Category: Tampa News

Rays Beat Blue Jays With Homers

The Tampa Bay Rays did what they have done so often this season in the opening game of their series with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Rays hit home runs to eventually seal an 8-1 victory. The team is quickly becoming known as one of the most powerful teams in baseball with a lineup that pitchers should be very cautious of. Taylor Featherston got the fireworks started right away by blasting a home run to start the third inning. Logan Morrison continued his transformation into one of the most feared hitters in the game by hitting homer number 18 on the year.


One of the most pleasant surprises for the Rays this year was the starting performance they got from Jacob Faria. He shut down the Blue Jays bats in only the second start of his career. He gave up just a single run while pitching six innings. Rays manager Kevin Cash could not have been happier with this young starter. Cash praised Faria’s composure because he did not show any nervousness.


Marco Estrada did not have as good a time on the mound for the opposing team. He continued to struggle as he has all season. His ERA is around 4.50 and he has failed to keep the Jays in many of his starts. Estrada failed to get out of the 4th inning against the Rays. This is his shortest start of the year so far. Despite his very poor outing, Estrada was not dejected when he was interviewed after the game. He said that he is confident that things will turn around for him this year.


Rays manager Kevin Cash said it is always a good thing to get a win in the first game of a series when you are playing a good team on the road. He has been pleased by the way his team has been playing as of late. He expects his team to have a dynamite second half of the season.


Rays Destroy A’s in First Game of Series

The Tampa Bay Rays got off to a great start in the first game of their weekend set against the Oakland A’s at Tropicana Field. The Rays continued to do what they have done all season. They hit a lot of home runs. Their power helped the team to eventually build up a 13-0 lead that allowed them to coast to a very easy victory. Rays manager Kevin Cash was happy to see a game like this because so many of the Rays games this year have been very close and filled with pressure.


The fireworks started early for the Rays when Steven Souza jacked a three-run homer into the seats in the first inning. Andrew Triggs was the Oakland pitcher who surrendered the home run. However, the Rays were just getting started with their pyrotechnics for the evening. Recently called up Mallex Smith did not take very long to make his presence felt at the Major League level. He blasted a homer in the fourth inning. This homer was also off Triggs. The Rays extended the lead to 8-0 when Logan Morrison continued his excellent season by hitting his 17th home run of the year.


Triggs was yanked from the game before he was able to finish the 4th inning for the A’s. He said that he felt normal and he had no physical problems. The final two home runs of the game for the Rays were hit by Corey Dickerson and Tim Beckham. They both came in the fifth inning when the Rays tallied five runs to put the game out of reach for good. Alex Cobb had a great start. It was a bit of redemption for Cobb because he had a terrible start in his previous game against the Mariners.


Cobb said that he wants to build from this game. He feels stronger than he has in a long time. He believes that he can have a great final four months of the season if he is able to stay healthy.


McKay is Rays #1 Draft Pick:

They might use him as a hitter, or they might use him as a pitcher. Either way, Tampa Bay picked up one heck of an athlete in the first round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft.


With the fourth overall pick, the Rays selected Brendan McKay from Louisville. A first baseman and a right-handed pitcher, McKay has won the John Olerud award the last three years. The award is given annually to the best two-way player in college baseball. At the plate this season, McKay hit .343 with 17 home runs (four of which came in one game vs. Eastern Kentucky), 56 RBIs, 13 doubles, and 54 runs scored. On the mound, he was 10-3 with a 2.34 ERA and 140 strikeouts in 104 innings of work. McKay’s glove work also should not be overlooked as he had a .984 fielding percentage. Your text to link…


But the honors do not stop there. Baseball America selected him as its National Player of the Year, and he is also a finalist for the Dick Howser Award for college baseball’s top player. No surprise, he was voted the ACC Player of the Year. Before this season, McKay was an All-ACC First Team selection in 2015 and 2016, landed on a number of All-American teams, and was selected as the Collegiate Baseball Freshman of the Year. McKay’s selection by Tampa Bay comes as Louisville gears up for the College World Series.


The Rays have had a pretty decent track record with Number One draft picks. B.J. (now Melvin) Upton had a very productive time with the team before moving on to the Braves, Padres, and now Blue Jays. Evan Longoria is considered the face of the franchise, and David Price was a four-time All-Star and a Cy Young winner during his time in Tampa Bay.


The Field Goal Kick That Landed a Win for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Monday’s night NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers started with both teams holding one and three records. By fourth quarter Business Insider reported the teams were tied 14 and 14 until Buccaneers’ rookie kicker, Roberto Aquayo kicked the football straight down the middle of the field landing a win for the team. It was the best play performance for the rookie who had missed two previous kicks in the second quarter and fourth quarter.



Aquayo never missed a kick while playing for Florida State University inside 40 yards, but is struggling on the Bucs team. His struggles turned into victory after his team players provided him support on the sidelines right before the winning kick of the day. Thus far Aquayo has a field goal kicking record of four of eight for the season.



Preseason was difficult for the rookie kicker in the beginning after missing two field goals and an effort to kick the extra point field goal in the first and second week. By the end of the final two weeks of preseason, Aquayo was five for five. He finished the preseason with eight of 10 field goals.



Buccaneers coach, Dirk Koetter spoke to ESPN and said that he has concerns about the rookie kicker when most kickers are able to make goals inside of 50 yards when the weather permits. The first missing kick Aquayo made was during the second quarter which was 33 yards out. This happened at Carolina 30-yard line after Russell Shepard recovered Ted Ginn Jr.’s punt. The second missed field goal happened in the fourth quarter after Brent Grimes made a touchdown interception in the end-zone.



Coach Koetter applauded the Buccaneers team players who encouraged Roberto Aquayo on the sideline before the field goal kick. The team support and power actions of defense to get the ball back and Jameis Winston leading the offense gave him another opportunity to make a field goal. Koetter continues to have concerns about the rookie after a loss to Los Angeles Rams two weeks ago. He missed a 41-yard field goal which would have given the Buccaneers the lead. Koetter is pleased with the overall performance of the NFL team and the winning field goal.


Tampa Regarded as One of America’s Fastest Growing Cities According to Forbes

In a recent article about the growth of American metropolitan areas, Florida cities represented five of the 20 most swiftly growing areas in the country. Among these Florida cities, Tampa was listed as the most rapidly growing Florida metropolitan area for the 2017 year. Forbes calculated the growth of American cities based on the government’s recorded numbers for population, employment, wages, gross metro product output, and home values within the city limits. Tampa was shown to have increased in every category by at least a 15 percent margin since the data collection in the early 2000s. Tampa’s long time mayor, Bob Buckorn has discussed Tampa’s swift growth during a recent press conference with other city officials, and announced plans to develop new measures to stimulate economic growth.


Other Florida cities included on Forbes’ list of the fastest growing American cities were Cape Coral, Palm Bay, and Lakeland. A massive amount of revitalizing activities are said to be responsible for the rapid expansion of many of Florida’s cities. Expansion efforts combined with Florida’s ideal scenery and relaxed community provides citizens with the ultimate mixture of business, pleasure, and entertainment. The real estate market in Tampa has nearly tripled in revenue over the last decade, a factor which has been largely influenced by the cities rapid growth. New housing projects and subdivision developments have also been influenced by Tampa’s rapid growth. The influx of thousands of movers on an annual basis have caused the Florida construction industry to expand, employing hundreds of workers who would ordinarily have difficulty finding work.


The effect of Tampa’s rapid growth has been overwhelmingly positive and has caused many Florida citizens to attain a higher standard of living. According to Forbes, Tampa (along with several other rapidly expanding cities in Florida) is set to become one of the nation’s wealthiest cities with one of the lowest unemployment rates within the next decade. If the city continues to experience rapid expansion and an increase in career outlooks, it will likely have a positive effect on the nation as a whole. Exceptional state and local government systems often lead to a forced improvement in federal systems. For this reason, the entire country is rooting for the continued success of the Tampa, Florida and its surrounding areas.


Tampa Listed as One of the Best Places to Purchase a Home

In a recent article discussing the top 25 metropolitan areas to reside in the United States, Tampa, Florida came in at number 19 in the nation. The bay area city beat out other metro areas that are historically known for attracting young professionals and families like Atlanta (number 21 on the list) and Boston (number 24 on the list). Several analysts have listed Tampa’s most recent expansions as reasons for the city’s increasing popularity. The city has recently undergone some very expensive construction and additions to its infrastructure, largely because of the development of investors like Jeff Vink and Bill Gates,who have committed to the revitalization of the Tampa metro area.


In addition to the development of thousands of new shops, buildings, and businesses, Tampa has become a desired place to reside because of its expanding rental options, high average salaries when compared to other cities in the nation, and close proximity to areas of interest like Miami, St. Petersburg, and Orlando. According to an article by Forbes on the subject, metro areas are often categorized as more or less desirable based on the draw the area has on college graduates. Because a high amount of the American population that considers a big move from one state to another is made up of recent college graduates, average salaries are a huge indicator of a metro areas’ potential growth. Tampa Bay currently has one of the largest average salaries among college graduates with a small amount of experience. This fact combined with the fact that Tampa is adding new businesses and subdivisions on a consistent basis has contributed greatly to the city’s sudden explosion in out of state movers.


Another indicator of large growth in metro areas is the area’s appeal to millennials. Tampa’s investment in tourism has gained it a huge pay off with regard to millennial appeal. Company’s like Busch Gardens, Florida Aquarium, Florida Zoo, and the Museum of Science all make Tampa a desirable place to relocate for both young professionals and young families. Ultimately, the Tampa city government hopes to continue to increase the number of out of state residents relocating to the bay area. Forbes has predicted the city will increase in growth by about 30 percent within the next five years.




Jeff Vink Partners With Bill Gates to Improve Tampa Economy

Forbes recently published information regarding a Tampa acquisition made by Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, and investor extraordinaire, Jeff Vink. The article discussed the implications of the partnership between the two businessmen and what they could mean for Tampa’s infrastructure. Bill Gates has been well known since the launch of Microsoft in the mid to late 1970s. Jeff Vink, although slightly lesser known than his current development partner, has had an equally extraordinary career. Vink rose to prominence in the late 1980s as an investor and has since made billions of dollars predicting futures in the stock market. Although Vink has had more success than most Americans and could have easily retired to his own private island, the businessman opted to take up residence in Tampa, Florida, where he purchased several professional sports teams and began to take an interest in the city’s business market.


According to an interview the investor recently participated in, Jeff Vink believes that Tampa is a largely untapped resource with regard to earning potentials and viable job markets. Soon after becoming a resident of the burgeoning city, Vink decided to lay the foundations for economic growth and stability through consistent investment into businesses, buildings, and entrepreneur supporting activities.


Jeff Vink developed a investment fund and joined forces with Bill Gates’ Cascade development fund to pump large amounts of liquid resources into the struggling city. Vink has stated that these efforts are being made to ensure that Tampa natives are encouraged to engage in the revitalization attempts without feeling burdened by changes that occur too quickly. By developing a time released investment calendar, Vink has allowed residents and workers to gradually become accustomed to new businesses and renovations. Vink has also contributed to projects that were developed to help Tampa’s residents travel more efficiently including the Tampa highway revitalization project. The partnership between Jeff Vinks and Bill Gates has allowed Tampa’s most worn highway systems to be completely rebuilt in a matter of months. In addition to the development of new businesses, homes, and roads, the Gates/Vink partnership has contributed to the production of senior communities, the addition of biking lanes to bustling highways and roads, and the construction of thousands of new shops and hotel chains in the Tampa metropolitan area.


Tampa Wins Out In Super Bowl Bid

Tampa Bay has found a stroke of luck in the Super Bowl sweepstakes. The city originally entered a bid to host the big game. However, Los Angeles had become a sexy attraction. The league scheduled the 2021 Super Bowl to be held in the new stadium that would be home to the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers. However, delays have been reported in the building of the new attraction in Southern California. The NFL had concerns about the venue’s ability the host its premiere event. There are also league rules in place which states that a host Stadium must be in working fashion for at least two full football seasons in order to be qualified for hosting a Super Bowl.


The Tampa Bay venue has been in place for quite some time and its staff is familiar with the needs of hosting such an event. The NFL felt more comfortable with moving the big game to Florida. This comes as a pleasant surprise to the city of Tampa Bay, which had lost its 2020 bid for the Superbowl to Miami.


Tampa Bay has great experience with hosting premier events. The Super Bowl has taken place in Tampa during the 1998, 1991, 2001 and 2009 seasons. The citizens and officials of Tampa Bay, Florida are prepared to bring the very lucrative game back to their city and show that they can operate on entertainment’s biggest stage.


Raymond James Stadium was constructed as the new home for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It sits adjacent the old location and opened its doors in 1998. During construction it was known as Tampa Bay Community Stadium. Eventually naming rights were sold for 32.5 million dollars. In 2006 the naming rights where renewed in order to keep the familiar title of Tampa Bay’s local venue. It has hosted big events in the past including the ACC Championship game in 2009. It is also home to the Bulls of South Florida University.


The stadium is affectionately known as “Ray Jay” by the local fans. Several unique features highlight Raymond James Stadium including the life-sized pirate ship that fires cannons every time the Tampa Bay Buccaneers make a score.




Tampa Receives Unanimous Bid to Host Super Bowl LV

In a one-day meeting, NFL owners voted unanimously to have Tampa host the February 2021 Super Bown LV.


The decision was made in the midst of construction delays hitting the proposed Los Angeles Stadium — which the Rams and Chargers will share — caused by heavy rainfall in the area. Los Angeles had previously been the favorite to host Super Bowl LV. However, the NFL regulates that teams hosting the Super Bowl must have stadiums that have been operational for at least two seasons.


Super Bowl LV will be the first NFL championship held in Tampa since 2009, when the Pittsburgh Steelers took on the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII. This will be the fifth Super Bowl that Tampa will host.


“The Tampa Bay area has enjoyed great success over the years hosting Super Bowls and we look forward to working with our local leaders in the coming months to meet the requirements for hosting Super Bowl LV in 2021,” said Tampa Bay Buccaneers co-chairman Bryan Glazer. Tampa still needs to ensure the commitment of local hotels, event venues, and business leaders before the bid becomes official.


Tampa was lauded for its hosting of the College Football National Championship game this past January. By the time the Super Bowl returns to the city, its Raymond James Stadium will have undergone a $150 million renovation.


Tampa representatives were worried after being rejected for hosting the Super Bowl in 2019 and 2020, which Atlanta and then Miami won the rights to. With the possibility of more cold weather Super Bowls taking place in the near future, the city was glad to receive the 2021 bid.


“Hosting our fifth super bowl has been a top priority for quite some time,” said Rob Higgins, executive director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. “It’s something we monitor on a daily basis in terms of the national landscape for future years and certainly we had seen some of the reports bubble up and the conversations became much more tangible in the last few days.”


Super Bowl LV Reportedly Set for Tampa

The rains of Southern California have helped plant the potential for hundreds of millions of dollars to flow into the Tampa market 2021. That’s because the National Football League (NFL) is reportedly ready to award the rights to Super Bowl LV to Tampa, with the vote by NFL owners reportedly a unanimous one.


The reason that Tampa will be the beneficiary of this financial boon is because the original city for that contest, Los Angeles, fell victim to torrential rains over a crucial period of time. That resulted in construction on the new stadium being built there to stop work for close to two months. With the timeline for completion already tight, the belief was that the construction wouldn’t be finished in time for the game, which will now be played in the city in 2022.


When the announcement was made that construction would push back the finish a full year, the reason given was that the rains that began in early January came during the mass excavation portion of the work. This pivotal period requires that other work that might ordinarily be going on come to a halt. Thus, no work for was performed for much of that time, and because a rule requiring that a stadium be open two seasons before hosting a Super Bowl was on the league books, the change had to be made.


The new stadium will eventually be the brand new home of the Los Angeles Rams and former San Diego Chargers, the latter of whom announced plans to move to the city this past January. In the Chargers’ case, the team was coming full circle since the franchise began in Los Angeles as a member of the American Football League. The Rams also made a return last year after 21 playing seasons in St. Louis.


Assuming that the vote becomes official, Super Bowl LV will mark the fifth time that the city has hosted the festivities. What usually focused on a single day has expanded to a full week, resulting in a huge financial boost for the entire community.


The four previous contests were held in 1984, 1991, 2001 and 2009. The 1991 clash came against the backdrop of the early days of the Gulf War.