I think most would agree its been a pretty big past week for sports news here in Greater Miami. I mean, the Dolphins started to blow things up by jettisoning unpopular general manager Jeff Ireland. Al Golden stayed at UM by turning down the Penn State job he might or might not have actually been offered. The Heat and LeBron James continued to be the Heat and LeBron James.
But what was everybody here talking about as the weekend approached?
Dan Le Batards baseball Hall of Fame ballot.
And with good reason!
The Dolphins shakeup was expected, Golden staying isnt really news, per se, and weve become comfortably numb with the Heats NBA excellence, reminding ourselves to start paying real attention come the Eastern Conference finals.
So, thank you, Dan, because rarely does something come along as sublime and ridiculous as Ballotgate, the Cooperstown controversy, the baseball brouhaha!
You might know by now that Le Batard the ESPN TV and radio personality and itinerant Miami Herald columnist made national headlines late this week when it became known he gave his Cooperstown ballot to the website Deadspin, in protest of a voting electorate that continues (unfairly, he thinks) to not vote in the Steroids Era players.
Rounds of media interviews ensued. The BBWAA stripped Le Batard of his vote. It was publicity gold for Deadspin and Le Batard, not to mention an easy column top for me.
I must say and I love Le Batard like a kid brother; weve been friends for 20 years, until this column there have been protests somewhat more righteous than the understandably lonely cause of sports most infamous cheaters.
Laying down in front of a tank at Tiananmen Square now thats a protest! Standing up for Barry Bonds? Not so much.
(I love that Le Batard decries the sanctimony of voters like me who dont vote for the steroids guys. Almost as if it is the voters fault and not the cheaters fault.)
Anyway, Le Batard has inspired me.
Therefore, in protest of a noble cause to be named later, I gave this Random Evidence column to my neighbor, Ned Farquar.
So if its even worse than usual, blame Ned.
• I looked it up in a book of etiquette. If anybody still wishes you a Happy New Year from this point forward, you may slap them.
• Hearing from a lot of Dolfans either feeling cheated or suffering withdrawal symptoms. With longtime punching bag Jeff Ireland suddenly gone, where does all the anger and frustration go!? Meantime, the Dolphins continue to interview general manager candidates whom fans and media have never heard of but have a strong opinion about, anyway.
• FSU fans are still celebrating their win over Auburn for the final BCS-era national championship. College football fans, like Dolfans with Ireland, will miss not having the BCS to kick around. Complaint: Its the Guilty Pleasure!
• The UM mens basketball team nearly pulled off an upset at No. 2 Syracuse, and then won at North Carolina. OK, Jim Larrañaga. You beat visiting Florida State on Wednesday, we start paying attention. Deal?
• James, 29, got carded last week in an Orlando hotel, evidently by the only bartender in America who has not had access to a television, the Internet or the outside world the past 10-plus years.
• The Heat played a game Thursday night at the Knicks against an opponent ( J.R. Smith) fined for untying an opponents shoelaces, then played Friday at the Nets on nickname jerseys night. When did the NBA become clown school?
• Speaking of clowns, Dennis Rodman was back in North Korea.
• Ray Allen and Spike Lee are discussing reprising Allens Jesus Shuttlesworth role in a sequel to He Got Game, despite the slightest inkling of public demand.
• Former pro wrestler Ric Flair gave a pregame pep talk to the 49ers before they beat the Packers last week. Which helps explain Aaron Rodgers being hit over the head with that folding metal chair.
• In Panthers news, Ed Jovanovski returned from hip surgery and rookie Aleksander Barkov made Finlands Olympic team. These are things that pass the time when not headed for the playoffs.
• The Australian Open, the tennis seasons first major, begins Monday. Just for fun, lets go through the pretense of acting as if any woman other than Serena Williams might have a chance.
• And in todays Battle of Strange College Coaching Moves, its Louisville rehiring Bobby Petrino, who left Arkansas in disgrace after a motorcycle crash with his mistress on board, against Penn State of all schools hiring James Franklin, who had four of his Vanderbilt players arrested for rape.
• Johnny Manziel is turning pro. NFL sackers already are savoring the ostentatiousness of that nickname Johnny Football in anticipating their first meeting.
• Evander Holyfield is in trouble for comparing homosexuality to a disability and calling it treatable. Having had part of an ear bitten off, I guess he couldnt hear how dumb that sounded.
• Floyd Mayweather Jr. keeps betting and winning big on sports. Poor fella only made $85 million boxing last year. Thank goodness for that added income.
• The WNBAs Los Angeles Sparks are in peril after their ownership group gave up control. Thats crazy. How can any so-called major sports league not have a team in L.A.! said the NFL.
• A horse named Commissioner is being touted as an early serious threat to win the Triple Crown, which means youd want to bet heavily against it.
• Sports Name of the Week Challenge: Today, Thai golfer Pornanong Phatlum takes on Swiss bobsledder Beat Hefti.
• Parting thought: As the Sochi Olympics in Russia draw nearer, security concerns intensify. One suggestion? Let every competitor carry a gun during competition instead of just biathletes.
Visit Gregs Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily at MiamiHerald.com and follow on Twitter @gregcote, Instagram/upsetbird, Vine/Greg Cote and Facebook/Greg Cote.