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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves



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.


A Hall of Famer on and off the field



It’s difficult to judge how many thousand lives Doug Mason touched over the years – as a teacher or baseball coach for many of us; as a Hall of Fame fast pitch softball player and manager for the renowned Clearwater Bombers and as a stalwart for his church both on a local and statewide level. And he did it with an understated style you could not help but admire – and try to emulate. Doug passed away last week at age 88. Those of us who were touched by him are all the better for the experience.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. Number of the Week: 21,000 – the number of insurance claims still outstanding from Hurricane Michael nearly a year later. It’s just another reason Florida needs to completely change its toothless insurance regulation laws.

2. Yawn, excuse us. We somehow slept through the second round of Democratic debates.

3. Cheers to the city of Dunedin for looking into toning down city fireworks displays and perhaps turning to laser or drone displays.

4. Another serious boat accident last weekend reminds us that Florida, with more boats than any other state, needs much stiffer boat operator licensing requirements.

5. You’ve lived in the bay area a long time, if you ever stopped in for the comfort food offered up by the Branch Ranch, off I-4 in Plant City. The Branch Ranch closed in 2006.



Sports, media and other stuff:


6. Dan Le Batard will apparently keep his job after crossing the line on political comment in a sports environment. We enjoy Dan, but like Keith Olbermann and Jamele Hill who was eased out of ESPN for racist statements, Le Batard cannot decide whether he wants to be a sports or political commentator.

7. Speaking of Olbermann, he did a bang up job as co-host of Pardon the Interruption during Michael Wilbon’s absence due to his mother’s passing. We hope Olbermann will reprise his guest spot in the future.

8. The middle of the year rankings are out and Baseball America rates the Rays’ farm system as the best in baseball.

9. It is great to see former Ray Ben Zobrist beginning workouts towards getting back to the big show after what has been a gut wrenching summer for one of baseball’s truly good guys.

10. Lots and lots of moves at the trading deadline with the Houston Astros the clear winners picking up Zack Greinke – shades of Justin Verlander in 2017 – and we all know what happened that year. In the NL, there were no such headliners. The team that probably improved itself the most was the division-leading Braves picking up three solid relievers to aid their previously shaky bullpen.



#20 in baseball greatness


The number in our series of great players (back story TBRR 3/10/19) is like #3 Ruth a slam dunk. It is, of course, the Atlanta Braves’ Mark Lemke. Well, the “Lemmer” is our all time-favorite player on our favorite team, but he may come up just a little short of two other guys who wore 20 – Frank Robinson and Mike Schmidt. It would be tempting to call this one a draw as it will with 21 next week. But only one guy won the MVP in both leagues – not to mention having his number retired by three teams and that was Frank Robby. Michael Jack (as Harry Kalas was fond of calling him), if only you had stayed with the number 22 you wore in your rookie year with the Phils.

Up Next: Roberto and the guy Willie took deep; Districts; Tech run amuck



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