLB Has Far Bigger Problem To Fix / Mickelson's Support Of Saudi Tour Mirrors Sports' Blind Eye to Human Rights / Top 15 Figures (Non-Athletes) In Miami Sports History / and Who Dolphins, With Windfall To Spend, Should Target In Offseason To Fix Offense Fast. Also: Hall of Fame Keeps Saying No, But Zach Thomas Keeps Feeling Gratitude / and McDaniel Overcame Much In Own Life, Now Must Overcome Dolphins' Turmoil And Win.
HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (FEBRUARY 27-28): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. The latest HB10:
1. MARLINS: Jeter steps down as CEO: Derek Jeter abruptly resigned Monday after four seasons as Miami Marlins CEO in what was called a mutual parting. Said Jeter: "The vision for the future of the franchise is different than the one I signed up to lead." [NEW COLUMN ON JETER LEAVING].
2. MLB: Marlins, sport on edge, season on hold as CBA deadline hits: Monday is MLB's deadline for a new collective bargaining agreement with the players union or, says Commissioner Rob Manfred, the season will not start on time or be the full 162 games. MLB says games would not be made up and players would not be paid full-season salaries. Spring training already is delayed; Opening Day (as of now) is still March 31. The two sides will meet in Jupiter today/Sunday for a seventh straight day of talks.
3. INTER MIAMI: Herons open MLS Year3 with home draw: David Beckham's squad opened season tres Saturday night with a 0-0 tie vs. Chicago Fire before 16,080 fans in Fort Lauderdale. Miami retooled its roster after disappointing last year at 12-17 with five draws and tied for second-fewest goals in league, and it may be playoffs-or-bust for coach Phil Neville to stay employed. Gonzalo Higuain tops returning players, with newcomers led by midfielder Jean Mota from Santos (Brazil) and U.S. national team defender DeAndre Yedlin. Meantime the city of Miami' vote on team's propsoed new stadium was delayed (again) to March 9.
4. HEAT: Bam! Miami regains lead in East: Miami is 40-21 and back in front in the NBA East after Saturday's 133-129 home win over San Antonio fueled by Bam Adebayo's 36 points. Heat host second place Chicago Monday. Meantime Jimmy Butler got fined $25,000 by NBA for not meeting postgame media obligations after the All-Star Game. (Clearly, playing only nine minutes and scoring two points did not have Jimmy in a good mood).
5. PANTHERS: Florida loses third straight in rare slump: Florida is 35-13-5 and now only one point out front in the NHL Atlantic Division after Saturday night's 4-3 home loss to Edmonton. The third straight loss is the Cats' longest skid since mid-December. Panthers are now off until hosting Ottawa on Thursday.
6. UM BASKETBALL: Canes men, women chasing NCAA bids: Canes men are 20-9 (12-6 ACC) and seeming safe for an NCAA Tournament bid even afgter Saturday's 71-70 loss to Virginia Tech in UM's regular season home finale. They now close at Boston College Wednesday and Syracuse Saturday. UM women are 17-11 (10-8 ACC) after Sunday's regular season finale vs. Clemson, a 76-40 UM win. ESPN's Bracketology has the Canes women in its "last four in" category for an NCAA invite.
7. POLITICS: Sports world reacts to Russian invasion of Ukraine: UEFA moved its May 28 Champions League final from Saint Petersburgb to Paris, and Formula One canceled its Russian Grand Prix set for September: Other response has included Ukrainian former heavywight champion Wladimir Klitschko saying he will join the fight; condemnation of Russian by the IOC; and Poland, Sweden and Czech Republic saying their March World Cup qualiftyng matches should be moved from Russia.
8. NFL: Dolphins prep for this week's pre-draft Scouting Combine: The NFL Scouting Combine, league's biggest event between the Super Bowl and Draft, takes the field in Indianapolis this coming Thursday through next Sunday, with 324 invited draft prospects seen by scouts from all 32 teams. Miami hopefuls invited are three former Hurricanes -- QB D'Eriq King, DB Bubba Bolden and DL Jonathan King -- along with former FIU RB D'vonte Price. Dolphins scouts should be especially keen on Friday, when running back and offensive line prospects take the field.
9. GOLF: Mickelson's Saudi backing draws backlash: Four longtime sponsors including Callaway And Amstel Light have now dumped Phil Mickelson in the wake of the six-time major champion's comments backing the Saudi Arabia-backed attempted breakaway league. Mickelson said he supports the league as leverage to force changes in the PGA Tour, despite also saying, "We know they killed [Washington Post reporter Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay."
10. HURRICANES: Countdown 7 days 'til spring football: UM's first on-field work under new coach Mario Cristobal will be a week from Monday, March 7, with the first of 15 spring practice work days. Season opens September 3 vs. Bethune-Cookman.
Missing the HB10 cut: Little-known Austrian Sepp Straka won the PGA Tour's Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens ..... The eight-team USFL spring football league, back and launching April 6, held its draft and SoFla guys selected included former Canes WR Jeff Thomas (by Pittsburgh) and ex-FIU QB Alex McGough (Birmingham). Also taken: FIU WR Maurice Alexander and CB Ike Brown, and FAU OT Calvin Ashley, RB B.J. Emmons and S Andrew Soroh ..... The USWNT win the SheBelieves Cup, its youthful roster beating Iceland 5-nil in the final ..... No. 24-ranked Canes baseballis is 6-1 and hosts Harvard today in rubber game of three-game series ..... UEFA Champions League plays resumes March 8 with Bayern Munich vs. Salzburg and Liverpool vs. Internazionale. The eight teams left after the round of 16 will be in a quarterfinal draw on March 18 ..... And speaking of hell: Art Briles! Way to embarrass yourself, Grambling State ..... The Greg Cote Show podcast is back with a new episode out Monday at 7 a.m. ..... Update: Countdown now 1,583 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer's 2026 World Cup.
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Select other recent columns: An Inside Preview Of Le Batard Show's Upcoming Musical. Yes, Musical / The Lesson For Dolphins in Rams-Bengals Super Bowl Result / Ranking Flores/Ross Bombshell Among Biggest Dolphins Scandals / Ross Should Be Done As Fins Owner if Flores Allegations Are True / The G.O.A.T. We Never Saw Coming: From 199th Drafted To History, A Salute To Tom Brady / Like Him Or Don't, Antonio Brown Not Always To Blame -- And Wasn't In Bucs Divorce / Ortiz Makes Hall, But Final Denial Of Bonds, Clemens A Shame on Voters, Baseball / Mahomes-Allen Air Show A Reminder How Much Better Dolphins And Tua Need To Be / Time Is Right (But Running Out) For MLB to Reinstate Pete Rose /'There Was A Pall On Us': The Panthers Season That Would Not Be Derailed / No-Vaccine Is Your Right. But There Are Consequences as Djokovic Was Reminded / State Of Miami Sports: Every Major Team, Graded Top To Bottom /Dolphins Firing of Flores The Unjustified Travesty Of A Clown-Show Owner / Canes Land Grand Prize In Cristobal, So No Excuses Left. New Glory Days A Must and 50 Years At the Herald For Me -- And a Lifetime Of Gratitude.
Select other columns: Dolphins Win, Finish 9-8, Now Must Commit To Build Around Tua / Why Saban 'What-If' Still Haunts Miami 15 Years later / No Playoffs And No Idea Yet On Tua Worst Possible Way For Dolphins To End Season / Revealing My 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot / Hey, America, After 7th Straight Win, Do Miami Dolphins Have Your Attention Yet? / UM Legend Frank Gore Talks NFL Future, Cristobal, Boxing As He Prepes For Ring Debut / Tua Keeps Showing Dolphins How Silly They Were To Doubt Him So Soon / UM And Blake James Parted Ways With Class -- Which Butch Davis Didn't Get From FIU / How Miami Dolphins Are Poised to Transform Their 1-7 Start Into Playoff Contention / Quenneville Rightly Sacked as Panthers Coach Over 2010 Chicago Scandal / As Dolphins' Dysfunction Surrounds Him, 10 Ways Tua Is The Unluckiest Man On Earth / State of the Art: Heat, Miami's Best-Run Franchise, Sails In Opener / 'Time to Hunt': Cats' Hyped Season Off to Wild, Winning Start / Dolphins Fans, Ex-Players Gather For Emotional Farewell to Don Shula, Father of the Glory Days / If Sports Had A Spine, Kyrie Irving & Other Anti-Vaxxers Wouldn't Be Playing / Kyle Lowry Must Channel 'Doctor Of Greatness' If Heat Is To Chase NBA Title / Fairy Tale With Wrong Ending: Remembering Jose Fernandez 5 Years Later / Why It's Too Soon, And Dumb, To Quit On Tua As Dolphins Answer / Hope And Hype Are Sky-High. Time For Florida Panthers To Finally Deliver / Miami Herald's 2021 NFL Team Rankings: You Won't Believe Where Dolphins are / Why Dolphins, Canes Should Be Taking Lead In Requiring Fans To Be COVID-Vaccinated / An Appreciation of Udonis Haslem As He Re-Ups For 19th Heat Season / College Football and FSU Lose a Treasure In Passing Of Bobby Bowden / Biles' Withdrawal For Mental-Health Reasons Merits Empathy, Not Scorn / Where Dolphins Rank Among Teams With Longest Championship Droughts / Dolphins Owner Ross Unveils New $135 Million Training Site As Another Reason Team Must Win Now / Hot Seat Scale: Ranking Miami's Biggest Coaches By Most to Least Job Security / May Sha'Carri Richardson Be Last Victim Of Olympics' Archaic Marijuana Rules / 'I'm D'Eriq King For College Hunks Hauling Junk!' It's Strange New World in College Sports / Nassib Coming Out As Gay NFL Player A Milestone In Sports History / Fate Snatched Basketball From Chris Bosh. His new Book Is Part of His Journey Of Healing / Where's Tua? Ranking Our Top 15 South Florida Pro Athletes 25 And Younger / Pythons, Peppers, Pirate Flag Raised. Inside Le Batard's 24-Hour Triumph / Le Batard Bet On Himself And His Audience -- And Won Big / Justice For George Floyd Helps Heal Our Shaken Faith, But Fight For Equality Goes On / In History And In Hearts, Howard Schnellenberger Will Matter For All Time / Women Keep Accusing Deshaun Watson of Sexual Misconduct. But Will It Matter to NFL Teams? / Reality, Loss, Comeback: How Sports Has Been Guiding Light In America's Awful Past Year / Beckham's Resolve Tested By Tumult As Inter Miami Nears 2nd MLS Season / Time-Travelling To 1960s And Childhood, When The Baseball Card Was King / Doesn't Matter If Tiger Woods Never Wins Again. We Are Lucky He's Alive / Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. The Boy Was Me.
Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards again this year ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz.
Finding Greg: Twitter. Instagram. Facebook. Columns. Podcast. Podcast on Twitter. Podcast on Instagram. LeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio only) and The Ballad Of 1440 (with video).