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Martin Fennelly, Times Sports Columnist

Martin Fennelly

Martin Fennelly is a sports columnist for the Tampa Bay Times. He was born in New York City, raised on Long Island and was sitting in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium, minding his own business, when Reggie Jackson hit three home runs in one night to beat the Dodgers in the 1977 World Series. Prior to joining the Times, he worked as a columnist for the Tampa Tribune, St. Louis Sun and Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Martin graduated from the University of Albany, where he studied history, and attended the University of Missouri Graduate School of Journalism. He lives in Lutz with his wife, Siobhan, their children, Conor and Norah, and, at present, five cats.

Phone: (727) 893-8495

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  1. Do Rays, Corey Dickerson have a 'second wind'?

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was the time in late May when Corey Dickerson hit a ball that bounced in front of the plate, swatted it for a double. He hit anything that moved wherever it moved. He was that good.

    Now the Rays All-Star, once the American League leader in batting and hits, is mired in serious muck, as is his team, despite a 3-0 win Sunday. Dickerson went hitless in the weekend series against Seattle. His average has dropped from .330 on June 26 to .282 and he's hitting .167 (12 for 72) in August and .206 since the All-Star break....

    Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Corey Dickerson (10) gets beat to the bag on the throw to first to end the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. The Seattle Mariners beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-6. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times
  2. Simeon Rice: Bucs' total eclipse of the quarterback

    Sports

    Who needs a total eclipse of the sun when Simeon Rice, former Bucs sack king and cosmic force, is in town?

    Rice was at One Buccaneer Place the other day to watch practice and tutor Bucs pass rushers, including defensive ends Noah Spence and Ryan Russell. They learned from one of the great rushers in NFL history, 122 career sacks, including 69.5 in his six seasons with the Bucs.

    The return of Planet Sim brought back memories of a time and a place we might never again see in Tampa Bay sports, when the Buccaneers owned the football world, rulers who entertained deeds and words....

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice provides insights to current players after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Mike Evans supports Michael Bennett's protest

    Sports

    Bucs receiver Mike Evans was signing autographs for children after Bucs practice on Saturday. As he signed, he talked about Seattle defensive and former Buc Michael Bennett, who last Friday sat during the national anthem and who says he will continue to do so to fight racial injustice.

    Evans sat for the anthem in a Week 11 last season to protest the election of President Donald Trump, but his protest lasted one game....

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) comes down with a catch during practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  4. Mike Evans stands behind Michael Bennett

    Blog

    Bucs receiver Mike Evans was signing autographs for children after Bucs practice on Saturday. As he signed, he talked about Seattle defensive and former Buc Michael Bennett, who last Friday sat during the national anthem and who says he will continue to do so to fight racial injustice.

    Evans sat for the anthem in a Week 11 last season to protest the election of President Donald Trump, but his protest lasted one game....

    Mike Evans, left, hauls in a pass in front of cornerback Vernon Hargreaves.
  5. Man, I miss Planet Simeon

    Blog

    Who needs a total eclipse of the sun when Simeon Rice, former Bucs sack king and cosmic force, is in town?

    Rice was at One Buccaneer Place the other day to watch practice and tutor Bucs pass rushers, including defensive ends Noah Spence and Ryan Russell. They learned from one of the great rushers in NFL history, 122 career sacks, including 69.5 in his six seasons with the Bucs....

    Simeon Rice, right, works with Bucs defensive end Ryan Russell.
  6. Roberto Aguayo, Jonathan Drouin, Tim Beckham are coming for revenge

    Bucs

    Forget the Three Tenors.

    Make it the Three Terrors.

    The 2017 Unfulfilled Expectations Tour is about to hit Tampa Bay.

    They ought to make T-shirts. And sell safety goggles. And garlic to wear around your neck.

    Cut to the second week of the season, Bucs fans. The Bears will be in town Sept. 17, and with them possibly could be Robert Aguayo, whose second-round leg was recently jettisoned by the Bucs. The kick is up and it is ... Any Bucs fans worried? As if Nick Folk won't haunt you enough....

    From left, former Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo, ex-Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin and former Rays infielder Tim Beckham. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times; DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times; Getty Images]
  7. Tino Martinez thinks Derek Jeter has what it takes to run Marlins

    Blog

    The sale of the Miami Marlins to Derek Jeter and his partners (a guy named Michael Jordan is also chipping in) awaits approval by Major League Baseball. But Jeter’s friend, former teammate  and fellow Tampa resident Tino Martinez never doubted Jeter would pull this off.

    “I’m not surprised,” said Martinez, who played on four world champions with Jeter on the New York Yankees. “Even late in his career, he talked about wanting to own a team one day and run a team. He meant it. He wanted to get involved. I know it’s a long road to get to here, trying to get this thing nailed down....

    Former New York Yankees player Derek Jeter waves to fans during a ceremony retiring his number at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Miami Marlins signed an agreement to sell the team to a group featuring Derek Jeter, a person familiar with the deal said Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.
  8. Tim Tebow came into their life, and never left

    Minors

    There are a lot of stories about Tim Tebow connecting with people during his life, Tebow inspiring them and Tebow being inspired.

    And a lot of times, when they meet, they stay met.

    And pay it forward.

    Which brings us to Boomer and Kelly.

    Boomer is 15. Kelly is 27.

    "Tim still inspires me," Boomer said. "We stay in touch."

    "Timmy means so much in my life," Kelly said....

    Boomer Hornbeck, who now lives in Naples, Fla., and Tim Tebow first met in 2009. Hornbeck, who has cerebral palsy, has since dedicated his life to helping others and is a motivational speaker. PHOTO PROVIDED
  9. The legacy of Tim Tebow's baseball summer

    Minors

    CLEARWATER — It was about three weeks ago. A Saturday night. I sat behind home plate at a Charlotte Stone Crabs game at Charlotte Sports Park. There was a professional baseball scout sitting just behind me with a speed gun in his hand. He had seen the whole thing.

    Tim Tebow walked over from the St. Lucie Mets on-deck circle during the seventh inning of a game to shake hands with 10-year-old Seth Bosch, who had been calling to Tebow. They touched hands through the backstop. Seth, who is from Punta Gorda, has high-functioning autism. He walked away crying. Tebow walked to the plate and hit a home run. Seth's mother, Ileanna, filmed the encounter and the home run. The video would go viral....

    Jillian Joyce of Lutz, Fla., center, sings "God Bless America" with the help of her father, Bob Joyce, left, and her new friend Tim Tebow on Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa before the St. Lucie Mets game against the Tampa Yankees. PHOTO PROVIDED.
  10. Fennelly: A Tim Tebow birthday gift of perspective

    Minors

    There is a statue of him in front of the football stadium in Gainesville, next to fellow Florida Heisman Trophy winners Steve Spurrier and Danny Wuerffel. And there on a plaque are the words he spoke, a promise he made nine years ago.

    Tim Tebow turned 30 on Monday. Where does the time go? Ten years ago, Tebow won the Heisman. He was a Gator from 2006 to 2009, part of two national champions, and not even that begins to tell his story. If his shadow hangs over campus, it's a shining one....

    Tim Tebow exceeded his already high expectations at Florida, where he won a Heisman Trophy and led two national champions.
  11. Ten for Tebow: Ten of Tim Tebow's greatest Florida moments

    Minors

    Tim Tebow's Florida career produced many memorable moments. Here are 10 of them, in chronological order. We'll leave ranking them to you.

    AP photo...

    Tim Tebow was flagged for doing the Gator chomp at Oklahoma's Nic Harris late in the fourth quarter of the Gators' 24-14 win in the BCS National Championship on Jan. 8, 2009. BRIAN CASSELLA   |   Times
  12. Fennelly: An apology to Roberto Aguayo

    Blog

    The other day, writing about the Bucs waiving kicker Roberto Aguayo, I began this way:

    “Goodbye-o.”

    It thought it was funny and meant no harm. It sounded like Aguayo’s last name, which happens to end in ‘o.’

    But it was Times reader Gerry Hilt of Seminole, who is far more eloquent than I am, who pointed something out:

    I know we live in a time when political correctness seems to border on the ridiculous at times. However, I think your use of the made-up word ‘Goodbye-o’ was a little insensitive. I'm not sure if it was intended to be funny or clever, but it was neither....

    Roberto Aguayo, pictured during an OTA in May at One Buc Place.
  13. Fennelly: What Rays' 'Homestand of Shame' revealed

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Is this any way to run a playoff chase?

    To play so badly at home that you actually want to leave town?

    What a putrid performance by the Rays.

    They departed the 2-7 Homestand of Shame for Toronto on Sunday night. They had their offense in a carry-on container, it being less than 3.4 fluid ounces.

    They left town 59-60, under .500 for the first time in more than two months....

    Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) points skyward as he watches his hit sail over the wall for a two run home run in the sixth inning of the game between the Cleveland Indians and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, August 13, 2017. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times
  14. Fennelly: Cutting Aguayo gives Bucs chance for decent night's sleep

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Goodbye-o.

    Bucs coach Dirk Koetter was asked who was in the room with Roberto Aguayo when he was released by the Bucs on Saturday morning.

    "Me, Jason and Hard Knocks ," Koetter said.

    Koetter and Bucs GM Jason Licht put Aguayo out of his misery Saturday and waived him after the opening credits of another disaster movie. They did it the name of the season that can still be. Wise move....

    LOREN ELLIOTT   |   TimesTampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo (19) shows his frustration on the sideline after missing a field goal during the second half of a football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016.
  15. Tim Tebow: The difference between Tebow and 'Timmy'

    Blog

    The Tim Tebow Tour continues tonight when Tebow and the St. Lucie Mets again play the Tampa Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. As part of All Things Tebow, the Times spoke with Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen, who was Florida’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2005-08, a stretch which included two national championships and Tebow’s 2007 Heisman Trophy season....

    In this April 2008 file photo, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow watches the end of the Florida spring game with offensive coordinator Dan Mullen and coach Urban Meyer.