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1 posts from February 26, 2014

February 26, 2014

1 p.m. update: Incognito smashes car with bat; Heat pursues free agents; Dolphins, UM

Guard Richie Incognito's bizarre behavior reached new heights this week when he smashed his own $300,000 black Ferrari with a baseball bat, TMZ reported Thursday.

Incognito, who is an impending free agent and will not return to the Dolphins, told the Scottsdale, Az., police department that he was responsible for the Wednesday attack on his car but did not give a reason, according to a police department spokesman.

TMZ also reported that Incognito’s parents are divorcing, but he has known that for months, and the web site did not cite that as the reason for the attack.

According to the report, no windows were damaged, but there were several dents, including on the hood.

The handle of the baseball bat was jammed in the car’s grill and broken off. Incognito left the bat lying in front of the Ferrari.

Here was a statement we just received from a spokesman for the Scottsdale police department: "Yesterday, the news outlet TMZ contacted Scottsdale Police Department with a photograph of a damaged Ferrari at a Scottsdale home, reported to belong to Richie Incognito, an NFL player. TMZ gave an address to check for a police report, however, we had none on file.

"Patrol officers went to the address yesterday afternoon and found no Ferrari and no answer at the door of the residence. This morning, our patrol officers contacted Mr. Incognito at his residence to ascertain if he was in need of police assistance or report of the damage to his car. He told our officers that he damaged his own car and did not wish a police report. Since this incident did not meet the state's criteria for a criminal report or further police involvement, no reports have been made."

Incognito, whose career has been at least temporarily derailed by his role in the Dolphins' locker-room scandal, has exhibited erratic behavior for months, including criticizing his agent as well as Jonathan Martin and others on Twitter, and then either praising them or apologizing a short time later.

Meanwhile, teammate Tyson Clabo told  NFL Sirius Radio on Thursday that Incognito "comes with baggage" but "is a really good teammate."

Clabo criticized Ted Wells' report regarding the Dolphins' locker-room scandal.

"I don't think the people that were around those situations, that were in that report, feel that was an accurate portrayal of the spirit of those events," Clabo said. " But I don't see that there was, you know, harassment for the sake of harassment."

### Heat buyout update: Danny Granger will speak on the phone with the Heat and four other teams today (Rockets, Clippers, Bulls, Spurs), with the Clippers reportedly the favorite. Yahoo reports that the front-runners for Caron Butler are the Heat and Thunder, with OKC able to offer more playing time but Miami also holding great appeal.

 

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Some notes and thoughts on a Wednesday night:

### ESPN commentator and Herald contributor Dan Le Batard reported today that the Heat last week rejected Philadelphia’s trade offer of Evan Turner for Udonis Haslem because trading Haslem, who sacrificed more than $10 million to sign here, would not be sending the right message.

That would show incredible loyalty considering Turner would have potentially helped more than Haslem, and even more so, because dumping Haslem’s $4.62 million salary next season would have greatly eased Miami’s luxury tax burden and thus made it easier to add or keep supporting players (such as re-signing Mario Chalmers).

### Marlins president David Samson became the first of 18 contestants voted off the CBS series Survivor on Wednesday. “I have no regrets,” he said. “The tribe doesn’t have it together or has it together against me. No hard feelings. I consider myself the luckiest person in the world.”

Samson told me recently he's proud of himself for doing it "because I'm one of only 400 people that have ever been on the show. I like doing things that are different.

"The criticism I'm getting doesn't matter to me, because the people saying, 'How can you leave the team? Or, 'that's so unpresidential to do,' or 'What's wrong with you?' None of that matters to me because
I'm doing things for myself and to show my kids that whatever you want to do, go for it. I enjoyed the experience and I'm lucky to have had the experience."

### The sense here is if Brad Hand pitches especially well this spring, he’ll win the fifth spot in the Marlins rotation, because he’s out of minor league options and the Marlins like him. But he has to pitch well.

### Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, released by the Browns on Wednesday, reportedly has been contacted by seven teams, and a pairing of Jackson (middle linebacker) and Dannell Ellerbe (outside) would seem an upgrade over Ellerbe (middle) and Phillip Wheeler (outside). But keep in mind that Jackson ranked just 49th of 55 middle linebackers against the run last season, according to Pro Football Focus. Ellerbe was 53rd. Wheeler was 34th of 35 qualifying outside linebackers in a 4-3 defense. And the Dolphins would take a big cap hit by cutting Wheeler.

### Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, Jonathan Martin’s teammate at Stanford, told Pro Football Talk today that he would be 100 percent in favor of acquiring Martin. That’s one of the teams Martin would feel most comfortable with; tight end Coby Fleener and offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton were also at Stanford when Martin played there.

“I love Jon,” Luck said. “ We had a great time at Stanford together, still stay in touch with him regularly and I think he’s a great man.”

### UM tonight shot just 12 of 46 from the field, including 0 for 12 on threes, in a 65-40 drubbing at Virginia. Miami dropped to 14-14 and 5-10 in conference.

### Chris Bosh, asked today if the NBA should follow the NFL’s lead and consider imposing a penalty for use of the N-word: “If that’s the case, they should ban all slur words, … all negative curse words. It’s too gray right now. I don’t know how they’re going to [enforce] that. It’s your word against their word.”

### Couple broadcast notes: If you didn’t hear earlier in the week, CBS promoted Bart Scott from its cable pregame show to its main pregame show. He and Tony Gonzalez fill the chairs of Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe… Miami-Fort Lauderdale’s Olympic ratings ranked last in the country.

### Very sad news about the passing of former Canes safety JoJo Nicolas, who died tonight, a day after a car crash.

Too many former Hurricanes have lost their lives at a young age: Sean Taylor, Shane Curry, Marlin Barnes and Bryan Pata (all murdered); Jerome Brown, Chris Campbell, Al Blades and Kevin Gibbs (car accidents); Robert Woodus (the 1996 ValuJet crash in the Everglades) and Stanley Shakespeare in a 2005 drowning, when a wave knocked him overboard as he returned to Jupiter Inlet from a fishing trip.