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Change of Plans

MarlinsfirstpitchWord on the street is that Panthers forward Nathan Horton will not be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the Marlins-Nationals game at Miami Gardens/Joe Robbie Stadium come Saturday night.

Instead, that honor is going to newly acquired defenseman Keith Ballard. My peeps tell me Keith is arriving in South Florida on Friday, then will be on hand wearing -- what I can only assume is -- a custom Marlins jersey to open up a game in which very few baseball fans could honestly be interested in.

I enjoy the Marlins as much as anyone else, but, seriously, the Nats? The Marlins might as well call their Triple-A team in Albuquerque to play a few games instead.

At least the USC-Ohio State game will be on televisions inside the stadium for people to enjoy.

-- Joking aside, I think it's cool the Marlins and Panthers have become kind of pseudo partners in helping each other out. Truth is, I think the different pro teams down here should help each other out. They should be fans of one another. I think fans get a kick out of seeing Panthers at a Marlins game, just like they cheer when they see Dolphins players (OK, Dan Marino) or Dontrelle Willis courtside at the Heat games.

We're all from South Florida, kids. Let's act like it.

Blackhawks_2 -- Speaking of that, the White Sox held a Blackhawks night Wednesday night on the south side, and by all accounts, it was a smashing hit. Chicago winger Patrick Sharp was going to toss out the ceremonial first pitch, but then grabbed a stick and gave the old horsehide a slap shot to the backstop. That, friends, is cool.


-- Bleacher Report previews some team from Florida called the 'Panthers.' Enjoy. Or not.

-- More on Richard Zednik, this from our good friends at the Associated Press.

-- Tampa Bay summer update No. 2,433: Vinny LeCavalier may miss four preseason games.

Miamiacc -- The ACC is undergoing major renovations. I don't think they're talking about Miami, North Carolina or Wake Forest.

Slugs2 Slugs -- The Sabres' old-school third jersey has been confirmed. This one doesn't look anything like the UC-Santa Cruz Banana Slugs.

-- Digging the Columbus Blue Jackets? You -- and Jim Tressel -- aren't alone.

Craig Custance of the Sporting News, yes a longtime FOOFP, says he's a fan of the Ohio Capitals as well.

-- The NHLPA is going to court regarding pensions.

Golf -- Playing golf with Brian Y today. Hope to beat him. But that don't matter. He had a good take on the different paths the Panthers and Lightning have taken this offseason.

Hey, linking this has to get me at least one extra mulligan, right?