John Romano - Sports Columnist

Sports Columnist

Finding the right career can be hit-and-miss. In my case, it was swing-and-miss. When Major League Baseball scouts declined to watch me play, or even acknowledge my existence, journalism seemed like a plausible fallback plan. I started covering prep sports for St. Petersburg's Evening Independent as an 18 year old college freshman, and have worked for newspapers ever since. I have a daughter in college, a son in high school and a wife in charge. And I still can't hit the curveball.

  1. Yankees manager Aaron Boone is tossed by umpire Vic Carapazza during Game 2 of a doubleheader against the Rays on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020. Of Boone's 10 ejections as a manager, three have been in games with Tampa Bay. [IVY CEBALLO  |  Times]
  2. Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) came into this postseason with a career record of 15-15 in the playoffs. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  3. Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Alex Killorn (17) celebrates his goal with teammate Tyler Johnson (9) while playing against the Boston Bruins during the first period in Toronto on Wednesday. [NATHAN DENETTE  |  The Canadian Press via AP]
  4. Tom Brady, center, joins teammates at midfield during training camp Tuesday at the AdventHealth Training Center in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  5. Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) makes the final save to defeat the Washington Capitals in Toronto on Monday. [FRANK GUNN  |  Associated Press]
  6. Rays radio broadcasters Dave Wills, left, and Andy Freed give a virtual fist bump through a Plexiglass divider in the booth on Friday night before the Orioles game. [John Romano]
  7. Oldsmar resident and Blue Jays rookie Nate Pearson delivering a pitch on Wednesday against the Nationals in his Major League debut. NICK WASS | AP Photo [NICK WASS  |  AP]
  8. Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow said Miami's coronavirus outbreak is a warning sign to all other teams that safety protocols need to be followed. [JONAH HINEBAUGH  |  Times]
  9. Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Monday evening that the Marlins could be back on the field for a game in Baltimore as soon as Wednesday. [CURTIS COMPTON  |  Associated Press]
  10. Rays third baseman Yandy Diaz is one of several players who was wearing a mask during games in the weekend series against Toronto. The Rays are now playing two games against the Braves, less than a week after Atlanta hosted the Miami Marlins. The Marlins have had had 11 players and two coaches test positive for coronavirus in recent days. [JONAH HINEBAUGH  |  Times]
  11. Turn and burn: Kevin Kiermaier was 0-for-11 before this two-run walkoff hit in the 10th inning to beat the Blue Jays 6-5 on Sunday, July 26, 2020, at Tropicana Field. [JONAH HINEBAUGH  |  Times]
  12. Is 2020's Tom Brady, who has the Bucs being proclaimed as a possible Super Bowl contender, Tampa Bay's version of 1980's Pete Rose, above, who won a World Series with the Phillies? [RUSTY KENNEDY  |  Associated Press (1980)]
  13. From left to right: Rays pitcher Blake Snell, Lightning center Steven Stamkos and Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. Three Tampa Bay franchises have big stars and realistic shots at the World Series, the Stanley Cup and the Super Bowl. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  14. Leah Churchill, who threw out the first pitch, sits in the empty 200 section along with husband Dan as they watch the Rays take on the Blue Jays in the Rays' home opener at Tropicana Filed. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  15. Lightning center Anthony Cirelli just turned 23 but is already prominently mentioned among the top two-way centers in the NHL. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
  16. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was among the crowd of NFL players to question the league's commitment to safety on social media. [Russell Wilson Twitter feed]
  17. Rays, right, and Houston Astros players line up for player introductions just prior to Game 3 of the American League Division Series in October at Tropicana Field. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  18. Caution is the word to apply to this major-league season. Teams and players are cautiously optimistic that the season will start and finish, and Rays fans feel the same way about their team's postseason chances. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  19. By the time this season kicks off, it will have been 266 days since the end of the World Series, the longest stretch in MLB history without a game. [ERIC GAY  |  Associated Press (2019)]
  20. Willy Adames rounds the bases after hitting a solo homer in the fourth inning against the Houston Astros in Game 4 of the American League Division Series last fall. Will the Rays surpass last season's fortunes? [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  21. Victory No. 82 for Tiger Woods came in Japan at the ZOZO Championship in October. His next PGA Tour victory will move him past Sam Snead as golf's most prolific winner. [LEE JIN-MAN  |  Associated Press]
  22. Who gets to celebrate in 2020 the way the Washington Nationals did in 2019? Is it finally the Dodgers' turn? Or will New York's gazillion dollar investment in Gerrit Cole pay off? We've got your 2020 MLB preview for every team in 60 words right here. [MATT SLOCUM  |  Associated Press]
  23. It didn't take long for training camp to turn physical for Tampa Bay. Lightning center Blake Coleman (20), on left legs up, goes down along with center Cedric Paquette (13) as the fall into the boards on the ice during the second day of playoff training camp at Amalie Arena. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]