Sports Agenda for Wednesday (1/30/13)

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(Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

Miami Heat

Big Story:
We’ve got performance enhancing drugs falling out of our veins this morning. It doesn’t matter for A-Rod, I’ll give my take. Plus, the Panthers are really awful right now. And the Heat & Hurricanes are both on the road tonight and that could spell danger.

Quote of the Day:
“If the liberties of the American people are ever destroyed, they will fall by the hands of the clergy,” the Marquis de Lafayette

PED/A-Rod:
Another day another story about major league baseball and the usage of performance enhancing drugs.
Ho-hum.
First, the Miami New Times did a phenomenal job with the story, so big kudos go to them for blowing the doors off the thing.
But the bigger point is this, so what?
Allow me to digress into my all over the place thoughts on this…
That’s not a shot at the New Times, as I said they did a great job, but the “so what” is addressed to MLB and the MLBPA.
Major League Baseball has no real power to do anything past a 50 game suspension, if you get caught.
The Major League Baseball Players Association will protect you as much as possible.
Your contract can’t be voided because of a positive test, at least right now, so the question is what’s the down side?
Yes, you’ll do long-term damage to your health, but you’ll get your multi-million dollar contract that is guaranteed when you put pen to paper.
Let’s face it, these guys know one thing and that’s winning. They will do anything to win. Many are the epitome of narcissism and will do anything to stay at the top of the pile so to speak.
Is this a little bit of a jaded opinion of A-Rod…absolutely.
The difference between Bonds and Rodriguez is Bonds continued to hit and play well into his late 30’s.
Here’s A-Rod’s numbers the last four years…
2009 – .286, 30 HR, 103 RBI
2010 – .270, 30 HR, 125 RBI
2011 – .276, 16 HR, 62 RBI
2012 – .272, 18 HR, 57 RBI
Kinda makes you wonder if he really did juice the last few years. My guess is that whatever he took has added to his hip problems, but that’s just a guess.
But in the end, what is the root of what these guys wanted, and what really drives America…greed.
While they want to win, they, like all of us, want to get paid.
If I told you that you could make $40 million by using a cream that might have long-term effects on your life, would you do it?
Most people would for much less than that.
That’s the decision these guys faced….they could play fair, never get to the Majors, and never get paid.
Or…
They could juice, get to the Majors and get paid.
I’ve been told by people in the know that multiple players of all levels have said this, not that it surprised me much.
In the end, will A-Rod play in the Majors again?
As I told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Twitter…if Michael Vick, Steve Howe, Dwight Gooden, and Darryl Strawberry got more chances, so will A-Rod.
Will he ever shake the stigma of being a doper, nope.
Will it hurt his Hall of Fame potential….ask me again in a couple of years, but right now I say he doesn’t get in.
Hard to believe for a player who started out with such a promising career to end in such ruin.

Florida Panthers: (off Wednesday)
I was hoping to be able to say the Panthers finally started to turn it around last night.
Then as I was writing a preview of the game yesterday, I realized Tampa Bay was the highest scoring team in the league.
At that point, I knew Florida was dead as they are colder than the ice they play on.
Florida lost 5-2 to Tampa Bay, but at least they held the Lightning to their season average of goals.
Still, since opening night, Florida has been outscored 23-5.
OUCH.
You’ve got to almost try to be that bad.
Hockey though has always struck me in a particular way.
Much like you build a good football team from the line out, you build a good hockey team from the goalie forward.
If you have a good goalie, it will cover some of the team’s mistakes.
Unfortunately, Florida has no good goalies on the active roster.
Jose Theodore is letting more things get past him than TSA and that’s not a pretty sight.
It’s not going to get any easier for the Panthers as they have a home game against Winnipeg on Thursday and then next week have four games in seven days on the road.
This could really get away from the Panthers in a hurry if they’re not careful.
Where’d last year’s team go?

Miami Heat: (@ Brooklyn, 8 p.m., ESPN)
The enigma that is the Miami Heat this season will be in Brooklyn tonight for a matchup with the Nets.
Miami is coming off another close loss on Sunday to an outmanned Boston team.
The Heat are 3 games ahead of Brooklyn in the Eastern Conference and 1.5 games ahead of New York for the top spot.
In the Southeast Division, the Heat are 4.5 games ahead of the Atlanta Hawks who are the only team within striking distance of the Heat in the Southeast.
Still, it’d be nice to see some consistency coming out of the Heat in the coming weeks.
Not that they’re worried much about the regular season.
I’d like to see the defensive pressure turned up soon though.
I’ve seen it at points this year and when they are dialed in, I don’t think they can be beat.
The big question is when will they start to dial it in consistently, my guess is sometime in mid-March.

Miami Hurricanes: (@ Virginia Tech, 9 p.m., Fox Sports South)
Yes, the mighty Canes, fresh off ascending into the Top 15 in the country hit the road for a matchup with Virginia Tech.
I think Miami will handle Va. Tech fairly well and should be able to come back on Saturday and knock of NC State in Raleigh.
My bigger question has to do with the rankings…
How is Michigan State, a team Miami beat easily earlier this season ranked ahead of them. And how did Duke only drop to fifth in the country after Miami annihilated them?
I just don’t get it.
Thank goodness for RPI!
RPI is what the NCAA uses to rank teams for the NCAA Tournament.
How’s Miami doing in RPI?
Try #3 in the country!
Not bad….not too bad at all.

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