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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves

WEEK OF MAY 12, 2019



When will Rays, bay area stop kidding themselves?


Let us be blunt. Baseball has no future in the bay area. When you have a team with the best record in baseball and you are only outdrawing the pathetic Miami Marlins, the writing is on the wall. It could have been different – with a better located ball park, simply a better ballpark (one columnist recently termed it an air conditioned  baseball warehouse), better initial ownership and a better effort by mass transit to get people effortlessly to the park – a common denominator in almost every major league city. There is another seldom mentioned issue – of all 30 markets, Tampa Bay is the biggest melting pot which means there are long term allegiances to the Cards, Cubs and Yankees – not to mention folks who have lived here a long time and fell in love with the South’s only team – the Braves. It really doesn’t matter where bay area officials locate a new park, the Rays will continue to draw crickets. The best bet is at the end of their lease at the Trop, it will be off to Montreal, Portland or San Antonio, and we will have no one to blame but ourselves.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. Mr. President, it was nice of you to finally drop in on Florida’s panhandle. Now, how about doing something for those folks?

2. Funny thing about logos – most successful organizations get something recognizable and stick with it – Coke, Chevy and McDonalds come to mind. This lesson was lost on USF who spent a million bucks on a logo that will join Pepsi Max and others as costly failures. That million bucks would have done a lot for USF.

3. The new Tampa City Council is off to an energized start with new council members asking some tough, thoughtful questions of their staff.  Problem is most of this energy gets worn down by circuitous answers and stalls on the part of staff.

4. One of the true good guys in professional sports, David Montgomery, passed away last week at age 72. Dave was the point man for the Phillies in the effort to get Bright House Field built in east Clearwater. And he did it without holding a gun to the head of the residents of Clearwater as many sports franchises do. David was the Chairman of the Phils at his passing. A class act through and through.

5. You’ve lived in the bay area (or anywhere else) a long time if you remember cereals with names like Kellogg’s Pep, Post Toasties, Product 19, Frosty O’s or 40% Bran Flakes.


Sports, the media and other stuff:


6. Born 100 years ago this week was piano virtuoso and flamboyant cutup, Liberace. His first name was Wladziu which explains why he went only by his last name.

7. The loss of Jason Pierre-Paul is a double blow for the Bucs. Not only was he a major force for the Tampa Bay defense, but he was a local guy you had followed at USF and then the Giants before his Buc’s career.

8. Piece by piece, the Yankees are starting to reassemble their lineup. Latest to return is Miguel Andujar who had a tremendous rookie season last year only to fall victim to all the hype surrounding Shohei Ontani in the Rookie of the Year balloting.

9. Christian Yelich won the MVP last year and is hitting a cool .350 at this writing. The main cog in the trade for Yelich, Lewis Brinson, was sent to the minors last week. Such is the state of the Marlins who finally hit double digits in wins last week.

10. The first eight numbers in our season long feature (back story in TBRR 3/10/19) has been decidedly Yankee - but the next few numbers not so. Number 9 is pretty much another slam dunk. Some old-timers like Rick Ferrell and Gabby Hartnett wore the number along with a couple admittedly marginal Hall of Famers Bill Mazeroski and Enos Slaughter. But the greatest Red Sox player and possibly hitter of all time Ted Williams is the guy who made that number famous.


Trump wrong on proposed service academy change:


The American public has gotten used to college athletes leaving school after as little as one year to play pro sports. If universities want to permit this, fine. It’s their money wasted on free tuition and board for the sake of a winning basketball team. But President Trump’s suggestion that service academy athletes be allowed to go pro immediately after graduation is a non-starter. We, the American public, pay for those students to get a great education. The return is four years (hopefully more) of military service. It worked out just fine for Naval Academy basketball star David Robinson and others. We do not want our service academies to serve as basketball and football factories on our dime. That is not their mission.

Up Next: The real name is Larry; Consolidation; Charlotte MS



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