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Wednesday, Apr 01, 2015

Martin Fennelly

Tribune Staff
Fennelly, Martin

Rays’ Loney quietly ready for more

- Have you heard a word about James Loney this spring? It’s as if he’s in witness protection, writes columnist Martin Fennelly. And that’s how he likes it.

Strawberry’s grace after fall

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— “It is indeed and honor to be here. First I must pray.”

Bolts’ Johnson, Kucherov and Palat are unsung force

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— You’re playing That Line. You’re playing Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat.

Painful lesson, bright future for USF women

- The USF women's basketball team may have been eliminated from the NCAA Tournament, but Martin Fennelly says they surely will be in next year’s preseason Top 25. Coach Jose Fernandez and his kids have something going, ...

Stamkos delivers needed message as Lightning captain

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— We have no idea what it means down the road, including the playoff road. But Sunday might have been a big step for the Lightning. It might even go down in franchise lore.

Bulls make first NCAA tourney home game one to remember

- They couldn’t keep still. They couldn’t keep quiet. The USF women’s basketball team stood in a hall next to a tunnel. They bounced up and down in their sneakers, yelling, smiling, hugging.

Rays boss doesn’t like potential villain role

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“I’m Stu.”

QBs should be asking questions

- Marcus Mariota will visit the Bucs on Monday for some Face of the Franchise time.Martin Fennelly hopes his smile isn’t fake. Take it from Jameis: Bring your real one.

Spieth plays Innisbrook with Augusta, No. 1 on his mind

- Jordan Spieth, now 10th in the world rankings, was working the Copperhead course during the Valspar Championship, but somewhere in his head, a clock was ticking, writes Martin Fennelly.

It’s time for Bucs to put the mistakes in the past

- After making a huge splash in free agency last season, the Bucs appear to be taking a low-key approach. Martin Fennelly says the Bucs gave too much A-list money to B-list talent, and wisely cut their losses.

Derek Jeter he is not

- Didi Gregorius is not the captain, not the legend, doesn’t wear No. 2 and is not a sure-thing Hall of Famer. What Didi Gregorius is, Martin Fennelly says, is the new Yankees shortstop.

Tantalizing snapshots, but more needed from Jennings

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— He won’t lead off much. He won’t play center field much.

Cash the center of attention as Rays begin spring play

- All eyes were on Kevin Cash as his spring of firsts continues with his inaugural game as manager, writes columnist Martin Fennelly.

Winston’s smile lights up Bucs’ world

- Rescuing kittens? Forging a stadium agreement? Probably not, but Martin Fennelly offers a few fun scenarios as Jameis Winston — and his electric smile — visited the city he could one day own.

Trades not enough to make Bolts unique

- The arrival of Braydon Coburn doesn’t knock socks off, Martin Fennelly says. He promises little offense, but offers veteran grit and playoff experience. Whether that's enough to carry the Lightning to the Stanley Cup ...

Bulls women want another chance at UConn

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— The women’s college basketball Final Four, a smash hit when it came to Tampa in 2008, makes its return in April. Before that, there will be dancing. And South Florida w...

Rays’ Souza came long way to make The Catch

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— It was last September, the final day of baseball’s regular season. Washington Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann was about to lose a no-hitter — with t...

Rays ready to put their rotation up against anybody

- As the Rays full-squad workouts today, it's still all about the pitching. The arms have been a source of pride, keeping hope alive for several seasons, writes columnist Martin Fennelly. But can they keep the business mode...

A-Rod, Yankees stuck in no-win situation

- Alex Rodriguez is back in pinstripes, and Martin Fennelly says a crumbling empire and its disgraced superstar are stuck with each other.

Jameis Winston's in front two months before Bucs pick

- After wowing the discerning crowd at the NFL combine, it appears the Bucs might be sold on Jameis Winston at No. 1. Martin Fennelly, however, says it shouldn’t be over that quickly.

Gordon’s farewell tour takes back seat to winning

- Eventually, he’ll do the victory tour, and he’ll be fine with all of it, the fans, the tracks, getting the odd rocking chair or resort voucher. Until then, Martin Fennelly writes, Jeff Gordon will just race.

Rays franchise feeds off proving everyone wrong

- The Rays bandwagon can’t give away tickets. All the people who hopped on have hopped off. The predictions are dire. The team sees it as an opportunity, writes columnist Martin Fennelly.

Dale Jr. ready to let good times roll in championship race

- Coming off a career-rebirth season, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is chasing that elusive Sprint Cup championship. Martin Fennelly ponders if this is the The Year of Junior, or is time running out?

Winston’s possible Bucs future rides on interview process

- It doesn't matter if Jameis Winston throws or doesn't throw at the NFL combine. Martin Fennelly says his real tests, give or take the Wonderlic, will be his interviews with teams, with the Bucs front and center.

‘Sean’s Army’ will run Gasparilla races to honor ‘gentle giant’

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There once was a kid as big as a bear who wouldn’t harm a fly. “He was our gentle giant,” his mother said. The gentle giant touched most everyone he met. Even when it didn’t end like in fairy ...

Tony Stewart on mend, racing forward

- At Daytona 500 media day, some of Tony Stewart’s friends, including ones who drive for his race team, insisted they see light at the end of that dark tunnel, the one filled with physical and emotional wreckage: Stewar...

Former coach Tortorella is taking it one bench at a time

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— “It’s my first time coaching in a while,” John Tortorella said with a laugh.

Adults find way to ruin it for Little League team

- If only the adults who doomed Chicago's Jackie Robinson West team had remembered, even for a second, the man for whom their league is named, and what he stood for, writes columnist Martin Fennelly.

Bucs make right call in correcting McCown mistake

- Lovie Smith showed he can admit a mistake with the release of QB Josh McCown. Columnist Martin Fennelly writes the coach should now go all in by cutting loose Mike Glennon and completely starting over.

Positive start to difficult stretch for Bolts

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— February is a meat grinder for the Lightning. They play 12 games, all against mostly formidable Western Conference teams. They played four just this past week. And they’...

Balfour honor fast-tracked so dad can share it

- Balfour might be the best ballplayer Australia has produced. On Feb. 28, he’ll be inducted into the Baseball Australia Hall of Fame in a ceremony in Sydney, where he grew up.

Cowart’s real story buried by silliness

- After some National Signing Day drama, Armwood standout Byron Cowart finalized his decision to attend Auburn. Martin Fennelly saye he is determined to make good on his name on and off the field

Antigua rustling USF from hoops slumber

- USF basketball is at the bottom of the hill again, but Martin Fennelly says there’s something about first-year Bulls coach Orlando Antigua that makes you think that if a turnaround is s ever going to happen, and keep ...

Sapp keeps giving his haters all they want

- Martin Fennelly says he’s a little sad about the latest development — and that mug shot. After all, Warren Sapp could have been an amazing story. Instead, it’s another letdown for those who care and fod...

Why didn’t they just run the ball?

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There we were late Sunday, at the end of the most watched TV show in American history, and we were a football nation as speechless as Marshawn Lynch.