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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves

WEEK OF MAY 10, 2020


TBRR is a weekly airing of national and local politics, sports and lifestyle items from a very politically incorrect viewpoint. As always, beware - certain accounts printed here should not be taken literally.


Mail ballots may be needed, but they are scary


Full disclosure, we have not voted at the polls in any election since 1998. It is just too easy to fill in a ballot provided by the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections and mail it in. But this is Pinellas County, not Chicago, New York City or even the southeast coast of Florida where funny things happen during election time. It appears mail ballots may be the only avenue to full (but not “fuller”) participation during the year of the pandemic. We’re okay with full just not fuller voting where Grandma Brown, who has been dead for three years, miraculously casts a ballot. And then there’s a left wing suit alleging that vote by mail constitutes a poll tax. Nonsense, if you don’t want to mail it, you will still be able to drop it off unless you want to spin the tiny bit of gas you might use to get it to a drop box as a poll tax as well. In any event, with all mail balloting must come much stronger federal and state oversight so we avoid the bad times like 1960, 2018 and other abuses of years past.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. A monstrous black mark on the otherwise good job done by our governor in the coronavirus response is the total meltdown of the state’s unemployment system. Heaven and earth must be moved to get this right. And any bureaucrat who adopts any sort of attitude with someone trying to get their rightful benefits should be summarily dismissed.

2. Related to our lead article, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has turned down a bid by the Democratic Party to undo a Florida law that places the party in power first on ballots. This law was first enacted by a Democratic-controlled legislature in the mid-20th century. If ever the term “hoisted by their own petard” applies, it’s in this case.

3. Quote of the week: “I will not die of stupid” – from a left wing South Florida columnist whose gibberish appears way too often in “FBN”. If you’ve read his meanderings, you would know if you could die of stupid, this guy would have been six feet under a long time ago.

4. News from the Biden Bunker: While Me Too activists are now reluctantly admitting that Democrats do bad things too, there is good news – the endorsement of Hillary Clinton – and yes, we get the irony of these two events. And nice “virtual rally” in Florida this past week, Joe.

5. The best thing about the coronavirus epidemic is that it has given birth to a new bunch of 5:05 Newsletters. From their latest: The first toilet paper roll of the spring appeared today in our grocery store so, hopefully, we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately for New Yorkers, the light at the end of the tunnel is New Jersey.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. Before his arrival, south Florida’s NFL team was a joke with a 15-39-2 record over its first four seasons. Don Shula took the Dolphins to the playoffs in his first year and the NFL’s only perfect season two years later. The legendary coach passed away last week at age 90.

7. If there were a Mt. Rushmore of Tampa Bay restauranteurs, some of the names would include Gonzmart (Columbia), Heilman (Beachcomber), Siple and Laxer (Bern’s). The matriarch of Bern’s Steak House, 93-year-old Gert Laxer, died on April 28.

8. A happy 15th anniversary to our go-to site for baseball news MLB Trade Rumors. A spin-off of Tim Dierkes’ Roto Authority, it attracts something like a half-million viewers per day and is a welcome respite during these days of empty ballparks.

9. Pinellas libraries to open at 25 percent capacity on Monday the 18th. Yippee! But do check hours at your favorite facility. They will be staggered during the day to allow for cleaning. Hair cutting facilities will, for the most part, open on the 11th.

10. You had to wonder where the stars from the mega hit Big Bang Theory would wind up. Jim Parsons, of course, already has a gig narrating Young Sheldon. Next up would appear to be the loveable Mayim Bialik (Amy) in a Fox Network show Call Me Kat which will premiere later this year.


Phils could have had Girardi two years ago


As we opined last week, the best off season baseball move may well be the Phils hiring Joe Girardi as their manager. The sad thing is with a phone call, they probably could have had him two years ago avoiding their disastrous hiring of Gabe Kapler. It probably took Phils brass three games into the 2018 season to realize they had made a horrible choice. In his first game, Kapler yanked ace Aaron Nola after 68 pitches and a 5-0 lead. He then mismanaged his bullpen into an 8-5 loss. Two games later, he yanked starter Vince Velasquez, but had no one warming up. The reliever, rushed into the game, coughed up three quick runs. The Phils under Kapler blew division leads in both 2018 and 19. The second year was particularly egregious after the club added two of the best position players in baseball – J.T. Realmuto and Bryce Harper. Girardi should turn that around this year even with the screwy schedule and have the Phils in the hunt to the very end. A coda to this story, the Giants astonishingly hired Kapler to replace their retiring Hall of Fame manager Bruce Bochy.

Next Up: Golf’s Big 3; All animals are equal; One of rock’s pioneers



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