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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves




Groundbreaking Tampa Bay musician


Recently your humble blogger had Doug Allen of the renowned Bananas Record Store come by to hand over our 1500 some record collection in anticipation of a move to smaller quarters. Doug got all but a few of our records. Principally among the hold backs was the beautiful Would I Still Be Loving You by Tampa’s Rockers – the first local group to get a deal with a national label – Warwick Records. The record made it on regional charts – going to Number 1 on Tampa’s WALT radio in 1961. Ironically, the national recording did not credit the Rockers as there was already a national group with that name, so the record credits the Tides. The leader of this seminal group, Dennis Pupello, passed away last week at age 79. It was Dr. Pupello, mind you, as his career as a leader of Tampa’s first successful band was followed by a distinguished career as a heart surgeon. He will be missed but lilting lyrics of Would I Still Be Loving You will live on in the minds of Tampa Bay teens of that era.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. Nice of Mayor Bob Buckhorn to throw in his two cents on the strong mayor vote in Clearwater along with some insignificant member of the Pinellas County Commission. Folks, both of you have issues that need attending to at home without worrying about little old Clearwater.

2. The chairman of the FCC really gave panhandle cellular providers what for when cell service wasn’t restored as quickly as he liked. Maybe he should climb a few cell towers and string a few miles of cable before being quite so judgmental.

3. Idle thought: We’d gladly go for a quarter or half cent tax increase if it meant we could get the confounded traffic lights on Pinellas’ major arteries in sync.

4. Fifty years ago this week, Richard Nixon completed his political comeback defeating Hubert Humphrey for the presidency. The comeback kind of went downhill from there.

5. Breaking tech news from the 5:05 Newsletter: FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller was spotted at an Apple store. When he said his computer is really slow, the employee said, “Like 'normal' slow or 'your investigation' slow?”


Sports, the media and stuff:


6. In 1959, he was NL Rookie of the Year, ten years later, the league’s MVP, in 1986 he joined the other Willie in the Hall of Fame. Giant great Willie McCovey died last week at age 80.

7. Most interesting trade that didn’t happen last off season. When the Atlanta Braves inquired about Christian Yelich, the Marlins asked for prospect Ronald Acuna, Jr. in return. The Braves said no. Yelich, who wound up in Milwaukee, will most likely be NL MVP and Acuna its Rookie of the Year.

8. We’ve always admired Brad Ausmus as a player and a manager, but we hate to see him take the job with the Angels – a team that has nearly a quarter billion dollars tied up in three players – two of whom (Upton and Pujlos) are in the sunsets of their careers.

9. Jeff George, Terry Baker, Steve Bartkowski and Jack Concanon – just four other #1 draft pick quarterbacks who flopped. If Jameis Winston doesn’t improve, he won’t be the first #1 QB flop by far.

10. Idle thought: perhaps the only thing worse than strolling on to a car lot is strolling into a cellphone store. (Actually we’ve been dealing with the same car dealer for two decades, and Dick and Doug Norris make that experience extremely pleasant).


Managing by the numbers or managing to win?


It’s Game 4 of the World Series; Rich Hill of the Dodgers is twirling a masterful one-hitter. He walks a guy with one out and here comes manager Dave Roberts with the hook. Roberts goes to the bullpen which wastes no time in coughing up a 4-0 lead, turning a win into a loss. In the old days, it was called going by the book, now baseball geeks call it sabermetrics or whatever. Either way, it’s losing baseball. Today’s managers are so pressured by the front office to pay attention to tons of stats turned out by geeks who never played the game that they don’t trust their gut that, in Roberts’ case, has been conditioned by years on the field and then in the dugout. There is a reason that some pitchers are starters and not relievers – they’re simply better pitchers. And if front offices, don’t trust their managers to rely on those years of experience, then they need to install a pre-programmed robot in the dugout and see just how well that works out.

Up next: The election; ’19 World Series odds; O’Neal’s



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