With the New Year here, we've hit one of those "transitionary periods" in the Miami annual sports cycle.
The general state of South Florida sports feels like purgatory.
Everybody is waiting for one of the teams to break out.
Welcome to the Miami Sports Weekly Rundown, I'm David Baumann.
Let's go around the horn with some of the Miami sports headlines....
The vacationing Dolphins are still getting some spotlight in the 24/7, 365-day-a-year NFL news cycle, but not for positive reasons.
"Landry, Drake, Johnson Fined for Roles in Bills-Dolphins Scuffle," reports NFL.com.
Miami Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry got hit with a $48k fine, running back Kenyan Drake got hit with a $12k fine for throwing a helmet, and Bills safety Leonard Johnson got fined $12k for his role in the pileup.
Landry got hit harder because he's a repeat offender. No suspensions were levied.
"I think that was the pinnacle of anything I've ever seen of him in a game," head coach Adam Gase said of Landry, according to the Miami Herald.
And regarding the scuffle, he said, "That was about as embarrassing as I've seen in a long time... We need way better control from our best players in the heat of the moment."
They also need way better players on the roster next year... and a healthy Tannehill back from knee surgery.
Now to baseball...
It turns out Miami Marlins new co-owner Derek Jeter has financial incentive to make the Marlins profitable.
According to the Herald, Jeter will get his $25M investment in the franchise back by raking in a $5M annual salary over the next five years.
Plus, he'll get substantial bonuses for hitting certain levels of profitability.
That means Jeter could get an additional...
- $2M in 2018
- $1.7M in 2019
- $1.1M in 2020
- $2M in 2021
- and $2M in 2022.
Jeter's "strategy" to make the Marlins profitable is yet to be understood.
Sure, he's already slashed payroll by trading away the team's best players, but by doing that, he's also alienated nearly the entire the fanbase.
Why would anyone pay money to go see this new no-name roster play baseball?
I've already said right here on 305area that Jeter has quickly gone from "G.O.A.T." as a player to "goat" as an executive.
Tough to be a fan of the Marlins franchise, especially when you have no hope for success in immediate future.
In hockey...the Florida Panthers have a middling 17-18-5 record through 40 games, but they're still hanging around the playoff hunt. They're on the outside looking in, seven points out, with five teams ahead of them for the final wild card spot.
There's a lot of season left. 42 games to go.
Simply getting to the playoffs would be a successful season for this franchise, having failed to do so in 14 of the last 16 seasons.
And in basketball, the Heat are red-hot, winners in four straight games...sitting in 5th place in the East with a 22-17 record.
The team has managed to play well despite numerous injuries.
Their comeback win against Utah Sunday -- down 5 with under two minutes to play -- was fantastic!
Have a look at the game-winning play by Josh Richardson:
The wins keep coming, yet some injuries remain.
For example, Dion Waiters might need season-ending ankle surgery, but head coach Erik Spoelstra says that discussion hasn't happened yet.
"There hasn't been a conversation right now, no," said Spoelstra, according to the Sun-Sentinel. "He's still doing his rehab, he's still doing his treatment. He's in that protocol right now."
Waiters was injured in a Dec. 22 game against Dallas. He's exploring an outside opinion on his ankle, with permission from the team.
He's the team's second-leading scorer, averaging 14.3 points on 39.8% shooting this season.
And $98M center Hassan Whiteside, who missed 11 games, is often nowhere to be found in fourth quarters.
It's unlikely that he's in 100% game shape yet. But that situation might be something to watch, because he was sitting on the bench in fourth quarters toward the tail end of last season too. Spoelstra has said he has faith in the smaller, quicker lineup of James Johnson and Kelly Olynyk.
Nevertheless, it's great to have Whiteside back and making an early impact in games.
It ought to be very interesting to see what the Heat do prior to the February trade deadline.
I don't think there's any question that this team is still a high-quality player away from truly contending against Boston and Cleveland in the East.
Could be an interesting few weeks.
Stay connected to sports in Miami by registering with us on 305area. Your registration is always free! David Baumann is a sports columnist for 305area and can be heard Tuesdays, 7-9 p.m. on EK Sports, 96.9 The Game FM Orlando (or anywhere on iHeartRadio.
Cover photo is from Wikicommons