Some Marlins, Dolphins, Heat and UM notes on a Wednesday morning -- (Scroll down for Dolphins/Jonathan Martin notes, and UM items):
### The Marlins are leaving 790 The Ticket and moving their games to WINZ-940 next season. The team could not reach an agreement with 790 on a new deal after months of discussions and was eager to find a new station.
The team’s radio announcers, Dave Van Horne and Glenn Geffner, are expected to move to the new station. All of the team’s ancillary programming also will move to 940. Without Marlins games, The Ticket will fill the summer programming hours primarily with talk shows.
As Michael Beasley conducted a postgame interview inside Air Canada Centre on Tuesday, he was interrupted by a booming voice a few locker stalls down.
“You were awesome tonight!” LeBron James shouted.
Beasley played just four minutes against Toronto, making his first appearance of the season on a night Chris Bosh was back in Miami with his newborn daughter. He might not even get off the bench Thursday when the Los Angeles Clippers visit for one of the Heat’s marquee home games of the season.
But you will hear no hint of disappointment from Beasley, even though the lack of playing time is unlike anything he has experienced.
“I’m not a patient guy,” he admitted. “But I know I can be patient. It’s not like I’m coming in here and trying to beat out rookies. We’re talking about Hall of Fame guys.”
Not playing much, he said, “is not difficult at all. I’m having fun with a great group of guys. Learning more than I’ve ever learned. It’s amazing. I get to learn a lot from guys that are where I want to be. So it’s actually a good situation for me.”
For now at least, Erik Spoelstra seems more comfortable playing Rashard Lewis when he uses a 10th man.
It’s an unusual predicament for Beasley, who has appeared in at least 73 games in all four of his NBA seasons when he wasn’t sidelined by a significant injury. (He missed 11 games with a sprained foot for Minnesota in 2011-12.)
Beasley averaged 29.8 minutes per game in his second season with the Heat (2009-10), and 26.4 minutes per game in his five previous NBA seasons.
So is he is frustrated at all by his role?
“Not one bit,” he said.
He finally got his chance midway through the second quarter Tuesday and quickly drained two three-pointers before missing his only other two shots.
“I was scared to shoot that first shot,” he said. “When it went in, it felt like old times. But I was nervous. I had the mindset just to stay ready. I’m just trying to do my part and hope it ends well.”
Spoelstra said he has spoken to Beasley about being patient and said Beasley’s practice performance has been “good. He’s making positive steps. He just has to continue to embrace the work…. He was a 19-year-old when we received him. This is his sixth season. So everybody matures naturally just from life and experience.”
Beasley, 24, said even if he’s not playing, simply being in this structured environment ultimately will help his career.
“I will be a better player because of it,” he said. “I’m getting better every day. Mentally, I’m in a better place. It’s a privilege to be here.”
Beasley, whose one-year contract does not become fully guaranteed until Jan. 10, says he has improved “everywhere.” Teammates say his defense is better, and he’s moving the ball more decisively.
“He’s definitely more mature” than during his first stint here, Udonis Haslem said. “And he’s not worrying about anything but getting better. He’s coachable. He listens.”
Sometime in the next week or two, Wade will tie Dennis Johnson’s record for most blocks by a player 6-4 or shorter. Wade, who is five short of Johnson’s mark of 675, has averaged 1.0 blocks per game in his career, a shade ahead of deceased former Celtics guard Reggie Lewis, who ranks second all time among guards at 0.9.
“It’s cool I have my own category,” Wade said, smiling. “It’s nothing I set out to do, but it’s something I’ve been good at my whole life. I take more pride in my blocks more than anything. I’m supposed to be able to dunk in transition. But having a certain amount of blocks is not what I’m supposed to do at my position.”
Throughout his career, Wade – who is listed as 6-4 but is actually 6-3, according to Spoelstra - has swatted away shots of taller players, including 7-0 Nets center Brook Lopez, 7-0 Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, 6-11 Rockets center Dwight Howard and 7-1 Knicks center Tyson Chandler. His block of Chandler’s dunk attempt during a Finals game was particularly memorable.
“Defensively, we started playing positionless our first year because of Dwyane’s ability to be the back line of your defense in certain situations and play that as effectively as a 6-10, 7 foot center,” Spoelstra said.
“It’s remarkable, his ability to anticipate those plays, make those plays, his ability to cover ground. He has an incredible knack for appearing as if he’s 6-10 at the rim.”
The key to Wade’s shot-blocking prowess?
“He’s got great awareness and great hand-eye coordination,” Shane Batter said. “Some guys turn it into steals. He does blocks and steals.”
### The Heat on Thursday will be facing what appears to be the Clippers’ most formidable team in many years. Besides hiring coach Doc Rivers, they also added J.J. Redick, Jared Dudley and Darren Collison to their nucleus of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
“They’re a great team,” James said. “It’s like they surrounded [Paul] like his New Orleans days. They’ve got a great supporting case.”
James is close with Paul, who attended James’ wedding in September.
FINS, CANES NOTES
### What's struck us about reaction to the Jonathan Martin story is the seeming lack of compassion inside the Dolphins' locker-room (where RIchie Incognito is popular) and among SOME other NFL players.
Listen to what Giants safety Antrel Rolle had to say:"Richie Incognito, is he wrong? Absolutely,” Rolle told WFAN-radio in New York. ”But I think the other guy is just as much to blame because he’s allowed it to happen. . . .
“You know, at this level, you’re a man. You’re not a little boy. You’re not a freshman in college. You’re a man. So I think everything has its limits. So there’s no way that another man is gonna make me pay for something that I choose not to pay for. Hopefully he’s able to bounce back and recover from all that has happened and understand it, and take awareness of, you know, that you’re a grown-ass man. You need to stand up for yourself."
Martin did, but just not the way many players would have liked. Such as Eagles cornerback Cary Williams, who foolishly said that Martin and Incognito "should have duked it out."
Then there was Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton telling USA Today that Martin broke the code of the locker room: "I don't think [he] should have gone outside the team and expressed how things are going in the locker room." (Martin didn't; his representation did. Martin merely told his coach.)
### Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, Martin's former teammate at Stanford, spoke to Martin this week and the conversation "was pretty upbeat, to be honest, more positive than I thought.
"Everybody is saying if they were him they might have not handled it the way he did," Ertz said. "But he had to do what he had to do to get the story out and get out of that locker room."
### Richie Incognito said in September that toughening up Martin was one of his and Mike Pouncey's projects. But ESPN's Cris Carter said Pouncey told him this week that no coach ordered him to do that, which contradicts a published report elsewhere.
### Though Virginia Tech has lost to Duke and Boston College, Saturday's game concerns UM for many reasons. Among them, according to Al Golden: Tech "has 28 sacks, [allowing] 16.9 points per game, a world of experience on defense. An excellent kicking game and an offense led by Logan Thomas.Virginia Tech has won seven of the last 10 against us. This is a tough, rugged team, a team built playing hard-nosed defense and running to the ball. That's as good a secondary as I may have ever seen from Virginia Tech."
### UM's men's basketball opener against St. Francis on Friday has been scheduled for an unusually late start (10 p.m.) not because of TV reasons, but to accommodate UM's homecoming activities.
### Oddly, a greater percentage of homes watched UM-FSU in Columbus, Ohio (15.5) than Miami-Fort Lauderdale (15.2). Presumably those were Ohio State fans curious about which of the other unbeaten teams would lose. Miami's rating ranked fourth, behind Jacksonville (16.2), Columbus and Greenville, S.C. (15.3).