Let’s start in 1859. No, wise guy, that was not the year I started at The Miami Herald. That was the year the great Charles Dickens began his novel A Tale of Two Cities with, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times ”
Those words occurred to me this week as I fathomed the juxtaposition of Miami sports’ own best and worst, LeBron James’ Heat and Jeffrey Loria’s Marlins. No other city has such an extreme of polar opposites as our reigning basketball King and despised baseball Diablo.
I must apologize for even mentioning Loria in the same sentence as LeBron. It’s as if I’m spooning dog poo onto the plate beside the filet mignon.
James was trying Saturday to get the Heat into a third consecutive NBA Finals and win a second championship in a row, while the Marlins — decimated once more by Loria — were on pace to lose even more than the 120 games that infamously branded the 1962 Mets.
James, talking about how he had to take over and do so much himself Thursday in Game 5 against the Pacers, had said it was like he “went back to my Cleveland days.” Heat fans had to shudder, hoping that what he said might not be taken literally after next season, when he would be free to leave.
That’s something else that separates James and Loria to the extreme.
We pray one man stays.
The other can’t leave soon enough.• Marlins wives lost to Rays wives in an annual fun game. On a brighter note, the Marlins wives then went out and defeated their husbands.
• Nationals manager Davey Johnson isn’t shaving until his team ends its hitting slump. Imagine if Marlins manager Mike Redmond had said that early this season? He’d be tripping over his beard by now.
• OK, enough making fun of the Marlins. No, wait! One more: The Marlins called up veteran utilityman Ed Lucas after he had spent 10 years in the minors. I wonder if he could tell the difference.
• Miamian Tony Kanaan won his first Indianapolis 500 last week. “I’m speechless,” he said, adding, “this is it. I made it, man!” So I guess he wasn’t speechless, after all.
• Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. spent part of his Memorial Day weekend in Miami, arriving in a $2 million customized armored truck and reportedly making $100,000 rain at a local strip club. Me? I spent the holiday barbecuing hot dogs.
• The Belmont Stakes is in six days, always of diminished interest when no Triple Crown is in play. I believe the early favorite horse is Who Gives a Crap at 3-1.
• The Dolphins have been having practices called OTAs, or Organized Team Activity days. I love that phrase. Makes it sound like summer camp and today they’re all making log cabins out of popsicle sticks.
• The 2014 NFL Draft will be a bit later, early May instead of late April. I’d just as soon they make it earlier, not televise it, and keep the location and selections a secret.
• David Beckham, in town exploring a possible future MLS team in Miami, attended the Heat game but was a no-show at a soccer rally outside the arena. #BlowItLikeBeckham.
• UM’s long-awaited NCAA hearing is in mid-June. Can’t wait. Because the end of it means we can start never seeing Nevin Shapiro quoted, talked about or referred to in any way whatsoever, ever again.
• Sentences I Never Imagined Writing (one in a series): Transgender fighter Fallon Fox, born a man, won her MMA bout in Miami against an opponent who entered ring to Aerosmith’s Dude Looks Like a Lady.
• The WNBA season started. Shh! That’s between us.
• Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning sends handwritten letters to retiring players he admires. “Peyton drops back, he’s got a man open deep he’s going longhand!”
• The New York Daly News reported Mark Sanchez said he is “planning on starting” this season. Bulletin: Nobody but Jets fans cares about that team’s quarterback situation.
• Members of Congress have urged the Redskins to change their nickname. In turn, the general public has urged members of Congress to stop with the silly [bleep] and actually DO something.
• The Williams sisters dropped out of French Open doubles play, which would be disappointing if anyone but people who play doubles cared about doubles.
• Nike dropped shamed cheater Lance Armstrong and his Livestrong charity. I’d have preferred Nike to drop-kick him.
• Answer: Notre Dame starting quarterback Everett Golson will miss the season for academic reasons. Question: Do you think that whole “luck o’ the Irish” thing is real?
• Barry won the NCAA Division II national championship in men’s golf. I’d like to congratulate him.
• Burger King is test-marketing hands-free Whopper holders. “Well, I had a nice run, but my time as the Most Unnecessary Product seems to be ending,” said the Electric Toothbrush.
• Golf is outlawing those long, anchored putters that many pros use. I wish golf would outlaw the putter I use that’s always three-putting greens.
• Parting thought: The San Antonio Spurs have been waiting and waiting to find out which team will be their NBA Finals opponent, getting rest and getting older. I don’t wanna say Tim Duncan is old, but when James Naismith was hunting around for a hoop, it was Tim who handed him a peach basket.
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.