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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves



A weekly look at the Tampa Bay area and national politics from a conservative viewpoint – plus a helping of sports and lifestyle items. Warning: not everything printed here should be taken at face value!


Tampa Bay Rays moving forward – or backward? 


It was indeed a busy week for the Tampa Bay Rays. They in essence served as a conduit for a trade between the Mariners and the Indians. The Rays net was basically an infielder who has less than 400 major league at bats while losing a young first baseman who showed some promise last year. On the stadium front, it’s also hard to see a lot of progress. We think Tampa officials are right when they declare the Rays are doing a lot of posturing on the Ybor City site. Smart money says the Rays will circle back around to that location. In-between money says they’ll bolt. Our dumb money says the Rays should revisit the Al Lang option. It would take some doing, but the Rays would have one of the best two or three stadium venues in the country. Stay tuned.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. We don’t see what the rush is to put everything in place on Clearwater’s waterfront. Too many times over the years, the city has rushed into things and later regretted it. The soon to be demolished Harborview Center leads the list.

2. There was a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking on the tragic casino shuttle fire of early this year. Lots of fingers pointed. But one thing sticks out; there is inherent danger in wooden boats carrying large groups of passengers. Sooner or later, federal law is going to have to significantly limit passenger loads on wooden for hire watercraft.

3. Talk about irony. Cable operator Spectrum went to court to seek protection from an irate customer in Hillsborough County. It was denied. If only the general populace could get protection from Spectrum’s constant rate hikes and less than stellar service.

4. Sad to see the former Country Harvest Restaurant razed. The Missouri Avenue institution was where you ate well and made new friends both with fellow diners and staff. It was a Sunday after church tradition for so many families.

5. You’ve lived in the bay area a long time if you remember when stations like WFLA, WSUN and WTAN began and ended their broadcast days with the National Anthem.


Sports, the media and other stuff:


6. Tough to see Tampa’s Lou Piniella lose out by a single vote in the most recent Hall of Fame balloting. The committee did make two solid choices in hitting machine Harold Baines and relief ace Lee Smith – a guy who should have made it in the normal Hall of Fame balloting. Kudos to the old timers committee (or whatever they are called these days) for correcting this injustice.

7. There’s a changing of the guard in the NFL this year. The Packers, Steelers, Panthers and Eagles are pretty much non-factors while teams like the Chargers, Rams, Bears and Chiefs are emerging.

8. The AAC is trying to lock in its teams as they approach a new media deal. UCF should be hesitant to sign any long term deals. They are a hot property and sooner or later a Power Five conference is going to come knocking.

9. The Florida Gators say they will only consider a series with upstart UCF on a two home games for UF against one for UCF basis. Let’s see, UCF is #7 in the nation, the Gators 10. Over the past two seasons, UCF is 25-0 versus Florida’s 13-10. Things have changed in Florida football which the Gators don’t want to seem to acknowledge.

10. If you’re a sports fan and haven’t read anything by Will Leitch, you need to. He is one terrific writer.


A great baseball book to help you through the winter


We don’t like most baseball books and tend to toss them aside after 25 boring pages. But a book recommended to us by our baseball expert Achmed Walled (pronounced wall-ED) has shot into our Top Five All Time. It is Roger Kahn’s The Era – stories behind the period from 1947-57 when New York truly was the epicenter of baseball. There was Willie, Mickey and the Duke, Joltin’ Joe, Marilyn and, of course, the incredible story of Jackie Robinson. Kahn is heralded for his award winning Boys of Summer (which we intend to reread before Spring Training), but even if you were not a Dodgers, Giants or Yanks fan, this book is must reading.

UP NEXT: Our nation’s values, stuff “you can’t live without”; Chipmunks



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