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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves

WEEK OF JUNE 2, 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.


Clearwater’s preeminent restauranteur


For generations, Siple’s Garden Seat was the place you went on special occasions – birthdays, anniversaries and, in your HB’s (Humble Blogger’s) case, our wedding rehearsal dinner many years ago. Dick Siple and his staff made you feel at home and had the knack of remembering your name even if you hadn’t been by in several months. The restaurant and its gorgeous grounds overlooking Clearwater Bay was sold to Morton Plant Hospital several years ago for, among other reasons, according to Dick Siple, “too many people wanted white linen, china and four courses for $5.95.” The loss of Siple’s was a huge loss to Clearwater and last week the loss became larger with the passing of Dick Siple at age 93 less than a year after the passing of his wife and co-owner of Clearwater’s best restaurant, Laverne.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. Kudos to Chairman Rene Flowers and the majority of the Pinellas School Board for standing their ground on the issue of arming Pinellas County school employees despite pressure from our misguided sheriff. Putting that many guns on a school campus only invites bad things.

2. Onions to Texas U.S. Rep Chip Roy and a few other Congressional knuckleheads who are holding up much needed disaster funds from Bay County and other areas while pushing some unrelated political agenda.

3. Among the issues being pushed for the next round of Florida constitutional amendments is legalized recreational marijuana and open primaries. After that, look for legalized heroin and removal of the restrictions of driving on a sidewalk. We joke about the last two – we think.

4. Idle thought: why is it your A/C, water heater or fill in the blank always breaks down right before a holiday weekend?

5. You’ve lived in the bay area a long time if you shopped at Clearwater-based Eckerd Drugs.


Sports, the media and other stuff:


6. It’s just wrong to still be playing hockey and basketball in June – pretty much like scheduling the World Series on Thanksgiving. But give us the Warriors in six.

7. Speaking of basketball, we kind of like the idea floated by NBA Prez Adam Silver of a “play-in tournament” for the teams tanking in the NBA, thus shortening the regular season by a couple of meaningless weeks.

8. Numbers of the week: $500-$45,000 - the cost of lowest to highest “seat licenses” at Atlanta’s home of the Falcons – before you even pay for the tickets. There’s a reason they call it Mercedes Benz Stadium.

9. Second number of the week: less than 13,000. The combined attendance of home games in Tampa Bay and Miami last Tuesday night. Again, Florida is great for baseball in March but not April through September.

10. In our weekly analysis of the best to wear the number in baseball (back story TBRR 3/10/19), we are up to #12. For such a low number you would think there would be a bunch of Hall of Famers who wore the number. Not so. Wade Boggs wore the number with the Yanks and Rays but his most productive days were with the Red Sox wearing number 26. The guy who stands out wore the number in all but his last year in the bigs and that was Hall Of Famer and, coincidently, 12 time All Star Robbie Alomar.


MLB at the 1/3 mark


If Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman don’t win Manager and Executive of the Year honors in the American League, there should be an investigation. With lineups of no-names like Estrada, Tuchman and Ursula and castoffs like Voit and Maybin, the Yanks are a force to contend with in the AL. Meanwhile, it looks like the Dodgers are unstoppable in the National League with the Phils and Cubs no surprise. Our crack baseball predictor Achmed Walled (pronounced wall-ED) is gunning foranother .700 to .800 season with the Nats his only swing and miss, although the Cardinals are starting to fade. Surprise early Cy Young candidates are former Ray Jake Odorizza of the Twins and Braves wunderkind Mike Soroka whose ERA last week finally eked above 1.00 to a startling 1.07. At least one manager will be missing when we do our end of June update – quite likely from the National League East.

UP NEXT: 13 and 14; flash cubes and less expensive drugs


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