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Sports Agenda For Wednesday (12/7/11)

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(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Miami Marlins
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Holiday Season

Big Story:
So, um, you heard about this guy named Pujols? The Marlins chances of signing him I think may be slipping away. The Heat’s schedule is out and all I can say is OUCH! And, if you’re like me and think Nick Saban is a tool, I’ve got a story for you.
Let’s drop this agenda faster than Rick Perry’s poll numbers.

Miami Marlins/Albert Pujols
We’re all clear on the potential paramaters of the contract offered by the Marlins to Pujols.
It’s for 10-years and around $200-220 million.
The Cardinals have since offered him a 10-year, $220 million contract as well. (Thanks for the linkage Alex.)
Now things are going to get really interesting for Pujols.
He faces a crossroads in his career that few athletes ever will.
If he re-signs with the Cardinals, they are pretty much unable to make any significant changes to add players around him for the next several years. But, he’ll be the savior of St. Louis and be revered for decades in Missouri baseball lore.
If he signs with the Marlins, he puts himself in a position that could open up hundreds of millions of dollars in Latin American endorsements to add on to a contract roughly the same as what the Cards are offering.
But, if he comes to Miami, his legacy in St. Louis will be destroyed and they will thank him for playing there but always be bitter for not ending his career there.
Tough call huh.
The Cardinals’ offer was sent to Pujols’ agent early Tuesday afternoon.
So Pujols is now the linchpin of two organizations’ plans.
Pujols is expected to make a decision soon, but it has to be fast if you’re the Marlins.
If the team whiffs on Pujols, which all things being equal contract wise I think they will, then they have to move on to other players.
Namely, the Marlins will target starting pitcher C.J. Wilson and possibly Mark Buehrle.
Both can be had for what Pujols will cost and for shorter terms.
Plus, in this league, it’s all about pitching.
But if the Marlins land Pujols, they will stop their pursuit of Wilson and Buehrle.
By the way, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is the driving force behind the pursuit of Wilson.
From a marketing standpoint, it’s easy to see why the Marlins want Pujols. From a baseball standpoint, it’d be wiser to go after quality pitching.
So that’s the conundrum facing the Marlins right now.
They are in hurry up and wait mode, as am I.
I’ll keep you up to date on cbsmiami.com/sports all day.

Miami Heat:
The schedule makers were not kind to the Miami Heat, but that shouldn’t surprise any Heat fans.
The Heat’s schedule was released last night and there’s some doozies in there for the Heat.
The team opens on the road in Dallas and then comes home to play the Celtics.
January is the kindest month to the Heat.
They play 11 homes games and just six games away from the friendly confines of the AmericanAirlines Arena.
The Heat welcome in the Spurs and Lakers two days apart in mid-January and also get the Knicks and Bulls at home at the end of January.
Then the schedule toughens up.
The Heat play Orlando twice in February and play a back-to-back-to-back road series against Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Indiana.
Not murderers row, but still tough on any team.
In March, the Heat go on the road for three games to start the month against Portland, Utah, and the Lakers.
They also play at Orlando, at Chicago in back to back games, and play Oklahoma City on March 25.
As the regular season closes out, the Heat play at Boston on April Fool’s day and then come home for a five game home stand.
They play at Chicago and at New York in mid-April and play their final home game against the Rockets on April 22.
The Heat end the season on a two-game road trip to Boston and Washington at the end of April.
If the Heat can start fast in January, they can get good momentum heading into the toughest months in February and March.
Now, as for players for the Heat.
It’s tough to say, but based on his comments yesterday, Mike Miller thinks he’s going to be back with the Heat this season.
I can’t understand why, and normally I trust Pat Riley, but this one still doesn’t make much sense.
It’ll be much better to dump Miller and get Battier to help space the floor and defend the ball.
I still think, and some other writers are starting to agree with me, that the Heat will go after Kwame Brown as a big, physical body down low.
Look, they’re not signing Nene or Sam Dalembert, so Brown is at least a serviceable option who could come cheap.
Friday can’t get here soon enough so we can finally start seeing some movement on the free agency front!
A quick note about NBA amnesty:
Amnesty lets a team dump a bad contract off their books, but will stll force the team to pay the player the full amount of the contract unless another team bids more than the bad contract. Teams can sign amnestied players based on a waivers process that gives team under the salary cap first dibs on the amnestied players.
Here’s how it will work: (h/t to SI.com)

  • Team will not be able to use the amnesty provision on a player acquired in a trade going forward. (So, if the Magic traded Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkoglu and his awful contract to Los Angeles, the Lakers can’t amnesty Turkoglu.
  • Teams can’t use a new “stretch” provision on players they pick up through the amnesty process.
  • If a team bids on a player in the amnesty waiver process, it is bidding on the full length of his contract, not just the first season. So, if a team bid on Gilbert Arenas, you pick up the remaining years of his contract for the salary you bid.

Confused? Yeah, me too.
Basically, the Heat will have to be under the salary cap to get in early on the bidding.
Otherwise, they have to wait for no one to bid on an amnestied player in the waiver process and then that player becomes and unrestricted free agent and can sign with anyone.
I think I gave myself a headache with that one.

Nick Saban:
Yes, we all know about the Nicktator. We all hate the Nicktator. We all loathe Nick Satan.
But this story takes it to a completely new level.
This morning while listening to former Dolphins Heath Evans make an appearance on the Jorge Sedano Show on 790 the Ticket, he relayed a story that literally made my jaw hit the floor.
Evans said that when Saban was here and the team started two-a-days, a Dolphins lineman came in after the second practice and collapsed in the floor and began vomiting, eyes were rolling back in his head, and was convulsing.
Evans and others tried to pick the lineman, whose name I can’t remember, up and get him to the training room and team doctors.
They got about halfway there and had to set him down for a second because he was well above 300 pounds.
Saban is coming towards them and literally stepped over the seriously ill lineman and walks away to his office!?!?!!
Saban called a team meeting later and said that the captain of the ship, referring to himself, can’t show fear or something along those lines and that’s why he went to his office.
Seriously.
Look, I don’t care if you’re the president of the United States, if you see a man potentially dying in front of you, YOU STOP AND HELP.
It just reinforced my thoughts on Saban, which weren’t positive to begin with.
Look, Saban is a great x’s-and-o’s coach. But he has no business leading a team for any reason. Period.
I’m glad I’ve never been a fan of a team he was coaching.
I’d cheer for Cam Cameron ahead of Nick Saban….and that’s saying something to Dolphins fans.

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