Rain75° FULL FORECASTRain75° FULL FORECAST
Make us your home page
Instagram

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

Email: mbaker@tampabay.com

Twitter: @MBakerTBTimes

link
  1. Ex-NFL QB on Dirk Koetter: 'I think he's brilliant'

    Blog

    As fans get their first glimpses of offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter's system during training camp, one of his former quarterbacks said Bucs fans should expect big things from their new play caller.

    "I think he's brilliant," said Andrew Walter, who played in the NFL from 2005-09.

    Walter played under Koetter at Arizona State from 2001-04. Under Koetter, Walter set a Pac-10 record with 85 touchdowns and broke school marks in career passing yards, completions, attempts and total offense before becoming a third-round draft pick....

    "I think he's brilliant," Andrew Walter, who played in the NFL from 2005-09, says of Bucs offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, pictured.
  2. Pasco CB Jayvaughn Myers commits to Florida

    Footballpreps

    Pasco cornerback Jayvaughn Myers has orally committed to Florida, Myers announced Tuesday via Twitter.

    The 6-foot-1, 185-pound senior chose the Gators over Florida State, Michigan and Auburn, among others.

    Myers was No. 10 on the Tampa Bay Times' HomeTeam 100 list of the area's top high school football players. He led the Pirates with five passes defended last season and added 31 tackles....

    Pasco's Jayvaughn Myers has blown up in the offseason and is taking his talents to Florida. (
John C. Cotey | Special to the Times)
  3. Pasco cornerback Jayvaughn Myers commits to Florida Gators

    Blog

    Pasco cornerback Jayvaughn Myers has orally committed to Florida, Myers announced Tuesday via Twitter.

    The 6-foot-1, 185-pound senior chose the Gators over Florida State, Michigan and Auburn, among others.

    Myers was No. 10 on the Tampa Bay Times' HomeTeam 100 list of the area's top high school football players. He led the Pirates with five passes defended last season and added 31 tackles....

    Jayvaughn Myers is a three-star recruit and 247Sports' No. 42 prospect in the state.
  4. Gators coach Michael White to make four speaking stops

    Blog

    New Florida basketball coach Michael White will make four speaking stops around the state this month, but none will be in Tampa Bay.

    Here's the speaking schedule for White, as announced by the University of Florida Alumni Association:

    Aug. 17: Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, from 4:30-8:30 p.m.

    Aug. 18: Eustis Community Building in Eustis, from 5-8 p.m.

    Aug. 24: Thrasher-Horne Center for the Arts in Orange Park, from 5-8 p.m....

  5. Austin Seferian-Jenkins talks Tony Gonzalez comparison

    Blog

    Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter coached star tight end Tony Gonzalez at the end of his career and said he sees some similarities between the 14-time Pro Bowler and the Bucs' Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

    "He's Tony Gonzalez - he's the best tight end ever to play the game, so that's a real strong comparison," said Seferian-Jenkins, last year's second-round pick. "I'm going to do my job and leave the comparisons up to the coaches and the media."...

    Austin Seferian-Jenkins had 21 catches for 221 yards and two touchdowns in nine games as a rookie.
  6. Bucs tackle Spence out months after back surgery

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The back injury that has sidelined DT Akeem Spence at the start of training camp required surgery last month and is serious enough that it will keep him from playing at the start of the season.

    "I'm probably a couple more months away," Spence said after watching practice Sunday, six weeks before the season starts on Sept. 13 against the Titans.

    Spence said he was lifting weights and it "caused something in my back to slip," requiring surgery July 2. His timetable for recovery makes him a candidate for the physically unable to perform list, which would keep him from taking up a spot on the 53-man roster but wouldn't allow him to play until after the first six games of the season....

    BLIND CATCH: Bucs receiver Robert Herron, left, gets corralled by cornerback Johnthan Banks as he tries to grab a pass during practice at One Buc Place.
  7. Mike Glennon responds to Bucs naming Jameis Winston starting quarterback

    Blog

    Quarterback Mike Glennon was searching for words to describe his emotions when he learned that he wouldn't even get a chance to battle rookie Jameis Winston for the Bucs' starting job.

    "I don't know what the word would be," Glennon said after Sunday's first open practice of training camp. "I just want to be out there. I'm a competitor. I want to be able to go out there and help my team win on Sundays."...

  8. Slimmed-down Gerald McCoy feels Bucs' playoff urgency

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The clock is ticking a little louder for DT Gerald McCoy, who is in the prime of his career.

    The Bucs star has been to three straight Pro Bowls and enjoyed one winning season but has had no playoff appearances during his five years in the NFL. That's why McCoy said Saturday he feels the urgency to end the Bucs' postseason drought. Tampa Bay's last playoff appearance was 2007....

    Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy reports to training camp 12 pounds lighter than he was in June and with 2 percent less body fat.
  9. Jameis Winston on being named Bucs' starter: 'I love this opportunity'

    Blog

    While rookie quarterback Jameis Winston downplayed the importance of being named the Bucs' starting quarterback on the eve of training camp, the No. 1 overall pick said he's obviously excited about the opportunity in front of him.

    "I'm not perfect," Winston said, "but I will compete my butt off."

    Winston, the former Florida State star, earned the starting job over Mike Glennon. Winston's public debut was delayed until Sunday after Saturday's open practice was canceled because of storms....

  10. Former UF, Countryside lineman Tyler Moore signs with Chicago Bears

    Blog

    Former Gators offensive lineman Tyler Moore has signed with the Bears, the team announced Friday.

     

    The 6-foot-6, 324-pound undrafted rookie had been with the Storm. Moore, a Countryside High alum, started eight games for Florida last season. Chicago lists him as a guard, although he spent some time at tackle at UF.

  11. Bucs cancel first day of training camp, open practice still on for Sunday

    Blog

    UPDATE, 4:15: The Bucs will have to wait a day to open training camp. 

    Storms and record-setting rain forced the team to cancel Saturday's first day of practice. The Bucs have another open practice scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

    UPDATE, 2:30: Today's Bucs training camp is now scheduled to start at 5 p.m. Gates will open for fans at 4:30. That's assuming the rain and storms subside between now and then....

  12. FSU is No. 8, Gators and Canes unranked in coaches' poll

    Blog

    Florida State will start the season ranked eighth in the country in the USA Today coaches poll. The Seminoles, coming off of their run to the inaugural four-team playoff, are the only state team in the top 25, which was released Thursday morning.

    Miami received 16 votes, Florida received two and UCF received one. It's the second consecutive year the Gators begin the season unranked in the poll....

    Defensive back Jalen Ramsey and Florida State will start the season ranked eighth in the country in the USA Today coaches poll.
  13. Tampa named one of five finalists for 2018 world junior hockey championship

    Blog

    Tampa is one of five finalists to host the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, USA Hockey announced Tuesday.

    The other finalists are Chicago, Buffalo, St. Louis and Pittsburgh.

    More than 300,000 fans attended this year's tournament in Canada to watch the world's top players under 20. Tampa has experience hosting other big tournaments; the NCAA's Frozen Four is coming to Amalie Arena for the second time in April....

    Brett Connolly of Canada and Miro Hovinen of Finland battle for the puck during the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championships in Calgary, Alberta.
  14. Jameis Winston effect? Prices rising for secondary Bucs tickets

    Blog

    Whether it’s the addition of No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston or something else, there appears to be a growing demand for Bucs tickets.

    This time last year, the Bucs’ secondary tickets had a median price of $104, according to Vivid Seats, a secondary ticket marketplace. The average price was 27th in the league....

    Whether it’s the addition of No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston or something else, there appears to be a growing demand for Bucs tickets.
  15. Lightning lands eight games on NBC Sports schedule

    Blog

    The Lightning's run to the Stanley Cup final will pay off with eight nationally televised games, NBC announced Monday.

    The list of games to be shown on NBC or NBCSN includes two Lightning-Rangers games in a rematch of last year's Eastern Conference final, at Amalie Arena on Dec. 30 and at New York on April 5.

    The other nationally televised games: At Detroit (Oct. 13), at St. Louis (Oct. 27), vs. Buffalo (Nov. 10), at Colorado (Jan. 12), vs. Detroit (Feb. 3) and at Boston (Feb. 28)....

    The list of games to be shown on NBC or NBCSN includes two Lightning-Rangers games in a rematch of last year's Eastern Conference final.