Earnings leader, Rory McIlroy committed to this week’s Honda Classic, which he won last year, and the WGC Cadillac Championships at Donald Trump’s Doral. Tiger Woods is the 7-2 favorite (William Hill) to win the Fed Ex Cup 2013 trailed by McIlroy (11-2), Brandt Snedeker (8-1), Dustin Johnson (15-1) and Phil Mickelson (16-1).
McIlroy just closed on a mansion on the ocean in Palm Beach. The $9 million dollar crib has a putting green. Neighbor Tiger Woods has a 9 hole course on his massive property…each designed to mimic one of the great holes on his favorite courses around the world.
“The Donald” is caught in a bit of a kerfuffle renovating his Doral golf courses. He planted Areca palms as a lengthy privacy hedge along fairways of the Red and White courses. Years ago the owners of said homes bought based on the view of the storied courses. No more.
• Add ex-UM baseball phenom, Ryan Braun to players caught up in the “aging clinic” scandal. Bud Selig sent two of his lieutenants to negotiate with the Miami New Times publisher asking him to release notes and sources to MLB. No response yet.
• Ex-Miami Dolphin/Gator star Channing Crowder is the new co-host midday on 560 WQAM with Adam Kuperstein. He replaces Steve “Goldie” Goldstein who moved to r WINZ as morning show co-host.
Tampa’s sports talker WHFS trimmed Kirk McEwen’s morning show from four hours to three. The station also shifted midday talents Gary Shelton and “the Commish” an hour earlier; Rich Herrara and Booger McFarland move to afternoon drive; over nighter The Fabulous Sports Babe replaces Todd Wright at 10 p.m. Jim Rome, Scott Ferrall and Damon Amendolara’s syndicated shows fill in the gaps. The CBS station trails longtime sports talker WDAE in the Bay area ratings.
We had a Super Sunday radio accident on I-95 in Boca. Longtime South Florida broadcaster and ESPN’s intrepid odds maker, Hank Goldberg, was his old self on the air with ex-Dolphin Keith Simms on 640 AM. Hank interviewed South Florida fave Mark Trestman, new Chicago Bears coach, and long time Miami Hurricanes QB coach – a star limb from the substantial Howard Schnellenberger coaching tree.
Trestman, 56, was a HC in the CFL in 2012. He nurtured the successful careers of Bernie Kosar at the U, Jake Plummer with the Cards, Rich Gannon with the Raiders and Scott Mitchell with the Lions. He and Goldberg did a Miami radio show back in the day while between jobs. By the way, the Bears are 30-1 to win the 2014 Super Bowl.
• Another longtime South Florida fave Rob Chudzinski is the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns (50-1 odds). While at The U he catapulted Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey and Kellen Winslow into the pros.
• The Miami Herald unearthed even more Marlins mischief from scrutinizing the new stadium contract. It seems that the costs to construct the park came well under budget (tens of millions). According to the multi-party agreement, the leftover money goes to a maintenance reserve fund controlled by the ball club to cover future stadium repairs.
Effectively, this is a “windfall” for the team, which otherwise would have been required to go out of pocket to pay for inevitable maintenance in the stadium.
To add insult to injury Miami-Dade officials were assured by MLB and the Marlins that building a new ball park would automatically mean hosting an All Star game…MLB just announced the next NL city to do the same will be Cincinnati.
Various sources have confirmed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush made overtures to owner Jeffrey Loria about buying the Marlins. Bush, who now runs a private education consulting consortium, represented Venezuelan oil money. Bush would have been the managing partner much the way Bush #43 was with the Texas Rangers – had Loria been interested.
Loria has shown no interest in selling; however, if he were to sell, prevailing thinking is he would wait until at least 2014 due to contractual deterrents with Miami-Dade County.
After getting a thumbs up from the Miami-Dade county commission, Stephen Ross, Dolphins owner, took another step toward his plan to use public funding to renovate Sun Life stadium.
The Florida Senate and Commerce and Tourism Committee voted yes unanimously to endorse a $400 million dollar upgrade. The Miami-Dade delegation considers stadium funding low priority vs. education/insurance rate issues – effectively harpooning the Dolphins’ legislative strategy.
The result: the Dolphins submitted to a Miami-Dade county-wide referendum, probably in April. Superbowl L (2016) will be awarded by the NFL on May 22. And, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez is considering requiring the NFL to guarantee a Super Bowl in either 2016 or 2017. Who pays for the $5 million dollar cost for the vote remains a major question.
• Nick Sortal in the Sun Sentinel is reporting that Hialeah Park’s long awaited casino will go on line this June or July with 870 slots, 20 poker and 3 dominoes tables.
• The U basketball team trounced perennial ACC favorite North Carolina in much the same fashion they sent Duke packing a month earlier. The only difference in the sold out Bank United Center was royalty at courtside: Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, James Jones and Miami Heat owner Micky Arison.
The referendum in the nearby Bahamas to legalize gambling for their citizens was soundly defeated last month. Voters also defeated legalization of the gambling shops which, though technically illegal, provide Bahamians a place to gamble on U.S. televised lotteries.
A new high speed ferry service between Miami and Bimini is underway. Maverick holds about 350 people, cruises at 30 knots, and makes a daily 90-minute trip from Port of Miami to the Bahamian fishing center.
The service is considered integral to delivering day gamblers to Genting’s planned mega casino there.
Baird Thompson and William Hutchinson bring a combined 80 years of gaming marketing and administration experience to Gaming Today. Contact them at [email protected] GamingToday.com.