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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves

WEEK OF MAY 10, 2015


 The Baltimore aftermath


Seems like a lot of “homers” say the Rays were right in not offering to switch home dates with the Baltimore Orioles in light of the civil disorder in Charm City (no, really, that’s its nickname). The often heard excuse was what happened in Baltimore was not the Rays fault – it wasn’t the Oriole’s fault either. It just seemed like the right thing to do in the interest of fair play. There’s another angle to this whole Baltimore thing and that’s Pimlico’s Preakness less than a week away. There are probably shorter odds on Rev. Al and some of his ilk showing up than there will be on American Pharaoh. Of course, we could always move the Preakness to Tampa Bay Downs.


Around the bay:


1. Still trying to differentiate itself from cab services, Lyft will be appealing a hearing officer’s findings. The first stop is the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission where Lyft stands the same chance as the proverbial snowball on a Florida sidewalk in August. (See Rants, March 8).

2. Florida’s special legislative session has been set for June 1. It was Otto von Bismarck who said “To retain respect for laws and sausages, one must not watch them in the making.” We can only assume that goes double for special sessions dealing with the state’s budget.

3. Factoid – newly appointed Tampa police chief Eric Ward is the only police chief in the bay area’s three major cities who actually lives in the city he serves.

4. Thanks to the Gassman Law Firm on Court Street in Clearwater for always bringing a smile to our face with their catchy marquee. It is truly a Sign of the Times.

5. You’ve lived in Clearwater a long time if you remember the highlight of the CHS Senior Assembly was the serenade to the class by Mr. Justice on his harmonica – priceless!


The diamond, the media and other stuff:


6. Our Rants and Raves focus group (comprised of three old, cranky people) notes major league baseball has decreed that all entering their parks are subject to a metal detector. Our group has decided to just go to the airport instead. (Margin of error – fifty per cent or so).

7. There’s a business in Clearwater named Mensa Tax. Does this mean you have to have a 150 IQ for them to do your tax work?

8. Factoid: Powered flight (Wright Brothers, December 17, 1903) is 17 years older than commercial radio (KDKA, November 2, 1920). Interestingly, KDKA did not begin in a huge media market like New York, Chicago or L.A., but in Pittsburgh (Turtle Creek, Pa., actually) – home of its parent company – Westinghouse Electric and is still going strong at 1020 on the dial some 95 years later.

9. One of the surprises of the early baseball season is the Houston Astros. They are on a pace to make the playoffs for the first time since the days of the Killer Bs. And that would be a good thing as the casual baseball fan would get a look at Jose Altuve – one of the best kept secrets in baseball. The guy can play!

10. Our crack sports analyst Achmed Walled (pronounced wall-ED) says the over/under of Billy Donavon remaining in Oklahoma City is one year.


Speeding up and strengthening the game of baseball, Part II


(Editor’s note – a series of suggestions from a valued reader began last week with a rule allowing only three pitchers a game – a common practice through the fifties although we can hear the howl of the player’s union on that one!)

Extra Innings, Home run Derby

Nine innings is a lot of baseball. Twelve, thirteen, fourteen innings and now we're talking a Ken Burns documentary. How about after 10 innings if the game is still tied, each team selects one batter each for a 3-out homerun derby, winner take all? If it's tied we keep going and each team sends up another hitter until one team wins.


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