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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves

WEEK OF JULY 21, 2019



Man, you miss a couple weeks, look what happens



As mentioned last week, we were homeless and computer-less leading to our first missed publishing date in our five year history. Boy, a lot happened in that space of time – just in notable people we lost in late June and early July. Let’s lead off (pun intended because he would like it) with Jim Bouton the guy who made his mark on the ballfield and off with his famous Ball Four – one of the four or five best baseball books going. Then there was the man who gave us two icons of the road – Lee Iacocca. At Ford, he jazzed up the frame of the compact Falcon and gave us the Mustang. Later at Chrysler, he fostered the not as jazzy but just as popular mini-van. The classic Laugh In show would not have been the same without Arte Johnson – he of the hilarious skits with Ruth Buzzi. Also passing while we were “away” was Ross Perot, who with his presidential bid in 1992 managed to put the Clintons in the White House. Lastly, there was former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, age 99. To some he was a respected jurist, to others who have fought for rights of the unborn and traditional American values, not so much.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:



1. The legacy of crooked regulation of for hire vehicles in Hillsborough continues. Cabs were forced to buy medallions for thousands of dollars to operate under the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Council – which for years was nothing but a shakedown operation. Now the county has taken over with a new system (and fee, of course) and they won’t honor the medallions – many of which have years to go. That just isn’t right.

2. The city of Clearwater’s purchase of the Church of Christ property on Hercules Avenue reflects a growing issue. Our churches are increasingly becoming real estate rich but very cash poor. One major house of worship in downtown Clearwater has seen its membership go from 3000 to 300 in just over a decade.

3. Last week was one of those “where were you” days. For us, we were the weekend guest of a cousin and her family in Muncie, Indiana while in training at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis on Sunday, July 20. It was great watching the wonder of her four young boys at the landing – not to mention my cousin, her husband and your HB (Humble Blogger).

4. Utter speculation in “Florida’s Best Newspaper” about Pinellas County’s school chief Michael Grego moving over to Hillsborough County equals slow news day.

5. You’ve lived in the bay area (or anywhere else) for a long time if you remember when the first thing that broke on your or your parent’s new car was the clock.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. Katie Couric is going to receive some sort of lifetime achievement award from the Poynter Institute that owns the St. Pete Times. If ever there was a marriage made in, well not heaven, but someplace.

7. Factoid – although it is on everybody’s list of Top 100 or 50 or even 25 best TV shows of all time, The Carol Burnett Show never finished higher than 13th in the ratings in any year – usually it was down in the twenties – hard to believe.

8. The Sports Business Journal reports that advertising patches are not that far in the future for major league uniforms. Let’s see, some teams cite tradition as the reason they don’t put players’ names on the back of uniforms, but apparently it will be okay to have a Nationwide Insurance patch on the sleeve.

9. Quote of the week – “A young player has to be fairly compensated for what he’s doing” – Tony Clark of the MLB Player’s Association. What - $550,000 (the major league minimum) isn’t enough?

10. Now, if the Rays could just keep playing the Orioles every week. Unfortunately, only seven of the remaining 63 games are against the American League’s weakest team.


Number 18



After a couple weeks’ vacation, our countdown of best to wear the uniform returns (see back story TBRR 3/10/19). Two pitchers from back in the day were the best to don number 18. Mel Harder who pitched his entire career with the Indians and Red Faber who likewise toiled only for the Chicago White Sox are both Hall of Famers. Harder won 223 games and Faber 254 with a much better ERA – although a lot of his pitching was in the pre-Babe Ruth era. It’s almost a coin flip but we give the nod to Faber who tossed 16 complete games at age 40!

Up Next: The bail issue; trial by newspaper; Rapid Robert




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