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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves

WEEK OF APRIL 28, 2019


Tampa’s next mayor


To no one’s surprise, Jane Castor will be Tampa’s next mayor. She brings a somewhat unclear agenda to the table – what about Tampa’s horrific traffic problems; their failed Rays adventure and so on. The campaign also exposed some troubling issues regarding her days as police chief and serious questions about whether she’ll be able to keep her significant other and her partners out of City Hall business. As for the departing Bob Buckhorn, he leaves, for the most part, a solid record behind, although the Mayor’s chair did not provide the springboard to the Governor’s mansion as he may have hoped.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. So Hurricane Michael may have been a Category 5 storm rather a four? Really, the people of Bay County don’t give a damn. As pointed out a couple of weeks ago (TBRR 4/14/19), what they do care about is getting some long overdue relief!

2. As predicted here last fall, the city of Clearwater’s flirting with a strong mayor concept has cost them a strong candidate for the soon to be vacated City Manager’s job. Deputy City Manager Jill Silverboard is leaving the city for the number two position down the street at Pinellas County.

3. So Joe Biden is running for President, as a centrist as opposed to Democratic left wing wack jobs; he could garner a lot of votes from Republicans disenchanted with Trump – if he weren’t as old as Methuselah.

4. The old Bismarck line about laws and sausages came to mind last week as the Florida legislature watered down a much needed texting while driving bill. Guess something is better than nothing, but the final result will fall far short of what it should be.                 

5. You’ve lived in Florida a long time if you remember the original admission price at Walt Disney World was $3.50 for adults, a dollar for kids under 12.


Sports, the media and other stuff:


6. More politically correct garbage – the Philadelphia Flyers are no longer using a recording of Kate Smith’s God Bless America at their games. The reason?  She sang some allegedly racist song back in the 30s – a song, ironically, also recorded by Paul Robeson. We prefer to think of Kate Smith the way FDR introduced her to the King of England, “This is Kate Smith. Miss Smith is America”.

7. He was, by far, the best sixth man in NBA history. John Havlicek along with Bill Russell was the heart and soul of the Boston Celtics in the 60s and 70s. Havlicek passed away last week at age 79. Havlicek grew up in a tiny Ohio town (Lansing) without a stop light. A few doors down was his best friend, Phil Niekro. We doubt any other similar town produced two Hall of Famers on the same street.

8. Scary stuff:  With fully 11 regular players and pitchers out, the Yankees are only a game and a half out of the AL East as we go to press.

9. Factoid: Rays’ reliever Diego Castillo is the hardest throwing pitcher in the American League with his fastball averaging 97.9 miles per hour – a full mile per hour faster than better known Yanks’ closer Aroldis Chapman.

10. Another week and another easy choice in our season-long picks of the best baseball players to wear certain numbers (Back story in TBRR 3/10/19). Hall of Famer Al Simmons, who hit a lot of home runs in the band box that was Connie Mack Stadium, wore #7. But the perhaps the greatest switch hitter of all time also wore the number – and that was the Mick – that is in every year with the Yanks except the first when he wore #6 for a while until #7, Cliff Mapes was traded to the St. Louis Browns – remember them?


Focus group weighs in on the comic section:


Our TBRR focus group comprised of five old, cranky people were asked to select their favorite comic strip from their youth. The selections: Chester Gould’s somewhat futuristic (remember the wrist radio?) Dick Tracy,  plus another franchise still popular – Archie, the pre-historic satire Alley Oop which still runs in 600 newspaper and finally two of the five votes for Blondie with its strong Clearwater roots. There was only one rule in the focus group selections – they could not pick Peanuts, which let’s face it, everybody loves.

NEXT UP:  Texaco and the Met; One month down, five to go; Sweet Sage



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