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. Pete Alonso may soon join Jose Fernandez (2013), Chris Coghlan (2009), Dwight Gooden (1984) and Lou Piniella (1969) as Tampa Bay area high school products who won a Rookie of the Year Award. Alonso extended his NL rookie record for homers to 49 on Wednesday in Colorado.
    The Mets rookie from Plant High is on his way to winning NL Rookie of the Year with his 49 homers. Is that the greatest season of a bay area product?
  2. At 23 years old, Tampa Bay forward Brayden Point already has 91 career NHL goals, including 41 last season. Now that his entry level contract has expired, Point is looking for a big payday but the Lightning has salary cap issues. CHRIS O'MEARA | AP Photo
    John Romano: History says restricted free agents almost always stay put, and there’s too much at stake for Tampa Bay to allow this impasse to go on.
  3. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees leaves the field after their loss against the Los Angeles Rams during an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Los Angeles. Brees left the game after being hurt in the first half.
    The Saints quarterback could miss six games with a thumb injury, which means the NFC South may be up for grabs after all.
  4. For several weeks, Rays manager Kevin Cash has had to look over his shoulder to see whether the Indians or Athletics have been gaining in the American League wild card race.
    The Rays, Indians and A’s are all projected to win 94 or more games. In the past quarter-century, only one team has won that much and failed to make the playoffs.
  5. Until further notice, this Vernon Hargreaves tackle of Carolina's Christian McCaffrey in the final seconds of Thursday night's 20-14 victory will be considered the play of the season for Tampa Bay. MIKE McCARN | AP Photo
    From a defensive revival to five ways of annoying Gerald McCoy, here’s a look at Thursday night’s 20-14 Tampa Bay victory against the Panthers.
  6. Scenes such as this, with Adam Humphries and Jameis Winston celebrating a touchdown while Mike Evans and Chris Godwin look on, were common in Tampa Bay in 2018. Now, with Humphries moving on to Tennessee, Winston needs another go-to receiver in the slot.  MONICA HERNDON   |   Times
    John Romano: It’s only been one game since Humphries left as a free agent, but it’s hard not to wonder how Jameis Winston will respond without his security blanket.
  7. Let's see, 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) is not looking at the ball and is using his left arm to block Mike Evans from making a leaping catch. Why would anyone think that's pass interference?
    John Romano: Nearly eight years after it was last seen around here, we dust off the Gimme 5 column format to explain what happened in the 31-17 loss to the 49ers.
  8. This is pretty much all you need to know about Sunday's 31-17 loss to San Francisco. This is 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (23) heading into the endzone with the second interception returned for a touchdown against Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston.
    John Romano: Expectations were high with new coach Bruce Arians in charge, but Tampa Bay blundered its way to a 31-17 loss to San Francisco.
  9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard (80) reacts after a pass intended for him is intercepted during the second quarter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against the San Francisco 49ers at Raymond James Stadium on September 8, 2019 in Tampa, Florida.
    This is no way to usher in a new era. Penalties and turnovers doom the Bucs in Bruce Arians’ debut as Tampa Bay’s head coach in 31-17 loss to San Francisco.
  10. Ndamukong Suh had better be a difference maker for the Bucs in 2019. The free agent replacement for Gerald McCoy needs to a presence on the defensive line but the Bucs are also hoping his take-no-prisoners approach rubs off on teammates.
    John Romano: Bruce Arians could turn Jameis Winston into Ben Roethlisberger in 2019 and it still may not matter. Not if the Bucs defense doesn’t improve dramatically.