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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves

WEEK OF JUNE 30, 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.


This country doesn’t owe us a dime


Three things happened last week that lead to this pre-Fourth of July rant. First, presidential hopeful (in some people’s minds) Beto O’Rourke hits town pandering to vets (see below); we got two bucks off a car wash at Pat n’ Polish for being a vet and we took advantage of the veteran’s parking spaces at Lowes in Clearwater Mall – an extremely nice gesture. The last we so appreciate as we walk with a bit of a limp which has nothing at all to do with serving in the military. We are one hundred percent behind any and all efforts to take care of our vets who are in any way incapacitated by incidents occasioned in the military. But for the rest of us, we did our duty; were treated pretty well by Uncle Sam in the way of pay, housing and whatnot. Maybe we got a late start at college or had our careers delayed a bit but it is the price we pay for our and other’s freedoms and we who came home in one piece are not entitled to a handout by our nation, although the carwash discount and parking spot are nice. Thanks, we appreciate it!


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. We begin this week with a confession; our memory is not what it used to be. To compensate, we often send ourselves an email to remind us of something – often of a piece intended for the blog. So, if anyone out there can help us remember what our email marked “53” was all about, please contact us!

2. How nice of Beto O’Rourke to grace our shores last week. And good to know that, as a vet, we would be exempt from his looney tunes “war tax”.

3. In a related note, how many of the 20 participants in the Democratic debate in south Florida can you actually name?

4. Quote of the week: “This is not a staged exit” – Rays’ owner Stuart Steinberg. Those words are almost identical to that of the Dodgers’ owner Walter O’Malley when he started moving Dodger games to Jersey City in the 50s. Let’s see, Brooklyn still has a baseball team, right?

5. You’ve lived in Clearwater a long time if you or your kids attended Wilhelm School on Keene Road.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. Debuting 60 years ago this year was Studebaker’s answer to the compact car trend, the Lark. The car and the company lasted another eight years.

7. The fact that he never grabbed the gold ring at the College World Series does not diminish the career of perhaps the greatest college baseball coach ever – FSU’s Mike Martin who retires after 39 years and over 2000 wins. Happily, his son, Mike Jr., will carry on the tradition as FSU’s new head coach.

8. Idle thought - three players who belong in the Hall of Fame who are not there – Roger Maris, Dale Murphy (both two time MVPs) and the game’s best left handed reliever Billy Wagner. And ok, since you didn’t ask, three players in the Hall who don’t belong there – Bill Mazeroski, Phil Rizzuto and Hoyt Wilhelm.

9. Break dancing in the Olympics? That surely will cure the games’ sagging TV ratings.

10. On to #17 in our season-long comparison of the best baseball players to wear each number (see back story TBRR 3/10/19). Only one player who wore #17 is in Cooperstown – Dizzy Dean but Diz’s career was truncated by an injury and he pitched only six years of 100 or more innings. He is, frankly, a marginal Hall of Famer. But a guy headed for the Hall as soon as blockheads get over the Coors Field thing is Todd Helton. Helton, also #17, actually has away-from-home numbers almost identical to first balloter Chipper Jones and he’s our pick at number 17.



Bye, bye Clearwater Beach


Twenty five years ago, it seemed like a great idea to move into a brand new town home on Island Estates. There was the beautiful drive across the bridge, a Publix virtually next door and a church of our denomination right around the corner. Twenty five years later, there are overgrown mangroves ruining the view on the causeway; we never really left our “home church” on the mainland and we still find ourselves, more often than not, shopping at the better stocked Publix we used to frequent on the mainland. Plus the traffic has gotten worse and our aging knees and back just don’t like those stairs in the townhouse any more. So this week, it’s back to the mainland. We’ll come back to the beautiful beach now and then - just not during spring break.

UP NEXT: Really not sure



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