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1 posts from December 11, 2013

December 11, 2013

9:30 a.m. update: Marlins make another trade; Dolphins, UM recruiting, Heat chatter; Another radio change

9:30 a.m. update: The Marlins have made their second trade of the winter meetings, dealing OF Justin Ruggiano to the Cubs for outfielder Brian Bogusevic.

Bogusevic, a 28-year-old left handed hitter, hit .273 with six homers and 16 RBI in 47 games last season. He played a lot more in 2012 but hit just .203 with seven homers, 28 RBI and 15 steals for the Astros in 146 games. He has a .236 career average with 17 homers and 62 RBI in 299 major league games.

Ruggiano, who would have been slightly more expensive than Bogusevic because Ruggiano is arbitration-eligible, saw his average drop from .313 in 2012 to .222 in 2013, though his home runs increased (from 13 to 18), as did his RBI (36 to 50).

Bogusevic, taken by Houston with the 24th overall pick in the first round of the 2005 draft, projects as a fourth outfielder for the Marlins.


Marlins, Dolphins, Canes, Heat and radio chatter:

### Marlins first baseman Logan Morrison, traded to Seattle today, wrote a classy farewell for FoxSportsFlorida.com. He submitted the piece when it was clear he would be traded but before he knew Seattle would be the destination.

Some snippets:

“People have speculated that I hold a grudge toward the Marlins for things that have happened in the past [My insert here: Morrison has an unresolved grievance claim against the Marlins for briefly demoting him to the minors two years ago]. I assure you that this isn't the case! Did we always see eye to eye? No, but when I look back on my time I will think far less about the bad times and far more about the good.

“Contrary to public opinion, owner Jeffery Loria has been great and generous to my family in our greatest time of need. He let us use his plane to go to my father's funeral in Kansas City. Then (president of baseball operations) Mike Hill, (general manager) Dan Jennings and (president) David Samson attended the funeral. Obviously, they didn't have to do that. So, a special thank you to them as well.

“I feel sad, because I won't be able to compete with Giancarlo (I still call him Mike in real life). I won't get to talk to (Marlins special assistant) Andre Dawson in the clubhouse. I won't be able to laugh and joke with David Samson before batting practice.

“I'm angry because I wasn't able to stay healthy enough to hold a trophy over my head and spray champagne in my teammates face.

“I will miss the M-O-R-R-I-S-O-N chant, the screaming for autographs as we leave the stadium, the people who open the doors for us in and out of the stadium and clubhouse…. I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. You have meant so much to this boy turned man.”

Read the full piece – and there’s a lot more --- at FoxSportsFlorida.com.

### The player acquired by the Marlins, hard-throwing right-hander Carter Capps, has 94 strikeouts in 84 big-league innings but also has allowed 98 hits and 34 walks, as well as a 3-3 record and 5.04 ERA. Capps, 23, has struggled to get out lefties.

### Dolphins coach Joe Philbin was asked to assess his clock management in the wake of a couple of questionable decisions this season --- including not calling timeout to stop the clock before Pittsburgh had to punt late in the first half Sunday.

“Some good, some bad like anything else,” Philbin said. But… “I think our two-minute production has been very good. I think we are fourth in the league in points scored with two minutes to go or less in the half. There are certainly some areas we could have done better, absolutely.”

 ### In today’s Patriots conference calls with Dolphins reporters, no player drew more plaudits than Dolphins tight end Charles Clay.

“Very explosive player, he’s got good vertical speed, very explosive with the ball in his hands,” Bill Belichick said. “The thing I’ve been impressed with really is his blocking. He’s a tough, competitive kid that has got good playing strength and definitely is willing to stick his nose in there and block defensive ends, block linebackers. You see some receiving tight ends in the league that have less, I would say interest, in blocking. He’s not one of those at all.”

Cornerback Aqib Talib said defending Clay is “tricky because they have weapons on the outside. They have a speed guy like [Mike] Wallace on the outside. They have a great route runner and a speedy guy like [Brian] Hartline. Both of those guys [are on] the outside, and then you have him [Clay] on the inside. He tends to get less attention, but you see what happens when he gets less attention. He comes out and he’s their leading receiver. So, he definitely demands more attention.” 

### Belichick turned up the heat in the team's practice bubble today to prepare his players for the 80-plus degree temperatures expected Sunday. "I don’t think you can really duplicate South Beach and the heat, especially after we’ve been playing in pretty cold temperatures here for the last six weeks,” Tom Brady said.

### CBS is sending Dolphins-Patriots to 50 percent of the country, with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms on the call.

### No Dolphins player ranks in the top two at any position in fan voting for the Pro Bowl, which continues through Dec. 26. But several deserve consideration, especially Brent Grimes.

Defensive ends Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon also could warrant a look. Jason Trusnik has always been a standout on special teams and deserves acknowledgement for that this season or at some point. Trusnik has the same number of tackles as the leading vote-getting, Denver's David Bruton.

Randy Starks ranks in the top five among defensive tackles in 2013 performance, according to Pro Football Focus. And Charles Clay also could draw some consideration; he ranks among the top five in receptions among tight ends, and as noted above, Belichick raved about his blocking this week.

Fan voting comprises one-third of the process, with votes from coaches and players accounting for the other two-thirds. Fans can vote on NFL.com. For the first time, the Pro Bowl will not match the AFC and NFC. Instead, the rosters will be stocked through a fantasy draft that will be conducted live on NFL Network. 

### The Heat’s Big Three has played 196 regular season games together. And Tuesday’s loss to Indiana was the first time that not one of them scored 20 points in a Heat loss, according to Elias.

### Not only does the Heat stand 30th and last in the league in rebounds per game --- no surprise there --- but they're more than four boards behind the 29th team (Milwaukee). And Miami ranks ahead of only the Bucks in rebound differential (-4.9 per game).

### Alabama assistant coach Mario Cristobal, who angered some UM officials when he left the Canes program to join Nick Saban last spring, has been trying to persuade four-star Hialeah Champagnat defensive tackle Travonte Valentine to flip his commitment from UM to the Crimson Tide. Valentine will visit Alabama and LSU next month but has indicated LSU poses the biggest threat to Miami.

### Classy move: When Al Golden made a home visit last week to three-star Orange Park (Fla.) Oakleaf High linebacker Darrion Owens, a UM oral commitment, Owens told Golden his stepfather was in the hospital after knee replacement surgery. According to Canesport.com’s Matt Shodell, Golden then drove to the hospital and called Owens’ mother from the lobby and asked if he could come up to the stepfather’s room. Golden stayed there for an hour.

### More radio changes locally: Andy Slater is leaving his afternoon show at WMEN-640 to become the 2-5 p.m. host on WINZ-940. He also will have an undetermined role on Marlins programming. WINZ acquired Marlins rights last month after the team failed to come to an agreement with 790/104.3 The Ticket.