Kristie Ackert - Sports Reporter

Sports Reporter

After 25 years covering almost everything in the New York City sports scene. I’ve gone back to my roots. No, I am not a Florida native, I grew up in Central New York, but my first 15 years at the New York Daily News I was a sports general assignment reporter. That just means that I covered everything from high school basketball recruits (Kemba Walker was one of the most memorable), the New York City marathon, the New Jersey Devils’ 2012 Stanley Cup Finals run, the Giants Super Bowl runs and the Jets mostly struggles. I also covered the Yankees 2009 World Series and made multiple trips to Tampa to watch Derek Jeter and A-Rod rehab one of their injuries. I spent the last 10 years specializing as a baseball beat writer, six seasons on the Mets, and the last four covering the Yankees. With the Times, I am going back to doing a little of everything, including the Lightning, Bucs and, of course, the Rays. I like the variety and the challenge of learning new teams and I look forward to sharing that with you on all our platforms here at the Times.

  1. Josh Fleming "competes really, really well," manager Kevin Cash says, and he edged out Yonny Chirinos for Tyler Glasnow's spot in the rotation.
  2. Wander Franco's MRI on his right quad Sunday was "favorable," according to manager Kevin Cash.
  3. The Rays' Harold Ramirez, center, is looked at by manager Kevin Cash, right, and a trainer after getting hit in the left pinkie by a pitch from the Philadelphia Phillies' Taijuan Walker during the fourth inning of Wednesday's exhibition game at Tropicana Field.
  4. Rays starting pitcher Jeffrey Springs delivers to the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning of an exhibition game Wednesday at Tropicana Field.
  5. Josh Fleming, seen here earlier this spring, got out to too fast of a start against the Twins on Tuesday, but settled down after the first inning.
  6. Rays relief pitcher Calvin Faucher throws a pitch during an exhibition game against the Minnesota Twins earlier this month at Tropicana Field.
  7. Zach Eflin, pictured during an exhibition game against the Twins last week at Tropicana Field, says he is feeling good physically and refining his pitches at this point in the spring.
  8. Shortstop Carson Williams last year was named the Rays’ top defensive player in the minor leagues and won a Gold Glove as the best defensive shortstop in minor-league baseball.
  9. Taylor Moore poses for photos with the Valspar Championship trophy, his first such hardware on the PGA Tour. He finished 10 under on the Copperhead Course at the Innisbrook Resort on Sunday.
  10. Pasco's Nick Gabrelcik tees off on the first hole during the third round of the Valspar Championship at the Innisbrook Resort on Saturday.
  11. Jordan Spieth reacts after his tee shot on the first hole during the third round of the Valspar Championship at the Innisbrook Resort on Saturday. He finished the day a shot out of first place.
  12. Nick Gabrelcik, seen here during Thursday's first round, makes his first PGA Tour cut ... and on his home course at the Innisbrook Resort.
  13. Adam Schenk tees off on the fifth hole during the second round of the Valspar Championship on at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor.
  14. Ryan Brehm, who got a hole-in-one on the 17th, finishes his first round of the Valspar Championship tied for first place at the Innisbrook Resort.
  15. Professional golfer Jordan Spieth hits his second shot on the 10th hole during the first round of the Valspar Championship at the Innisbrook Resort on Thursday.
  16. Justin Thomas lines up for a putt on the ninth hole during the Valspar Championship pro-am at the Innisbrook Resort on Wednesday.
  17. Sam Burns, who is looking for a Valspar three-peat, poses with the tournament trophy following his win in a playoff last March.
  18. Rays pitcher Luis Patino, right, hands the ball to manager Kevin Cash as he is taken out of an exhibition game against the Phillies Tuesday in Clearwater. Patino hit 97 mph on the radar gun while throwing 2-2/3 scoreless innings Sunday against the Mets in Port St. Lucie.
  19. Rays infielder Taylor Walls, who is recovering from an oblique strain, warms up on the field before an exhibition game against the Atlanta Braves Friday at Tropicana Field.
  20. Tampa Bay Rays pitchers Tyler Glasnow, left, and  Shane McClanahan, right, speak with a staff member during a workout in February at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista. Glasnow suffered an oblique strain early in camp.
  21. Greg Jones celebrates with Rays teammates in the dugout after scoring a run during an exhibition game against the Toronto Blue Jays Thursday at Tropicana Field.
  22. Rays infielder Yandy Diaz gets hit on his left hand by a pitch during the first inning of Friday's game against the Atlanta Braves at Tropicana Field.
  23. University of Tampa baseball coach Joe Urso, right, talks with his son, J.D., in the dugout during a game against Maryville in February in Tampa.