Saturday, February 17, 2018


Tom Jones, Times sports columnist

Tom Jones, Times sports columnist

Tom Jones writes columns and television/radio commentary for the Tampa Bay Times' Sports section. He has covered everything from high schools to colleges to professional sports since starting with the St. Petersburg Evening Independent in 1986. After the Independent, Tom worked at the Times (1987-91), the Tampa Tribune (1991-96), the Times again (1996-2000), the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (2000-03) and returned for his third stint at the Times in 2003. Though he has covered all sports, Tom is a hockey writer at heart. He covered the Tampa Bay Lightning from its first game in 1992 until moving to Minnesota to cover the Wild for three years. He returned to the Times again to cover the Lightning until taking over as writer and editor for Page Two in 2006. He lists Herb Brooks, Lou Piniella and Wayne Gretzky as the most interesting personalities he has covered and the 2002 Winter Olympics as the best event he has covered. Tom co-hosts a sports talk show weekday mornings from 6-9 on WDAE 620-AM, 95.3-FM. He previously hosted a weekly sports roundtable show on Bright House Sports Network. Radio talk show (620-AM, 95.3-FM): listen live

Tampa Bay Rays players practice Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Port Charlotte. (CHRIS URSO   |   Times)

Tom Jones’ Two Cents guide to spring training

Times columnist Tom Jones give his Two Cents guide to spring training.Best place to watch a gameBradenton's LECOM Park, although if you're a true Floridian and spring training aficionado, you still and will...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Gold medalist snowboarder Shaun White of the United States speaks during a press conference at the Main Press Centre during the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 11, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.  (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images) 775096187

Should we be cheering Shaun White?

On Wednesday, American snowboarder Shaun White turned back the clock and turned in a performance for the ages, winning gold in the men's halfpipe. It was the finest moment on the mountain for the greatest snowboarder to ever live. It was the first...
Published: 02/15/18
Rays general manager Erik Neander, center, and Chaim Bloom, senior vice president of baseball operations, left, listen as manager Kevin Cash speaks during a pre-spring training news conference.  (Chris Urso, Times)

Jones: Spring could be the best of Rays’ season

PORT CHARLOTTE — The highlight of the Rays' 2018 season might have been Tuesday.That's when the Rays' brass opened spring training with an annual news conference.It was a beautiful day, the type of day that reminds you everything...
Published: 02/13/18
Canada's goaltender Ben Scrivens looks up during a men's ice hockey team practice during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Gangneung, South Korea on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

Olympic hockey will need a different kind of miracle on ice

The men's Olympic hockey tournament starts this week.Who cares?The only recognizable names will be on the front of the sweaters, not the backs. Because of that, the best hockey tournament in the world has been reduced to a tournament...
Published: 02/12/18
Former New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi talks with reporters at the annual MLB  general managers' meetings, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Tom Jones’ Two Cents: Some criticism, some praise for NBC

Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.Worst of the weekendIs there anything on television that talks down to viewers more than a network’s coverage of an Olympics...
Published: 02/11/18
The tower for the Alpensia Ski Jumping Center rises beyond a set of Olympic Rings at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Friday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Lindsey Vonn and beyond: Your Winter Olympics primer

Here's my Two Cents on the 2018 Olympics, which starts competition next week and celebrates the opening ceremonies at 6 a.m. EST Friday from PyeongChang, South Korea. It will be streamed live...
Updated one month ago
Former baseball player Alex Rodriguez sits in the stands before the start of a baseball game in Miami. Rodriguez once again is taking over for Aaron Boone in a high-profile spot, this time moving into the ESPN booth for Sunday Night Baseball. ESPN announced Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, that A-Rod was joining its crew as an analyst. The former star slugger will become a rare, two-network announcer _ he will continue as a studio analyst for Fox Sports in the postseason.  Rodriguez fills the ESPN spot held last season by Boone, hired last month to manage the New York Yankees. It will mark the second time Rodriguez has followed Boone.  (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File) NY167

So, ESPN, the whole A-Rod and steroids thing never happened?

So we're all cool with Alex Rodriguez now, huh? That's how it works? Everything's good?Apparently, because one of the biggest cheaters in the history of the sports, a man once suspended for an entire year because of performance-enhancing drugs,...
Updated one month ago
ST PAUL, MN - JANUARY 29:  Chris Long #56 of the Philadelphia Eagles speaks to the media during Super Bowl Media Day at Xcel Energy Center on January 29, 2018 in St Paul, Minnesota.  Super Bowl LII will be played between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles on February 4.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) 775109358

52 people who will make Super Bowl 52 special

Happy Super Bowl Sunday.Once upon a time, this was a good day, but not necessarily a special day. Now it’s practically a national holiday, celebrated by pretty much everyone.And by everyone, we mean everyone.Today, we have...
Published: 01/30/18
Updated: 02/03/18
This June 26, 2015, file photo, shows the Cleveland Indians logo on a jersey during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore.  Indians are taking the divisive Chief Wahoo logo off their uniforms and caps, starting in 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Jones: Last thing Chief Wahoo needs is a farewell tour

Finally, the Cleveland Indians are getting it.They've seen the error of their ways. They've realized that their logo — the ridiculously cartoonish caricature of a Native American called Chief Wahoo — is insensitive and...
Updated one month ago
Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (91) similes while on the ice with former teammate Brian Boyle  (11) during NHL All-Star Game at Amalie Arena in Tampa Sunday. Boyle, who was diagnosed with cancer last summer, was cheered louder than anyone not in a Tampa Bay uniform this weekend. (01/28/18). DIRK SHADD   |   Times

Jones: Brian Boyle was the heartbeat of NHL All-Star Weekend

TAMPA – Brian Boyle waited his whole life to play in an NHL All-Star Game.When the call finally came, he said no.There was no way he was going to head off to Tampa Bay for a weekend of hockey fun in the sun while his 2-year-old son...
Updated one month ago