Brayden Coburn, Tom Wilson go after each other./JEFFREY S. KING

Braydon Coburn, Tom Wilson go after each other./JEFFREY S. KING

Thursday, 4 a.m.

Coburn and Wilson couldn't get enough of each other./JEFFREY S. KING

Coburn and Wilson couldn't get enough of each other./JEFFREY S. KING

The words were hollow, meaningless. Throughout the years, a hundred losing teams have repeated the clinches about losing and effort and bad breaks. Nothing new here.

The faces, however, told a different story. It was a tale of pain and loss, of coming from behind and then falling from ahead. The eyes were glassy, like a boxer who suffered a sudden, stinging knockout. The lips were drawn tight, as if to try to keep the bitter taste of elimination at bay. The chins were set, but they, too, tended to sag a bit. The eyes were red. The brows were furrowed.

Such is the image of failure that was engraved upon the faces of each member of the Tampa Bay Lightning. the team that forgot how to score, the team that had two chances to eliminate the Washington Caps and blew them both, a team that won only the silver medal in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Archer matched Price zero-for-zero./CARMEN MANDATO

Archer matched Price zero-for-zero./CARMEN MANDATO

Thursday, 3 a.m.

On the first night, he flashed his potential.

On the second, however, Willie Adames proved he isn't ripe yet.

A ninth-inning error by Adames left the door open for the Tampa Bay Rays in Wednesday night's 4-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox. The Rays are now 3-9 against the Red Sox and have lost three of the four series.

Rays' receiver Alex Colome took the loss, giving up three runs in the ninth (on a double, a sacrifice fly and a passed ball) to lower his record to 3-5.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Kucherov hopes to measure up to Game Seven./CARMEN MANDATO

Kucherov hopes to measure up to Game Seven./CARMEN MANDATO

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

Someone's going to go on. Someone's going to go home.

Someone's going to rush toward the center of the ice to celebrate.

Someone's going to drop their head and skate away from it.

Someone will feel like heaven. Someone will feel like hell.

There is no other choice for either team, no consolation prize, no safety net. It is all, or it is nothing at all. It is possibilities, or is the exile into the off-season. It is Game Seven. Get with it or get out of the way.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

[click to continue…]

{ 2 comments }

Adames homered in his Rays' debut./CARMEN MANDATO

Adames homered in his Rays' debut./CARMEN MANDATO

Wednesday, 2 a.m.

Adames was impressive in his first game./CARMEN MANDATO

Adames was impressive in his first game./CARMEN MANDATO

The future can be painful enough.

A glimpse into the future? That looks nicer.

The Rays added to their pain in Tuesday night's 4-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox. In the third inning, the team lost pitcher Jake Faria to a left oblique strain. Later in the inning, a pitch in the dirt bounced up and knocked catcher Wilson Ramos from the game with a hand laceration.

“It turned out to be a better game than we were looking at when Jake (Faria) came out of the ballgame,"Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Obviously we did some frustrating things out on the field. I think overall you have to be fairly impressed with the way the guys put the pressure on obviously (Craig) Kimbrel, but even

Adames was in a rush to get here; fans will feel the same./CARMEN  MANDATO

Adames was in a rush to get here; fans will feel the same./CARMEN MANDATO

Content beyond this point is for members only.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Newly constructed Bucs finally share a field

May 23, 2018 general

Wednesday, 2 a.m. It’s a long time until football season. But for the Tampa Bay Bucs, the start of OTAs are at least a chance for players to check out their new teammates. Think of Jamies Winston, for instance, who has a new center … and a new running back. Think of Gerald McCoy, who […]

Read the full article →

Bolts battered by Caps, must survive a Game Seven

May 22, 2018 general

Tuesday, 4 a.m. And so it comes to this. One last showdown in the street. One last sword fight on top of the castle walls. One chance to slay the monster in the final reel. Ah, Game Seven. And now we find out who is better? The Tampa Bay Lightning, with a chance to close […]

Read the full article →

Rays’ six-game winning streak snapped by Ohtani

May 21, 2018 general

Monday, 4 a.m. The Tampa Bay Rays seem to have their “opener” strategy down. Now, they just need to work on “seconds.” The Rays had their six-game winning streak ended in a 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels Sunday. Sergio Romo, the starter for the second straight day for the Rays, threw shutout ball […]

Read the full article →

Lightning have had a list of stars in their wins

May 21, 2018 general

Monday, 3 a.m. Who will it be? Whose turn is it? The Tampa Bay Lightning, showing resilience again, showing focus, has another team on the ropes. So who finds the net? Steven Stankos? Tyler Johnson? Nikita Kucherov. Someone? Anyone? That’s been the thing about the Bolts. They’ve found their heroes on any line, on any […]

Read the full article →

Step 11: Fast start, stubborn finish leads Bolts

May 20, 2018 general

Sunday, 4 a.m. You can talk about the goal scorers if you will, and their velocity, and their suddenness. And certainly, they had a great deal to do with the latest victory by the Tampa Bay Lightning. You can talk about the resolve if you wish, and the pluck, and the fire, and the will. […]

Read the full article →

Random Thoughts: Contemplating the good Knights

May 20, 2018 general

Saturday, 3 a.m. So when the St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs look at the Vegas Golden Knights this close to the Stanley Cup, what do they think. The Blues have never won a cup. The Leafs haven’t won won in 50 years. — Johnny Manziel is going to Canada. I wonder how much […]

Read the full article →