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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves

WEEK OF AUG. 27, 2018


No compelling reason for strong mayor


If the City of Clearwater had a succession of weak city managers, you might make a case for a strong mayor system. The city has had the same steady hand at the helm for almost two decades. Perfect? No, but consistent in doing what’s best for the city while herding cats (read city councils). Bill Horne is leaving in a couple years, but that is no reason to throw the baby out with the bath water. You find a suitable replacement without drastically changing a system that worked for over a century. There simply is no compelling reason for a strong mayor in Clearwater. We predict the citizenry of Clearwater will return that verdict in November.

Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff


1. Another side problem with all this fuss over a strong mayor is it will probably cost Clearwater its best candidate to replace Bill Horne when he retires. Jill Silverboard, the city’s assistant city manager, has already started circulating her resume and was a finalist for Pinellas County’s top administrative job.

2. People in the media are making a big deal over Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jeff Greene stopping his TV ads late last week. Whether we want to admit it or not, the election is over with well over 50 per cent of voters already casting their ballots via mail or early voting.

3. Idle thought: don’t you wish the state would stay out of local government’s business and vice versa?

4. A tip of our cap to Southwest Airlines for banning service poodles and chihuahuas from their flights.

5. You’ve lived in the bay area a long time if you ate at a Sweden House restaurant. The last Sweden House closed in 2006.

Sports, the media and other stuff:


6. UCF begins their schedule this week ranked #21. Pretty low ranking for a 13-0 team, but it should improve as they play no ranked teams and their toughest test will probably be the season finale against USF.

7. Two very diverse personalities, Jameis Winston and Urban Meyer both begin their seasons with three game suspensions – curious.

8. A piece in “Florida’s Best Newspaper” last week crowed about how wrong pre-season critics were about the Rays’ fortunes. It isn’t like they’re challenging for the post season. Only three teams in the entire American League are further out of first place.

9. Updating a feel good story from a year ago this month (TBRR 8/20/17) when Chris Rowley, pitching for the Blue Jays, became the first ever West Point graduate to win a major league game. Turns out that has been his only win. The Blue Jays released him, and he’s now in the Texas organization pitching at Triple A.

10. No baseball franchise dates back further than the Cincinnati Reds, and their recent history is sprinkled with outstanding players. In this week’s look at the Red’s best since 1950 (back story 3/25 TBRR), we focus first on position players. You have names like Rose, Morgan, Perez, Larkin, Robinson and Bench to choose from – that’s tough. But one man, Bench, is generally recognized as the greatest to ever play his position and gets the nod over five other great players. Pitching has typically been the Red’s Achilles’ heel over the years. Tom Seaver had some good years, but he is remembered best as a Met. The Reds most dominating pitcher in the 60s – with two 20 game win seasons was Jim Maloney and our pick among an admittedly weak field.


MLB: One month to go - a lot to be decided


Suddenly there is some excitement in the American League with the hard charge by the Oakland A’s and the recent fade by the World Champ Astros. A month after the trade deadline, the best pick up by far has been Cole Hamels, who many folks wrote off. Without him, the Cubs are looking up at first place. The Mets pitching staff is intact again, and no contender wants to play them in the remaining month. And this is what we guess the folks at MLB were visualizing when they expanded the playoffs. The Braves, the Phils, the Cubs, the Brewers, the Cards, the Rockies, the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers all have a shot at the playoffs – and all of them have an equal shot at being shut out of a playoff spot. September will be interesting.

Up next: What we learned from the primaries; Orville’s last flight; Royals & Rox



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