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. Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, left, congratulates players on the field after Boston defeated the Rays 6-5 in Game 4 of the American League Division Series.
  2. It was not uncommon to see Bucs fans in Tampa Stadium wearing paper bags on their heads in the 1970s and '80s.
  3. Former Bucs coach Jon Gruden looks on during his induction into the Ring of Honor on Dec. 18, 2017. The team removed him from the Ring after emails surfaced in which he used racist, sexist and homophobic language.
  4. The Bucs seemingly had Thursday's game in hand, then suddenly Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts had back-to-back touchdown runs and Philadelphia was very much in this game late. But in the end, the Bucs won and are 5-1.
  5. Bucs quarterback Tom Brady already is over 2,000 yards passing for the season with 17 touchdowns.
  6. Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) looks up after the Pittsburgh Penguins scored the first goal of the game in the second period Tuesday at Amalie Arena.
  7. Rays pitcher Shane McClanahan (62) walks off the field during the third inning against the Red Sox during Game 4 of the ALDS.
  8. Ross Colton certainly closed out last season on a high note, scoring the lone goal against the Canadiens in the Stanley Cup clincher.
  9. Rays first baseman Ji-Man Choi blocks the throw to the bag, allowing the Red Sox's Travis Shaw (23) to reach first base safely in the ninth inning Monday at Fenway Park in Boston.
  10. Boston Red Sox right fielder Hunter Renfroe (10) chases down the ball, hit by the Rays' Kevin Kiermaier, as it hits the wall before bouncing off Renfroe and over the wall for a ground-rule double during the thirteenth inning Sunday at Fenway Park.
  11. Dolphins quarterback Jacoby Brissett (14) is sacked by Bucs linebacker Shaquil Barrett during the fourth quarter Sunday.
  12. Bucs quarterback Tom Brady threw five touchdowns and more than 400 yards agains the Dolphins. He had never done both in the same game until Sunday.
  13. Rays relief pitcher Matt Wisler (37) reacts after Red Sox leftfielder J.D. Martinez (28) connected for a three-run home run in the fifth inning Friday night in Game 2 of the ALDS.
  14. Rays players are seen in the dugout during the ninth inning of Friday's loss to the Red Sox at Tropicana Field.
  15. Randy Arozarena slides into home plate as Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez, center, anticipates the throw Thursday night in Game 1 of the ALDS.
  16. Fans gather along the Riverwalk in downtown Tampa on July 12 to celebrate the Lightning winning consecutive Stanley Cups, and the third overall in franchise history.
  17. Randy Arozarena slides into home plate as Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez anticipates the throw. The Rays' Brandon Lowe, left, and umpire Dan Bellino watch the play during the seventh inning Thursday night at Tropicana Field.
  18. Rays relievers, from left, Andrew Kittredge, Pete Fairbanks, center, and Collin McHugh, right.
  19. Boston Red Sox game 1 starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez talks with reporters before the team takes to the field for practice ahead of Game 1 of the American League Division Series Wednesday at Tropicana Field.
  20. Mike Evans, shown being  brought down by New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson, is averaging 12.2 yards per catch, which is more than three yards lower than his career average.
  21. Bucs quarterback Tom Brady (12) calls out a play during the third quarter against the New England Patriots Sunday in Foxborough, Mass.
  22. Bucs quarterback Tom Brady (12) runs off the field after Tampa Bay's 19-17 win over the Patriots on Sunday.
  23. Handlers with the Central Mass Goat Farm walk a group of 13 Nigerian dwarf and alpine goats through downtown Boston while participating in Bud Light’s GOAT Parade, which began at Coogan’s bar near Faneuil Hall on Saturday. The NFL's GOAT, Tom Brady, takes on his former team Sunday night when the Bucs face the Patriots.