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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves



TBR&R 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.


75 years ago – the week WWII ended


This is the week that World War II ended for all intents and purposes. America had just dropped two nuclear bombs on a recalcitrant Japan. Japan’s Emperor addressed his people on radio saying it was time to end the war. Remarkably, the vast majority of the nation’s populace had never heard his voice prior to the broadcast. The events leading up to Japan’s capitulation is neatly chronicled in Chris Wallace’s bestseller Countdown 1945 which tracks the 116 days since FDR’s death and ascendency of Harry Truman to the end of the war. It took the sweat of millions, many of them our Dads and Granddads, as well as the sacrifice of 418,000 American lives, to bring about the end of this global conflict. We remain in their debt, this greatest generation.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. We’ve often been critical of the Hillsborough County School Board and their infighting at the cost of intelligent planning. This week, we tip our caps to the board for their measured decision to push back in-school instruction at least a month. We wish other school boards would follow suit and that the state stay out of what is a local issue. Numerous states have mandated virtual learning for the beginning of their school year.

2. Jurisprudence update: It makes you feel secure when some 17-year-old punk hacks the accounts of folks like Apple, Gates and Buffett. Early indications are authorities are going to throw the book at the Tampa resident and his two confederates - as they should.

3. Don’t you wish you could get into the brain of New York’s Rep.Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and find out what affliction makes her say things like recognizing the work of Father Damien of Hawaii constitutes colonialism and white supremacy? The man, now a Saint, worked in Hawaii’s leprosy colonies for 16 years before the disease claimed his life.

4. Number of the week – 6 weeks. That’s the length of time it’s taken to decide a Democratic primary in New York due to 12,000 disputed mail-in ballots. My, won’t November be fun?

5. Pinellas County’s first Public Defender, Robert Jagger, died last week at age 92. If you followed his 35-year career, you know Pinellas County got their money’s worth and much more from this devoted man of the law.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. Media note from the 5:05 Newsletter: One big difference between the U.S. and North Korea is that North Korea forces its people to listen to endless propaganda; while in the U.S., we pay a monthly cable bill to listen to it.

7. A Happy 55th Birthday this week (8/13) to former Atlanta Brave Mark Lemke – the best fielding second baseman to never win a Gold Glove. The switch-hitting “Lemmer” does hold one major league record however – 3664 career at bats and never hit by a pitch – seems unbreakable with pitchers throwing inside more and more these days.

8. Answer: 1954. The question is when is the last time, until this year, that at least one team did not start the season 3-0. 1954 was a great year with the Giants upsetting the packed pitching rotation (Feller, Lemon, Wynn) of the Indians. Bobby Avila of the Indians (.341) and Willie Mays (.345) were the batting champions. Both Lemon and Wynn had 23 wins and the Giants’ Johnny Atonelli 21.

9. Is that so? Not so long ago, the city of Clearwater was the 10th largest city in Florida. Now, with a population of slightly over 114,000, it ranks 17th just behind Lehigh Acres and ahead of Brandon. For what it’s worth, the state’s top five cities by population are Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, Orlando and St. Pete.

10. You’ve lived in Clearwater a long time if you remember when TikTok was not an app, but a cocktail lounge (Tick Tock) downtown.


MLB: twenty percent of the way home


Major League Baseball has managed to stagger through the first fifth of their season and still be playing – in itself a major achievement. We had forecast that some strange things (other than virus related) would happen, but things are pretty much normal with the Yanks, Twins, Astros, and Athletics showing the way in the American League, while the Braves, Cubs and Dodgers are the cream of the NL. The Padres are the only real surprise in the NL. A lot of optimists liked the local nine’s chances in the AL, but they can’t win on the road and their bullpen is pretty much toast after overuse during the first stanza of the season. The Rays might have wanted to hang on to that Pham fellow who at this juncture is hitting a cool .305 and a big reason for the Padre’s surprising start. But there’s still a lot, no, make that a little bit, of baseball yet to be played.

NEXT UP: Patriots? Great gal singers; a couple of cable suggestions



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