Category: Tampa Bay

TAMPA BAY SPORTS

First place Tampa Bay Lightning are showing the Canadians that they are a force to be reckoned with. Tamp Bay is a member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern conference. More commonly known as the BOLTS, a name inspired by Phil Esposito.

Esposito is best known from his days as a Canadian broadcaster. He was also a coach, a player, and former professional ice hockey executive. He is a respected member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Esposito’s successes included playing 18 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Chicago Black Hawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. Hockey News

The name came as a suggestion when during the summer months in Tampa the storms produce Strong Lightning Bolts in the sky. Hence the name “The Bolts” or Tampa Bay Lightning was born.

Billionaire Jeffrey Vinik, the owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning who purchased the brand almost a decade ago, had a good feeling about this team from the very start. Tampa has produced so many great sports teams. As an financial analyst, Vinik knew there was much growth potential demographically in the Tampa area.

This will be another exciting year for the Bolts as they travel to Canada in Winnipeg Winnipeg Manitoba to face off with the Central division leaders the Winnipeg Jets.

The Bolts and the Jets played very well going into the weekends All Star break. The Tampa Bay Lightning are on a three game winning streak as the Winnipeg jets are now three out of four games win. Sports

This weekend all eyes will be on the Super Bowl and Tom Brady. As Minnesota hosts the 52nd Super Bowl this Sunday. Good luck to the Philadelphia Eagles and to the New England Patriots. May the best team win.

SUPER BOWL 52

I am personally a Hockey aficionado and admit that I too will be eating wings and pizza and drinking beer and rooting for one of the teams this Sunday. Which team, I have no favorite. I am on the bandwagon so to speak. Maybe one day the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host a Super Bowl or win it! The fun and the excitement is part of the adventure.

After the Super Bowl is over, there are still a few months of great hockey coming. Go Bolts! Make some Lightning happen!

Snapchat Video Gets Teacher Fired

A video posted to Snapchat has resulted in the dismissal of a Tampa area school district employee. In addition to the Sarasota High School teacher who has lost her job, another employee has been given new duties. The other employee was an assistant principal who hosted a party where the video was taken. It’s all because of what the employee appears to be doing in a Snapchat video.

The school district received a copy of the video and began an investigation that led to the dismissal and reassignment of duties. The video shows an adult woman grinding with what appears to be a teenage boy. The boy didn’t attend the school where the woman teaches. Instead, he attends a nearby high school. School officials say that’s inappropriate enough to warrant a dismissal. The school says that there was too much contact between the adult and the minor to be professional conduct for an educator. The woman in the video was the registrar at a Tampa-area high school.

It all began when an assistant principal hosted a birthday party at her home. The teenager in question said that he didn’t even know who the other person in the video was. He said that he didn’t know that she was a school employee. The boy said that he was intoxicated at the time of the party. He said he got the party information from Snapchat and even arrived at the party via Uber.

School district officials say that the party host is no longer assigned to duties that involve working with students. They say the teacher in the video had only been with the school district since August. They chose to terminate her employment. The assistant principal has been working for the school since 2014.

The local sheriff’s office says that they’ve conducted an investigation. They say that the teen’s mother doesn’t want to press charges. They say that they don’t even plan to submit a police report for potential charges. They consider the matter closed.

The school district says that they’re continuing to conduct an internal investigation. They say that they haven’t finished the investigation yet. Until that happens, they say they aren’t sure if additional action is warranted. They say if it is, they’ll be sure to do what’s best for the school district and for all of their students.

Tampa Bay Rays Receives New Reporter on Fox Sports Sun

This week it was announced that FOX Sports Sun, which is Florida’s television home for Tampa Bay Rays broadcasts, hired a new reporter to cover the games for the upcoming 2018 season. Michelle Margaux will be the new lead reporter for all televised Rays games this season. She will also be the host for the Inside the Rays episodes that are televised periodically. Margaux has an impressive resume, most recently working as an on-air reporter for FOX Sports in San Diego. She has covered a variety of different sports teams over the years for college baseball, college basketball, high school football as well as AHL hockey. She also played a large role in the 2016 Major League Baseball All Star Game and the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Margaux expressed her excitement for her new role in Tampa by saying that she couldn’t be more excited to live in this area and to cover the Tampa Bay Rays games this upcoming season. Thanks to her love for baseball she hopes this is going to be a great fit for her next career stepping stone and she is looking forward to discovering Tampa and all it has to offer throughout the course of the year. Margaux has worked in the journalism field for many years and aside from her FOX Sports career she has also worked for KRIS, which is an NBC affiliate that is located out of Corpus Christi, Texas.

Born in California, Margaux graduated from the University Of San Diego with a degree in Communications and Political Science. You can follow her on Twitter and catch her this upcoming season on FOX Sports. Fox Sports is the home of area sports teams such as the Tampa Bay Rays, Orlando Magic, Miami Heat, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers and has been for the past twenty years. For more information on any of the upcoming games and shows, you can visit the Fox Sports website at//www.foxsportsflorida.com.

What to Expect from the Rays in 2018:

It’s not long now before pitchers and catchers report for spring training. Certainly the Tampa Bay players and their fans will head to Port Charlotte with the optimism that they can be competitive in what is sure to be a very tough American League East Division. The Rays had a much improved 2017 season, finishing 80-82, good enough for third in the East. That’s a far cry from their 2016 record 68-94 and a last place finish. But even if Tampa Bay makes it over the .500 mark this year, can they contend with the likes of Boston and New York?

There are going to be concerns with the Rays offensive production with Evan Longoria now in a Giants uniform and Logan Morrison likely to sign as a free agent with another team. That’s a loss of 58 home runs and 171 RBIs combined from last season. So who picks it up at the plate? The Rays will have to rely more on Steven Souza (30 HR & 78 RBIs), though he will have to hit better than the .239 clip he had in 2017. More also must be expected of Corey Dickerson (27 HR, 62 RBIs, .282). That’s a pretty good 1-2 punch from the outfield. If Wilson Ramos can rebound from his injury that limited him to 64 games last year, and Denard Span can come through as a table setter, The Rays should do well putting runs on the board. It would also be nice if Mallex Smith can become the table setter the Rays hoped for.

In the end, it’s going to come down to pitching. Alex Colome turned into a reliable closer with 47 saves and a 3.24 ERA last year. Your text to link… Many of the starters, however, saw their ERAs surpass 4.00. Alex Cobb did the best of any starter with 12 wins, but he’s a free agent. It will come down to whether Chris Archer can become a true staff ace, with Jake Odorizzi a solid number two. If that does not happen, look for the big guns of Boston and New York to feast on Rays pitching in 2018.

Warren Sapp Excoriates Tampa Bay’s 2017 Defense

Following a disastrous 2017 season in which they lost 11 games, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are receiving harsh criticism from one of the franchise’s most beloved personalities. Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp called out the team’s defense, referring to it as “absolutely disgraceful.”

The brash defensive tackle knows a thing or two about good defense given that he led Tamps Bay on that side of the ball for nine seasons. His tenure included a victory in the 2002 Super Bowl.

He most certainly has a right to be disgusted given that the Bucs were dead last in the NFL with just 22 sacks. Sapp himself notched 16.5 sacks during the 2000 season. In 2017, no member of Tampa Bay’s weak pass rush had more than 2.5 sacks.

Overall, the Bucs were at the bottom of the basement in the NFL in numerous defensive categories. For example, they allowed offenses the most total yards and most passing yards in the entire league.

Sapp’s frustration probably results from the fact that Tamps Bay’s offense, led by quarterback Jameis Winston, was actually quite good. Overall, the Bucs finished in the top 10 in the NFL in terms of offensive yards gained, and fourth overall with respect to passing yards.

The Buccaneers probably could have been a playoff contender if their defense had been even just average. Instead, Tampa Bay players had to stay at home and watch all of its NFC South rivals play in the postseason on television. The New Orleans Saints, the Carolina Panthers, and the Atlanta Falcons all made it to the playoffs.

As recently as 2015, Tampa Bay had a strong defensive identity. Despite not making the playoffs at that time either, the team at least had a defensive unit that ranked in the top 10 in terms of yards allowed.

Having drafted Winston first overall in 2015, expectations for the Bucs have been raised with each season that passes with him under center. While he has yet to live up to his promise, it is still early in his career, and he has shown some flashes of offensive greatness.

However, as Sapp’s harsh words suggest, a pathetic defensive can most certainly stymie a team’s success, regardless of how well the offense performs.

What Kwon Alexander Got From His Pro Bowl

Kwon Alexander’s Lessons from His First Pro Bowl

 

As far as the end of the NFL season goes, it’s quite an honor to be nominated to the Pro Bowl, whether it’s the first or tenth time doing so.

 

Enter Kwon Alexander, a linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl this year as a replacement for an injured player. Despite this, he didn’t feel as though this took anything away from his first Pro Bowl nod in Camping World Stadium in Orlando.

 

When asked about it, Alexander said it was both amazing and a blessing to be there on the same field as other top players in the NFL who earned similar accolades during the year. He added that he had a great time being on the field, enjoyed the practices and just the overall feeling of the game itself.

 

Alexander is only 23 years old, just finishing his third season in the NFL. He’s totaled 335 tackles in that time, as well as six sacks and six interceptions. In the Pro Bowl game he ended the day with six tackles, which actually tied for the most of any other player for the NFC. Granted, the AFC won the game 24-23, after the NFC managed to get a 20-3 lead at one point but at the end of the day the game is just about players having fun, all the while during a rainstorm.

 

Teammate and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was one of the many to sing praises for Alexander, saying that “Kwon deserves it” after he asked McCoy what did he have to do in order to get there. Now it appears that Alexander now knows what it takes and would like to get an All-Pro nod added to his football resume. McCoy himself just notched his sixth straight trip to the Pro Bowl this year.

 

McCoy wasn’t the only older player to spend time with Alexander this past week, as former Bucs players like Derrick Brooks and Warrick Dunn were also around. Both former players were titled as “Legends” captains for the NFC side of the game.

San Diego Sports Broadcaster Moves to Tampa Bay

On Friday, FOX Sports Sun announced that they have hired a news sports broadcaster to join their team covering Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays. Michelle Margaux, a reporter from Fox Sports San Diego, will join the reporting team for the 2018 season.

A native of Fair Oaks, California, Margaux earned a degree in communication and political science from the University of San Diego. She began her professional career at KRIS-TV in Corpus Christi, Texas as a sports reporter and host of Friday Night Fever, a weekly series that highlighted the best in high school football. Margaux then moved to San Diego to work as a sideline reporter for Fox Sports San Diego. In 2016, she became the host of Padres POV, a weekly show that focuses on the off-field lives of San Diego Padres players.

In her new role at Fox Sports Sun, Margaux will be hosting the Inside the Rays television series and serving as the lead-in reporter for game television broadcasts. Margaux’s specialty is baseball. In the MLB, she has covered both the All-Star Game and the World Baseball Classic. She has also reported on high school and college baseball, as well as high school football and college basketball.

Margaux replaces outgoing reporter Alex Corddry, who left Fox Sports Sun after her contract expired in December. Margaux joins the Rays’ play-by-play commentator Dewayne Staats, expert commentator Brian Anderson and studio host Rich Hollenberg as part of the broadcast team.

Fox Sports Sun was founded in 1998 as the Sunshine Network. In 2015, the channel changed its name to Fox Sports Sun to reflect its ties with 21st Century Fox. In addition to the Rays, the channel also covers the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Florida Panthers, the Miami Marlins, the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic. In December 2017, Disney announced that they plan to purchase 21st Century Fox. The deal is currently awaiting approval. Once completed, Fox Sports Sun will be included under the umbrella of ESPN.

Miami Marlins Have More Room To Breath Than You Think

The sports world has been dominated with news of how the new CEO of the Miami Marlins, Derek Jeter, is going to cut more payroll and work on raising more money from investors. So far, the new owners have raised roughly $1.276 billion in order to fund the purchase of the team, but it looks like their may be more on the horizon. What is going largely unreported, is the fact that Jeter has more breathing room than most people think when it comes to the financials.

It looks like Derek Jeter will have roughly a 4 percent stake in the team while retired NBA player Michael Jordan will have about half of one percent. Bruce Sherman will become the controlling owner of the team and have the highest stake, roughly 46 percent. Other ownership will go to Viking Global co-founder David Ott with about a 10 percent share, Sigma Group founder Jamie Montealegre with about a 7 percent share, Energy Capital Partners senior partner Doug Kimmelman with an 8 percent share, and The Beekman Group managing partner John Troaino with a 5 percent share. Sherman, Jeter, Kimmelman, Troaino, and Ott will serve on the board for the team and Jeter will be in charge of heading the business and baseball operations. The original funding consisted of $400 million in debt, $76 million in preferred equity, and $800 million in common equity. The sale included about $102 billion paid to Jeff Loria, $25 million for closing costs and capital adjustments, which left about $50 million on the balance sheet. In 2017, the Marlins posted a negative operating income of about $66 million, which includes the money they received from the revenue sharing system which was over $60 million. It is assumed that for this coming year, the payroll will run $93 million and this will leave the team with a balance of about negative $20 million.

Somehow, the team will have to increase revenue. While there is much speculation about how and if they can do so, with all the reports, it has gotten lost that the team will have an extra $50 million or so from the money raised from the purchase of the team. This $50 million can go a long way

Losing Season for Buccaneers Causes Speculation of Rift Between Star QB Jameis Winston and HC Dirk Koetter

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL’s NFC South division were expected to do big things this season.

At the end of the 2016-17 season, the Buccaneers missed the playoffs, but had a respectable 9-7 record at the end of their most recent 16-game stretch. Jameis Winston, their franchise quarterback, also threw for over 4,000 passing yards last year. He successfully completed 28 touchdown passes with an overall passer rating of 86.1 percent.

This year, things have not necessarily looked as promising for the Buccaneers or their starting quarterback. As of December 12, 2017, the 2002 NFL World Champion Buccaneers had an overall record of 4-9. Winston’s passing yard total is also down. So far, the former Florida State standout has less than 2,000 passing yards with three games left.

However, the less than stellar play of Tampa Bay’s storied football team cannot be blamed on Winston alone. The disarray going on in the Buccaneers culture falls on the shoulders of one man: Head coach Dirk Koetter. Koetter took over the organization in 2015 after previously serving as the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons.

According to ESPN, the relationship between Koetter and Winston is being closely monitored. Word is circulating about there being a rift between the two due to the fact that the Buccaneers’ 2017-18 season is not going the way many fans had hoped for. This kind of scrutiny is common in the NFL when seasons start to go south.

However, Winston denies that there are any problems between himself and his head coach. “I’ve been with Coach Koetter since I got in this league, and he has not wronged me since I stepped foot in those doors. I believe in what we have as an organization,” Winston said, according to ESPN.

When Koetter was asked by the press about his relationship with the team’s franchise quarterback, he gave a more coy answer stating simply that he and Winston had an “extremely consistent” chemistry. The comradery of a head coach and starting quarterback is always aggressively analyzed when problems with the team mount.

Winston understands this and said that he has no influence when it comes to his head coach’s job security. “”I don’t control that. That’s not my place. When you lose, everything gets blamed on … the head coach and the quarterback and I’m OK with that … All we care about is each other, our family, and trying to win,” he said.

The Buccaneers will face off against their division rival Falcons at 8:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, December 15, 2017 on their home field.

Lightning Take On Struggling Coyotes On Game 2 Of Roadtrip

After blanking the Blues on game 1 of their road trip, the Lightning looks to pile on another win in Arizona tonight.

With a record of 22-6-2, the Lightning leads the Atlantic Division with 45 points and a 5 game winning streak. Meanwhile, the Coyotes sit at the bottom of the Pacific Division with a record of 7-21-5 with only 19 points. One could easily say that tonight’s game could be a trouble-free night for Tampa Bay. However, mismatches like this could also end up being a trap game from the division-leading Lightning.

Consider that the Lighting is heading into game 2 of a road trip, playing three time zones away from their home site. During their last road trip, the Lightning lost three out of four games. That included a shutout against the lowly Buffalo Sabres. The Tampa Bay side may not have a sure thing in Glendale tonight.

Then again. Let’s look at the Coyote’s numbers on their home ice. Arizona has a record of 3-8-1 at Gila River Arena. One of worst in the NHL. By the looks of the Coyote’s home record, the odds should favor the Lightning. However, there is some additional data to suggest that tonight’s game may be closer than expected.

Last season, the Lightning went 0-2 against Arizona, being outscored by 5-3 in both matches. With more than a couple of games to give in the Atlantic Division, the Lightning may not put on their best effort in order to preserve some energy for the rest of their road trip.

Also, Arizona will have some incentive to play harder in front of their home crowd. And the Coyotes may find themselves in a sort of comfort zone given that 9 of their next 11 games will take place at home.

Overall, tonight’s match may be more competitive than the teams’ respective records suggest. Look for a high scoring game that may end up going into overtime. If that is the case, the Coyotes may have an outside chance to steal a game against the Lightning.