Rick Stroud, Times Staff Writer

Rick Stroud

Rick Stroud covers the Bucs and the NFL for the Times. He joined the paper in 1983 after graduating from Arkansas St., where he played baseball. He has reported on national sporting events including more than 20 Super Bowls, the NCAA Final Four, and the Major League Baseball playoffs. While working as the beat writer assigned to the University of Florida at the Times, Stroud's stories documented NCAA rules violations by the football and basketball programs. He began covering the Bucs in 1990. Since then, the team has undergone seven coaching changes, the death of owner Hugh Culverhouse and the sale of the franchise to billionaire owner Malcolm Glazer and a stadium referendum and a Super Bowl XXVII victory. He co-hosts a sports talk show weekday mornings from 6-9 on WDAE 620-AM, 95.3-FM.

Phone:

E-mail: stroud@tampabay.com

Blog: Bucs Beat

Radio talk show (620-AM, 95.3-FM): Listen live

  1. Carl Nicks eagerly anticipates return to Bucs

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Carl Nicks says he has pain and nerve damage in his left foot, something the Bucs guard believes he may have to live with for the rest of the life.

    After signing a five-year, $47.5 million contract two years ago, Nicks has only played in nine games. Foot surgery, followed by another operation due to a recurrence of MRSA, has left him unable to participate in the team's first minicamp this week under coach Lovie Smith....

    Foot surgery, followed by another operation due to a recurrence of MRSA, has forced Bucs guard Carl Nicks to play spectator in the team’s first minicamp this week under coach Lovie Smith. 
  2. Nicks has nerve damage, pain in foot but hopes to return

    Blog

    Carl Nicks says he has pain and nerve damage in his left foot, something he will probably have to suffer with the rest of the life.

    After signing a 5-year, 47.5-million contract two years ago, Nicks has only played in nine games with the Bucs. Foot surgery, followed by another operation due to a recurrence if MRSA, has left him still unable to participate in the team's first minicamp this week under coach Lovie Smith....

    Carl Nicks says he has pain and nerve damage in his left foot, something he will probably have suffer with the rest of the life.
  3. 5 questions Bucs hope to resolve before draft

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The NFL draft still is two weeks away but the Bucs' most important evaluation period may be over the next three days during their voluntary (wink, wink) minicamp. Bucs coach Lovie Smith has only seen his players on tape, not live on grass and certainly not trying to execute his offensive and defensive schemes. How those players perform will greatly impact the draft. "If you're on the roster right now, we've seen something in you we'd like to explore a little bit more," Smith said. Here are five things the Bucs hope to discover during minicamp:...

    The Bucs question how well Mike Glennon can function in Jeff Tedford's new offense, which puts a premium on accuracy and requires some mobility.
  4. Rays bats come alive in 11-5 win over Yankees

    Blog

    At some point, Joe Maddon has insisted, the line drives will have eyes, the ground balls will find holes and the zeroes on the scoreboard will be replaced by heroes at the plate.

    It happened Friday as the Rays not only snapped out of their collective batting slump,  it was enough to break their four-game losing streak with an 11-5 come-from-behind win over the New York Yankees before 26,079 at Tropicana Field....

  5. Rays rally to beat Yankees

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — At some point, manager Joe Maddon has insisted, the line drives will have eyes, the ground balls will find holes and the zeros on the scoreboard will be replaced by heroes at the plate.

    It happened Friday as the Rays not only snapped out of their collective batting slump but ended their four-game losing streak with an 11-5 come-from-behind win over the Yankees before 26,079 at Tropicana Field....

  6. Rays: Maddon doesn't have clubhouse ideas; Jerry Springer appearances

    The Heater

    Rays vs. Yankees

    When/where: 7:10 tonight, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    RAYS: RH Chris Archer (1-1, 4.50)

    YANKEES: RH Ivan Nova (2-1, 5.94)

    On Archer: The righty is coming off his worst start in the majors, seven runs and 12 hits against the Orioles on Monday. He is 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA in three starts against the Yankees....

  7. Despite struggles, Rays hope Erik Bedard can help

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays were hoping for more but probably not expecting a lot from veteran pitcher Erik Bedard when he started Friday night's game against the Yankees.

    Having pitched for five teams over 11 major-league seasons, the hope is Bedard, 35, could use his experience to settle down a pitching staff that has three starters on the disabled list. He's a savvy lefty who changes speeds but not expressions. ...

  8. For starters: Rays vs. Yankees

    Blog

    The Rays (7-9) try to snap a four-game losing steak and even their series against the Yankees tonight at Tropicana Field. Rays veteran lefty Erik Bedard makes his first start of the season vs Yankees RH Hiroki Kuroda (2-1, 3.86).

    Centerfielder Desmond Jennings, who was used as a DH Thursday, is still experiencing soreness in his legs and is not in the lineup. He is day to day, manager Joe Maddon said....

    Rays veteran lefty Erik Bedard makes his first start of the season vs Yankees RH Hiroki Kuroda.
  9. Rays: Maddon (Bayshore), Jeter (Davis Islands) have view of each other

    The Heater

    Rays vs. Yankees

    When/where: 7:10 tonight; Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tickets: $18-$275, available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team Tampa store; $3 surcharge within 5 hours of game time.

    Probable pitchers

    RAYS: LHP Erik Bedard (0-0, 0.00)

    YANKEES: RHP Hiroki Kuroda (2-1, 3.86)...

  10. Jeter makes farewell appearance against Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was Derek Jeter's last, first appearance of the season at Tropicana Field on Thursday as the Yankees captain takes his farewell tour. He received a standing ovation from many in the crowd as he walked to the batter's box. But before reaching the plate, he already was home.

    Jeter, 39, has a 38,000-square-foot mansion on Davis Islands, and playing the Rays 19 times per season in the AL East, he has many admirers among Tampa Bay coaches and players....

    Derek Jeter singles in the second inning, going 2-for-4 in his first appearance at Tropicana Field during his final season.
  11. Yankees pound David Price and Rays, turn triple play

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Say this for the Rays batters — and maybe for the entire ballclub at this early stage of the season — it felt like they hit something Thursday night against the Yankees.

    Rock bottom.

    After watching ace David Price get ambushed for four runs and three extra-base hits in the first 11 batters, the Rays then did something that crystallized their recent struggles when Sean Rodriguez hit into an around-the-horn triple play....

    In one of many bad Rays moments, David Price tries to regroup after giving up back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning.
  12. Rays hit into triple play, Price battered in loss to Yankees

    Blog

    Say this for the Tampa Bay Rays batters – and maybe for the entire ball club at this early part of the season – they finally hit something Thursday night against the Yankees....

  13. Rays woes worsen: S-Rod hits into triple play

    Blog

    ...

  14. For starters: Rays vs. Yankees

    Blog

     

    The Rays (7-8) host the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field. It will be Rays LHP David Price (2-0, 2.91) vs. Yankees (LHP) CC Sabathia (1-2, 6.63).

    Manager Joe Maddon has eight right-handed batters and switch-hitter Ben Zobrist in the lineup vs. Sabathia. Desmond Jennings will DH with Brandon Guyer in CF. Rays manager Joe Maddon said he wanted to give Jennings a day off his feet and keep Guyer and Rodriguez involved....

  15. Return of Tampa 2 excites Bucs' Gerald McCoy

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The uniform design is contemporary. Some players still need directions to One Buc Place, and the coaching staff is new.

    But as disruptive as the changes might be, the Bucs and tackle Gerald McCoy hope a nostalgic return to the Tampa 2 will create more havoc on defense.

    "It's definitely going to be different," McCoy said. "We're playing the old-school, traditional Tampa 2 defense, and all we've been watching is old Chicago tape when (new Bucs coach Lovie Smith) was there. When (the Bucs) were in their prime, from 1996 to 2002, we've been watching all that tape because that's when the Tampa 2 was really thriving and took over the league. I'm excited about it."...

    Gerald McCoy, right, taking down Bills quarterback EJ Manuel for one of his 91/2 sacks last season, hopes to play the role of Warren Sapp in the Bucs’ Tampa 2.