TUE 7/26 After losing three straight at home to the Cubs and then being on the road for two consecutive weeks, the Marlins return home to battle the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates Tuesday through Thursday.
Before Wednesday's game, the Marlins will hold a Ladies' Night, which features roundtable discussions with players and front-office staff. The first 100 women who participate will receive a Marlins charm bracelet. Call 305-623-6239.
One of the players that ladies and dudes alike should keep an eye on is Marlins outfielder Miguel Cabrera (pictured). Just 22 years old, he was hitting .333 with 12 homers and 62 RBIs at presstime and made the All-Star game. Marlins starting pitcher Dontrelle Willis, catcher Paul Lo Duca, and second baseman Luis Castillo also represented Florida at the All-Star Game. Willis has been one of the most dominant starters in the National League this season with a 13-4 record and a 2.39 ERA.
Another 2005 MLB All-Star to watch is Pirates outfielder Jason Bay. The first Canadian-born player to be named Rookie of the Year, in 2004, Bay ranks in the top ten among NL outfielders in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs, hits, doubles, and home runs.
MON 7/25 After a majorly sucky season in 2004 (4-12), the Miami Dolphins won the dubious prize of the second draft pick (first pick went to the even-suckier 49ers). The team has been criticized for not using its pick more wisely. Namely, why didn't it grab a stellar quarterback instead of relying on shaky A.J. Feeley?
OK, so fans areexcited to see the Fins' top choice, 23-year-old running back Ronnie Brown, in action. But he might be overshadowed if that other running back -- Ricky Williams -- puts down his bong and comes trotting back to town.
Alas, Dolphins are people too, and their foibles are easy to forgive when you are basking in the live presence of pro athletes, with a little tailgate partying to get you in the mood. The first 2,000 people to get to the Dolphins' training facility at Nova Southeastern University (7500 SW 30th St., Davie) can catch the team's first day of training camp that's open to the public. Monday's practices last from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Admission is free. For details, visit www.miamidolphins.com. -- Deirdra Funcheon
A Need for Speed
SAT 7/23 The Motorcycle Road Races at Moroso Motorsports Park (17047 Beeline Hwy., Jupiter) feature motorcycles that run up to 190 mph around a 2.25-mile, ten-turn course. Competitors of all skill levels and ages compete in 19 races.
"Over the years, the sport of motorcycle racing has grown tremendously," says Moroso Motorcycle Road Racing organizer Henry DeGouw. "It's unbelievable. I just returned from a major Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing event in California which drew over 160,000. The public enjoys watching 180-mile-an-hour rockets, which is what the motorcycles look like when they are on the track."
Ticket prices are $15 for Saturday, $20 for Sunday, or $25 for a two-day pass. All tickets are general admission and include a paddock pass. Call 561-622-1400, or visit www.morosomotorsportspark.com. -- Jamie Aquino
Wake Up! It's Dusk!
THU 7/21 To you, 7:30 p.m. might be time to go to the bar, time to do your laundry, or time to settle in and watch Jeopardy! But for many creatures, dusk equals breakfast time. Meet nocturnal critters and check out the stars with a naturalist during a night hike at Tree Tops Park (3900 SW 100th Ave., Davie). It costs $3 per person, and you should RSVP by calling 954-370-3750, ext. 25. -- Deirdra Funcheon