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October 31, 2012

Miami Dolphins waive service fees on tickets for 48 hours

To help drive ticket sales for the Miami Dolphins’ remaining home games, the team is waiving service fees on purchases from noon Wednesday until noon Friday.

This special offer includes all of the team’s remaining home games and will eliminate the processing/convenience fees, credit card fees and standard delivery costs associated with the costs of purchasing a game ticket.

The no fee offer is available exclusively on dolphins.com.

This is the first time the team has waived fees and is hoping the promotion will provide an incentive for fans to rally around the three-game winning streak and help fill Sun Life Stadium for the five remaining home games.

The Dolphins announced that the blackout requirements have been met for the Dec. 2 game against the New England Patriots ensuring it will be broadcast on local television. A limited supply of additional tickets for the Patriots game will be sold as part of a November “Two-Pack” promotion beginning at noon Wednesday at Dolphins.com.

Fans can purchase a ticket for the Patriots game and have their choice of buying a seat for the Nov. 11 game vs. Tennessee or Nov. 25 vs. Seattle.

POSTED IN: Miami Dolphins (195)

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October 23, 2012

Miami Marlins fire manager Ozzie Guillen

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A last-place finish amid considerable turmoil in the Miami Marlins first season in their new downtown ballpark has cost manager Ozzie Guillen his job.

The Miami Marlins announced Tuesday that they have dismissed Guillen. The announcement was made by Marlins' President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest.

“After careful consideration following the disappointment of the 2012 season, we decided to dismiss Ozzie,” said Beinfest. “Our managerial search begins immediately and our hope is that a new manager, along with roster improvements, will restore a winning culture.”

The Marlins went 69-93 in 2012, finishing last in the NL East.

Curiously, the manager that owner Jeffrey Loria traded two prospects to get just over a year ago and the closer he rushed to overpay and sign, Heath Bell, have been discarded within the past few days.

Guillen still has three years remaining on his contract worth $7.5 million. That may be easier to swallow after getting the Diamondbacks to take Bell and all but $8 million of the $21 million left on his deal.

The Marlins have now been through seven managers (including Jack McKeon twice) in the 11 years of Loria's ownership. He has fired four of them.

Things began to go arwy the first week of the season when it was revealed he had expressed admiration for Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in a Time magazine story. He said at the end of the season that those remarks, which cost him a five-game suspension, were his lone regret.

In the waning weeks of the disappointing season, Guillen said repeatedly that he accepted responsibility for the team's poor showing, but insisted he wasn't concerned about being fired.

Asked in mid September if he expected to be back as manager in 2013, Guillen said, “Of course I do. 100 percent. I think I know what I’m doing, I know what I can do. I’m not afraid of this job, and I love the challenge. I like to fight, I like to figure out how we’re going to do it.”

During the last weekend of the season , he made it clear that he wanted to keep his job. He told reporters it would be unfair to fire him after one season.

“Nobody wants to get fired,” he said. “Do I worry about it? No. Do I care? Yes, I care.”

As to what he would do if the Marlins did dismiss him, he said, “I’ll sit in my house and watch bull fights all summer,” he said.

The day after the season ended, Guillen left for a vacation in Spain with plans to take in the bull fights.

POSTED IN: Miami Marlins (40)

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October 18, 2012

Miami Dolphins, Marlins put money, muscle into school projects

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This has been the week of giving back by the Miami Dolphins and Marlins in separate community projects.

On Tuesday, all 53 Dolphins players and coach Joe Philbin took part in a project at Barbara Hawkins Elementary School in Miami Gardens.

The Marlins’ Day of Service and Philanthropy was Thursday at Miami Edison Middle School, with the team’s office staff teaming with Sharon Robinson, daughter of Jackie Robinson, on a school makeover.

The Dolphins put muscle and sweat behind their project, planting flowers, laying stones, mulch and painting in the school’s butterfly garden. They also decorated the teachers’ lounge in an effort to create an improved educational environment for the school.

“Whenever I rode the school bus I came right through this area,” said defensive end Olivier Vernon, who grew up in Miami and played for the University of Miami. “It’s a great opportunity to put a smile on these kids’ faces considering I remember being their age and looking up to the Dolphins.

"It’s kind of surreal and it hits you because I’m wearing the uniform now and they’re running up to me asking me for autographs and asking me about Reggie Bush and my other teammates. That’s what I was doing at their age and now I can tell them to follow their dream and stay in the books and study hard.”

Players also split into groups to visit each of the 18 classrooms at the school. They handed out books to every student at the school and read and spoke to 329 children as part of the Miami Dolphins Foundation Most Valuable Reader Program.

“You can’t put a price tag on things like this. It’s a good experience for everybody,” said Philbin. “When I interviewed for the job I told Mr. Ross that we wanted to build a team that had great success on the field and wins championships, but just as important was we wanted to have men that were unselfish and willing to give back to the community and make a difference in people’s lives.”

Thursday, the Marlins donated $80,000 toward a total makeover of Miami Edison Middle. Robinson, along with about 200 members of the Marlins’ staff joined with representatives of Miami Dade County Public Schools, City Year Miami and Teach for America in donating books and reading to students during the event.

The Marlins have donated more than $1.2 million and more than 5,000 community service hours in philanthropic initiatives this year.

Photo: Miami Dolphins players at work on the garden at Barbara Hawkins Elementary School. (courtesy Miami Dolphins)

POSTED IN: Miami Dolphins (195), Miami Marlins (40)

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October 16, 2012

LeBron a marvel in comic-book quest for eight rings

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LeBron James’ infamous prediction of “not one, not two … not seven” championships at his coming-out party in Miami two years ago would have been comical if the rest of the country hadn’t taken it so seriously.

Fitting then that Marvel and ESPN have collaborated on a limited-edition comic book to explain how the Heat star will accomplish the unlikely feat. “LeBron: King of the Rings” will be out Friday in ESPN the Magazine’s NBA season preview edition, but you can get a peek of it online.

The highly inventive (farfetched?) scenario tells how LeBron will actually attain his seven titles, culminating in the 2028-29 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers aided by a cast of gray-beards including Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and a 67-year-old Dennis Rodman.

He then secures ownership of the team and moves it to his hometown of Akron, Ohio, in pursuit of ring No. 8. The outcome of that quest will be determined by a SportsNation poll on ESPN.

Along the way on his odyssey, LeBron gets free-throw shooting tips from Rick Barry, learns the art of levitation, wins one title with the aid of 395-pound Eddy Curry and a zombie Shane Battier and another using a hologram version of himself as a decoy. He fixes his chronically cramping quads with do-it-yourself bionics to fashion titanium, nuclear powered legs, which enable him to thwart the bionic arm of Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook.

Perhaps the most comical touch is that the Thunder are the frustrated opponent in each of LeBron’s conquests in the Finals.

POSTED IN: Miami Heat (182)

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October 8, 2012

Dwyane Wade's new Li-Ning sneakers revealed

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The big splash announcement of Dwyane Wade’s new deal with Chinese sneaker company Li-Ning is expected Wednesday during the Miami Heat’s exhibition tour of the company.

But photos of Wade’s new signature shoe are already popping up around the Internet after Chinese sneaker site Kenlu posted them over the weekend. The shoe, mostly black with touches of white, are unlike Li-Ning’s other basketball models.

wade-ning2.jpgAlso, no Li-Ning branding is visible. The lacing system forms a distinctive W for Wade. Li-Ning, who lured Wade away from Jordan Brand, will be counting on the Heat star to help rescue its brand which has struggled against Chinese-rival Peak as well as Nike.

Photos: Posted by Chinese sneaker side Kenlu.net

POSTED IN: Miami Heat (182)

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October 3, 2012

Clevelander at Marlins Park hosts NFL watch parties

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The Marlins have put away their bats and gloves until spring, but the beat goes on at the Clevelander at Marlins Park. The South Beach club behind the left-field fence will host football watch parties on Sundays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., throughout the NFL season.

There is no cover charge and parking is free in the Third Base Garage. A variety of games will be on television, the pool will be open and there will be DJs, dancers and the usual hijinks that made the Clevelander a hit during the baseball season.

“The great thing is we’re able to offer he space year-round,” said Anna Whitlow, Clevelander marketing manager. “We’re also available for private events – we’ve already had bar mitzvah’s planned, and we’d love to have a wedding in the space.”

Whitlow said the first season of the Clevelander at the ballpark has exceeded expectations in revenue and sales, and the attention it has received has benefitted the long-established parent club on South Beach.

“We’ve been around for a really long time and we are a landmark. But being able to have a fresh new audience for the Clevelander brand has definitely driven a lot of interest toward South Beach and generated hotel sales and people coming to both venues,” Whitlow said.

The pool boy contest in July generated considerable interest and provided women at the club with equal-opportunity ogling to complement the body-painted dancers.

“The reaction has been so phenomenal for us, we’ve been surprised by it,” Whitlow said. “So were excited for the offseason as well. Just come hang out, find your game on the TVs and enjoy.”

Photo: The Clevelander aims to keep the vibe alive during the baseball offseason at Marlins Park with watch parties on NFL Sundays. (Jim Rassol, Sun Sentinel staff)

POSTED IN: Miami Marlins (40)

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About the author
CRAIG DAVIS In more than 33 years at the Sun Sentinel, Craig Davis has written about a wide variety of sports topics from baseball to yachting, fishing to triathlons, and also worked as a copy editor and page designer. Recently he reported on local sports, including running, swimming, cycling, equestrian and beach volleyball. He enjoys sports as a participant as well as a spectator, is active in the South Florida running scene plays in the curling club at Saveology Iceplex. This blog offers a glimpse at the business side of sports in the interest of enhancing enjoyment of the games and sporting options as a spectator as well as a participant.
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