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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves

WEEK OF MAY 5, 2019


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.


Restitution yes; fines and fees no


Full disclosure – we were foursquare against making it too easy for convicted felons to regain their voting rights on a whim when there was a procedure in place to restore those rights. But the people spoke. Now in Tallahassee, there is more “sausage making” over this issue. The legislature wants released felons to satisfy all restitution, fines and fees before being franchised. This was not what the majority of Florida voters had in mind. We strongly agree with the restitution piece as this represents losses to innocent people. But frankly, most fines and fees are just a way for the state to pick someone’s pocket- a someone who has done their time and is trying to make a clean start without the state grabbing every dime they can. We’re not saying waive the fees and fines, as onerous as they are, but don’t make them a condition to vote.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. It’s currently a lovefest between Democratic mayors Kriseman and Castor, but wait until the rubber meets the road on where the Rays locate.

2. Next Thursday, the 16th, should be interesting. That’s when the St. Pete City Council takes up Mayor Kriseman’s decision to drop several members of the housing authority’s board. No controversy there!

3. Much ado about the new dining spots at TIA. We really can’t see Pinellas folks driving to the airport, jockeying for parking and enduring whatever security checks, when you can enjoy a relaxing evening at the Beachcomber, Palm Pavilion or Frenchy’s on this side of the water.

4. Idle thought: We’d probably stroke more checks to more charities if they had a check-off box that read “Here’s my yearly contribution, save printing and postage and get back to me in a year.”

5. You’ve lived in Clearwater a long time if you remember the concession run by the blind at the historic Clearwater Post Office.


Sports, the media and other stuff:


6. Number of the week – 64 – the number of years Texaco sponsored the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts. We cannot find any sponsorship that lasted longer. The majority of those years the Met’s announcer was the incomparable Milton Cross.

7. Are we the only ones who don’t get all this fuss over “likes” on Instagram? And are we the only ones who wouldn’t care even if we got it?

8. Darn! We missed out on Grady Judd bobble head night at Lakeland’s Joker Marchant Field last Friday.

9. At month’s end, baseball’s two $300 million dollar men, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado were hitting .231 and .236 respectively. But in Machado’s defense (literally), he has been putting on clinics at third and shortstop for the Padres.

10. Gary Carter, Joe Morgan and “Pops” Stargell were among the truly outstanding major league ball players to wear #8 on their backs. But that number was also worn by one of the greatest clutch hitters in the history of the game – Yogi Berra. Casey Stengel who managed stars like Maris, Mantle and DiMaggio was once asked, with the game on the line, who did he want up at the plate? His immediate answer – Yogi Berra – a pretty fair county catcher as well. We’ve quoted this back of Yogi’s ball card before – 1950 – batted .322 with 28 homers, 124 runs batted in – and 12 strikeouts in 151 games! He was also the first major leaguer to win three MVPs – ironically 1950 was not one of those years – he lost out to teammate Phil Rizzuto. Yogi was bigger than life and actually said about half the things Joe Garagiola attributed to him.


One month down, five to go


Major league baseball’s first month has seen an incredible amount of injuries, spectacular bullpen meltdowns and the arrival of the game’s next uber prospect – Vlad Guerrero, Jr. In the National League – no real surprises except a slow start by the Rockies who have recently turned it around. In the NL East and Central, as expected, you can throw a blanket over the top four teams. The Yanks and the Rays are the story in the AL – with the Rays winning two out of every three games and the Yanks playing .600 ball despite over a dozen players on the DL (sorry, just can’t get used to the politically correct IL – for years that meant the International League). If the season were to end right now, the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger would be the runaway MVP and in the AL quite possibly Austin Meadows, if he can stay healthy. And why hasn’t one of about ten teams whose bullpens are on fire signed Craig Kimbrel?

UP NEXT: Teddy Ballgame, Liberace and Winning but not drawing



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