John Romano, Sports Columnist

John Romano

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.

A homecoming for FSUís College World Series star

Florida State catcher Elizabeth Mason (5), shown here sliding into third base during a best-of-three championship series against Washington in the Women's College World Series last season, spent much of her childhood at Clearwater’s Eddie C. Moore Complex. She returns there this week with FSU for a major softball tournament hosted by ESPN.  (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Elizabeth Mason spent much of her childhood at Clearwaterís Eddie C. Moore Complex where ESPN is hosting a major softball tournament this week.

No Mallex Smith, no C.J. Cron, no Jake Bauers, no problem for the Rays

The Rays roster has changed but the people who changed it, senior vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom, left, general manager Erik Neander, center, and manager Kevin Cash, shown here Tuesday during a pre-spring training press conference in Port Charlotte, still remain. CHRIS URSO   |   Times
Once again, Tampa Bayís front office has re-imagined the teamís roster and the metrics say the Rays have a contender.

One year later, has Ryan McDonagh made you a believer?

The Lightning acquired defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) in a Feb. 26, 2018 deal that also brought forward J.T. Miller to Tampa Bay for Vladimir Namestnikov, two prospects and two draft picks. DIRK SHADD   |   Times
At last yearís trade deadline, there was talk the Lightning might acquire star defenseman Erik Karlsson. Instead, Tampa Bay traded for Ryan McDonagh.

Is St. Pete the new old answer in Raysí stadium pursuit?

Could the Rays find a new home by building a new stadium on the site of their current stadium? [Times files]
MLB commissioner says thatís the focus now; Sternberg is thinking about it as Kriseman waits.

The Rays stadium future looks bleak, but it doesnít have to be

The Rays will open the 2019 season against the Houston Astros on March 28 at Tropicana Field, where they are bound by lease to play through 2027. But owner Stu Sternberg says the team's future has to be decided in the next 36 months. TAILYR IRVINE   |   Times
Stu Sternberg can no longer talk to Tampa, and isnít sure he wants to stay in St. Pete but there is still time to figure out a solution.