Category: Tampa Sports

Vasilevskiy Lifts Lightning at Amalie Arena

The Tampa Bay Lightning are off to one of the best starts in the NHL this season. Their dominance at home includes six straight wins. A big reason for the Lightning’s success has been the outstanding play of goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Vasilevskiy has been a model of consistency, winning nine straight starts for the Lightning. This ties the young Russian for a franchise record with John Grahame, a Tampa Bay legend who accomplished the feat in 2005.

It shouldn’t come as a big surprise to sports fans that Tampa Bay is making a strong start. The team is deep at every position and has been knocking on the door of a second Stanley Cup for a couple of years now. With the play of Vasilevskiy and Steven Stamkos, the Bolts cannot be disputed as a contender. It is Vasilevskiy, however, who is getting a lot of cheers from the fans at Amalie Arena.

There were some concerns among fans when the Bolts traded goalie Ben Bishop to the Dallas Stars. Bishop is the tallest goaltender to ever play in the NHL and his presence in front of the Tampa Bay net was often key to the team’s success. Vasilevskiy was tasked with filling some big shoes when he assumed the starting role for the 2017-18 season.

The young man has thus far shown incredible poise. During his nine-game winning streak, Vasilevskiy has posted a save percentage of .946. It is still early in the season but the goalie is making a difference. His performance on the Lightning’s home ice is especially impressive. The Bolts recently fell to the Anaheim Ducks at home, snapping a six-game win streak in Amalie Arena. During that stretch, Vasilevskiy had games with 28 or more saves. These performances included outings against the Detroit Red Wings and other tough teams.

Will the Russian be able to continue his excellent play? Fans of the Tampa Bay Lightning hope so. At the moment it appears that staying healthy for the entire NHL season may be the biggest threat Vasilevskiy will face as the Bolts chase another chance at the Cup.

Tampa Rays Planning Rotation for Next Season

For the past decade, one of the most interesting teams in Major League Baseball has continued to be the Tampa Bay Rays. While the Tampa Bay Rays do not always have the payroll budget and other resources to compete with the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and other major-market teams, they still manage to do their best to always put a very competitive team on the field. In that time, the team has made several playoff appearances and has looked like a World Series favorite several seasons.

During the 2017 Major League Baseball season, the Tampa Bay Rays ended up finishing third in the American League East Division with a record of 80 wins and 82 losses. While this was not good enough for the team to make the playoffs, the team had plenty of talent on their roster and has many reasons to look forward to the coming year. Some of the leaders on their offense included Logan Morrison, Evan Longoria, and Corey Dickerson. These three players should continue to be a cornerstone of the offense and starting lineup for years to come.

While the starting lineup appears to be in pretty good shape for the coming season, the starting pitching rotation is still up for grabs (https://rayscoloredglasses.com/2017/11/01/tampa-bay-rays-candidates-2018-rotation/). As the 2017 world series comes to a close, the Tampa Bay Rays are already starting to think about their starting rotation for the following year and have already started to identify who could and may not be among the five starters in the pitching rotation.

During the 2017 season, the Tampa Bay Rays starting pitching rotation was led by starting pitcher Alex Cobb. Alex Cobb ended up winning 12 games and led the team in ERA. While he was a star for the team, it is very unlikely that he will be back next year. Cobb is a free agent and will likely win a big deal from a team in one of the major markets. While he will be missed, there are other pictures on the team that will have the opportunity to take a step forward. One of the most exciting players on the team is starting pitcher Chris Archer. Last year he had nearly 250 strikeouts and will once again be a leading pitcher in the rotation.

Tampa Bay Struggles Continue

The NFL is one of the most competitive and popular professional sports leagues in the world. Each year, fans and experts from around the world try to predict who will be in contention for playoff spots and a trip to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately for many, predicting the NFL can be very challenging as teams seem to rise and fall in the overall rankings very quickly. One team that has continued to be evidence of this so far this year have been the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Heading into the 2017 NFL season, many people expected that the Buccaneers would be one of the top teams in the NFC. This came after a very good 2016 season that saw the team finally reach the .500 level and play some of the best competition in the league. Along with that, the Buccaneers continued to see positive growth from young stars on the team, including quarterback Jameis Winston and wide receiver Mike Evans.

Due to the continued growth and success of the team in 2016, many predicted that Tampa Bay would end up winning the very challenging NFC South division. This was despite the fact that the division is also the home to the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers, which are the past two NFC Champions, and the New Orleans Saints, which is always a good team. While there were a lot of positive predictions for the team, it does not appear that this will be the year for the Buccaneers (http://www.espn.com/blog/tampa-bay-buccaneers/post/_/id/18926/buccaneers-free-fall-continues-with-fourth-straight-loss).

As the league continues to approach the midway point of the season, the playoff picture is beginning to take form and the Buccaneers appear to be well out of it. Through their first seven games, the Bucs have a record of 2 wins and 5 losses. Furthermore, they seem to be heading in the wrong direction by losing their last four games. At this point, they are several games behind the first place Saints and are losing ground behind the other divisional teams as well. Also, if they are going to compete later on this year, it could be without Winston. Winston reportedly is suffering from a sprain in his shoulder and the team is considering putting him on the sideline for the next few games to allow it to recover.

Tampa’s Teams Joining Hands To Fight For A Noble Cause

At the front side of the Hillsborough County Courthouse there sits a monument that constantly reminded people of the Charlottesville tragedy. Recently in Tampa, Florida, three teams came together and decided to join efforts in assisting to get rid of the monument that they all did not think agreed with their culture. The three teams that were involved were MLB’s Rays, NFL’s Buccaneers and NHL’s Lightning. These teams came to together as they made their statement of joining hands in walking together past the tragedy that occurred in Charlottesville. They so a need to be united in the midst of diversities so that they could heal. They volunteered to contribute their own money as they raised funds towards moving the monument.

None of the teams revealed how much they had contributed towards this cause. The Hillsborough County Commissioners Board had suggested that the monument could be moved to a different city and stored on private property. There was, however, need to raise 150 thousand dollars from private sources or individuals so that they could cover the costs that were to be incurred in moving the monument. A sort of campaign began to raise these funds. Tony Dungy, the former Buccaneers coach, together with his wife contributed five thousand dollars and went public with it on Twitter. His contribution triggered a further contribution from other local teams and individuals. Bob Buckhorn, Tampa’s Mayor, donated a thousand dollars towards this cause because he believed it was morally right to move the monument.

As much as some people in the region are against this monument’s move, it has gained enormous support from the politicians and business leaders locally. Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s President gave a donation of 70 thousand dollars towards the campaign. The joint effort from individuals, teams and the Chamber of Commerce, it is almost correct to affirm that the move was going to happen. The amount of money raised in the campaign would go a long way. Tampa is one of the cities that managed to get rid of the Confederate monument. The constant reminder of the Charlottesville tragedy will no longer be there. It was a great win for the teams and Florida as a whole.

Buccaneers Could Shelve Winston

Heading into the 2017 NFL season, there were many professional teams that appear to be full of Hope and promise. Of all these teams, it appeared that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have the most promise of all. During the 2016 NFL season, the Buccaneers took a big step forward and looked poised to be one of the top teams in the league during 2017. Much of this was due to the continued success and development of young players Jameis Winston and Mike Evans.

Wild Evans and Winston have continued to look like very talented players with a lot of potential for the future, it has not quite good enough to get the Buccaneers over the hump. While the Buccaneers won eight games in 2016, it looks like they will have a hard time exceeding or even meeting that level this year. Through their first seven games, the Buccaneers have two wins and five losses, which is good enough for last place in the very difficult NFC South Division. While the Buccaneers have had a hard start to the 2017 season, it now appears that there may be even more reasons to be concerned about the dimming playoff hopes of the team (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2017/10/31/are-the-bucs-thinking-of-shutting-down-jameis-winston/?utm_term=.139b405116e0).

During a very hard game last week against the Carolina Panthers, Jameis Winston took a number of difficult shots to his upper and lower body. These hits and a range of other factors made it very difficult for the Buccaneers to move the ball and a team ended up losing by a score of 17 to 3. Now that the game is over, it appears that the injuries sustained by Winston could be more problematic than initially thought. According to a recent medical report, Winston suffered a sprained of his AC joint in his throwing shoulder that will make it difficult for him to throw the ball as hard as before.

While it is believed that Winston would normally play through this type of injury, the fact that the team is falling behind in the standings already and that he is still so young could lead the Buccaneers to decide to have him rest for a few games and potentially even miss the rest of the season. This would all but eliminate any hopes that the team had for a playoff run this year.

Local Baseball Player Pitches in Game 7 of World Series

Tonight, a local Tampa baseball player will play a significant role in tonight’s game 7 of the World Series according to http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/Tampa-s-Lance-McCullers-ascends-to-sports-ultimate-stage_162222895. Local baseball player, Lance McCullers will start for the Houston Astros as they face the Los Angeles Dodgers. McCullers will take center stage as he will attempt to help the Astros win their first ever World Series by defeating the Dodgers. Over the course of the postseason, Lance has performed quite well and will be counted on to help the Astros compete and hopefully win tonights’ game. Not only will he be helping the Astros, but also representing Tampa and the surrounding area. He was a top high school pitcher in the area when he was growing up. As a result, he will look to provide the local community with pride as he performs in the biggest game of the Major League Baseball season.

Lance will clearly be in the spotlight tonight as he will look to showcase his talents on baseball’s biggest stage. By pitching well in the game, he will be in position to prove to the nation that he is among the top pitchers in all of baseball. When pitching in games, he uses a curveball that has proven to be unhittable on many occasions. This has helped him shut down opposing lineups during the postseason. Tonight, he will need to use this curveball in order to slow down the formidable Los Angeles Dodgers lineup. When he was growing up, Lance developed this pitch from his father who also played in Major League Baseball as a pitcher. However, Lance Sr.’s career was ended prematurely due to problems with his shoulder. However, Lance Jr. will look to make his father proud by performing well in Game 7 of the World Series tonight.

During the postseason, Lance has performed at a high level. In the ALCS, he pitched six innings of two hit ball during Game 4. He shut down a top Yankees lineup in the process. In the decisive Game 7, he would pitch four scoreless innings in relief. His ERA for this postseason is only 2.95 which is among the best in baseball. Starting McCullers looks to be a good choice for the Astros as they will count on him to slow down the Dodgers and give his team a legitimate chance to win.

The future of Tampa sports

Its been a long time since the good days of Tampa Sports. Maybe the days would’ve shined brighter if the Buccaneers didn’t aggravate Bo Jackson. There are questions that the sports fans ask such as, “Why don’t we have a basketball team?” or “How did Miami get a Hockey team but we don’t have one?”. And those questions will likely remain unanswered. Even though the Buccaneers and the Bay Rays aren’t doing so well, some thing that can’t be done is erase the history of Superbowl 37. Perhaps you dub it the way Buccs fans say it, the “Jon Gruden bowl”. It always makes you reminisce when you hear his on Monday Night football.

Though in the 70s and 80s the buccs had an attractive logo and some nice jerseys, that couldn’t make up for their incompetent decision making when it came to drafting. Years and years later they would hire one of the greatest miked up coaches of all time, Jon Gruden. His miced up segments where so popular that it got him his own show on ESPN. But that Superbowl in the 2002 season made a lot people buccs fans. From going 12-4 in the regular season, shutting down the eagles in NFC finals, and beating one of the most hyped up quarter backs in NFL history. The only hope now is that Jameis Winston can become a new hope for the buccs franchise but that 2-5 record isn’t looking too good . . .

Now for some, the Bay Rays have been a laughing stock for awhile. Their biggest rivalry in baseball is empty seats. It feels like the only meaningful thing to happen on the Tropicana field is that Bryce Harper set records before he was even drafted. But there was that time when the Rays made the world series in 2007 and had briefly redeemed themselves. There was the time they crushed the Red Sox to win the Division victory in 2008. The time Evan Longoria hit a walk off home run to put the Rays into playoffs. The list could go on off moments that may not be special to anyone else, but hold a place in the heart of Tampa fans. Don’t lose hope yet, we know you haven’t lost it.