I'm still in the midst of my summer break, but I wanted to check in and say hello since it has been awhile since I've posted anything new. Although I haven't been busy reporting -- a guy needs a break (especially when no one at UM is available to talk), I have to admit I've been keeping my ears open and drumming up a few questions and thoughts of my own I'd like to find answers to when I do return.
-- For starters, I don't want to be negative, but I've got a feeling Canes fans aren't going to be happy with the move to Dolphins Stadium once the season gets underway. I read Barry Jackson's Buzz Column today which discussed what Dolphins Stadium is doing to accommodate Canes fans this season. First thought... no U at midfield? I know it seems like something petty. But I distinctly remember hearing those involved with this deal say at the time they were going to do everything in their power to make Dolphins Stadium feel like it also belong to UM. And last I remember, the OB always had the U at midfield. Secondly, I got a question for U. How are U season ticket-holders liking or disliking your new seat assignments? Did you get hosed? Or are you really satisfied?
-- Baseball coach Jim Morris made a move a few weeks ago to replace assistant Gino DiMare by promoting pitching coach J.D. Arteaga. It was a no brainer. Arteaga knows this program as good as anyone and he can definitely recruit. But who is he going to add to his staff? And more importantly, how in the world is he going to start filling in the holes in his lineup next season? There is no question Miami's pitching staff will be solid with National Freshman of the Year Chris Hernandez back. But Morris has to replace plenty of other studs. Losing Adan Severino, who signed with the Twins two weeks ago, hurts. Severino was drafted in the 26th round and could have been one of those guys Morris count on. Now, the only really experienced starters back are outfielder Dave DiNatale, catcher Yasmani Grandal, shortstop Ryan Jackson and designated hitter Joey Terdoslavich. I want to hear whom Morris thinks can start next season alongside those four. There is no question there is going to have to be a lot of improvement by others in summer ball and fall ball.
-- Football players and coaches have been off limits to the media since the end of spring practice. And like you, I'm itching to find out what's happened since strength coach Andreu Swasey began working with the guys shortly after the end of the spring. A good chunk of the other freshmen signees began training with Swasey when summer school began on June 24. Practice doesn't begin until the end of July so I won't get to talk to anyone other than coach Randy Shannon until then or if and when players are made available. But I got questions already -- aside from how the quarterbacks looked during 7-on-7 drills. I want to know who didn't do what they were supposed to do this summer. Who other than Allen Bailey got hurt and when can we really expect them back? Has Sam Shields finally gotten it? Which freshmen still really haven't gotten in to UM? Which other arriving freshmen can really be counted on this season to contribute? Which veterans are really ready to take their game to the next level? I'm sure you have plenty of questions too. Feel free to add them to my list.
As for my summer, I haven't had a chance to really get out of town. I'm spending a lot of my time off with the wife looking for a house. But I have had time to see a few movies and shows (If there are any suggestions, feel free to leave them for me)
- The best of the best summer movies for me so far has been Pixar's Wall-E. Great movie for adults or kids. I'd say it is up there with Finding Nemo and Roger Rabbit when it comes to my favorite animation films of all time.
- Wanted starring Angelina Jolie had a little bit too much of the Matrix type stunts for my taste. But Jolie was smoking hot so I give it a 6.
- I got a chance to last weekend to see the final off Broadway show of The Life of Celia Cruz at the Carnvial Center in downtown Miami. As a Cuban-American I loved every second of the music and I thought the story was very well told. I'd like to see if anyone else got a chance to check it out.