Happy Tuesday, everybody.
To paraphrase Bob Dylan, you won’t need a weatherman to tell you how many streets will be inoperative in Tampa today, after an onslaught of rain touched down on the area overnight. We’ll have to wait and see how bad the flooding is, but one has to wonder how long before the Buckhorn administration will feel confident enough that they’ll have the four votes to pass an stormwater infrastructure bill that failed last fall.
There’s been lots of developments since I last visited this page on Thursday. The biggest political news is the development where the Associated Press has already declared Hillary Clinton to have the sufficient delegates to be the Democratic presidential nominee. They reached that conclusion by reaching out to superdelegates who had not announced which candidate they were supporting. They then confirmed that enough were backing Hillary, getting her to the magic number of 2,383.
Although Clinton supporters were celebrating the news throughout the night, it’s not necessarily beneficial for Hillary as voters are poised to go to the polls in California, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, Montana and New Jersey today.
Meanwhile, there were lots of developments that have taken place in recent days one could touch upon. How about a favorite subject – as per Charlie Frago in Tuesday’s Tampa Bay Times, about the ideas that Tampa Bay Rays management are floating about how to enhance the fan experience in a newly created stadium.
Some of the ideas are definitely outside the (band) box, such as “a new kind of ticket that allows the fan to roam.” Forgive me for being a bit cynical, but would an executive have an idea like that if they thought their new park would be filled most nights, making it rather difficult for that “new type of ticket” to flourish?
Another idea floated – not having an upper deck – is indicative of this stadium not being that large. Both Fenway Park and Wrigley Field, two of the smallest (and most classic and iconic) parks in the game, have more than one deck. So how big or small of a park are we thinking?
And while we’re on this subject, how realistic is it that the Rays, after holding months of discussions with Hillsborough County officials, will ultimately decide that the best place for them to play is – exactly the same place that they’re trying to escape?
And lastly, with all the obvious reflection over the late Muhammed Ali since Friday, I watched parts of a fight I had never viewed before last night – his October, 1980 loss to Larry Holmes.
It is shocking how badly outmatched “The Greatest” was in that one (by the way, did you ever see the 1977 “The Greatest” a dramatic bio of the champion that featured playing himself? Not bad), and it seems to me so tragic that he was allowed to even participate in that fight (amazingly, he fought one more time, and lost, to Trevor Berwick in 1981).
Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, a/k/a “The Fight Doctor,” told journalist Jon Saraceno in 2010 that he left the Ali camp in ’77 because his team was continuing to put him in challenging fights, when he no longer had the capacity to maintain his previous skills. He said he showed Ali’s medical exam results to his team after his fight against Earnie Shavers in 1977-
“I sent them to Angelo, (Dundee, the manager) Herbert Muhammad, Ali and his wife (Veronica). I wrote, “This is what’s happening to you. If you want to continue, you have no shot at a normal life.” I never heard a word — a word. Because they knew I was right.”
It’s tragic that the man was just a shell of himself for so many years after his boxing prime was over. I get it while it’s not being emphasized in the current coverage, but it’s not irrelevant.