Matt Baker, Times Staff Writer

Matt Baker

Matt Baker joined the Times as a sports reporter in 2011. In 2014, he started covering the Bucs, Rays and Lightning. He previously covered high school and college sports for the Tulsa World and minor league baseball for the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader. His work has been honored by the Best American Sports Writing series and the Associated Press Sports Editors. He is a Hoosier native and graduated from Northwestern University in 2008.

Phone: (727) 420-9087


Twitter: @MBakerTBTimes

  1. Did Bucs RB Demps do enough to stick?


    TAMPA — After failing to get more than 8 yards on any play through the first three preseason games, running back Jeff Demps entered Thursday needing a big performance to try to make the Bucs' 53-man roster.

    He'll find out in the next 48 hours whether it was enough.

    The former Gator and Olympic sprinter got plenty of touches with mixed results, finishing with a team-high 59 yards and 20 of the Bucs' 28 carries....

    A no-gainer for Jeff Demps in second quarter.
  2. Jeff Tedford to miss Bucs game against Washington


    TAMPA — The Bucs' new-look offense will be without its architect in the final preseason game.

    Offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford will miss Thursday's home game against Washington as he recovers from an undisclosed medical procedure, coach Lovie Smith said Tuesday.

    Tedford had the procedure Monday, but Smith has revealed little else about the first-year assistant's status....

    Mike Glennon (8), who has seen a lot of preseason action, including Aug. 16 against Miami, will probably start at quarterback Thursday night against Washington, coach Lovie Smith says.
  3. The Bucs placed cornerback Danny Gorrer on injured reserve.
  4. Richie Incognito: Latest from Bucs GM and players


    TAMPA – The Bucs’ addition of Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins doesn’t mean they’ve ruled out adding troubled but talented guard Richie Incognito....

  5. Bucs offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford has medical procedure


    TAMPA — Less than two weeks before the Bucs open the season, coach Lovie Smith said Monday that offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford had "a medical procedure" Monday morning, was resting comfortably and will be "out for a short period of time," with no timetable for his return.

    "We'll keep Jeff in our prayers," Smith said. "Things should be okay."

    Tedford, 52, was out of football last season after serving as head coach at Cal from 2002-12. Smith gave no details on the nature of the procedure or whether the team expected him to return by Thursday's preseason finale against the Redskins, or the regular-season opener, Sept. 8 at home against Carolina....

    Bucs offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford is “out for a short period of time,” the team says, after an undisclosed medical procedure.
  6. Lovie Smith used to allowing second chances


    If the Bucs sign Richie Incognito, it wouldn't be the first time coach Lovie Smith has had a player with previous troubles.

    Here is how has Smith handled those players when he coached the Bears from 2004-12. This incomplete list comes with some help from the San Diego Union-Tribune.

    WR Brandon Marshall: Has had multiple legal problems. In 2012, the Bears traded two third-round picks to Miami for Marshall....

    Brandon Marshall got a break and has since flourished with the Bears.
  7. Bucs in the Super Bowl? Clinton McDonald thinks so


    As the Bucs prepare to get Carolina-ready in preparation for the season opener, DT Clinton McDonald is also stressing the importance of big goals – like the Super Bowl....

  8. Rays: A day for pitching benchmarks

    The Heater

    Rays vs. Blue Jays

    When/where: 7:07 tonight; Rogers Centre, Toronto

    TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: LH Drew Smyly (7-10, 3.66)

    Blue Jays: RH Marcus Stroman (7-4, 3.83)

    On Smyly: Making his fourth start as a Ray; hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of them. Has thrown at least seven innings in back-to-back starts. Hasn't allowed a run in three relief appearances against Toronto....

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 2:  Newley acquired pitcher Drew Smyly #33 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on from the dugout before the start of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on August 2, 2014 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) 477587297
  9. Rays-Blue Jays preview

    The Heater

  10. Kevin Kiermaier catch saves Rays' day

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — After committing fielding miscues in each of the past two games, RF Kevin Kier­maier needed a play like the dive he made Thursday to help save the Rays' 1-0 win.

    "He's got to keep playing that way," 3B Evan Longoria said.

    Kiermaier entered the game against the Tigers in the eighth inning as a defensive replacement. With Andrew Romine on second, Rajai Davis hit a one-out fly ball to shallow rightfield. Kiermaier briefly lost the ball in the lights and made an instinctive decision to dive headfirst for it....

    Rays right fielder Kevin Kiermaier makes a sliding catch on a fly to right by the Detroit Tigers' Rajai Davis in the eighth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC  |  Times]
  11. Kevin Kiermaier on why he keeps diving in the outfield


    I’ll have more on this in tomorrow’s paper, but a few quick words on RF Kevin Kiermaier’s diving catch in the eighth inning of today’s 1-0 Rays win over the Tigers....

  12. Life on the NFL bubble: Some extras


    A few extra nuggets from my story in today’s paper on life on the bubble of the NFL roster:...

  13. Blog