The Marlins and NFL linebacker Jonathan Vilma are in a legal fight over BBQ

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The New Orleans Saints’ Jonathan Vilma is part owner of a barbecue restaurant chain called Brother Jimmy’s. Until recently there was a Brother Jimmy’s in Marlins Park in Miami. Now there isn’t and the Marlins and Vilma’s restaurant have filed lawsuits at one another.

The upshot: the Marlins say that Brother Jimmy’s never paid a $75,000 sponsorship fee it owed the team to be in the ballpark. Brother Jimmy’s claims no agreement was ever reached and, even if one was, the Marlins and their concession operator totally botched the operation of the franchise by making bad food and providing crappy service, which hurts the Brother Jimmy’s brand. And then there’s this:

Brother Jimmy’s and Vilma also claim the Marlins made promises that attendance for the new ballpark would average 28,000 per game for the 2012 season, a mark that wasn’t hit. “They unfortunately sold us a dream, the attendance wasn’t what they were marketing to us, it was probably a fraction of that,” Vilma said.

Shocking there.

No idea who is right and who is wrong here, legally speaking, but I would advise Vilma and his business to push for a jury trial in Miami. No Dade County jury is gonna give the Marlins the benefit of the doubt.

The Cubs live for another day, but death will come soon

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The Cubs had a nice night last night. Javier Baez finally broke his hitless streak with not one but two homers. Willson Contreras hit a nearly 500-foot homer. Jake Arrieta, possibly pitching for the last time as a Cub, dug down for a gutsy performance, pitching into the seventh inning, working around some walks to allow only one run while striking out nine.

After the game, Cubs players sounded hopeful notes about believing in themselves, taking them one game at a time, getting the series back to L.A. for a Game 6 and Game 7. They’re professional athletes who know better than any of us that to achieve a thing you have to believe you can achieve that thing, so it’d be dumb to expect anything else from them in this situation. Ballplayers, quite admirably, don’t sound a note of defeat until they are actually defeated.

But let’s be realistic there: they’re still a dead team walking.

  • They’re dead because, as we have been reminded oh so many times, only once in 35 tries has a team come back to win a seven game series in which they’ve found themselves down 0-3. That team did so because Dave Roberts worked some magic. Dave Roberts is working for the other team now.
  • They’re dead because their biggest weakness this postseason — their bullpen — is not going to have its best pitcher, Wade Davis, available today in Game 5 after throwing 48 pitches in Game 4.
  • They’re dead because while the Dodgers used five relievers last night, none of them were worked particularly hard and neither Brandon Morrow nor Kenley Jansen were used at all, allowing them to come in and work hard and heavy tonight if need be.
  • They’re dead because the man on the mound to start tonight’s game is Clayton Edward Kershaw. Yes, he has had some less-than-glory-filled moments in the postseason in recent years, but all of those have come at the tail end of starts, when his managers have left him in perhaps an inning too long. See the above bullet point — and Dave Roberts’ early hook in Game 1 — if you think that’ll be a problem tonight.

The Dodgers lost last night, yes, but it was their first loss in the postseason. All teams have lost at least one postseason game since it went to the three-round format, so it was likely inevitable that L.A. would drop one. Heck, maybe they’ll drop two before the NLCS is over, but they’re not going to drop the next three in a row.

Last night’s Cubs win was nice for them, but it only delayed the inevitable.