A six-pack of notes, plus some media news, as South Florida awaits late night viewing of Heat-Clippers and Panthers-Flames:
### The Marlins will have their two best offensive players under longterm contracts after agreeing in principle to a deal with Dee Gordon tonight.
As Fox’s Ken Rosenthal reported and The Herald confirmed, it’s a five-year deal for $50 million, with a sixth year vesting option at $14 million.
The deal buys out three years of arbitration eligibility for Gordon and at least two free agent years.
Last year, Gordon became only the second NL player ever to win the batting and stolen base titles.
Gordon's contract comes 14 months after Giancarlo Stanton signed a 13-year, $325 million deal with an opt out after six.
### After employing a comatose former coach in Joe Philbin, the question will inevitably be asked of Adam Gase, and NBC’s Peter King asked it well in his brief interview with Gase on his Monday Morning Quarterback web site.
King said: “You’re a fairly mild manner guy, and I’ve heard that affected some teams’ opinions of you. Can you command a room?”
Gase’s response: “That would be a good question for the people who interviewed me. Josh gave me an opportunity [in 2009] to present in front of our offense … I was the third-down guy. I did that more and more since then. In 2013 and 2014, as coordinator in Denver, I had a pretty high-profile group to be in charge of. Sometimes what you see publicly is different than what’s happening behind closed doors. I feel I bring a passion, an attitude you can’t fake. What goes on in most of what I do in this job, you haven’t had a chance to see.”
### Pro Football Focus said one reason that Gase is a good fit for Ryan Tannehill is “there are a number of similarities between the offense Gase ran in Chicago and some elements of Tannehill’s offense under offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. Both use the read-option in the run game to hold the backside defender. Gase is likely to keep those features, suggesting an overhaul isn’t required in Miami.”
### If the Chargers join the Rams in Los Angeles in 2016, the Dolphins will be the only team that will play exactly two games there next season. Miami also plays at Seattle.
The NFL is under no obligation to schedule two of those three games on consecutive weeks, but it would assuredly be helpful.
### ESPN’s Keith Law, on the Marlins’ signing of lefty Wei Yin Chen: “Chen is worth a couple of wins more than whomever he replaces, but they're still looking at a couple of below-average starters behind him in the rotation.
“Chen is a solid mid-rotation option who kills left-handed hitters thanks to a plus slider and has had the control to survive some real trouble against right-handed hitters, but the lack of an average changeup or splitter means that righties will continue to give him fits; they have a .457 career slugging percentage against Chen in his four seasons.
“He'll have to face a few NL East lineups that can be righty-heavy when needed, especially the Mets and Nats, which doesn't help his cause any.
[But two years, $28 million or five years, $80 million] is about the going rate for a starter of Chen's overall caliber -- average to slightly better, good for 31-32 starts in most years -- even though he's very unlikely to be worth that to the Marlins, who would have a hard time filling their stadium if the Pope was throwing out the first pitch.”
### Former UM and NFL star Ed Reed joined the Buffalo Bills’ as assistant defensive backs coach.
Fox Sports Panthers analyst Denis Potvin today apologized for calling Vancouver Canucks forward Daniel Sedin a “low life” after Monday’s game.
Potvin made the comment because he was angry that Sedin was “goading” the Panthers bench, which was one element of a postgame fracas between the teams. (The Vancouver press later reported that Sedin was merely responding to disparaging trash-talking by the Panthers.)
"My choice of words at the conclusion of the Vancouver game on Monday should have been more appropriate,” Potvin said in a statement. “In the passion of the moment and under the circumstances of how the game ended, they came out wrong. For that I'm going to extend my sincere apologies to Daniel Sedin, Trevor Linden and the Canucks organization."…
This year’s national championship game ended up drawing substantially fewer viewers than last year’s (26.2 million to 34.1 million). That includes viewers who tuned in the non-traditional cablecasts on ESPN platforms. Miami/Fort Lauderdale’s rating was 49th of 56 metered markets.
By the way, the Duke-Wisconsin NCAA basketball title game drew about two million more viewers than Alabama-Clemson on Monday. But that game was on free TV, the football game on cable…
ESPN today unveiled a new Sunday night MLB announcing team: Dan Shulman, Aaron Boone and Olympic gold medalist and retired softball star Jessica Mendoza. Curt Schilling shifts to Monday nights and John Kruk was re-assigned to the studio…
ESPN today mourned the passing of Jim Simpson, one of its prominent voices during its first year on the air (1979), and beyond. He was the first person to ever call a college football game on ESPN. In the 1960s, he was NBC’s No. 2 voice behind Curt Gowdy. He also called the first Super Bowl on radio and many Orange Bowls on TV. Simpson was 88.