Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Miami To Get NASL Franchise

     The North American Soccer League has announced that the city of Miami will receive an expansion franchise. It is expected that the club to be named Miami FC will play their first NASL season in 2016. The new team will have former AC Milan/Italy defender and 2006 World Cup champion Paolo Maldini as part of the ownership group. Antonio Barreto will be the chief executive officer of the new franchise.
     There will be a slew of South Florida soccer teams in competition with each other in the local area. The Fort Lauderdale Strikers have been in the NASL since 2011 and play their games at Lockhart Stadium. Their name was Miami FC from 2006 until 2010 and played their home games at different venues in Dade County. Former England and Manchester United midfielder David Beckham was rewarded a Major League Soccer franchise last year and is expected to begin their first season in 2016.

Dalvin Cook On Magazine Cover

     The annual college football magazines began to roll out this week. The first former local high school football player to appear on a magazine cover is Florida State University running back Dalvin Cook. He is on the Athlon Sports cover for ACC football this year.
     He played high school football alongside current University of Miami Hurricanes running back Joseph Yearby with the Miami Central Rockets. They captured three FHSAA Class 6A state championships in 2010, 2012 and 2013. They also lost the state title game in 2011. During his senior year, Cook received the Florida Mr. Football Award as he had 177 carries for 1,940 yards and 24 touchdowns.
     Cook played his freshman year with the Seminoles in 2014 as he compiled 1,008 yards on 170 carries and eight touchdowns. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2014 ACC Championship Game when he had a career-high 177 yards on 31 carries and one touchdown against Georgia Tech.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Diamondbacks Dump Marlins

     Dan Jennings will have to wait another day for his first win as a major league manager with a Miami Marlins 4-2 defeat to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night at Marlins Park. The Fish have lost the first five games of a ten-game homestand.
     Marlins starting pitcher Tom Koehler surrendered two runs to Arizona(17-21) in the top of the fourth. David Peralta scored on a throwing error by Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon with two outs. Yasmany Tomas would cross the plate on the ensuing play when Nick Ahmed reached base on a bunt toward the left side of the diamond.
     Miami(16-24) bounced back in the sixth inning with a two-run homer by Giancarlo Stanton to left field with one out. It was his 12th home run of the season. Gordon opened the frame with an infield hit against D-backs starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson.
     Relief pitcher Mike Dunn came into the game in the eighth inning and the Diamondbacks greeted him with two runs. Mark Trumbo led off with a single into center field. After Paul Goldschmidt struck out, A.J. Pollock came up as a pinch-hitter and drove the first pitch down the left-field line as it barely went over the wall for a two-run home run and an Arizona 4-2 lead.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Jennings First Loss As Marlins Lose

     After getting only two hits during the ninth inning in a game on Sunday and a managerial change, the Miami Marlins were defeated by the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 in 13 innings on Monday night at Marlins Park. It was the first game for Marlins new manager Dan Jennings who replaced Mike Redmond earlier in the day.
     Arizona(16-21) moved ahead by two runs in the fourth inning off Marlins starting pitcher Dan Haren. Ender Inciarte started off with a single to center and A.J. Pollack flew out to left. Paul Goldschmidt was able to reach first base on an infield hit. Yasmany Tomas followed with a two-run double into deep center field to drive in Inciarte and Goldschmidt.
     In the seventh inning, J.T. Realmuto connected with his first major league home run against Diamondbacks starting pitcher Rubby De La Rosa to help Miami(16-23) tie the contest at 2-2. Justin Bour led off with a base hit to center field then Realmuto smacked a 1-1 pitch over the left-field wall.
     The Diamondbacks untied it during the 13th inning when David Peralta doubled to right field with two outs and Chris Owings scored from third for the go-ahead run.

Dan Jennings New Marlins Manager

     The Miami Marlins have named their general manager Dan Jennings as the new manager for the franchise on Monday. He replaces Mike Redmond who was fired Sunday following a 6-0 shutout loss at home against the Atlanta Braves.
     Redmond had been the Marlins manager since November 2012 and compiled a 155-207 in more than two seasons on the job. His team finished fifth in 2013 with 62-100 record, fourth in 2014 at 77-85 and was in fourth place this year at 16-22 in the National League East.
     Jennings has held the post as the Marlins general manager since September 2013. He has been involved in professional baseball for 31 years. Jennings was the Marlins vice president of player personnel from 2002 until September 2007, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays scouting director from 1995 to 2002 and the Marlins assistant general manager from September 2007 to September 2013. He has no prior managerial experience in major league baseball and the minor leagues. He did once manage a high school team in Alabama over thirty years ago.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Rowdies Blank Strikers

     It was the first game of the Florida Derby as the Tampa Bay Rowdies shut out the Fort Lauderdale Strikers 1-0 at Al Lang Stadium on Saturday night. Fort Lauderdale(2-1-3) remains tied for sixth place in the NASL while Tampa Bay(3-3-1) jumped up to second place with the victory.
     Both clubs will meet two more times this season to determine who wins the Coastal Cup. The Strikers captured it last year after the Rowdies won it in the previous four seasons.
     The only goal of the match was scored by Tampa Bay early in the second half of play. Robert Hernandez was able to put in the game-winning goal during the 56th minute.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Anita Marks At ESPN New York

     Former South Florida sports host Anita Marks has joined ESPN New York WEPN-FM in New York City as a Sunday midday host and weekday sports anchor. She will begin her new position on May 17. Marks is leaving NBC Sports Radio Network where she has been the weekend midday host since the network launched in January 2013.
     Marks, a Miami native, was a quarterback in the Women's Professional Football League from 2000 until 2004. She began her broadcasting career as an intern and sports producer at WFOR-TV Channel 4. She then joined 940 Fox Sports Radio WRFX-AM as a morning co-host with Carl Foster. Both of them went to 1400 The Fan WFLL-AM when it flipped to a sports talk format in April 2004. She moved to the afternoon shift in early 2006 and held it for several months. Marks left 1400 The Fan in May 2006 one month before the station changed its format again.
     She joined ESPN 1300 WJFK-AM in Baltimore as an afternoon host. She gained Scott Garceau as a co-host when the show was moved to sister-station 105.7 The Fan WJZ-FM. It was later picked up for a television simulcast on Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. Her last show on that station was in January 2010.
     Marks returned to Miami in February 2010 when she and Curtis Stevenson replaced Jim Mandich as the afternoon co-hosts on Sports Radio 560 WQAM. The show just lasted for a couple of months and she was let go in June 2010. She got a national platform for the first time as a sideline reporter for United Football League broadcasts on Versus from 2009 to 2010.
     This led to a career jump to the New York City media market where she has held several positions. She was named a reporter for New York then added duties at Sirius XM Radio as a sports reporter, NFL channel sportscaster and a fantasy football afternoon show co-host. Marks also did television work for MSG Network as a studio co-host for the New York Giants weekly football show.
     She later became the studio co-host for pregame and post-game shows on the New York Giants Radio Network. Their flagship station, Sports Radio 66 WFAN-AM hired her to occasionally host weekend and late night shows in 2012. Marks was a studio host on CBS Sports Network for That Other Pregame Show in 2014.