RANDOM EVIDENCE OF A CLUTTERED MIND

Greg Cote: Naked truth is Giancarlo Stanton gimmick might help Miami Marlins

 
WEB VOTE What are you most looking forward to in sports in July?

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Today: Canes in the NBA Draft. Shane Larkin this week became the 19th former UM player selected in the NBA Draft, a list that started with Dick Miani in 1956. The five highest-drafted Canes based on overall selection:

Player Selected Year, team
Rick Barry2nd1965, Warriors
Shane Larkin18th2013, Hawks*
Mike McCoy21st1963, Pistons
Tim James25th1999, Heat
John Salmons26th2002, Spurs

*The Atlanta Hawks drafted Larkin but he wound up with the Dallas Mavericks in a trade from Atlanta.


WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT

1. HEAT: Riley plots what’s next in afterglow of second title in a row: Club president Pat Riley said he hopes to keep the roster together. He likened the thrill of his team being chased to the 1960s TV drama “The Fugitive,” in which a one-armed man is chased. Riley briefly pondered asking LeBron James to play with one arm before thinking better of it.

2. AARON HERNANDEZ: Patriots release tight end after murder charge: Hernandez is booted out of the league and held without bail on a first-degree murder charge in the alleged killing of a friend with whom he had a dispute — his once-bright career effectively in ruins. There’s nothing funny when our silly games turn into the worst kind of reality.

3. MARLINS: Team seeks to continue surge (relatively speaking): Miami began the season 13-41 but has since gone 14-9, including 10 comeback wins entering this weekend. The Miami Herald ran a big story on fans who remain loyal despite a hated owner and massive payroll cuts. I have no reason to believe rumors that those “fans” were portrayed by actors.

4. PANTHERS: Cats have No. 2 pick in Sunday’s NHL Draft: Confetti is barely done falling after the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup win but already the league moves on. An ESPN mock draft predicted Florida’s No. 2 overall pick would be left wing Jonathan Drouin from Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Major Junior? Make up your mind, please.

5. TENNIS: Wild, wild Wimbledon reaches midway point: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova led seven former top-ranked players bounced from Wimbledon in the first few days that left Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams the biggest names standing. But other things were NOT surprising. For example, all the U.S. men played poorly.


gcote@MiamiHerald.com

ESPN The Magazine’s annual “The Body” issue dated July 12 will be out next week, and word has leaked that this year’s parade of nudies will include Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, among an eclectic array of athletes also including 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, tennis star Agnieszka Radwanska and a man I’d pay big money to not see naked, 77-year-old golfer Gary Player.

You know “The Body” issue, right? It’s where ESPN celebrates the athletic form, or, put another way, shamelessly panders to prurient interest in order to make more money. Athletes are photographed au natural but with their private parts artfully and strategically (if barely) covered.

Stanton seems a natural choice. People of both genders have told me he is sculpted, statuesque and built like a Greek god.

He is the club’s second player to pose, following then-Marlin Hanley Ramirez, who in 2011 was positioned behind an ironing board in a hotel room. The shocking thing about that photo was not that he wore no clothes, but rather the implication that Hanley actually ironed his own shirts.

In other Marlins news, the team was 14-9 the past month entering this weekend but had actually seen a dip in crowds during the upswing, dragging overall season attendance to an MLB-worst average of 17,211.

Hmm. What on Earth might increase Marlins crowds? Let me think …

[Visual of light bulb going on.]

Got it! Bring Stanton straight from the pages of ESPN The Magazine to the ballpark: Buffball!

Wait. Am I suggesting Stanton play every game naked the rest of the season just to draw crowds?

Whoa. Of course not! That would be ridiculous.

Only in the field would he be completely nude.

While batting, we’d let him keep the protective cup.

•  Shane Larkin went 18th in the NBA Draft, second-highest a Cane ever had been selected. The night could only have gone better for Shane if he’d been dissuaded from wearing that light blue polka-dot bowtie.

•  Tim Hardaway Jr. went a few spots later to the New York Knicks, of all teams. During his Heat days, father Tim Sr. once said, “I hate the Knicks with all the hate you can hate with.” Although maybe that sentence ended with, “…unless they want to pay my son crazy money!”

• The Heat had no pick but traded for Atlanta’s second-round choice, 6-7 James Ennis from Long Beach State. That’s one more guy to leap ahead of Jarvis Varnado. If poor Jarvis gets any farther down the bench he’d be out of the building entirely.

•  Dwyane Wade appeared on Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night show one day after Chris Bosh appeared with Conan O’Brien. I heard MVP LeBron James was holding out for his own talk show.

• A major NBA trade saw longtime Celtics Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce going to the Brooklyn Nets. Brooklyn executives made the move after deciding the team needed to get a lot more old and creaky.

• Heat owner Micky Arison stepped down after 34 years as CEO of Carnival Corp. To help launch the new phase of his life, I shattered a bottle of champagne across Arison’s midsection. The gesture was not received as well as I’d hoped.

•  Floyd Mayweather Jr. told a Chicago radio station he thinks LeBron is better than Michael Jordan. OK at last we got that settled!

• It’s Spain against Brazil on Sunday in Rio de Janeiro in a dream Confederations Cup soccer final. My favorite thing about the matchup? That Brazil has a prominent player who goes by, simply: Fred.

• Oregon football got a wrist-slap with three years’ probation but no bowl ban. Dare Miami Hurricanes fans’ hope the NCAA continues to lean to lenience?

• Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez appeared in a homemade Internet video exposing his backside. Remember the good old days when Mark’s biggest embarrassments occurred on a football field?

• Dolphins owner Stephen Ross created a super political action committee to attack three local legislators who opposed his stadium renovation. Steve, how ’bout you pour that money and energy into renovating the stadium on your own? I’m just sayin’.

• The Yankees held their Old-Timers Day. Wait. Based on that roster, isn’t every day Old-Timers Day in the Bronx?

• The Tour de France is under way. Meantime, shamed Lance Armstrong, stripped of his seven titles for doping, said he still considers himself the event’s record winner. Sure, Lance. Yeah. And the guy who robs banks earned that money!

• Headlines I Never Imagined Seeing (one in a series): “ Joe Torre’s daughter catches falling baby.”

• Sentences I Never Imagined Writing (one in a series): Patriots owner Robert Kraft has accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of stealing his Super Bowl ring.

•  Parting thought: Bill Parcells said he regrets how his Patriots tenure ended. Dear Tuna, your departure from Miami didn’t exactly set any records, either.

Visit Greg’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily at MiamiHerald.com and follow on Twitter @gregcote, on Instagram/upsetbird and on Vine/Greg Cote.

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    It’s no surprise that Tony Dungy’s comments this week about Michael Sam — comments that on the surface seemed more benign than inflammatory — have created such a national tempest. Sports are a Petri dish for argument and debate under any circumstances, and when you add the politics of religion and gay issues to the mix, the chances of a quietly civil discussion have pretty much left the building.

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    We felt rejected and dejected. We felt sorrow and shock. We felt disappointment and loss. We felt appreciation and anger. There was no right way for Heat fans to feel, no easy consensus when LeBron James announced Miami was just a temporary stop on his way back home.

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