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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.


Can the Democratic nomination be purchased?


Mike Bloomberg certainly hopes so, while Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and the other contenders hope not. You have to admire the strategy, if not the man; – don’t waste your time on the crazy Iowa caucus or New Hampshire with next to zero delegates. Bloomberg’s hopes and millions are focused on next week’s Super Tuesday votes in some 14 states. It’s a calculated gamble, if he wins enough of those states on March 3rd; he’s right up there with the other established Democratic candidates. If enough voters in enough states resist his attempt to buy the nomination, he’s probably finished. It will be a bellwether day for the 2020 presidential nomination.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:             


1. In a related note, Tampa Bay’s most famous carpetbagger (TBRR 3/9/14) Alex Sink has come out in favor of Bloomberg. That should play well in Pinellas County.

2. Happy trails and best wishes to Deborah Clark who will step down as Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections at the end of next month. In contrast to contemporaries on Florida’s east coast, her office has been quietly efficient in her two decades of leadership.

3. Good news for pet owners in east Clearwater. A new emergency clinic has opened up on the US 19 service road just south of Clearwater Mall. It is called CARE and will be open 24/7 eliminating the need to drive almost to Ulmerton Road on Belcher for emergency service.

4. Idle thought while looking at the plethora of campaign signs at the shuttered Steak and Shake on US 19 – we will vote for whoever pledges to get one of our favorite burger joints re-opened.

5. Continuing that thought, you’ve lived in Clearwater a long time if you remember when the city’s lone Steak and Shake was on the northwest corner of Gulf-to-Bay and Duncan Avenue.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. Hawaiian Eye and Wild, Wild West were the two shows that launched Robert Conrad’s career. But we remember him best for his portrayal of the legendary “Pappy” Boyington in Black Sheep Squadron. The veteran actor died last week at age 84.

7. We mentioned the retirement of Deborah Clark above. A hallmark of her early campaigns for Election Supervisor was giving out Clark Bars at campaign events. The Clark Bar has had a rugged few years, but now is under the wing of the Boyer Candy Company (Mallow Cups) and will be back in most stores by Easter.

8. Not to be outdone by baseball’s ridiculous playoff trial balloon, the NFL is now running its own scheme up the flagpole – a convoluted system with only one first week bye and the possibility of a few 8-8 or worse teams making the playoffs.

9. With spring training games now underway, our baseball expert and former assistant to Dr. Harry Raitano, Achmed Walled (pronounced wall-ED), is warming up in the bullpen and will present his surefire predictions in our March 22 edition.

10. Born 100 years ago this week was the very versatile Tony Randall who made his mark in films, on Broadway and particularly as Felix Unger on The Odd Couple. Not as well-known was his encyclopedic knowledge of opera – making numerous appearances as a panelist during intermissions of the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts.


Remembering: The bay area’s spring training seasons

(A series of look backs at the people, things and places that shaped our memories of the bay area   – appearing in the last week’s edition every month in 2020).


Over the past half century, the constant has been the long standing relationship between the city of Clearwater and the Philadelphia Phillies which began in 1947. Only the Detroit Tigers-Lakeland association has lasted longer (1934 – with an agreement that will have the Tigers there through 2034). Dunedin is right up there as well – hosting the Blue Jays since their inception in 1977 and unveiling a completely remodeled stadium this spring. The Yankees began training in the bay area in 1925 (St. Pete) and have left and come back several times finally settling in Tampa in 1996. For many years, the Yanks’ spring training partners in St. Pete were the Cards who trained in the Sunshine City for over fifty years (1946-1997). So you got to see a lot of Stan the Man along with the Mick, Yogi and Whitey. Prior to the Yanks, Tampa hosted the Cincinnati Reds (Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and company) for over fifty years before they moved eastward to Plant City for about ten years and finally landing in Arizona. Our home town nine started training here at their inception, but trying to expand their west coast market moved to Charlotte County in 2009. Spring training has gravitated from the center of the state to the coasts over the past decade with Lakeland now being the only site not located very close to either of the coasts.

NEXT UP – Green Field; Green cars; Then there were six




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