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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.


Mayor Jane and the business of baseball


First, an admission, we don’t know very much about Jane Castor’s professional field – law enforcement, but we know a little about the business of baseball and from the Mayor’s recent comments, she doesn’t. She seems to like the idea of locating a 41-game stadium out near the fairgrounds in east Hillsborough – a move that would pretty much cut ties with the Ray’s Pinellas fan base. She hopes an east Hillsborough site would draw from the Orlando metro area. Orlando has their own plans for baseball and has the Mayor driven I-4 much? And no, Mayor, a baseball stadium that hosts half as many games will not cost half as much. The Mayor is probably a quick study, but she really needs to start cramming and get up to speed on the business of baseball.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. As we enter the 2020 election year, what group of Republicans is going to have the intestinal fortitude to tell Donald Trump “you need to step aside.”

2. Speaking of elections, March’s Clearwater city contest will have a field of over a dozen contesting three seats. Only problem is the two best candidates for the city council are in the same race.

3. Spectrum has announced they will no longer send you a written statement. No option of opting out of a paper statement – they are just doing it because as a semi-monopoly, they think they can get away with it. It will save them thousands upon thousands which, we are sure, will be passed on to their customers.

4. Some advice from Gas Buddy – the national service that keeps track of gas prices and trends – best time to fill up is Monday morning. The worst time? Friday afternoon most places. For some reason, Thursday is the worst day in Florida to top off. And, of course, the three best prices are at the bay area’s three club stores – BJ’s, Costco and Sam’s – usually nine to twenty cents a gallon lower than anywhere else.

5. You’ve lived in Clearwater a long time (and attended Clearwater High) if you remember the annual Senior Assembly where the highlight was a harmonica solo by then Vice Principal Bill Justice.


Sports, the media and other stuff:


6. Bold prediction: the darlings of virtually every NFL observer, the Baltimore Ravens, will not make the Super Bowl.

7. Number of the week – 17. The number of years the Cleveland Browns have not been to the NFL playoffs. Otto Graham, Lou Groza and Paul Brown are rolling over in their graves and Jim Brown isn’t too happy either.

8. Sports lost some legendary folks the first week of the new year (see below), but broadcasting took a hit in late December with the passing of shock jock Don Imus, a New York city staple for a couple decades.

9. Biggest bowl win – Clemson over Ohio State despite losing one of their key offensive players early in the game and having a very woozy quarterback after a cheap hit by an OSU defender.

10. Happy trails to Al Ruechel who brought a measure of credibility to Bay News Nine. The veteran newscaster retired in late December.


Tough first week for the sports world


The week started with the passing of former NBA commissioner David Stern who probably did more than any other commissioner to turn the NBA from a baseball-football afterthought to a major force in pro sports. Stern was 77. His passing was followed by a journeyman pitcher who caught lightning in a bottle on an October day in 1956. Don Larsen, career record 81-91, is the only man to pitch a perfect World Series game, shutting down a Brooklyn Dodger lineup that included Hall of Famers Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Duke Snider. Later in the week, the Tampa Bay Bucs most colorful, if not most successful, head coach Sam Wyche passed away. A college and pro quarterback, father of the no-huddle offense and former Bengal head coach, Wyche improved the Bucs record each year of his tenure, but it was not fast enough for the Glazer wizards who fired him at the end of the 1996 season. Wyche later successfully dabbled in politics and broadcasting. He was 74.

UP NEXT: Best talent, best coach; $15 an hour; Bye, bye Big Top



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