Welcome to Great38 Tampa Bay WTTA-TV/DT - WFLA News Channel 8

    Celebrating Music Education Spirit Week Video included

    Updated:

    We are celebrating kids who rock with Music Education Spirit Week! Lorri Naylor, a Lowry Elementary School teacher and a part of the Hillsborough County Elementary Music Educators Council, fills us in on the festivities.
    More>>

    • Great Stuff

    USF 'Young Innovator' creates anti-bully band Video included

    Updated:

    Every year, USF holds their Young Innovator Competition, encouraging kids between kindergarten and 8th grade to invent something new or improve upon something that already exists. Meet Alexis Martin, this year's winner. The Anti-Bully Band she invented is her plan to stop bullying. More>>

    Tournament to honor Spring Hill firefighter Video included

    Updated:

    In 2010, James Santella, a firefighter from Spring Hill, started having trouble putting his gear on. Shortly after, he was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
    More>>

    Boys and Girls Clubs of the Suncoast 'Youth of the Year' Video included

    Updated:

    Boys and Girls Clubs play a vital role in communities across the country. Here in the Bay Area, the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Suncoast serve as a safe place for local kids to learn and grow. Each year, they select somebody who promotes service to the club and shows strong moral character and academic success as their Youth of the Year. Recently, Kassindjaa Montague was given this honor. She sits down with Jenn to tell us her story. More>>

    Furry friends from Suncoast Animal League stop by Video included

    Updated:

    The Suncoast Animal League is a non-profit, no-kill, no-time limit animal rescue agency located in Palm Harbor. Executive Director Rick Chaboudy More>>

    8 fun things to do in Tampa Bay this weekend | February 14-15

    Updated:

    See 8 fun things happening this weekend in Tampa Bay!
    More>>

    News Now: Tampa Port Authority's President talks growth at the port Video included

    Updated:

    Port Tampa Bay just had their annual State of the Port Luncheon. This week Tampa Port Authority's President and CEO, Paul Anderson, stopped by to give us further insight.  More>>

    8 fun things to do in Tampa Bay this weekend | February 7-8 Video included

    Updated:

    See 8 fun things happening this weekend in Tampa Bay!
    More>>

    Deaf Literacy Center to hold first-ever silent dinner Video included

    Updated:

    For the first time ever in the Tampa Bay area, the Deaf Literacy Center is holding a 100% voices off silent dinner. Everybody working at the restaurant this evening will be deaf or hard of hearing, including servers, cashiers, and bartenders. The event is taking place on February 15th at 4pm at Farmer Boy Restaurant in Clearwater. Pattie Sanchez from The Diversity Initiative, Pinellas Public Library Cooperative's Deaf Literacy Coordinator Rosa Rodriguez, and volunteer/advocate Jenny Locy stop... More>>

    News Now: Media General CEO talks about his career, future for company Video included

    Updated:

    In December, LIN Media and Media General merged to create the second largest broadcasting company in the country. The former CEO and President of LIN Media, Vince Sadusky, was placed at the helm of the new and improved Media General. More>>

    Bill Schifino, Jr talks about being President-Elect of the Florida Bar Video included

    Updated:

    Earlier this month, Bill Schifino, Jr. was announced as the 2015-16 President-Elect of the Florida Bar. Schifino comes to this position with a strong resume. More>>

    Trio sets off on 900 mile trek across Florida Video included

    Updated:

    Joe Guthrie, Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, and Carlton Ward Jr. are embarking on a journey of a lifetime. The trio are setting off on a 70-day, 900 mile trek across the state???without any automobiles.
    More>>

    • Great 38More>>

    • Heath Matters: Trinity Spine Center

      Heath Matters: Trinity Spine Center

      Friday, January 16 2015 12:49 PM EST2015-01-16 17:49:27 GMT
      Trinity Spine Center uses Stem Cells for Back Pain.Stem cells are master cells of the body that are available for repairing damaged tissues and organs including spine discs and cartilage cushions in the joints.
      Trinity Spine Center uses Stem Cells for Back Pain.Stem cells are master cells of the body that are available for repairing damaged tissues and organs including spine discs and cartilage cushions in the joints.
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    Telephone: 813.228.8888
    Fax: 813.225.2770
    Email: news@wfla.com

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    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2015 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.

    What happened to Jon Lester?

    Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - And you thought Tim Lincecum and Heath Bell were the only pitchers to have their careers jump off a cliff this season?

    Boston starter Jon Lester is right there with them, especially after last night's disaster against the Chicago White Sox.

    Don't tell the White Sox that the fourth of July ended two weeks ago. With the fireworks display they put on at Fenway Park on Tuesday, it's clear they're still celebrating.

    The first place Chi Sox blasted four extra base hits against Lester with the grand finale coming on a massive Kevin Youkilis bomb over the Green Monster in left (I wonder what Bobby Valentine was thinking as Youk rounded the bases). Lester exited the game after giving up seven total hits and six runs in four excruciating innings of baseball.

    If Lincecum's nickname is "The Freak" then Jon Lester's should be "The Underachiever." It may not roll off the tongue, but at least it's accurate.

    Coming into this season, Lester was seventh among American League starting pitchers on our site's fantasy rankings. Today, he's at No. 57. And remember, that's just the American League. If you include NL starters, his ranking falls to 121st.

    Lester isn't in total free-fall mode yet, but he's getting closer. In three July starts, his ERA rests at 6.60, his worst since posting a 7.66 ERA in August of 2006 (unless you count March of 2008, when he allowed four runs in four innings pitched in his only start).

    From 2008-2010, Lester (5-7, 4.80 ERA) finished in the top 10 in ERA in the American League every year. This season, he's 32nd in the league in that statistic.

    The other day in a text message conversation, my friend made a good point that Lester is pitching more like a fourth or fifth starter this year than an ace.

    It's hard to argue with him. After leading the Red Sox with 15 wins last season, Lester is tied with Josh Beckett and Daniel Bard (who was demoted to Triple-A more than a month ago) for third on the team with just five wins in 19 starts.

    The 19 starts could be part of Lester's problem. Part of Lester's brilliance over the past few seasons has been his ability to stay healthy. Since 2008, the 28-year-old has pitched 930 and 2/3 innings. While he's not quite approaching Justin Verlander (1,057 innings) or CC Sabathia (1,071 innings) territory, that's still a lot of innings.

    Earlier in the season, I theorized that Lincecum's woes could be a product of how many innings he's thrown over the last five seasons (he's pitched 986 and 1/3 since 2008) and I think Lester's struggles could be linked to overuse as well.

    A good way to measure the wear and tear on a pitcher is by looking for a drop off in velocity. While Lincecum's drop in velocity has been well- documented, Lester's regression hasn't been quite as evident.

    His average fastball this season has been thrown at 92.2 mph, only a 1.3 mph drop off from 2010 when the two-time All-Star averaged a career-high 93.5 mph on his heaters. Last season, Lester threw only 92.6 mph while still putting together a pretty good year (15-9, 3.47), so perhaps the speed of his pitches isn't Lester's biggest issue (though Youkilis did smack his 93-mph offering about 400 feet Tuesday night).

    Here's what I think might be causing Lester the most trouble. For whatever reason, he has thrown an inordinate amount of sinkers this season. Lester only started throwing the pitch in 2010 and even last year, he was only using the sinker on 16.7 percent of his pitches. This season that number has risen to 29.4 percent.

    I'm not exactly sure why halfway through his career Lester is deciding to abandon his four-seamer (a pitch he used to throw on almost 65 percent of his pitches but now throws only about 31 percent of the time) in favor of a sinker, but it's a pretty dramatic change in approach. When Lester relied heavily on his fastball early on in his career, he was one of the league's premier strikeout pitchers. Now he's pitching to contact and the results haven't been pretty. Opponents are hitting .282 against Lester in 2012 compared to .249 for his career.

    Even lefties are starting to see the ball better against Lester. They're mashing .270 against this suddenly sinker-infatuated version of Lester, 29 percentage points higher than they have in previous seasons. Lester's new approach has also rendered him less useful in the strikeout department. Currently, he's on pace to finish with 174 strikeouts, his fewest since 2008.

    Whether it's wear and tear, a lack of confidence in his fastball or whether he's just exhausted from being a part of Boston's tumultuous clubhouse, Lester hasn't been the same pitcher in 2012 than we've seen in the past. He's still owned in 93 percent of Yahoo leagues, so he hasn't completely shattered everyone's confidence yet but I'm doubtful that Lester will be able to return to the form that made him an All-Star in 2010 and 2011. Lester's resume says "ace" but his stats this year tell a much different story. Proceed cautiously with the veteran lefthander.

    Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Jesse Pantuosco at jpantuosco@sportsnetwork.com.

    Powered by The Sports Network.

    Welcome to Great38 Tampa Bay WTTA-TV/DT - WFLA News Channel 8

    Welcome to Great38 Tampa Bay WTTA-TV/DT - WFLA News Channel 8

      Celebrating Music Education Spirit Week Video included

      Updated:

      We are celebrating kids who rock with Music Education Spirit Week! Lorri Naylor, a Lowry Elementary School teacher and a part of the Hillsborough County Elementary Music Educators Council, fills us in on the festivities.
      More>>

      • Great Stuff

      USF 'Young Innovator' creates anti-bully band Video included

      Updated:

      Every year, USF holds their Young Innovator Competition, encouraging kids between kindergarten and 8th grade to invent something new or improve upon something that already exists. Meet Alexis Martin, this year's winner. The Anti-Bully Band she invented is her plan to stop bullying. More>>

      Tournament to honor Spring Hill firefighter Video included

      Updated:

      In 2010, James Santella, a firefighter from Spring Hill, started having trouble putting his gear on. Shortly after, he was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
      More>>

      Boys and Girls Clubs of the Suncoast 'Youth of the Year' Video included

      Updated:

      Boys and Girls Clubs play a vital role in communities across the country. Here in the Bay Area, the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Suncoast serve as a safe place for local kids to learn and grow. Each year, they select somebody who promotes service to the club and shows strong moral character and academic success as their Youth of the Year. Recently, Kassindjaa Montague was given this honor. She sits down with Jenn to tell us her story. More>>

      Furry friends from Suncoast Animal League stop by Video included

      Updated:

      The Suncoast Animal League is a non-profit, no-kill, no-time limit animal rescue agency located in Palm Harbor. Executive Director Rick Chaboudy More>>

      8 fun things to do in Tampa Bay this weekend | February 14-15

      Updated:

      See 8 fun things happening this weekend in Tampa Bay!
      More>>

      News Now: Tampa Port Authority's President talks growth at the port Video included

      Updated:

      Port Tampa Bay just had their annual State of the Port Luncheon. This week Tampa Port Authority's President and CEO, Paul Anderson, stopped by to give us further insight.  More>>

      8 fun things to do in Tampa Bay this weekend | February 7-8 Video included

      Updated:

      See 8 fun things happening this weekend in Tampa Bay!
      More>>

      Deaf Literacy Center to hold first-ever silent dinner Video included

      Updated:

      For the first time ever in the Tampa Bay area, the Deaf Literacy Center is holding a 100% voices off silent dinner. Everybody working at the restaurant this evening will be deaf or hard of hearing, including servers, cashiers, and bartenders. The event is taking place on February 15th at 4pm at Farmer Boy Restaurant in Clearwater. Pattie Sanchez from The Diversity Initiative, Pinellas Public Library Cooperative's Deaf Literacy Coordinator Rosa Rodriguez, and volunteer/advocate Jenny Locy stop... More>>

      News Now: Media General CEO talks about his career, future for company Video included

      Updated:

      In December, LIN Media and Media General merged to create the second largest broadcasting company in the country. The former CEO and President of LIN Media, Vince Sadusky, was placed at the helm of the new and improved Media General. More>>

      Bill Schifino, Jr talks about being President-Elect of the Florida Bar Video included

      Updated:

      Earlier this month, Bill Schifino, Jr. was announced as the 2015-16 President-Elect of the Florida Bar. Schifino comes to this position with a strong resume. More>>

      Trio sets off on 900 mile trek across Florida Video included

      Updated:

      Joe Guthrie, Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, and Carlton Ward Jr. are embarking on a journey of a lifetime. The trio are setting off on a 70-day, 900 mile trek across the state???without any automobiles.
      More>>

      • Great 38More>>

      • Heath Matters: Trinity Spine Center

        Heath Matters: Trinity Spine Center

        Friday, January 16 2015 12:49 PM EST2015-01-16 17:49:27 GMT
        Trinity Spine Center uses Stem Cells for Back Pain.Stem cells are master cells of the body that are available for repairing damaged tissues and organs including spine discs and cartilage cushions in the joints.
        Trinity Spine Center uses Stem Cells for Back Pain.Stem cells are master cells of the body that are available for repairing damaged tissues and organs including spine discs and cartilage cushions in the joints.
      Out and About
      Powered by WorldNow

      200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

      Telephone: 813.228.8888
      Fax: 813.225.2770
      Email: news@wfla.com

      Can???t find something?
      Powered by WorldNow
      All content © Copyright 2000 - 2015 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.