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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves




What the primaries mean to us


First, you can’t believe the polls as Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum proved last week. And never underestimate the bullheadedness of Donald Trump’s followers who choose to ignore qualifications and nominate an ill-prepared Ron DeSantis to be the GOP standard-bearer. It took DeSantis less than 24 hours to commit his first major gaff. Neither man was the most qualified among their party’s nominees, but they are what we have to choose from in November. Who will win? The early money is on Gillum, but the next six weeks will be interesting.\


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. Gillum’s win was the only real upset in Florida’s balloting. Most other races went as experts predicted.

2. Kudos to Deborah Clark and her crew at the Supervisor of Elections office who had everything wrapped up just after 8 p.m. And onions to Bay News Nine whose coverage was like amateur hour with assorted technical problems and ill-prepared on-air staff. But at least they put out something as opposed to 8, 10, 13 and 28.

3. A few days before last week’s primary election, we received a postcard telling us not to vote for Republican Nick DiCeglie – but not a single mention of who his opponent was – and somebody paid good money for that. By the way, DiCeglie won convincingly over the unknown opponent.

4. Our friend Luke Palmer recently shared some aerial footage of Clearwater Beach. It reminded us what a spectacular place we call home.

5. You’ve lived in the bay area a long time if your first day back at school was the day after Labor Day. This Labor Day, the kids have been back in school for almost a month. Good grief!


Sports, the media and other stuff:


6. The NFL regular season kicks off this coming weekend and here’s perhaps the oddest fact in the NFL: the Falcons’ stadium, now in its second year of operation, has among its concessions a very large Chick-fil-A. You see the problem there, correct? The chain is not open on Sundays – including Sunday, Feb. 3 when the stadium will host the Super Bowl. It is open during concerts, college games and such, but still…

7. Pre-season predictions have the Bucs winning anywhere from 2 to 7 games. We think a repeat of last year’s 5-11 is just about right.

8. My, it was fun watching the Hawaiian team in the Little League World Series. They reminded us what the great game of baseball is all about.

9. Number of the week .01 per cent - the expert’s chances of the Rays making the playoffs – better than the 0.0 per cent of the already eliminated Orioles and Royals.

10. On Labor Day Week, here is the third of our “doubleheaders” involving franchises’ best player and pitchers (see back story TBRR 3/25). We lead off with the Colorado Rockies in existence since 1993. As for a position player, it’s hard to argue with Todd Helton, a future Hall of Famer and owner of a .316 career batting average. On the pitching side, nowhere is it tougher to pitch than Denver and the pickings are slim, but we’ll go with closer Brian Fuentes who logged half of his 204 career saves in a Rockies uniform. Our second team this week is the Royals who have a couple World Series pennants hanging in their stadium. When you think of Royals position players, you first think of Hall of Famer George Brett – like Todd Helton above, owner of one of the sweetest swings in baseball. On the pitching side, hard-throwing Dennis Leonard notched three 20-game win seasons with the Royals and gets the nod over some other good KC hurlers like Paul Splittorff, and relievers Jeff Montgomery and Dan Quisenberry.


Their generation was also pretty great


A little over two months ago (TBRR 7/22/18), we said goodbye to an American hero we witnessed up close and personal – Lt. Gen. Dick Leavitt with whom we served during the Vietnam conflict. And last week, another great man from that conflict, Senator John McCain passed away. We know about the greatest generation – our Dad’s generation, but we must never forget the sacrifices men like Dick Leavitt and John McCain along with their colleagues who fought in Vietnam and Korea made for their country. Those two wars were not abided by the general public, but the sacrifices made were, nonetheless, greatly significant.

Next Up: Remembering Irma; KK; the Tigers’ best



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