Monday, August 20, 2018


Martin Fennelly, Times sports columnist

Martin Fennelly, Times sports columnist

Martin Fennelly is a sports columnist for the Tampa Bay Times. He was born in New York City, raised on Long Island and was sitting in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium, minding his own business, when Reggie Jackson hit three home runs in one night to beat the Dodgers in the 1977 World Series. Prior to joining the Times, he worked as a columnist for the Tampa Tribune, St. Louis Sun and Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Martin graduated from the University of Albany, where he studied history, and attended the University of Missouri Graduate School of Journalism. He lives in Lutz with his wife, Siobhan, their children, Conor and Norah, and, at present, five cats.

Mallex Smith, right,  and Jake Bauers (9) helped the Rays to a 3-1 victory over the Yankees Thursday.  (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The Raysí kids are all right, and this is a great time to show it

This baseball season has been filled with Haves and Have Nots. And your entertaining Rays are smack dab in the middle of it.Kevin Cash's team left New York for Boston on Thursday night and they hardly needed a plane after a 3-1 win and...
Published: 08/17/18
Updated: 08/18/18
Bucs could use another Tony Dungy to spark culture change

Bucs could use another Tony Dungy to spark culture change

TAMPA —  It seems a little odd, but Tony Dungy is just now being installed in the Bucs' Ring of Honor, two years after his bust was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Leave it to his former team.As if it matters to...
Published: 08/14/18
Updated: 08/15/18
“People think UCF,” USF coach Charlie Strong says. “ 'Hey, aren’t you on that team that went undefeated?’ A lady in Atlanta asked us that. I told her no, we weren’t that team.” (CHRIS URSO | Times)

USF football wants success with no mistaken identity

TAMPA — There will be new football uniforms for USF this season. One of three versions is green and gold.
Published: 08/12/18
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Demone Harris (72) and long snapper Drew Ferris (41) congratulate Chandler Catanzaro (7) after he made a go-ahead field goal during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Buccaneers defeated the Dolphins 26-24. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

The last thing the Bucs need right now, or ever

TAMPA — This was going to be the Bucs preseason when we didn't talk about the kicking.So much for that.So much for Chandler Catanzaro?Not so fast. After missing an extra point in his first try as a Buc, and...
Published: 08/10/18
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) hands the ball to running back Ronald Jones II during the first half of the team's NFL preseason football game against the Miami Dolphins, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) HRS114

Bucs-Dolphins: Some pretty good first impressions

Columnists Tom Jones and Martin Fennelly watched the Bucs-Dolphins game Thursday night like the rest of Tampa Bay — on television. Here are their impressions from the Tampa Bay's 26-24 victory at Miami in the preseason opener:TJ:...
Published: 08/09/18
Tampa Bay Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen (66) signs autographs after mandatory mini camp on June 12, 2018 at One Buc Place in Tampa, Fla. MONICA HERNDON   |   Times

Why Ryan Jensen is the one-man attitude adjustment for the Bucs line

TAMPA — It was last October and it went viral. You can still see it on YouTube. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was sliding to the turf when he was smashed into Tweety Bird Land by Miami Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso. Dirty...
Published: 08/07/18
Updated: 08/08/18
Then-Gators coach Urban Meyer talks with star tight end Aaron Hernandez (81), whose bad behavior at UF resulted in Bible counseling from Meyer. After his college career, Hernandez was convicted of murder and committed suicide in prison.[Times file, 2010]

On leave at Ohio State, Urban Meyer had a mess as Gators coach, too

GAINESVILLE — Is this where it began?On Thursday, I was sitting at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Florida football citadel, attending media day. Like everyone else, I was focused on the news out of Columbus, Ohio. The Urban Meyer...
Published: 08/05/18
Worst-to-first 2008 Rays set the standard for teams that followed

Worst-to-first 2008 Rays set the standard for teams that followed

ST. PETERSBURG  — There is a new set of young ballplayers at Tropicana Field, but no one knows if they'll ever take the franchise back to the postseason, or if they'll ever play in a new ballpark, or if there ever will be a new...
Updated one month ago
Angels centerfielder Mike Trout signs autographs just prior to the game against the Rays at Tropicana Field on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]

Isnít it enough that Mike Trout is baseballís best player today?

ST. PETERSBURG — The best baseball player in the universe (provided Mars is not holding out on us), has entered our atmosphere to play the Rays. Angels superstar centerfielder Mike Trout is in our midst, and our midst is better for it.
Updated one month ago
Chris Archer talks to the media at Tropicana Field after he was traded to the Pirates. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]

With trade, Chris Archer leaves a legacy of community service

ST. PETERSBURG — It was moving day for the Rays. Two more All-Stars out the door. What else was new? Catcher Wilson Ramos, on his way to the Phillies, packed a cardboard box. That's the business. That's the Rays' world.Later, Chris...
Updated one month ago