I think the Bucs will try to ride their latest controversy out. But just in case you were wondering, the top quarterbacks in the 2019 are expected to be Michigan's Shea Patterson, Oregon's Justin Herbert and Auburn's  Jarrett Stidham.

-- And if indeed all blows up for Jameis Winston, I'd take a taxi -- not an Uber -- to the airport.

-- The Rays now have further divided their pitching staff into  "openers" and "bullpen days," with the idea that the pitcher on "bullpen days" is supposed to last longer, but not very long. Remember the old days when we had "starters?"

-- One down part of the "openers?" The Rays have already wasted one of their late-inning matchup guys, such as Ryne Stanek.

-- I'm not saying that the Rays game felt like a Yankees' home game, but I kept looking for Joe Pesci. Let's settle this: New York is the city that never sleeps, and St.Petersburg is known to take the occasional nap.

-- FortheWin.com says four teams who made the playoffs last year will not be back this year. They are: Jacksonville, Carolina, Kansas City and Buffalo. I disagree on Jacksonville, if anyone cares.

-- CBSsports.com gives the Orlando Magic a grade of C- for its draft. With an F-graded team, however, that's still an improvement.

-- I like this. For the Magic, Mo Bamba will wear No. 5. That's close enough to Mambo No. 5 for a grin.

-- I like the website Quora, where a great many bright people exchange ideas. But I thought the site was way off on the subject of whether Jim Brown would still be an impact running back today. As I read once, the great ones would great whenever. And this league still hasn't matched Brown.

- Sweden coach Janne Andersson went nuts after losing a 2-1 game to Germany. The reason? He did like the way Germany celebrated. Really? Isn't it time to get the pacifier out of your mouth?

-- Speaking of music, I can't decide if I like the walkup song that  Carlos Gomez has chosen: The theme to SpongeBob Square Pants. It's a giggle, I admit, but after the fourth time, you wish he would mix in a little "Scooby Doo Where Are You?" and the theme to the Flintstones.Throw in the Theme to Underdog, and we've got something going.

-- A guy on eBay is trying to sell a "killer combo' with O.J. Simpson's jersey and Aaron Hernandez' jersey and a portrait of the two. Yes, we do live in a healthy society, don't we?

-- Is Dwight Howard in danger of running out of teams to disappoint in the NBA?

-- Gil Brandt of NFL.com picks a future Pro Bowler for each team. His choice for the Bucs is safety Justin Evans. Evans' future might be a reason the Bucs passed on FSU safety Derwin Jones in last year's draft.

-- Bull Durham, the movie, is 30 years old. And I still have a crush on Annie Savoy.

-- Just wondering: What happened to dogs on television? We used to have Lassie, Rin-Tin-Tin, Ladadog and Eddie. Now, no more.

-- And speaking of that, where did the horses go? Silver, Trigger, Scout, and Fury.

-- It was eight seasons ago that Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger faced the game problems of Jameis Winston. He had been suspended for six games, and there were rumors the team was shopping him. One difference? The Steelers have made the playoffs six times, including a Super Bowl, since then.

-- Michigan is going to make Chris Webber an honorary captain for a football games? What? Does Jim Harbaugh need an extra time-out.

-- Fansided.com says the Bucs should make a move for Teddy Bridgewater to replace Jameis Winston. That's not as a backup. That's as a starter.

-- Two games in, and Johnny Manziel is almost as far from a CFL field as an NFL field.

--  Lane Kiffin has a new 10-year contract at FAU. Anyone else think he'll fall about nine years short of that?




Font shuts down powerful Yankees again

by Gary Shelton on June 24, 2018 · 2 comments

in general

Font continued to pitch well for the Rays./STEVIE MUNCIE

Font continued to pitch well for the Rays./STEVIE MUNCIE

Sunday, 4 a.m.

Sometimes, it works out.

Sometimes, a player on his last chance finds a team that needs to give it to him. Sometimes, a team sifting through the garage finds someone worth saving.

Sometimes, a team and a pitcher can turn out to be the best things for each other.

Are you ready for this: Wilmer Font, emerging success.

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Each week, the readers take over GarySheltonsports.com and play Ask Gary. They send in a question, or a couple, on Thursday night or Friday morning and we all talk about the world of sports. Think of it as a radio show where you don't have to be on hold. Join us and ask a question, make a comment or be funny. Send the questions to GarySheltonsports@gmail.com).

Saturday, 4 a.m.

If the recent reports are true, it’s looking more likely than ever that Winston is going to be suspended for the first few games this season. The Bucs will be heavy underdogs in their first three games regardless, so how much impact will the suspension really have in your opinion if it does happen?

Larry Beller

Larry, that's a good point. The Bucs look to be heavy underdogs in each of their first three games no matter who the quarterback is. Without Winston, they become even more of an underdog, but they wouldn't have been close regardless.

But, yes, they would have had more of a shot with Winston than without him. He's the kind of quarterback who can have a great day -- even when his team is outmanned -- and keep his team close going into the fourth quarter. He's a wild-card player, and the Bucs have more of a chance of an upset with him in the lineup.

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Willy Adames makes a leaping stop against the Yankees./JAMES LUEDDE

Willy Adames makes a leaping stop against the Yankees./JAMES LUEDDE

Saturday, 3 a.m.

When it works -- and often, it does not -- it looks something like this.

When it works, when all of the pieces of the jigsaw come together, this is how it feels.

It was an opener day at Tropicana Field Friday night, one of those nights where a short-term reliever opens the game followed by a relay team of matchup relievers.

And for once, it worked the way it was supposed to work.

Ryne Stanek opened, and despite a high pitch count, he gave up just one hit in his one inning. Ryan Yarbrough came in, and in 3 1/3 innings, he also gave up  only one hit. That brought Diego Castillo, and then Chaz Roe, and then Jose Alvarado, then Sergio Romo.  It was a relay team of success, and together, they pieced together a 2-1 win over the powerful New York Yankees, allowing just five hits along the way.

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Rowdies beaten in Schafer’s final match

June 23, 2018 general

Saturday, 2 a.m. On a night when the Rowdies said goodbye to a good man, they didn’t have enough others for much of the match. The Rowdies lost Marcel Schafer’s final match with the team, falling 2-1 to Penn FC. Just a few minutes into the second half though, the shimmer started to wear off, […]

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How much trust did Winston lose with his deal?

June 22, 2018 general

Friday, 4 a.m. We still do not know what he did in that Uber car. Because Jameis Winston is so adept at avoiding discussing details, we probably never will. But this much, we do know. He did not protest his innocence until his last breath. He did not sing his purity from the highest mountain […]

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A three-way review: The 2018 Tampa Bay Rays

June 22, 2018 general

Friday. 3 a.m. Triple Plays with the Rays 3 Potential All-Stars 1. Wilson Ramos, catcher: Ramos led the voting in the most recent announcement, which can be hard since Yankees’ catcher Gary Sanchez has so many more fans to cast votes for him. But Ramos is hitting almost .100 points higher at .288 (to .197). […]

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Back-to-back-to-back homers break Rays’ back

June 21, 2018 general

Thursday, 4 a.m. The first swing, by George Springer, broke the tie. For the Houston Astros, that might have been enough. But two pitches later, a swing by Alex Bregman put some distance in the score. It was the thunder to Springer’s lightning, and the Astros clinched the game. Four pitches later? Well, that was […]

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Winston needs to be better, but he’s not a bust

June 21, 2018 general

Thursday, 3 a.m. When the final summation is made of Jameis Winston’s career,  you may remember him as a disappointment. That’s fair. You may think of him as a dud, as an underachiever, as a flop. You may remember him as a losing quarterback, as an immature kid who didn’t grow up in time, as […]

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Ramos singles in winning run against Astros

June 20, 2018 general

Wednesday, 4 a.m. Now that he has taken over the lead in the All-Star voting for catchers, Wilson Ramos doesn’t seem to want to leave any doubt. Ramos hit a bounding single off the glove of Yuri Gurriel in the eighth inning Tuesday night, driving in Matt Duffy with the winning run in a 2-1 […]

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