Random Evidence of a Cluttered Mind, your Sunday notes column flying under the banner, “Make Fun, Not War,” is pleased to be back after a nine-week summer hiatus. We were last on this page June 15, when the NBA Finals still were going on and the soccer World Cup had just started.
I left you all in charge, with explicit instructions, of making sure the United States won the World Cup and that LeBron James re-signed with the Heat.
How’d you do?
Nine weeks later I return to find people dumping buckets of ice on their heads wherever I look. I thought it was some sort of bizarre mourning ritual by Heat fans lamenting LeBron’s departure, but it turns out it’s a fundraiser for ALS.
Sports’ dog days of summer are still with us. Evidence: the weekend’s biggest story is Sunday’s Little League World Series championship game. Although I hear it might be canceled because of media sensation Mo’ne Davis not being in it.
The 13-year-old became the first girl to win a game as a pitcher in the LLWS, and the first Little League player ever to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated, after which the famed SI Cover Jinx immediately crushed poor Mo’ne and ruined the entire event.
The dogs days officially end as football soon begins.
Locally, the Dolphins seek to make the playoffs for only second time since NFL’s 2002 realignment, while the Hurricanes entered the weekend still uncertain who their starting quarterback would be.
For me the Canes’s QB choice should be clear. You want someone with a strong arm, right? You want someone who will generate attention and excitement, right? OK. Two words for you:
• The arrival of Johnny Manziel and return of James have made it a wonderful time to be a sports fan in Cleveland. It could only be better if being a sports fan in Cleveland did not entail having to, you know, live in Cleveland.
• Manziel, after a middle-finger gesture during a game and then losing the Browns starting job to Brian Hoyer, said, “I need to earn everything.” Fans unaccustomed to any hint of maturity from Manziel wondered if he was OK.
• Predictionmachine.com computers put the Dolphins’ playoff chances at 26.1 percent and the shot at winning Super Bowl at 0.4 percent. Shouldn’t there be a law that you can’t rain on a parade before the parade has even started?
• My reaction when told Dolphins had signed Brady Quinn: Did general manager Dennis Hickey lose a bet?
• The Dolphins continue to talk to Dan Marino about a front-office position that would be more than a figurehead role but have little real authority. Suggested title: Senior Vice President of Good Old Days.
• Contestants on TV’s new season of The Biggest Loser, the weight-loss show, include former NFL QB Scott Mitchell. So, yes, it may now be said: I once wrote that the Dolphins should trade Marino for a man who weighs 366 pounds.
• The Marlins lead MLB in walk-off wins, one-run wins and games won on the last at-bat. If it isn’t an oxymoron, they might be The Most Exciting .500 Team In History!
• Tiger Woods told Rory McIlroy that he, not McIlroy, would win the 2015 Masters. Pretty feisty for a guy who hasn’t won a major since 2008.
• It’s now called “Howard Schnellenberger Field at FAU Stadium.” That’s a nice sort-of honor. The entire stadium should have been named after him. He built it, after all.
• The UM men’s basketball team was 4-0 in exhibitions on an “educational” tour of Spain. What the players learned was it’s good to play at a private university that can afford to send its team on a tour of Spain.
• UM football coach Al Golden had his Canes players take “mindfulness” training sessions with neuroscientist Amishi Jha. Fans hope that amid the tranquility, players will remain mindful of blocking and tackling.
• The Panthers’ new coach is named Gerard Gallant. What are the odds one market would have two of its most prominent coaches named Gallant and Golden?
• Maybe it’s because the Atlanta Falcons are bad and boring, but this year’s HBO Hard Knocks series should be called Hard to Watch.
• Team USA opens play next weekend in the FIBA World Cup in Spain, although with all the NBA stars who are not participating, I’d call it B-Team USA.
• The WNBA playoffs are under way, surprising analysts who had forgotten the league still existed. I kid. Only wish I were kidding about this: Five of the eight WNBA playoff teams have losing records.
• Sentences I Never Imagined Writing (one in a series): “UCF’s season opener in Ireland against Penn State next week could be in peril because of a possible volcanic eruption in Iceland.”
• Parting thought: This week marks 25th anniversary of Pete Rose’s lifetime ban from baseball for gambling. Not sure he learned his lesson. I hear he’s betting on his reinstatement at 4-1 odds.
Visit Greg’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily at MiamiHerald.com and follow on Twitter @gregcote and also on Facebook, Instagram and Vine.
Today: Marlins sluggers. Giancarlo Stanton had 121 combined home runs (32) and RBI (89) with 36 games to play entering Friday. The best seasons in club history for most combined homers and RBI, and how Stanton ranks among all-time top five based on average per games played:
|Gary Sheffield (1996)||1.000162||42/120|
|Giancarlo Stanton (2014)||0.960121||32/89|
|Miguel Cabrera (2007)||0.944153||34/119|
|Preston Wilson (2000)||0.938152||31/121|
|Miguel Cabrera (2005)||0.920149||33/116|
|Carlos Delgado (2005)||0.914148||33/115|