A six-pack of Canes and Marlins notes on a Tuesday:
• UM athletic director Blake James offered a post-Hurricane Irma update on a few issues by phone on Tuesday morning:
1) With the campus closed until next Monday, UM, at this point, hasn’t decided whether the football team will practice this week. No practice has been scheduled, and James said there has been no discussion of using the Dolphins’ facility or any other facility.
“That’s still not something we’re focused on; we’re focused on the well being of the staff and help,” James said, noting UM isn’t playing until Sept. 23 against Toledo and a normal week of preparation would begin the Sunday night before the game.
2) James said though he hasn’t been on campus this week, there’s no indication of damage to any UM on-campus athletic facilities.
“I get updates every day,” he said. “We haven’t gotten into specifics of individual athletic facilities. Based on the fact I haven’t gotten any negative news, I believe the [athletic] structures will be OK structurally.”
3) He said he was given no indication of start times for the rescheduled games - Oct. 7 at FSU and Oct. 14 vs. Georgia Tech.
James said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if FSU is a night game - which would have been the case if it had been played this coming Saturday - but received no word on that.
With the Georgia Tech game, which was moved from a Thursday night to a Saturday, “it will depend on what Tech is doing and what we’re doing.”
• One UM official said quarterback Malik Rosier failed to see Jeff Thomas on a couple of passes that could have gone a long way in the opener against Bethune Cookman. But UM believes Rosier played well in the opener and remains encouraged about how he will fare as the starter this season.
Overall, Rosier has “come a long way in how he thinks,” Mark Richt said on WQAM’s Hurricane Hotline. “And ability to be a more disciplined player is what won him the job. He’s more machine-like in how he thinks and progresses” through plays.
Richt essentially said that Rosier will no longer try to go outside the boundaries of the offense when he wishes.
Another key is that he has curtailed mistakes.
Rosier quit baseball, where he didn’t get much playing time, a couple years ago but Richt said “I never said a word to him about not playing baseball.”
And with the postponement of UM-FSU until Oct. 7, Rosier gets in another game in (against Toledo) before facing ACC opponents in Duke and Florida State, both on the road.
• UM basketball players were in Atlanta during the hurricane, working out at Georgia State’s facility. Meanwhile, Lonnie Walker continues to recover well from knee surgery and remains on track to play in the opener.
• One person who has been involved as an investor in the Derek Jeter/Bruce Sherman group that’s buying the Marlins said they mentioned to him, earlier this summer, about the possibility of hiring agent Casey Close, Jeter’s longtime friend and agent.
Close hasn’t said if he would be interested, and Jeter and Sherman have declined to comment to reporters since buying the team, pending MLB approval.
So whether Close would even be interested in a high-ranking business position with the team is unclear. But there have been agents who have left to run the businesses of teams – Jeff Moorad (involved in ownership with the Arizona Diamondbacks previously) and Arn Tellum (Detroit Pistons).
Former agent Bob Myers has been the Golden State Warriors’ GM during this stretch of enormous success. And agent Rob Pelinka was hired as the Lakers’ general manager earlier this year.
Jeter intends to run the team’s baseball side but he and Sherman are looking for someone on the business side to take over for president David Samson, who isn’t expected to be retained.
Though Sherman and Jeter met with Marlins department heads this past week, employees still don’t know which are keeping their jobs.
• Jeter has high regard for Ichiro Suzuki, and with Suzuki’s second half surge, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Marlins offer him a new contract. Suzuki, 43, has said that he wants to keep playing. Jeter previously authored a glowing piece about Ichiro in The Players Tribune. He’s hitting .328 since the All-Star break after batting .220 before that.
• The Marlins are expected to try to trade Martin Prado this offseason, and if that happens, Brian Andersen will have every opportunity to win the third base job.
Andersen, who had a terrific year in the minors, has been decent in his first couple weeks in the majors.
He has struck out too often (10 times in 40 plate appearances), but that isn’t surprising for a young player.
But he also has nine hits (including a double) and five walks and is hitting .257 in 10 games, with a .350 on-base percentage.
Defensively, he has handled all 13 of his chances without an error.
Anderson hit .275, with 22 homers and 81 RBI in 120 games for two minor league teams this season, at Double A and Triple A.
Trading Prado will be difficult; he is due $13.5 and $15 million the next two seasons. He hit .250 in 37 games during an injury-marred 2017 season.
Here’s my Tuesday Dolphins piece on Jakeem Grant, one of the most enjoyable stories from Dolphins’ preseason, and the back story on how he has improved as a receiver, plus some eye-opening quotes.