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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.


Arming teachers is utter nonsense


Newly elected Governor Ron DeSantis and others (including our esteemed sheriff) are way off base in their proposals to arm Florida’s classroom teachers. As the husband and father of classroom teachers, the last thing we want is to have our untrained loved ones packing heat. The truth is both their schools (the one where our wife taught for three decades and the other where our daughter now teaches) have simple, but effective policies and infrastructure in place to severely limit the chances of any Stoneman-like incident occurring on their campuses. Foolproof? No, but a far sight better than creating an armed militia out of Florida’s some 175,000 educators.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. The merging of the Clearwater Regional and Clearwater Beach Chambers is long overdue and makes way too much sense. It ends over two decades of duplicated services and, quite often, rancor between the two groups.

2. What’s the big deal about Publix contributing a few thousand dollar checks to politicians on both sides of the aisle in Tallahassee? If you want some examples of really egregious political giving, look at companies like Nike, Johnson and Johnson or Bank of America.

3. Apple stock is making a come-back after a weak fourth quarter thanks to its shrewd business model of constantly coming out with costly new products that require costly new battery chargers that are completely different from all the costly Apple battery chargers you already have.

4. Idle thought: With Costco and Sam’s already in place, is Pinellas ready for a third warehouse club (soon to open BJ’s)? Years ago, Pace Membership Warehouse proved that the answer was no.

5. Our reference to Chick Smith Ford last week leads us to a natural segue that you’ve lived in Clearwater a long time if you ever ate at the Chick Inn at the merge of Cleveland and Gulf to Bay.


Sports, the media and other stuff:


6. Manager with the hottest seat this baseball season is Gabe Kapler of the Phils. He presided over the Phils’ historic collapse last year, now his roster is populated by players purchased with “stupid money” and in a recent poll of major league players, he was voted the current manager they would least like to play for. He better win. Honorable mention goes to Joe Madden in a contract year with the Cubs starting 1-6.

7. It took exactly four games for every team in the majors to be tagged with a loss or to get a win – nobody is exactly breaking out of the box with a head of steam.

8. Another season, another visit to the disabled list (pardon us, the Injured List) for Troy Tulowitzki – the guy just can’t stay healthy – and it’s spreading to his Yankee teammates who currently have 11 guys down with injuries.

9. Longtime friend and master jeweler Ken Smith boldly posted a picture on Facebook recently of two very different shoes he wore all day never realizing they didn’t match. It takes a man to admit that!

10. This week we continue our parade of great baseball numbers (see back story in TBRR 3/10/19) and we’re up to #4 - our choice of the best player to ever wear #4 is not quite the slam dunk of #3 (Babe Ruth). Several Hall of Famers wore the number, Luke Appling, Joe Cronin, Ralph Kiner, Paul Molitor and Duke Snider. But Ruth’s teammate, Lou Gehrig, stands head and shoulders above the others.


The curse of Phil Bengtson


You look at the name above and it rings a bell. Who was Phil Bengtson? His name is linked with names like Mike Matheny, Raheem Morris, Mike Brown and now Holly Warlick. Bengtson was unfortunate enough to replace the legendary Vince Lombardi as head coach of the Green Bay Packers. He lasted three seasons, logging a 20-21 record and never was a head coach again. It’s tough to replace a legend – just ask Matheny (Tony LaRussa), Morris (the Buc’s Super Bowl winning Jon Gruden), Brown (the Laker’s Zen Master, Phil Jackson) and now the recently departed Warlick (Tennessee legend Pat Summitt). Warlick had an otherwise excellent 172-67 record over seven seasons but under the shadow of college basketball’s winningest coach, it wasn’t enough.

UP NEXT: Will Rogers wisdom; the Clipper; our bloated Constitution



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