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Sports 2013: The Year In Review

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – No story dominated the local sports landscape like the Dolphins unresolved bullying scandal.

Second year player Jonathan Martin left the team after claiming the harassment he received went way beyond the normal hazing in NFL locker rooms.

Martin’s lawyer released a vile voicemail from teammate Richie Incognito as exhibit A. The Dolphins promptly suspended Incognito, who claimed the issue was overblown. Embarrassed team owner Stephen Ross vowed to get to the bottom of the mess by allowing the NFL to investigate. Any findings have yet to be released.

On the field, the Dolphins won their first three games, then lost their next four. After hitting rock bottom with a loss to winless Tampa Bay, the Fins suddenly started to click.  A late season rally lifted the team into playoff contention with a chance to reach the postseason for the first time in five years.

The Heat continued to be the hottest thing in the NBA–thanks to a clutch three pointer by Ray Allen in game six of the finals. Heat fans who left the building early, tried–in vain–to get back in as the team rallied to beat the Spurs that night and win game seven.

Lebron James solidified his spot as the “King” with his second straight MVP award. The back-to-back champs celebrated with another huge victory parade.

There was no party for the Marlins, a low budget team that finished with the second worst record in team history. The brightest spot was pitcher Jose Fernandez whose star power and compelling story made him the team’s brightest hope for the future. The Cuban defector who saved his Mom at sea won national league rookie of the year and was re-united with the grandmother who taught him the game.

After the season, the Marlins fired GM Larry Beinfest. New boss Michael Hill has added a few pieces..but the thrifty team is counting on a young nucleus of talent to make fans forget about last year’s purge of talent.

Miami product Alex Rodriguez defiantly challenged major league baseball appealing his 211-game suspension for using performance enhancing drugs.  The Biogenesis scandal prompted several other players to accept shorter suspensions.

At UM, the Canes escaped the Nevin Shapiro booster scandal with just a slap on the wrist. The team leaped to a seven and zero start before dropping three in a row. Still, the Canes will go to their first bowl game under coach Al Golden.

The UM hoops team had a Cinderella run to the Sweet 16 after winning the ACC. Now, they must rebuild after losing seniors to graduation and Shane Larkin to the NBA.

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston dodged a major crisis when prosecutors declined to charge him with sexually assaulting a fellow student. Winston capped a sensational freshman season by winning the Heisman trophy and leading FSU into the national title game against Auburn.

And Miami might gear up for a different brand of football. Retired soccer icon David Beckham is trying to nail down a deal for major league soccer expansion team. It has flopped here before but with Beckham and Lebron James as an investor this bid would have plenty of star power.

The Florida Panthers changed hands…with new owner Vinnie Viola hoping his team would someday hoist the Stanley Cup, as Chicago did in the spring.

Miami’s Ray Lewis retired as an NFL Champ in Baltimore.

The Red Sox won the World Series, to help Boston move beyond tragedy.

Swimmer Diana Nyad finally conquered the sea by swimming from Cuba to Key West.

And the sports world said goodbye to legends and pioneers who left their marks on the games they loved.

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