- Faith & Family
It was not unusual to see legendary saxophonist Clarence Clemons at any South Florida sporting event. Always a huge fan of our local teams, Clemons was often sought out by the various sporting franchises to perform the national anthem before games. Best known as a central figure in rocker Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, we knew we were witnessing greatness every time he performed at a venue. Sadly, the big man succumbed to complications from a recent stroke over the weekend and passed away at the age of 69.
Immediately the reaction from the sports world in South Florida came pouring in. Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade sent along his respects via Twitter: “@DwyaneWade: RIP Clarence Clemons. Great musician but an even greater person. We will miss you at the AAA.” Marlins President David Samson issued the following statement: “The Florida Marlins are deeply saddened by the untimely passing of the greatest saxophone player in music history. His commitment to South Florida sports was strong and he was a faithful and devoted fan of ours and the other teams in Miami.”
Clemons was supposed to play the national anthem before Game 6 of the NBA Finals in Miami, but suffered a stroke on June 12th. It was only two months ago that he performed the national anthem at the season opener for the Florida Marlins. He also performed numerous times for the Miami Dolphins.
A South Florida icon and big time sports fan, he will be greatly missed.
In more depressing news: It seems as if losing has finally taken its toll on Marlins Manager Edwin Rodriguez, who resigned this past Sunday. Only weeks ago, the Marlins were nipping at the heels of NL east leader Philadelphia and were among the surprise stories in MLB.
Now everything has gone south since then. As of this past Sunday, the fish won only one game during the entire month of June. Ace hurler Josh Johnson could be done for the year, after a great start. Hanley Ramirez is a mere mortal after barely hitting an average of .200. Leadoff man Chris Coghlan, was demoted to Triple A and word is he did not take that too well.
With the new baseball stadium making its debut in 2012, the timing of all of this seriously stinks. For nice guy Edwin Rodriguez, he simply could not take it anymore. Rumors were rampant about his job security and always a proud man who would not allow himself to be the scapegoat, Rodriguez resigned and preserved his dignity.
Hopefully by the time you are reading this, things will have begun to change for the Marlins, otherwise, sports fans in South Florida might be digging in the closet and brushing the dust off those Canes and Fins jerseys.
BY THE SPORTS BROTHERS