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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves

WEEK OF JULY 15, 2018



High court – Trump forgoes TD pass for safe 15-yarder



President Trump had an opportunity to throw a touchdown pass in his second selection for the U.S. Supreme Court but chose a safer 15-yarder with his selection of Brett Kavanaugh. The touchdown pass, in the eyes of conservatives, would have been Judge Amy Comey Barrett, a staunch pro-life advocate, but likely the target of a tougher confirmation process. Although, it would have been fun watching Democratic puppets like Bill Nelson try to explain why they voted against a highly qualified female jurist. It appears that Kavanaugh’s nomination, while no Sunday picnic, should be successful. And, through back channels, the White House has hinted Judge Barrett most likely would be the next nominee when a position comes vacant on the high court.  



Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. While somewhat sympathetic to Mayor George Cretekos’ desire to remain at street level (TBRR 7/8/18), we agree with one highly placed official who points out Cretekos’ move to the Municipal Services Building will require some dual staffing (and additional expense). The mayor comes off as a little pouty in the grand scheme of things.

2. Forget about the tempest in a teapot over Adam Putnam, but Publix, over the past couple years, has made several missteps that have tarnished their image – the latest being holding an 81-year-old and her 92-year-old husband captive for three hours over some allegedly pilfered cat food.

3. We continue to be amazed at election signs that give you a bunch of razzmatazz but all but hide the candidate’s last name and office sought. On an election sign that’s all that matters.

4. IHOP’s fake name change (TBRR 6/17/18) reminds us of “New Coke” of years ago. Was it a blunder or just a savvy way to remind us how good “old Coke” tasted?

5. You’ve lived in Clearwater a long time if you pre-date the chain drugstores and shopped at D’Anna’s, Greenwood or Skycrest Pharmacies.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. There will always be inequities in All-Star balloting. The Ray’s Blake Snell should have not had to wait until the last minute for selection to the AL pitching staff and in the senior circuit, the league’s leading hitter the Reds’ Scooter Gennett was hosed in the second base balloting losing out to a much less qualified Javier Baez of Chicago, but should anybody be surprised by fishy elections involving Chicago?

7. Another All-Star tidbit from MLB.com: “How many players since World War II have notched 2,000 career hits, 400 doubles and 1,000 runs without ever making an All-Star team? Well, that's a trick question, because the answer is now "none." But prior to Sunday, the list began and ended with Nick Markakis”. It’s unbelievable that a guy like the Orioles/Braves professional hitter had never made an All-Star team until now.

8. Below this week, you’ll find our review of the top players in Orioles’ history. Although he didn’t make the cut, the Birds’ lefty Mike Flanagan owns one of the best all time quotes – “You know you’re having a bad day when the 5th inning rolls around and they drag the warning track.”

9. So what’s up with another spike in gas prices after the 4th of July? Was it Kavanaugh’s nomination; Trump does Europe; or the Rays going over .500? As we’ve reminded you before, it has absolutely nothing to do with greed.

10. This week we take a look at the Baltimore Orioles/St. Louis Browns – which was the team name until 1954. Picking the most outstanding pitcher in the O’s history is relatively easy. Although stellar pitchers like Mike Cuellar, Dave McNally and Steve Stone passed through Baltimore, Jim Palmer spent his entire career there racking up 258 wins and four Cy Young Awards. On the player side, you could toss three names in a hat – the Robinsons, Brooks and Frank, and Cal Ripken. F. Robinson we eliminate because he was not a career Oriole – Brooks and Cal were. Cal holds the record for most consecutive games played, but Brooks was probably the best defensive third baseman in history and gets the nod.


Focus Group’s Top Five Flicks


We use the old timey term flicks because our TBRR focus group (comprised of five old, cranky people) is extremely old timey – as are the films they chose – National Velvet, Gone with the Wind, Midway, The Graduate and When Harry Met Sally. When you consider that the most recent of these pictures is almost thirty years old, you learn something about our focus group – or about the quality of productions coming out of Hollywood the last 30 years.

Up Next: Too late for Chris; NECCO wafers; GOP endorsements


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