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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Crosby concussion, Part Deux?

Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …

>> The Penguins’ statement about holding Sidney Crosby out of the next two games was conspicuously missing the following two words:

1. Concussion.

2. Symptoms.

I understand why they’d do that, but it still leaves me a little squeamish. Instead, we got terms from Ray Shero like “wasn’t feeling 100 percent” and “we all think it’s best” and “precaution.” If you do one of those college-type arbitrary reading scans, you could easily find cause for concern in there.

That said, it’s also important to remember that Crosby practiced yesterday. All he missed was one session the day after the game.

It’s just as important to remember that this team has not exactly erred on the side of caution with a couple recent concussions, the first being Crosby’s and the most recent being Kris Letang’s. Seems like it’s about time, if that’s the case.

>> As long as we’re admonishing teams for not being cautious … I realize this is convenient hindsight, but LaMarr Woodley shouldn’t have been put on that playing field Sunday if his hamstring wasn’t going to be able to handle even a quarter of football. Nothing simulates NFL game action, but there most certainly are ways for athletic trainers to test a hamstring to see if it’s that wonky.

Good to hear he’ll be sitting out tonight against the Browns. The pass rush should do just fine against Colt McCoy assuming Jason Worilds keeps playing well and James Harrison continues to devour humans.

>> I’ve never liked assessing how a team does at the Winter Meetings because I’ve covered enough to know that those are but a snapshot of your whole offseason. So I’m not going to write something like, gee, the Pirates sure did add a lot of mediocre players while saving money for some other day that will never come. Not going there at all.

Individually, I made something of a case for Nate McLouth here yesterday, based mostly on his drive and his genuine love of the city. His comments yesterday certainly backed the latter.

Erik Bedard is a cheaper, more injury-prone version of Paul Maholm. That’s a money move, obviously.

Infielder Yamaico Navarro and catcher Jose Morales are minor-league acquisitions who came at low cost in terms of trade or money. Neither is exciting.

Ross Ohlendorf, Pedro Ciriaco and Jason Jaramillo got cut. Not much there, either. They would have been nuts to go to arbitration again with Ohlendorf after he cleaned them out this past season.

It just might be that the Pirates are doing these things to set the stage for an impact first baseman or starting pitcher. If so, the moves have at least been navigated well enough. But, just within what’s there now, let’s not pretend they’re anything other than cost-cutters. They’ve spent on Clint Barmes, Rod Barajas and Bedard. The biggest positional needs, first base and a significant starting pitcher, remain unaddressed.

>> We will chat today at noon, as always.

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