Random thoughts on this Happy Halloween..
If it wasn't already an established fact, the fact that the trustees overseeing USF Health's medical and education programs voted unanimously to build the new USF Morsani College of Medicine in the Channelside area yesterday should confirm the fact that a park for the Tampa Bay Rays won't
be built in the area. "This decision is the single most important that has occurred in the last 25 years," Mayor Bob Buckhorn told the trustees. "This is bigger than baseball."
It is, which is great for Tampa, but not so much for the Rays, who will have to look for other spots in Tampa to contemplate, when and if they ever get permission to discuss such sites in Hillsborough County.
The conventional wisdom flowing from media voices this week is that any speculation that Stu Sternberg might move the team to Montreal is pure hokum. But how many more years of leading the league in having the worst attendance in the MLB is acceptable? Just asking, but it's not like the Rays have been putting on a bad product on the field (this year being an exception).
It appears that Joe Maddon's self-imposed unemployment is about to end. The 60-year-old Bayshore Blvd. resident apparently is going to become the next manager for the Chicago Cubs, where he'll be facing loads more media pressure than he ever felt in Tampa Bay. Many excellent managers have tried to get the Cubs to the Series over the decades, and none has been able to do so. Dusty Baker, a fine manager, ultimately was run out of town there....Lou Piniella had three straight winning seasons, then didn't survive a fourth year. Good luck, Joe. You'll need it.
An estimated 23.5 million people watched Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday night, which was 10 million more people than tuned in to any of the previous six games between the Giants and the Royals. Nielsen said the peak average audience came during the last inning, when 27.8 million people saw MVP Madison Bumgarner record the final out for the Giants. Still, according to ESPN
, it was a record low audience for a World Series Game 7, baseball's ultimate game. Both Game 7s during the 2000s had more than 30 million viewers. When the Minnesota Twins beat the Atlanta Braves in 1991, the audience was 50.3 million people.
Maybe baseball simply isn't that popular anymore? I don't know about that. I've been as critical as anybody of how dull the game has become in the post-steroid era, where pitching and defense mean everything. That was proven to be true in the Series. But, come on, the post-season is pretty incredible, isn't it? Especially if you've got a serious rooting interest (as I did).
In other news..
Giuliani Partners, the former NYC Mayor's security firm, is giving Uber a thumbs up for their extremely scrutinized background check policy.
Tampa City Councilman Mike Suarez
kicked off his 2015 re-election campaign earlier this week.
Parts of downtown Tampa now have free WiFi.
And in our current issue, a last look at some of the races to watch on Election Night next Tuesday.