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.

Rays are innovators, but a pair of aces is still a tough hand to beat

Nationals aces Max Scherzer, left, and Stephen Strasburg have gone a combined 5-0 with a 1.71 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 42 innings this postseason. Sweeping the Cardinals in the NLCS also means they will get an extra week of rest before the World Series. ANDREW HARNIK | AP Photo Andrew Harnik  |  AP
John Romano: In the age of computer models and number crunching, Washington reached the World Series the old-fashioned way. With a pair of proven starting pitchers.

Bucs should do Jameis a favor and stop making excuses for him

We've seen enough sad walks to the locker room. It's time we've reached the tough love portion of our program with Bucs coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Jameis Winston. The Bucs need to stop making excuses when Winston has one of those meltdown games that have become so familiar in Tampa Bay. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
Stop coddling Jameis Winston. If he’s playing himself out of Tampa Bay, the Bucs should let him know now. | John Romano

Rays’ offseason priorities: Lock up Travis d’Arnaud, Willy Adames

Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash, on left, along with Erik Neander, center, senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager, and Chaim Bloom, senior vice president of baseball operations, address the media during a news conference at Tropicana Field on Friday. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
John Romano: And while they’re at it, find a consistent closer and a bat with some pop.

For the 2019 Rays, ‘it’s all about the ride’

Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Ji-Man Choi (26) walks from the field after striking out swinging to end the game against the Houston Astros in Game 5 of the American League Division Series Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 in Houston. Houston Astros defeated the Rays 6-1. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
John Romano: How to think about a team that was everything Tampa Bay could ask for, except good enough Thursday night.

The Rays fall short of a historic feat

In this file photo New York Mets pitchers Tom Seaver, left, and Jerry Koosman, right, pose for a photograph with Mets manager Gil Hodges before the 1969 National League playoffs against the Atlanta Braves. Associated Press
Rays-Astros: Here are the teams that have won a baseball postseason series over a foe with 106 victories or more since divisional play began.