Random Evidence of a Cluttered Mind

Miami Heat continuing to play the playoff waiting game

 

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Today: Horse racing’s Triple Crown near misses. Most know no horse has won the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. Less remembered are the near misses. Twelve horses since Affirmed have won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness but not the Belmont. Here are the four who came closest — all finishing second in the Belmont:

Horse Year Belmont winner
Smarty Jones 2004Birdstone
Real Quiet1998Victory Gallop
Silver Charm1997Touch Gold
Sunday Silence1989Easy Goer


What South Florida sports fans are talking about:

1. HEAT

LeBron collects (another) MVP as playoffs (finally) resume: Champions host Bulls-Nets survivor in Game 1 of second round here Monday after seven days of waiting since sweeping Bucks. Meantime, LeBron James will win season MVP award by what should be unanimous vote. Any dissenters should be made to defend James on a fast break.

2. JASON COLLINS

NBA player saying, “I’m gay” earns (mostly) praise: Collins’ coming out brought him more attention in a day that he’d had in a journeyman 12-year career. Most praised Collins, although some called him a sinner in God’s eyes. “I wish people wouldn’t speak for me like that,” said God. “If I didn’t like gay people, I wouldn’t have created them!”

3. DOLPHINS

Back to work as Miami conducts post-draft rookie camp: Team’s three-day rookie camp wraps up Sunday, notably without top pick Dion Jordan, who is recovering from shoulder surgery. Based on current events, I’d say the Dolphins could better use a three-day Find A Left Tackle Camp.

4. MARLINS

Struggling Fish away on season-long, 10-game road trip: Giancarlo Stanton is out injured again, the team slugging percentage of .315 is on pace to be worst in majors since 1963, and Fish this week were first team since 1981 to start a lineup that had zero home runs this far into a season. Otherwise, though, the Great Payroll Slash is lookin’ good!

5. KENTUCKY DERBY

As we begin pretending Triple Crown drought might finally end: Florida Derby winner Orb, the betting favorite over Verrazano and Goldencents in Saturday’s 139th Kentucky Derby that kicks off Triple Crown season, became the shortest-named winner since Zev in 1923. This has been me faking horse racing expertise. (Thanks, Google!)

gcote@miamiherald.com

Doesn’t it seem like forever since the Heat last played a playoff game in quickly sweeping Milwaukee in the first round?

I don’t wanna say it’s been awhile, but Vladimir and Estragon waited for Godot in Samuel Beckett’s 1953 play less time than I have waited for Miami’s playoff run to resume.

The idle-time mustache that Shane Battier cultivated during the break between games? It’s now a full-length ZZ Top beard.

You know Julia Dale, the cute little girl who sings the national anthem at Heat home playoff games? She’s now a married mother of five.

Here’s how long it’s been since the previous playoff game: the Heat Dancers are now the Golden Oldies.

In 1965, the Kinks wrote Tired Of Waiting. Heat fans can relate.

Now, on Monday night, at last, the second round begins here against the survivor of Saturday night’s Game 7 between Chicago and Brooklyn. Only one could win, but Miami couldn’t lose either way.

The Heat dominated the Nets during the regular season, while the Bulls are missing their best player and also are physically banged up elsewhere. Miami would be a huge favorite over either.

Chris Bosh said this week, There is no such thing as an easy road to a championship.” Hmm. I don’t know.

If there is an easy road to a championship, it seems like the rested Heat might have found it and are purring along it with the top down.

The light on that road had been red for a laborious week. On Monday, finally, it turns green again.

• Update: Brandon Jennings is now saying he misquoted himself and that he actually meant the Bucks would beat the Heat in six games if they met next season.

• Happy Cinco de Mayo, everybody! Non-imbibers refer to this as a “drinker’s holiday.” The rest of us refer to this as “a day ending in ‘y.’ ”

• The Panthers are watching as the NHL playoffs are under way. A team from Canada, where hockey was born, last won the Stanley Cup in 1993. “That reminder is not helping our self-esteem issues,” said Canada.

• In a lottery this week, the Panthers won the second overall pick in the upcoming NHL draft. They are expected to select someone you’ve never heard of from a Canadian junior team with a funny name.

• A Chicago hockey reporter was fired by Comcast after saying in a live report that the Blackhawks had enjoyed “such a tremendous amount of sex during the regular season.” She meant to say “success.” Although, knowing hockey players, what she did say might also have been accurate.

• The Marlins’ Juan Pierre had his 600th career steal. You know how Vine, a new mobile app, lets you create 6-second videos? The 2013 Marlins might be the only team to share their season highlights on Vine.

• I really must get my eyes reexamined. Just looked at the baseball stats and thought I saw ex-Marlin John Buck leading the National League in RBI.

• Sentences I Never Thought I’d Write (one in a series): Mike Piazza performed for one night only with the Miami City Ballet.

• In college baseball, Miami’s 40-year streak of making the NCAA regional playoffs could be in jeopardy. Hope this is a mistake, but I just Googled “thin ice” and saw a picture of Jim Morris.

•  Floyd Mayweather Jr. was favored to win Saturday night’s boxing match in Las Vegas. Given his jail time for domestic battery last year, it was good to see Floyd hitting a man this time.

• New Orleans’ NBA name change to Pelicans became official. I guess all the even more embarrassing nicknames like Dodo Birds already were taken.

• Anybody else find it strange that Jason Collins saying he’s gay was national news and Brittney Griner saying she’s gay barely caused a ripple? Heck, Griner is even the better player.

• A player from FIU was selected in the NFL Draft earlier than the first Hurricane taken. “Yep, seeing definite signs of frost down here,” said a spokesman from Hell.

UM has a two-sport athlete (point guard, receiver) who is fabulously named Corn Elder. I hear he comes from good stalk. (Sorry.)

•  Chad Johnson spent an evening partying with an out of work homeless man he’d met. No, wise guy, it was not Tim Tebow.

• Played in a charity golf tournament last week at Jacaranda. Had no luck in the closest-to-the-pin contest, but I did win closest-to-the-beer.

• TV cameras caught Rangers manager Ron Washington smoking in the dugout. Given Ron’s past cocaine issues, let’s just hope it was tobacco he was smoking.

• The Canes’ rowing team appears in the latest NCAA regional rankings, surprising analysts unaware there were regional rankings or, for that matter, a UM rowing team.

• The NRA sponsored a recent NASCAR event. It’s amazing. When racecars are going past you at 160 mph, you barely notice the gun racks.

•  Mike Tyson was on stage in Miami recently to share his life story in a revealing one-man show. Not positive, but I think the show was entitled, “Lend Me Your Half-Eaten Ear.”

• Racing has returned to Calder, which advertises itself as “20 minutes from anywhere.” Believing it, a man from Buffalo, N.Y., left his home Saturday for the track and missed the first post by three and a half days.

• The 2004 World Series of Poker winner, Greg Raymer, was arrested in Wake Forest, N.C., in a prostitution sting. One seeks companionship when one discovers having a good hand is not enough.

• Answer: Phil Mickelson, who made more than $45 million last year, complained how much he pays in taxes. Question: What is the least-successful play for sympathy you’ve heard lately?

• Red Wings prospect Riley Sheahan was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving while dressed as Tinky Winky, the purple Teletubbie. Life’s lesson: How NOT to be dressed when claiming sobriety.

•  Parting thought: The Redskins’ nickname is under fire again. Am trying to think of a suitable replacement that would reflect the great heritage and legacy of the American Indian, but Washington Casino Operators seems a bit unwieldy.

Visit Greg’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily at MiamiHerald.com and follow on Twitter @gregcote.

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