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Series Preview: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays (7/23-7/25)

Following their rain-shortened two-game series split against the Mets at home this past weekend, the Yankees head down South for three days to face the Rays in Tampa Bay.  Tropicana Field has, in a way, been a house of horrors for New York, having gone just 4-9 at The Trop since the beginning of 2017 including an ugly three-game sweep just a month ago. The Yankees will begin play today at 63-34, five full games behind the first place Red Sox.  Tampa Bay comes in at 50-49, 19 games out of first and 9.5 games back of Seattle for the second Wild Card position. With trade rumors swirling for both squads and the teams headed in opposite directions, this series provides a key opportunity for the Yankees to get back on track and put pressure on Boston to once again close up the AL East race.




Meet the BBB Staff


Bronx Bomber Ball is a website committed to bringing you the latest news on the New York Yankees, as well as relevant news around the MLB. As a group of die-hard Yankee fans, we look to bring you all, the fans, interesting content related to the Yankees. We are always looking to add consistent writers, so if you think you could contribute to our team, click HERE. Also, read our writers' biographies below and connect with them on social networks. As always, follow the BBB on twitter, instagram (@BronxBomberBall) and LIKE us on Facebook.

Founder/Co-owner

Chad Raines
Chad was born in a Naval hospital in Oak Harbor, Washington in 1997, an area relatively near Seattle. His Grandfather was the first in line in becoming a huge Yankee fan in a tradition that was passed down to his father who then passed it down to him and his brothers. Chad's been watching Yankees baseball for as long as he can remember. Chad is 19-years-old and in his second year at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Chad is a member of the Zeta Psi fraternity of the Upsilon chapter at UNC. He is currently studying business, with the hopes of getting into the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC. After college, Chad wishes to work in baseball, with the hopes of eventually becoming an executive or GM for an MLB team. In addition to the Yankees, Chad cheers for the Carolina Panthers and North Carolina Tar Heels. In the NBA, he typically cheers for his Tar Heels or other players native to NC, such as Danny Green, Steph Curry, etc. You can connect with Chad on Linkedin HERE.
Writer of: Opinions, News, Features, Interviews, Previews, Recaps, Minor Leagues

Managing Editor/Co-owner

Ryan Thoms

Ryan was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Ryan has played baseball since he was four years old, has helped coach multiple teams, and helps run local baseball tournaments. He became a Yankees fan from his dad, who as a coach and fan had a passion for the Yankees winning culture and professionalism on and off the field. Ryan is entering his third year  at the University of Virginia and is majoring in Kinesiology. Ryan is not able to attend as many Yankee games as he would like due to where he lives, but is proud to say he was in attendance at Tropicana Field, when Ivan Nova blew out his arm and needed Tommy John surgery. He was also in attendance of the Yankees 2017 Wild Card game and considers that his favorite attended sporting event ever. He is also a fan of the Green Bay Packers, UVA Basketball, and the Philadelphia 76ers. His favorite Yankees include Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte, Mark Teixeira, and Johnny Damon. Ryan is also one of the co-hosts for the Bronx Bomber Babble podcast. You can connect with Ryan on LinkedIn HERE.
Writer of: Opinions, Recaps, News, Previews, Features



Administrative Editor 

Andrew Natalizio
A lifelong resident of northern New Jersey, the Yankees have been in Andrew's blood since birth. Ever since his grandfather would walk to Yankees games across the George Washington Bridge from nearby Fort Lee, NJ (with bugle in hand!), the Yankees have been a part of the Natalizio family.  An old family legend is that his grandfather playing "Charge!" at the games in the 1940s & 50s is why you'll now hear that familiar tune at ballparks across the country.  Andrew is a 2013 graduate of Sacred Heart University in Connecticut and currently works full-time in Brooklyn, NY.  You can find him at Yankee Stadium every Friday night home game throughout the season in Section 209. You can connect with Andrew on LinkedIn HERE.
Writer of: Opinions, Recaps, Previews, News, Rants

Associate Editor

Matthew Graziano
Matt was born at Rahway Hospital in 1990 and grew up in Scotch Plains, New Jersey about an hour south of New York City. Matt graduated from Sacred Heart University in 2013 and is currently working full time. Matt’s Yankee fandom goes back several generations in his family. His grandfather owned a restaurant in Queens that many Yankees, including Whitey Ford, would often go to after games. In addition to the Yankees and the SHU Pioneers, Matt is a fan of the New York Giants, New Jersey Devils and the Los Angeles Lakers. Matt has been a Yankee fan all his life and his favorite all time Yankee is Derek Jeter. He is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this community and looks forward to watching some great baseball in the future!



Staff Writers

Nick Scott
Nick grew up in a household in which his mother was a Yankees fan and his dad was a Blue Jays and Astros fan (to this day he's still doesn't know why). Having been born in New York and the fact he's  a momma’s boy, Nick has been rooting for the Pinstripers for a long time. Nick is proud to say that Mariano Rivera threw him a ball in 2010. He currently lives in Ohio, but keeps up with the Yankees as much as anyone else. Jorge Posada is Nick's favorite Yankee of all time. Nick loves the winning culture the Yankees have created. They’re the most prestigious sports franchise of all time and they don’t settle for anything less than a championship. That’s what sets them aside from all other franchises and there's no better team to be a fan of.
Writer of: Opinion, Predictions, Features, News

Spencer Schultz
Spencer was born in Rockford, Illinois in October 1999 and has lived in Des Moines, Iowa for the majority of his life since then. Spencer is a junior in high school and is looking to either become a firefighter or sports journalist/broadcaster in his future. He’s looking to likely attend Iowa State University once he finishes high school. Spencer joined the BBB in July 2016. He’s been a huge Yankees fan his whole life. His hobbies include hanging with friends, playing basketball, and going to sporting events. His favorite athlete is LeBron James, who he considers the GOAT. Along with the Yanks, he’s a diehard fan of the North Carolina Tar Heels, yes the 2017 National Champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and of course the Cleveland Cavaliers. Spencer thanks everyone for checking out his articles and hopes to continue writing for this website for years to come.


Alex Weir
Alex was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and has lived in Connecticut for most of his life. He grew up in a family where the only other Yankees fan is his mom; his dad is a diehard Blue Jays fan and the rest of his family are diehard Red Sox fans. He had always been a Yankees fan, but he never was a diehard fan until his attended his first Yankees game, where Alex Rodriguez proceeded to hit his 500th career home run. Ever since then, the Yankees have been a major part of his life. Alex is currently a junior sports management major at Western New England University, and his favorite Yankee of all-time is Alex Rodriguez.



Dan Degregorio
Dan was born in Paterson, NJ in October of 1994. He grew up in a family that loved baseball, and he shared that passion from a very young age. Some of his earliest memories involved watching the Yankees dynasty of the late '90s and early 2000s. Dan participated in the game for 12 years, usually playing second base or left field. His favorite Yankees memory is Aaron Boone's walk-off home run in Game Seven of the 2003 ALCS. He is currently earning his journalism degree, hoping to write for the Yankees organization one day. 

Matthew Luzzi
Matt was born in Boca Raton, Florida in 1996. His mom and dad are from New Jersey and New York, along with the rest of his family, so the Yankees have been a part of Matt’s life for as long as he can remember. Matt played baseball his whole life up until college, including travel baseball throughout Florida. Matt currently attends Florida State, and plans to pursue a career in sports journalism and/or broadcasting once he graduates. He is also a massive supporter of the New York Giants, New York Rangers, Brooklyn Nets, and the Italian National Team. Matt’s all-time favorite Yankee is Mariano Rivera.

Maxx Hotton

Maxx was born and raised on Long Island. Born in November 1994, he shares a birthday with Yankee Great Mariano Rivera (11/29/1969). Maxx is a 2017 graduate of Wake Forest University. Growing up an avid Yankee fan, his most cherished sports moment was when his all-time favorite player, Derek Jeter, asked him how his chicken tenders were during a 2006 Yankees-Athletics game at old Yankee Stadium. Maxx is not just a baseball fan. He also roots for the New York Islanders, New York Knicks, Indianapolis Colts, Notre Dame Fight Irish, Manchester United, and his Wake Forest Demon Deacons.


AJ Welch


AJ was born and raised in South Jersey. AJ has been a diehard Yankees fan his entire life, even though the surrounding area is primarily Phillies and Philadelphia related sports fans, which made that ’09 World Series even sweeter. Growing up, his favorite players were Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte. Some of his favorite memories associated with the Yankees are going to the old Yankee Stadium for the first time as a kid, as well as seeing Derek Jeter’s last home game in the new Yankee Stadium. He played baseball up until high school where back to back elbow surgeries put an end to his baseball playing days. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, and current Programmer Analyst, he enjoys writing about the Yankees in his free time. AJ is also an avid fan of the New Jersey Devils, Pittsburgh Steelers and the South Carolina Gamecocks.


Shawn Maguire



Shawn Maguire was born in 1992 in northern New Jersey and currently still resides there. His dad, a lifelong Yankees fan, got him into baseball at a young age. From there, it became Shawn’s passion. He is a 2015 graduate of William Paterson University where he received a Bachelor of Arts for Broadcast Journalism. His all-time favorite Yankee is Andy Pettitte but currently, Didi Gregorius is at the top of his list. He combines his love of writing and baseball to create articles of interest.


Andrew Rohloff


Andrew was born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey. Baseball has always been in his blood.  He played baseball throughout his youth, and has followed the game, more importantly, the Yankees since he was eight years old. He became a Yankees fan from his dad, who was actually a Red Sox fan growing up (that Wade Boggs falling out brought him to the good side). His dad coached him on his little league teams, and took him to Yankees games every summer as their father and son tradition. Andrew is now an elementary school teacher in Northern NJ, and lets his students know his passion for the Bronx Bombers. Some of his favorite games he’s been to include the 2017 Wildcard game, the MLB debuts of Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin’s (was also the 1996 20th anniversary celebration), Andy Pettitte’s last home game in 2013(even though they lost) and the Brian McCann walk off winner against The Reds in 2014(Chapman blew the save). He is also a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs, Notre Dame Football, New York Rangers, and New York Knicks. His favorite retired Yankees include Andy Pettitte,Paul O’Neil, David Cone, and Tino Martinez. Current Yankees Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge, Chad Green, and David Robertson. Andrew is also a musician. One of his dreams besides rock stardom (or uke stardom) is to play organ for a professional sports team. You can check out some of his clips here You can also connect with Andrew on LinkedIn here

Gus Wetekamp


Gus was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina but moved to Endwell, NY not soon after, where his lifelong love for the Yankees began. He is currently enrolled at Indiana University with a major in sports media. His other favorite teams include the UNC Tar Heels, Indiana Hoosiers, Manchester United, the Chicago Blackhawks, and the Indianapolis Colts. He is also interested in comic books and movies. His favorite Yankees include Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, and Didi Gregorius. You can connect with Gus on LinkedIn here.

Jake Graziano
 


Jake was born in 1998 and raised in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Scranton. Jake has a love for baseball both as a player (played through high school) and as a fan. He is a lifelong fan of the Yankees, and began following the team during the infamous 2004 season. His first Yankees memory is “The Dive” by Derek Jeter against the Red Sox. Jake’s favorite Yankees of all-time are Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Gary Sheffield. He tries to attend at least one or two Yankees games per season and his favorite game he has been to was a 9-4 comeback win over the Red Sox at Fenway in 2016. Jake is currently enrolled as a Broadcast and Digital Journalism major at Syracuse University. While baseball is his favorite sport, he is also a diehard fan of the Indianapolis Colts (inherited from his dad) and Syracuse University men’s basketball (thanks to Scrantonian Gerry McNamara).

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