Your preference for Dolphins on Thursday: Punt

There’s usually great excitement for the NFL Draft, as fans dream of the player their team will add in the first round.

Dolphins fans?

They’re not really feeling that.

After an offseason of relatively inactivity — other than changing coaches, letting respected veterans walk, floating a tanking agenda to the media and signing some guys from a quickly-defunct football league — the Dolphins are supposed to pick 13th on Thursday.

But Dolphins supporters don’t really want them to.

Here is how the poll went tonight:

“Trade down” won.

“Improve the trenches” was second.

“Get a QB” and “CB or skill player” trailed by a lot.

Maybe fans have bought into the Tank-For-Tua plan.

Maybe they don’t don’t trust the Dolphins to pick anyone decent anyway.

Or maybe they believe as I do, that Miami just needs to add as many players as possible, like Jimmy Johnson did in 1996 and 1997, to give itself a chance of falling into a Zach Thomas (fifth round, 1996) or Jason Taylor (third round, 1997) because they have picks to burn on projects.

But whatever it is, we’re going to hold the fans to it.

If the Dolphins do nothing Thursday but back down, we don’t want to hear whining.

After all, for this season, it’s not really about winning.

 

(Photo by Tony Capobianco).

Is there hope in the East for the Heat?

Well, that went as expected.

The Eastern Conference first round was full of mismatches, especially with Indiana missing Victor Oladipo, and so it should have surprised no one that all four series were slaughters, with the favorites taking 16 of 18 games.

It was also a stark reminder of how far the Miami Heat are from serious contention in the conference. They finished behind the Nets, Pistons and Magic, teams with just a couple of certifiable stars between them. The Heat can talk about injuries (and they were banged up than the Magic in particular, though not the Nets). But the reality is, they’re just not good enough — and with Dwyane Wade retiring, likely about to get worse.

This isn’t us saying it.

It’s you.

After the four top teams in the East easily advanced, we polled it at @5ReasonsSports.

At last count, the Raptors and Celtics were “leading” at about 33 percent each, followed by the 76ers, with the Bucks way behind — because they have Giannis.

But the most popular response was “none of the above.”

It’s hard to envision the Heat passing the Bucks anytime soon. The 76ers? Even if Jimmy Butler leaves, they still have Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons in their early 20s, and probably Tobias Harris. The Celtics may lose Kyrie Irving, but they are still stocked with assets.

The only real wild card is Toronto, considering they could lose Kawhi Leonard, likely to the Clippers.

But — and this is sad to say — if you’re betting Masai Ujiri vs. Pat Riley lately, you go with Ujiri.

Let the Kids Play: ¿mercadeo fallido?

Let the kids play es el slogan de la MLB esta temporada.

¿Qué significa exactamente? No está totalmente claro.

Para nadie es un secreto que las nuevas generaciones no tienen al beisbol como una de sus principales fuentes de entretenimiento.

La dinámica del juego es diametralmente opuesta al tiempo de atención y la manera en la que los más jóvenes están entreteniéndose hoy en día.

Por eso la insistencia en cambiar algunos aspectos, como la duración de los encuentros.

Pero además de la duración de los juegos, las Grandes Ligas todavía están buscando diferentes maneras de atraer más público a los estadios y a los televisores.

Tim Anderson puso sobre el tapete nuevamente el tema de las celebraciones en el beisbol, tras hacer este bat flip luego de conectarle un jonrón a Brad Keller.

Más temprano en el año había sido Derek Deitrich y Chris Archer, pero eso tenía una historia de fondo.

En esta ocasión se trataba simplemente de una demostración de emoción de Anderson, quien logró que un juego insignificante se convirtiera en algo viral en las redes sociales.

Sin embargo, los Reales de Kansas City no se lo tomaron bien y decidieron retaliar golpeando a Anderson en su siguiente turno.

Brad Keller dice que se le escapó el pitcheo, pero todos sabemos que eso fue simplemente parte de las reglas no escritas.

Y ahí es donde está la contradicción entre la campaña Let the Kids Play, y cómo se ha venido jugando este deporte por más de cien años.

¿Dónde está el límite con el Let the Kids Play?

Un duelo vespertino entre los Reales de Kansas City y los Medias Blancas de Chicago en Abril no es el evento deportivo más esperado del año.

Sin embargo, tras esta celebración, el posterior pelotazo y la discusión airada entre los managers, todo el mundo del deporte estuvo hablando de este encuentro.

¿Se quiere que los jugadores sean más efusivos para llamar más la atención del público general?

Pues eso quizás traiga consecuencias, como lo sucedido entre Medias Blancas y Reales, pues la línea que divide la falta del respeto de un simple disfrute parece que está borrosa.

Si quieren que sea efectiva esta campaña, parece que habrá que reescribir las reglas no escritas del beisbol.

Leandro Soto, Ricardo Montes de Oca y Alejandro Villegas debatieron sobre esta campaña, la celebración de Anderson y las reglas no escritas en el EP 31 de Cinco Razones Podcast:

Escuche todos los episodios de Cinco Razones Podcast haciendo click aquí.

 

Another 5Reasons Watch Party! (You’re not happy.)

We know what we’re good at — memes, parody songs, Twitter sparring, picking on Giancarlo Navas.

We know what we’re bad at, too.

Watch parties.

We’re the worst. Ever.

Starting with the Miami Dolphins preseason, we were 0-9-1 hosting watch parties at various South Florida locations last fall and winter, from Uncle Al’s in Sunrise to Texas Roadhouse in Miramar to Township on Las Olas to Duffy’s in North Miami Beach. That included Dolphins, Heat and Hurricanes games, most of which weren’t even close.

For the Miami Hurricanes’ embarrassing loss to LSU, we even got caught in a monsoon in the fourth quarter as we out on the Uncle Al’s patio, long after the game was decided.

Our only tie? We watched FC Barcelona beat Real Madrid at Futbox, and we really didn’t care who won.

But we don’t give up.

So….

This did not make people happy.

Some examples of your outrage:

 

Even people in our network weren’t thrilled:

 

See you on the 14th!

Somewhere!

Lewis Brinson y su decepción continua

Lewis Brinson tiene casi 500 turnos en Grandes Ligas y su bate no termina de despertar.

De hecho, la muestra es realmente preocupante.

Alarmante.

Austin Dean recibió bastantes menos oportunidades que Brinson, y Peter O’Brien hace rato que fue enviado a ligas menores por no poder batear.

¿Porqué los Marlins no lo envían a Ligas Menores?

¿Hasta cuándo van a esperar los Marlins de Miami para enviar a Lewis Brinson a las ligas menores?

Además, ¿es la campaña de Major League Baseball Let The Kids Play puro mercadeo sin un mensaje claro? ¿Qué pueden hacer las Grandes Ligas para atraer a una audiencia más amplia?

Lo discutimos en el EP 31 de Cinco Razones Podcast, con Ricardo Montes de Oca, Leandro Soto y Alejandro Villegas:

Escuche todos los episodios de Cinco Razones Podcast haciendo click aquí

Three Yards Per Carry: Mug Contest!

We like giving you stuff here.

And since it’s NFL draft week, what better time to toast to whatever the Miami Dolphins do?

(Or choke on your coffee).

Three Yards Per Carry has you covered — as well as Xavien Howard, better than the Dolphins’ extra defensive backs.

Here are the Rules for the Mug Giveaway.

. Provide a List of Ten Names in this Format: (Player Name, Position, School, Draft Round)

(EXAMPLE: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma, 1st Round)

. Whoever gets the most names drafted by the Miami Dolphins, Wins. The Tie Breaker is the Draft Round.

. Provide that List of Names in the Comments Below, make sure to include your Twitter Handle.

*Entries MUST be received BEFORE the 1st Pick in the 2019 NFL Draft is Made*
*Must Live/Ship in the Continental United States to be eligible*
*Up to Three Mugs will be awarded*

Good Luck!

Still chatter about Josh Rosen to Miami

They’d love him in Aventura.

And Boca.

And at Toojay’s.

But would you want him as your quarterback?

There’s been some talk this offseason that has connected the Miami Dolphins to second-year quarterback Josh Rosen?

Why? Well, he’s breathing. Even after all those hits behind a bad line.

Also, he was a hot prospect when the Arizona Cardinals jumped the Dolphins last spring to draft him out of UCLA at No. 10 overall. And now, the Cardinals have changed coaching staffs after one season, going from Steve Wilks to Kiliff Kingsbury, and Arizona picks first overall. So if they like Kyler Murray — and there’s smoke on both sides about that — they could take Murray and flip Rosen after just one season.

And the Dolphins need help at quarterback more than just about anyone.

Rosen was 3-10 last season, but just about anyone would have been, so it’s hard to judge him on that. He completed just 55 percent of his passes, with more interceptions than touchdowns.

That in itself is not disqualifying. The financial issues may be, as might compensation.

The positives: You get a look at a young quarterback a year before you really want to draft one (since the 2020 class promises to be infinitely better at that position than this one). And if you play him and he’s bad, you get higher in that next draft.

So, will the Dolphins do the Early Bird thing and grab Rosen before they really planned on getting a quarterback?

(We’re sorry. Enjoy the latkes.)

 

Photoshop by Josh Houtz.

Hassan Whiteside caught up in weird story

Is Michael Avenatti corrupt enough to run for President yet?

The attorney, who became famous by representing Donald Trump-associated porn star Stormy Daniels — and for oddly tweeting “basta!” all the time — was thinking about running for the White House. Lately, he’s had to run from the law, with a number of corruption and embezzlement and tax fraud allegations about him.

But this?

How exactly did Heat center Hassan Whiteside get caught up in this?

I mean, read the headline of that again.

Could that be any more 2019?

Allegedly, it happened nearly three years ago, not long after Whiteside signing his mega-max contract to remain in Miami.

And it’s a confusing tale.

Here’s the full story, in the Los Angeles Times….

LINK.

And here’s an excerpt:

When Hassan Whiteside of the Miami Heat wired $2.75 million to Michael Avenatti in January 2017, the pro basketball player intended most of the money to go to his former girlfriend, Alexis Gardner.

Avenatti was Gardner’s attorney. An actress and barista, she’d hired him just a few weeks before to negotiate a settlement of a potential lawsuit against Whiteside. It’s unclear what she would have alleged. Avenatti quickly struck a $3 million deal, and the $2.75 million was Whiteside’s first payment. Avenatti, prosecutors say, was entitled to take just over $1 million in legal fees, leaving the rest for Gardner. Instead, they allege, Avenatti hid Whiteside’s payment from her and immediately took $2.5 million to buy a share of a private jet.

Here’s more…

Gardner’s settlement with Whiteside — Avenatti never gave her a copy — required the basketball player to pay her $2.75 million in January 2017, then the remaining $250,000 on Nov. 1, 2020, the indictment says.

Whiteside wired the $2.75 million on Jan. 25, 2017, to a client trust account at Eagan Avenatti. Rather than taking his fee of about $1 million, plus expenses, Avenatti kept all the money and misrepresented the settlement’s terms to Gardner, according to the indictment.

Black Sports Online had his own reaction, and we’re including it, only because Robert Littal loves using the phrase “side chick.”

Avenatti, by the way, has responded, as he always does:

I look forward to ALL of the details coming out regarding Hassan Whiteside’s settlement, the money received by the client, the money deducted for fees and costs, etc. and the reason why he paid the money. I especially look forward to the inquiry by the and its commissioner.

Basta!

Or something.

 

Granderson leads Marlins to first series win of the season

Granderson came to Miami to be a leader. And he finally led on the field.

The Marlins won their first two games against the Washington Nationals to obtain their first series win of the season.

Pulling off a victory on Friday with their nails and tails, and ambushing the best pitcher of the league on Saturday.

That’s baseball. When you least expect it, it comes to surprise you.

After a rough homestand that started being shutout twice in three games by the Cubs, the Marlins rose up and won twice against one of their four division real contenders.

Caleb Smith was phenomenal on Friday tossing six scoreless innings allowing just one run to earn his second victory of the year.

Besides, he struck out eight batters.

Then, the arms in the bullpen did what they’ve been doing, to save that enormous effort.

After that win, however, Marlins hitting coach Mike Pagliarulo was fired.

He wasn’t the one striking out and putting poor at-bats together, but somebody had to pay the price.

The Marlins bats woke up on a Saturday night again. One week ago, it was Austin Dean’s show, but tonight, it was a group effort.

Curtis Granderson’s RBIs lead the way for the Marlins the first series win of the season.

The veteran has been struggling, like almost everybody else in this lineup, but Mattingly and his staff keep giving him chances.

And it is finally paying off.

Granderson was hit with the bases loaded to bring the third run of Friday, in a 3-2 win, and ignited the party on Saturday.

A base hit to start the game against Scherzer, scoring from first with a Brian Anderson double and then hitting his third home run of the season to give the Marlins a 4-3 lead in the middle innings.

Max Scherzer paid for all those starters that have totally dominated the Marlins offense. Unbelievable.

That’s the beauty of this sport.

Rosell Herrera hit it about five feet from the mound and brought in two runs.

Victor Robles almost loses his head catching a fly ball (hit by Granderson again) and Herrera scored from second.

Even Berti, who got to the stadium in the fourth inning, got a walk, a great sprint to second, a dirt-ball read and scored in his first game as a Marlin.

It was meant to be for the Marlins this weekend.

It all started with Curtis Granderson. We’ll see how long they can keep it up.

 

Most recent news on Five Reasons:

Garrett Cooper jumping to Jupiter, Marlins shuffle roster

The Pat Riley to the Lakers thing won’t die

Opportunity good as it gets for Isaac Galloway

Garrett Cooper jumping to Jupiter, Marlins shuffle roster

It seems like it won’t be long until Miami Marlins right fielder Garrett Cooper returns from the 10-Day IL.

Cooper was involved with team stretching drills and participated in batting practice on Friday before the Marlins weekend series opener against the Washington Nationals.

“He’s progressing along, that’s for sure,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He was doing some outfield drills today. He’s already been taking ground balls and hitting. He’s doing running progression and will do curves either today or tomorrow.”

Mattingly also said that he that Cooper will begin his rehab assignment in Jupiter on Sunday.

“He’s going to be going to Jupiter as we leave here after the weekend and that progression will continue into at-bats,” Mattingly said.

The Marlins hit the road next week to Cleveland then Philadelphia. The Jupiter Hammerheads, the Marlins’ Single-A Advanced affiliate, begin their 10-game homestand on Monday. The Hammerheads play in the Marlins Spring Training complex, where Cooper batted 395/.438/.488 in 48 plate appearances en route to earning the starting right field job at Opening Day. He went hitless in the first two games of the season before the injury. 

Since his absence Peter O’Brien, Austin Dean, Isaac Galloway and Rosell Herrera all got starts in the outfield. O’Brien was sent down after batting .111 with a home run and two RBIs in nine games for Dean, who was also sent down on Saturday for infielder Jon Berti. 

Dean jumped out of the gates with a home run and five RBIs against the Philadelphia Phillies a week ago. Going 1-for-16 with poor defense in the next four games led to the hook.

“As much as anything, it was defensive. He gave us offense that first day. After, it was a lot of chase; I think 1-for-16,” Mattingly said. “With this outfield, we’ve got to be able to defend better with our pitching. We cannot afford to give up extra runs, extra outs”

Jon Berti is a versatile infielder that allows Brian Anderson to switch from third base to right field and back whenever necessary. He also opened the minor league season by reaching base in each of his 13 games.

The Marlins also fired hitting coach Mike Pagliarulo. Jeff Livesey has been promoted to interim head hitting coach. Eric Duncan will join the staff as assistant hitting coach.