The Bucs' need to add muscle to the defensive line./CARMEN MANDATO

The Bucs' need to add muscle to the defensive line./CARMEN MANDATO

Thursday, 4 a.m.

Everyone knows how to say hello.

By now, the lines are written in ink, and the best coaches and the worst ones all know what to say. They talk about effort and intensity and hunger and desire, and their voices sound loud and their eyes look clear. In their opening press conference, no one ever coached a player who got blocked.

All of which leads us to new Bucs' defensive line coach Brentson Buckner.

And, man, is he going to need more than words.

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Bulls do the little things well in win over Houston

by Gary Shelton on February 22, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, USF

Laksa scored 36 to lead USF to its victory./CARMEN MANDATO

Laksa scored 36 to lead USF to its victory./CARMEN MANDATO

Thursday, 1 a.m.

The 17th-ranked USF women's team did all of the little things right in their latest victory.

The Bulls (23-5) scored more than 80 points for the third time in five games to beat Houston (20-8). The Bulls scored 21 points at the end of the first half and the start of the second. This time, USF came from five down after the first quarter.

Kitija Laksa scored 36 points to lead USF. Maria Jespersen scored 19, including her 16th double-double of the season.

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Martin had two great years, four bad ones ./CARMEN MANDATO

Martin had two great years, four bad ones ./CARMEN MANDATO

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

He ran out of gas. He ran out of chances. He ran out of patience over two-yard carries.

Now it is time for Doug Martin, the broken running back, to run out of town.

The Bucs cut their losses -- and he had a lot of them -- with Martin on Tuesday afternoon. Pretty much, they fired Martin. They pushed him toward the ocean side of the plank. They pink-slipped him. Anything else is spin. Anything else is folly. Martin was whacked for not being good enough.

There are few players who suffered the highs and lows of a career as did Martin. He was half way between being somebody and nobody.

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Souza is the latest to leave the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

Souza is the latest to leave the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

Wednesday, 3 a.m.

Where does it stop? When does it stop?

The Tampa Bay Rays' fire sale continued Tuesday night, and by now, the metaphor of a team on fire seems to fit. The Trop is in flames, and the last guy out should turn off the lights.

This time, the Rays have dealt starting right-fielder Steven Souza, who came in return (roundabout) for Wil Myers, who came in return for James Shields.

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Point scores twice to lead Bolts past Washington

February 21, 2018 general

Wednesday, 2 a.m. The Tampa Bay Lightning, struggling as of late, got off to a nice start on its latest road trip Tuesday night. The Bolts beat Washington, 4-2, after five straight losses at the Capital One Arena. The Bolts hadn’t won in Washington since April 13 of 2014. For the Bolts, Brayden Point scored […]

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How good is the rotation of the Rays?

February 20, 2018 general

Tuesday, 4 a.m. For starters, you worry about the rotation. You know, that former strength of the Tampa Bay Rays. Well, it isn’t anymore. The Rays, whose success was built on having an arsenal of lively arms, haven’t been very good as of late. And despite the assurances of Chris Archer, who says he’d put […]

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What is there to look forward to with Rays?

February 19, 2018 general

Monday, 4 a.m. The spring is for the dreamers and the poets, the wishful and the hopeful. It’s a time to fantasize, to project and to imagine your baseball team as an essential one. It is a time for writing down possible lineups. It’s a time when shortstops don’t make errors and your left-fielder hits […]

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Random thoughts: Yay for the Rays saving money

February 18, 2018 general

Sunday, 4 a.m. Congratulations to the Tampa Bay Rays. They get to keep the lights on. The Rays made a pair of cost-trimming moves Saturday, swapping Jake Odorizzi for a minor leaguer and dumping last year’s all-star Corey Dickerson and replacing him with a cheaper C.J. Cron. Maybe Rays fans should get t-shirts that say […]

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Bolts still reeling on defense as they scuffle

February 18, 2018 general

Sunday, 3 a.m. For most of the season, the Tampa Bay Lightning has chased down one superlative after another. But now, just before their stretch drive, the Tampa Bay Lightning, somehow, has turned into a .500 hockey team. Over their last 20 games, the Bolts have played .500 hockey. Over those 20 games, the team […]

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Rowdies drop preseason game to Montreal, 2-1

February 18, 2018 general

Sunday, 2 a.m. This is why they call them preseason games. The Tampa Bay Rowdies are off to a bit of a slow start after losing a 2-1 game to the Montreal Impact on Saturday. A week earlier, the team had lost 1-0 in a practice game against Cincinnati. The Rowdies trailed 1-0 at the […]

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