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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves



Enforce laws on handicapped parking - now


The escalation of a parking violation at a Clearwater convenience store was tragic and unnecessary. And the stand your ground issue aside, the thing that triggered the episode was the epidemic disregard for designated handicapped parking spaces. Quoted in a local paper the girlfriend of the slain man said “I didn’t do anything wrong.” Wrong, wrong and wrong. She willfully ignored a posted handicapped parking sign. It’s one of those laws that is ignored ‘because everybody does it’. It shouldn’t be that way, either our sheriff or local law enforcement agencies need to form a task force to crack down on these scofflaws. Too costly? At $255 per violation, it won’t take much to pay the salaries of a team of six or eight officers to range countywide. Our law enforcement people need to get off their chairs and do something about this impunity.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. It is hard to understand how $150,000 in receipts skipped by rankling Parks and Recreation officials in Clearwater. The man responsible, Robert Carpenter, has been arrested, but those above him have some serious explaining to do to their superiors at City Hall.

2. New stadium for the Rays, upgraded stadiums for the Phils and Jays and USF wants its own on-campus stadium (more on that in a week or two). Where’s all the money going to come from?

3. There’s a new terminology that has creeped into the American lexicon – “non-violent felon”. It is being tossed about by supporters of the move to add felons to Florida’s voting rolls. Brought down to its essence, a non-violent felon is someone who rather than killing people with weapons, sells them drugs that can kill them. We fail to see the distinction.

4. Service dog scams have gotten out of hand. We simply can’t believe a French Poodle or similar breeds can carry out the duties of a service dog. Government agencies are planning to crack down, but hopefully not before I register my service cat Murphy.

5. Tampa Bay’s answer to Wide World of Sports, The 5:05 Newsletter offers up this hunting news: A new federal law will allow hunters to use donuts to attract bears. The move was strongly opposed by police, many of whom have been mauled fighting a bear over a donut.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. He played to two very distinct audiences – SiriusXM’s Margaritaville and WUSF’s Morning Edition. Veteran broadcaster Carson Cooper passed away last week at age 58.

7. Chipper Jones’ induction into the Hall of Fame last week doubled the number of #1 draft picks in the Hall. The only other is Ken Griffey, Jr. The amateur draft started in 1965 and the first #1 selection was Rick Monday.

8. For only the third time in club history, the Rays will host one of the major league’s biggest draws – the LA Dodgers next year. The West Division’s strong Diamondbacks and Rockies will also visit along with the yearly stopover for the Marlins.

9. Baseball is, indeed, a funny game. The Rays held their own in June against a brutal schedule that included the Mariners, Nats plus the Yanks and Astros twice. But last weekend, they get pushed around by the Orioles – the team with the worst record in baseball.

10. This week’s best pitcher and player analysis (see back story TBRR 3/25/18) falls on the Texas Rangers/Washington Senators II. Established as an expansion franchise in 1961, the Senators moved to Texas in 1972 becoming the Rangers. Over that two city journey, their most outstanding player and only Hall of Famer is Pudge Rodriguez – generally recognized as one of the five best catchers in baseball history. Pitching has never been a strong suit for either second Senators or Ranger teams. By a close margin over Charlie Hough, the Rangers best pitcher over three stints with Texas is Kenny Rogers who racked up 133 wins with the club.


MLB at the two-thirds pole


Some thoughts while we wait for the Washington Nationals’ push we knew was going to come, but now looks like a mirage: J.A. Happ’s first start for the Yanks was good. They just hope he won’t be the next Sonny Gray. The AL is pretty well set with Bosox, Yanks, Indians, Astros and Mariners playoff bound unless Oakland or the Angels have a run in them. We don’t think they do. A team must win the NL East to get in. We still think the Braves are playing for next year, so that leaves the Phils. Cubs win the Central with Brewers possibly getting a wild card ticket although we forecast, like last year, both wild cards will come from the NL West. And the best pick-up at the trade deadline – the Dodgers addition of Manny Machado. Don’t think there is anyone in baseball who would not agree that the Rays got a very good return for Chris Archer.

Up Next: Putnam GOP’s only choice; The Rays’ best; Kash and Karry




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