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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.


Booming tourism; loss of a tourism leader


If you’ve “enjoyed” one of the lengthy queues leading to Clearwater Beach recently, you know that, despite red tide and some economic uncertainty, tourists are back with a vengeance. All of us benefit from our number one industry in one way or another whether it be wages from a tourism related or linked job or simply less of a tax burden because of how many tax dollars visitors supply while vacationing in Pinellas County. Our great start of the tourist season is tempered somewhat by the loss of Phil Henderson, Sr., who passed away earlier this month. Phil and his family brought dinner cruises to Pinellas years ago and he worked continuously for the good of tourism in our region - our condolences to the Henderson family.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. All the attention focused on the next U.N. Ambassador (Nikki, we hardly knew you.) reminds us of some folks who have stood out in what is a difficult position: Adlai Stevenson, Jeane Kirkpatrick and Madeleine Albright come to mind. And, of course, 41 was the only future President to serve in the post.

2. Who does Darryl Rouson think he’s kidding about his blatant conflict of interest involving his wife’s non-profits? In a previous life, we had similar issues where there might have been a conflict and you, without hesitation, stepped away from the debate.

3. Of the early applicants for the USF Presidency, none knocked our socks off. The university has recently been blessed with two strong leaders, now is not the time for anything less than Presidents Castor and Genshaft brought to the table.

4. Samsung has unveiled a cellphone that will sell for $1980. Amazing as it may seem, some people will buy those things.

5. You’ve lived in Clearwater a long time if you remember tossing a token into the bucket to cross the Sand Key Bridge. Bonus points if you still own one of those tokens!


Sports, the media and other stuff:


6.If we ever hit one of those mega jackpots (guess we’d have to buy a ticket first, but we digress), we would buy the Rays, rename them the St. Petersburg Saints, move them to Al Lang Field and into the National League.

7. Bruce Bochy to retire after this season - prepare the plaque for Cooperstown.

8. Manny Machado to the Padres! Who saw that coming? The other part of this season’s big ticket quiniela, Bryce Harper, may also land in a place you least expect.

9. Florida has added another five specialty license plates bringing the total to just north of 125. Our long suffering bride suggests that the state just issue us blanks and some permanent magic markers.

10. The “retired” editor of the renown 5:05 Newsletter has promised his many fans an occasional (once a month or every two months) missive. He blames the end of the Newsletter’s run on spiraling printing ink costs.



The making of a beer league


Shades of 1969 when, thanks to Bob Gibson, the majors lowered the mound after the Cardinals ace posted a 1.12 ERA, the major leagues again are attempting to create a soft-pitch softball style beer league. The insanity includes talk of further lowering the mound, moving it back and, of course, that old standby bringing the DH to the last vestige of real baseball – the National League. In the last forty years or so, only four or five pitchers have had sub 2.00 and those names like Maddox, Clemens, Martinez and Carlton are very special names. It’s as much the mentality of hitters and their swing for the fences with skinny handled bats as lower mounds and other factors that have led to less contact and way too many strikeouts.

Up Next: 100 years in business; another Harborview? Banks we knew


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