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Bob Sparks has 659 articles published.

Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at Bob@ramos-sparks.com.

Tim Tebow and Michael Jordan, Pied Pipers for baseball

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Believe it or not, Tim Tebow and Michael Jordan have a few things in common. Most know that both made huge names for themselves while playing before capacity crowds during their college days. Like Jordan, Tebow was part of a college championship as a freshman. Jordan and North Carolina won the 1982 NCAA Basketball Tournament, with Jordan providing the winning points. A generation later, the Florida Gators were the 2006 BCS national champions, with Tebow accounting for two touchdowns. Jordan…

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After a welcome day off, Rays prepare to welcome Yankees to Tropicana Field

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The Tampa Bay Rays have been looking forward to Thursday. This day will be like no other that they have experienced since April 27. It is called on off-day. Thursday marks only their third day off since the season began, but it will be the first for them at home. The other two were in New York and traveling between Baltimore and Toronto. The span of 20-games-in-20 days started with 5 games in Toronto and Miami and finished with 6…

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4 Florida top-30 college baseball teams push toward post season

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Heading into the final weekend of regular season play, four Florida teams are ranked among the top 30 in college baseball. The Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) is one of the tools used to choose the 64-team NCAA Tournament field and barring any disasters, Florida, Florida State, South Florida and Central Florida should hear their names called on selection day in less than two weeks. In an unusual occurrence, Florida State fans must realize they have seen their team play at…

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Florida schools mostly do well in latest APR scores

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The NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) figures are in for the 2015-2016 school year with some good news and not-so-good news for some Florida schools. We learn from the APR that women’s tennis teams in particular, and female athletes in general, constitute the best performing college students. The NCAA fully explains the methodology. Three Florida Gator programs earned perfect scores (men’s and women’s tennis along with women’s golf.) Ever Gator program scored at least 970. “In athletics, we keep score,…

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Draft picks and dreamers gather for NFL mini-camps

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NFL teams are in the process of getting their first look at their draft choices, undrafted free agents, and others just looking for a chance. Rookie mini-camps are underway around the league, representing the very first taste of life in the NFL for a few, and the only taste for most. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins held their mini-camps last weekend. On Friday the Jacksonville Jaguars begin theirs. While many, but not all, of the teams’ draft picks…

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More game-changing plays on Rays’ to-do list

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With Sunday’s loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, the Tampa Bay Rays again dropped one game below .500 at 16-17. They have fallen 6 games behind the New York Yankees, who have won 20 of their first 29 games. So what is keeping this team from doing better? The Rays are a mediocre, not terrible, offense ranking 12th in team batting with a .235 average. That is miles ahead of Kansas City’s average of .208. Corey Dickerson is the only…

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Jeremy McNichols has a chance to be another fifth-round success story

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It has been one week since the NFL Draft. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been credited with pulling off a “steal” in tight end O.J. Howard from Alabama. Having a solid first round pick is great, but does not measure a successful draft. On the other hand, a first round “bust” often defines a disaster. Let us assume Howard will be the NFL force the Bucs and other pundits project. How did Tampa Bay do in the later rounds? That…

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