Reporting Tim Kephart
The Marlins end a miserable first half of the season, the Miami Heat sign Ray-Ray and look to add more bodies to the mix, and we’re at T-minus 18 days until the Miami Dolphins open training camp.
Quote of the Day:
“It is just as important that business keep out of government as that government keep out of business.” – President Herbert Hoover.
Miami Marlins: (All-Star Break)
The Miami Marlins started the year with a shiny new $100 million payroll and several new players added to supposedly usher in a new era in Marlins history.
So where are the Marlins at this year’s All-Star break?
Basically the same place they were last year: under .500 (41-44) and out of the pennant race in the NL East.
Meantime, manager Ozzie Guillen’s former team in Chicago…yeah, they’re in first place.
The Fish’s problem has been the same place it’s been the last several years, the bullpen.
I don’t want to say that Heath Bell has been a bust, but he just called Jamarcus Russell for advice. (kidding)
I don’t know what his problem is, but I’d avoid having him close a game for anything.
Jose Reyes has been a shell of his hitting self from last year, but at least he’s been healthy.
Giancarlo Stanton is out until early August after surgery on his knee.
In other words, the Marlins’ hopes of hitting around 2.6 million attendance this year is in serious jeopardy.
In just one month, they have to compete with the Dolphins, FIU, FAU, and UM football.
I don’t care how nice your stadium is, if you’re not winning in this town, people aren’t going.
Look for the Marlins to start dropping prices for games by mid-August if the team is still down.
If you want to know how bad the Marlins have been, this just about sums it up for you.
3rd Baseman Hanley Ramirez is injured….after punching a cooling fan and cutting his finger.
The Closer, aka Pat Riley, pulled in Ray Allen on Friday and now he’s looking around some more.
Rashard Lewis spent a lot of time in Miami yesterday and left with a good feeling about the team, but will visit other teams as well.
The Heat may be trying to work a sign-and-trade for Camby as well.
I like both guys, but I wouldn’t go all-in for Camby. In other words, if the Rockets wanted Norris Cole I’d say thanks but no thanks.
But if they’d take Joel Anthony and someone like James Jones, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
If I’m Lewis, I sign with Miami for the minimum, work hard this season and he’ll probably get a bigger contract next year.
Giving the Heat a 6’10” swingman who can shoot the 3 is just not fair…if he’s healthy.
As for Camby, I like him a lot as a defensive center.
He averaged 9 rebounds a game last season and improved as the year went on for Houston.
Put a nearly 7-foot Camby for defense and around the bucket scoring next to a nearly 7-foot Chris Bosh on the other block, swing in LeBron at the 3 and Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen at the guard positions. Who do you double-team? Where’s the weakness.
Then bring in Norris Cole, Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier and Rashard Lewis and again, the weakness is where?
Still, Camby is leaning towards going to a backup role in New York, mistake. But either way, Miami will be set.
Remember this name too Heat fans…..Greg Oden.
Yes, the oft-injured 7-foot center is currently rehabbing his last surgery.
I’m not saying it’s definite, but my guess is once he is ready, the Heat give him a strong look for the veteran minimum.
Hey, if he gave you 4-5 minutes a game to give your starters a break, it’d be worth it.
Elsewhere around the NBA:
The Nets seemingly never-ending pursuit of Dwight Howard is still ongoing.
New Jersey has to find a third team willing to give them additional draft picks and overpay Kris Humphries to execute the deal.
Cleveland briefly emerged yesterday as a possible third wheel, but then backed off, at least publicly.
If New Jersey ever gets a deal done it will be for at least 3 first-round picks, plus players, and they will take back Howard and probably Hedo Turkoglu as well.
Orlando’s going into full-fledged rebuilding mode, so getting the most for Howard is key.
If the Lakers are willing to deal Bynum and take on Turkoglu, I’d trade him in a minute.
A young, developing big man in exchange for the coward that is Howard? You bet.
Yes, I called Howard a coward because he’s said he doesn’t want to play in the shadow of Wilt, Kareem, and Shaq in L.A.
Sorry, but if you’re afraid of the biggest stage like that, then the shoe fits.
We’re less than three weeks away from the start of training camp.
Despite being told I was crazy a few times a couple of weeks ago, I still think Garrard is the leader to start at quarterback heading into camp.
Will that change in camp? Probably, but who knows.
I do know this, Tannehill will not be the starter exiting camp unless he’s all of the sudden gotten rid of his jumpy feet and adjusted to the speed of the game.
The positions you need to look at are right tackle and defensive end opposite Cameron Wake.
Jonathan Martin needs to assert himself early and take control of the job.
That will allow the team to focus on right guard, where the Palm Beach Post said Artis Hicks is the leading candidate.
It’s an interesting line if it can come together.
But it all rests on Martin’s shoulders to develop and grasp the switch quickly to right tackle.
As for defensive end, Jared Odrick has to show the ability to close down the pocket to take double-teams off of Wake.
Watch for Vernon to play on third downs is my guess as he adjusts to the NFL.
Finally, my receiving corps guess is Chad Johnson, Brian Hartline, and Davone Bess.
Not exactly thrilling I know, but it may just fit in the West Coast offense.
I also see several packages including both Michael Egnew and Anthony Fasano.
Egnew will be asked to do what he does best, catch the football down the seam. Fasano can then be used closer to the line to block and catch passes closer to the line.
Needless to say, there are lots of storylines heading into camp that I’ll be writing about on CBSMiami.com/sports
Follow me on Twitter @timkephart33