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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves




Take it to the bank; the mighty Achmed Walled predicts


Usually our sports stuff goes “below the fold” but when your baseball predictor has nailed four of the last five World Series winners, it goes to the top. After getting his meds (he originally liked Catfish, Vida and the A’s in five), here are Achmed Walled’s (pronounced WALL-ed) predictions: Despite the phenomenal seasons by the Red Sox and Yankees, Achmed sees the Astros emerging from the American League and, in a rematch, defeating the Dodgers for a second straight World Series title. Two cautionary remarks from the TBRR soothsayer, beware of wild card teams Oakland and Milwaukee.



Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. The plight of the Cremo family in St. Pete’s Historic Old Northeast Neighborhood is yet another example of a city bureaucracy gone amuck. That city, particularly, has much bigger issues than a residential driveway.

2. Couldn’t help thinking of the Wall Street Journal’s article on Florida being the deadliest state for bicyclists as we watched a uniformed biker whiz through a red light on the Memorial Causeway. It isn’t just lousy drivers folks.

3. That shrinking violet, Pasco County Sheriff Grady Judd, is starting a podcast this month called “Not in My County”. With one of the top ten crime rates among counties in Florida, maybe Grady should spend a little more time arresting bad guys and a little less time in front of the camera.

4. The 5:05 Newsletter can’t be bothered with Red Tide when they have this breaking news: Giant plastic-wrapped bundles of marijuana have been mysteriously washing ashore along the coast of Florida. Or as they are calling it now, the Great Barrier Reefer. This story gives new meaning to the terms “seaweed and “high tide.”

5. You’ve lived in Pinellas County a long while if you pronounce it pie-nellas rather than puh-nellas.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. There just shouldn’t be any reason why Blake Snell doesn’t win the Cy Young Award. Granted, Sale and Verlander are having their usual quality years along with the Indians’ Kluber and Bauer, but Snell leads the field in too many important categories.

7. Would the Bucs have been 2-1 with Jameis Winston at the controls? Looking at Fitzpatrick’s stats, it’s unlikely.

8. Idle thought now that pitchers are allowed to have the same little cards that position players have – just can’t imagine Early Wynn, Goose Gossage or Don Drysdale having such a card in their hip pocket. Kaat, Perry and Sutton – yes, as long as they were laminated with emery.

9. Fifty years ago this week, the top song in the country was The Beatles Hey Jude. It would stay on top for nine weeks – the most of any song since 1960’s Summer Place by Percy Faith. Hey Jude was the biggest hit of the decade.

10. In our rankings of the 30 franchises, best player/pitcher, we saved the best for last – the Yankees. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, their track record speaks for itself. We turned this duty over to our oldest and dearest friend, a guy we’ve known since we played Little League ball together at age 11– but most important, he’s a lifetime Yankee fan. His picks: best pitcher – Hall of Famer Whitey Ford. And when they write a hit song about you, you’re pretty good and the middle name in Willie, Mickey and the Duke (Talking Baseball) gets the nod as the greatest Yankee in thepast seven decades. Fun fact provided by our Yankee expert, everybody knows the Yanks have retired number 7 in his honor but in his rookie year with the Yanks, the Mick wore number 6 (now retired in honor of Joe Torre).



Look hard at Marlins before putting up public money


The Miami Marlins have closed out their season with a total attendance of just over 800,000 despite the baseball palace built to host their games. For comparison, the LA Dodgers lead the league with 3.8 million and the median attendance is right at 2.2 million. The second worst attendance is our own Rays at just over one million despite a very competitive team. Do we seriously think a new stadium will boost that puny number to a sustainable number? It didn’t in Miami, and we need to be darn sure it will here before a whole bunch of valuable public dollars are spent in Ybor City.

Up Next: Like abuse? Run for office; MLB manager carousel




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