Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Chat pushed back to 1 p.m.

Brief and to the Point …

>> Worked on the Friday column overnight, will head over to the South Side for Todd Haley’s news conference, then return for the 1 p.m. chat. That’s an hour later than usual because Haley’s going at noon.

I’ll apologize here for the brevity of this Wakeup Call, but it’s 3:22 a.m., and I used all my post-midnight time on this column. Once you get into the beat of something, you could have the Dead Kennedys playing live in the same room, and it wouldn’t be a distraction.

>> I will follow up here on the blog about Haley’s session. Sans rodent references, I promise!

>> This is the chat link. Hope you can join us.


  1. JAL says:

    JAL’s That Old Time Feeling Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3- 2011-12 Pirates Prospects Off-Season Calendar

    4 Pirate Offseason Stats

    5 Yahoo Free Agent Tracker;_ylt=AvN8KLXkNW0TcRjzSCagLIMBbgM6?slug=jp-passan_ultimate_free_agent_tracker_baseball_110211

    6 Pirates Prospects Offseason Tracker

  2. JAL says:

    7 Pittsburgh Pirates 2012 Spring Training Tracker


    8—Pirates Prospects

    A.J. Burnett A Match For the Pirates?

    Keith Law Ranks the Pirates Farm System Eighth

    9 WHY GAVS

    Everyone thinks the Pirates should trade for AJ Burnett and I kind of do, too

    10 McEffect

    A.J. Burnett To The Pirates?

  3. JAL says:


    11 The Lantern

    Joe Biden, Jack Hanna among several to speak at ONA convention

    12 New Jersey Star Ledger

    ‘The Story of My Life’ tells story of a bond that endures

    13 Washington Post

    Baseball Hall of Fame plans drug education program, says effort not tied to Cooperstown voting

  4. JAL says:


    14 PBC Site

    Pirates organization preview, Top 20 Prospects

    15 Baseball Nation

    The Pittsburgh Pirates As A Destination

    16 MLB

    Top 20 Pirate Prospects

    17 Red Machine

    The Pirates Owned Your Reds in 2011. Here’s Why.

  5. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    18 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers Release CB Bryant McFadden, Owner of One of the Biggest Plays in Franchise History

    Welcome Home, Todd

    19 Steelers Depot

    Patriots Linebacker Thinks Harrison and Clark Should Grow-Up

    20 Steelers Gab

    Steelers Create Cap Space by Renegotiating Woodley’s Contract

  6. JohninOshkosh says:

    It”s the column uber alles, eh DK?

  7. Edgybear says:

    Dejan, Enough with the rodent jokes, you are better than that. Give the man a chance, he might be good for the Steelers or maybe he won’t but he deserves a chance.

  8. February 9

    9 days from today Pitchers & Catchers report to Pirate Spring Training . . . . 9 DAYS!

    There are NO rats on Pirate ship this year:
    Neal Huntington traded them for prospects!


  9. DannyMoe says:

    My questions for Todd Haley at today’s press conference:

    1. What will be the single largest difference we’ll see out of your offense compared with the 2011 Steelers?

    2. How would you define success in terms of your job as an OC?

    3. Do you know any good traffic court lawyers in the midwest from your time in KC?

  10. Jandy says:

    Groat…hope springs eternal eh? :)

  11. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I apologize for stupidity, but I must be missing something somewhere. How, in what instance, is Aged J. Burnett better than the dearly-departed Paul Maholm, who signed for $4.5 million? Burnett is 5 years older, is right-handed, which we have enough right-handed starters, and, unless the Yanks eat a major portion of his $33 mil. over 2 years, is way over-priced. I have 2 Yankee fans here in my office to contend with and they whine and wince every time Burnett takes the ball. Some of the articles in JAL’s posts are in favor of a Burnett pickup. Maybe it’s old age or simple-mindedness, but I can’t figure it out. I’d rather see Lincoln of Jo-Jo Reyes in the rotation.

  12. 21sthebest says:

    “Worked on the Friday column overnight…….I’ll apologize here for the brevity of this Wakeup Call, but it’s 3:22 a.m., and I used all my post-midnight time on this column.”

    Great future column DK! ;-)

  13. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think most of the positive comments about Burnett are coming with the caveat that the Yankees would take a HUGE portion of his remaining salary, along the lines that he would cost the Bucs around the same as Paul is making this year. And if he gets haughty, just think, Neal can go into the clubhouse (a la Billy Beane) and say, “Hey, you aren’t a $33 mil ballplayer, the Yankees are paying you $24 mil NOT to play for them.”

  14. LuckyNKentucky says:

    That was a good movie. I still can’t see trading 16 homers (The Legend) for a guy who’ll give up more than that. Probably splash-down shots, too, and not on a bounce off the concrete.

  15. JohninOshkosh says:

    Nice selection today, JAL. Guy Clark is a songwriter’s songwriter.

    Pitt is such a maddening team. They seem to have so much talent. But they tend to go absent on the court or get overwhelmed. A very disappointing performance last night that almost assures them of securing only an NIT berth.

  16. Jandy,
    Spring is when a young man’s fancy turns to baseball (and girls). 9 DAYS!

    May we never lose our hope! In baseball and you girls.
    (And, may 19 years not turn into 24 years!!!!)

  17. NMR says:


    First of all, talking baseball with Yankee fans is your first mistake. That’s like my wife comparing jewelry with Donald trumps mistress.

    You gotta compare Burnett with Maholm at his $9m extension, to be fair, if you want to make money an issue. Thats the only number we know for a fact would keep Maholm. You also have to assume the Yankees will be picking up at least half of Burnetts remaining contract. The Pirates are far too cheap to spend the amount of money he has remaining.

    You’re left with a pitcher who has top of the rotation stuff, previously thrived with a small market NL team and is coming off poor seasons with a team in the largest market and toughest division in baseball.

    The Burnett that was with the Yankees and Paul Maholm might be the difference in a win or two. Burnett with his head straight instantly becomes the Pirates ace.

    Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t call it a big move by any means. But like the Lee and Ludwick deals last year, it makes the Pirates better and costs “only” money.

    Why not?

  18. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    AJ Burnett isn’t the route I would go either, but what if you can get him for 1.7? Wouldn’t be all that bad, he did well last time in the NL, but of course that was in his 20’s.

  19. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Of course if this were Dave Littlefield…….he’ll take the whole contract, at least we know Neal won’t do anything that stupid.

    I do question the trade of Jones though for him…..Would that make McGehee are starting 1B? Dont forget, Jeff Clement is still in the system….lol

  20. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    NMR- you say the Pirates are too cheap to pay the rest of AJ’s contract, this is where I’d actually call them smart for not doing that………i dont care who he goes to, NOBODY is picking up the rest of that contract.

  21. Since this is an “all sports all the time” space, except when we are talking about rodent control and BROKEN NECKS . . . . .

    How ’bout my Dukies last night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is nothing for a Duke fan better than beating the sun-faded-blue evil ones from down the road, especially in their place. I can’t even say what was better——the joy on our faces or the looks of utter despair on their faces.

    I am still hoarse this morning! That is a painfully satisfying situation. And my cat has yet to come out from under the bed!

    Oshkosh b’gosh, Pitt for some reason this year only plays defense in spurts. They have lost their signature.

  22. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Basketball? Wish I could get into it…….

  23. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Good points, all. I don’t talk baseball with them (they think I’m a walking baseball encyclopedia, so they stay away) but one of their sons is a Pirate fan because he initially liked the logo (or maybe the Pirates’ Charities sign) and my sons and I have provided caps, pennants, bookbags, etc. to him to promote. How do I promote a team, even to a 12-year old in KY, that brings in Burnett and acts like it may be the biggest deal of the offseason? Lincoln, Locke or someone in the system will be better and obviously cheaper and we can spend some money on a first baseman (or given Hague the job) and keep Jones. I disagree that Burnett makes them better.

  24. JohninOshkosh says:


    Watched that game last night. I’m not a fan of any of the teams in the research triangle but that finish was unbelievable! Congrats.

  25. John, you as so many in your fine state, are a gentleman and a scholar!!

    I must go dust my diploma!!!

  26. NMR says:


    We’re in agreement on the salary. Some people are making it sound like this is the next coming of Matt Morris. They couldn’t be any further apart. No team in the league, especially the Pirates, will be picking up Burnett’s full contract.


    Try social media. It’s just about the only way to get kids attention these days. Many of the young Pirates(Cutch, Walker, Hanny) have Twitter accounts and are clean, engaging users. Just be ready to explain the heartbreak when they’re eventually traded.

    As for the baseball, I’m admittedly a Neal Huntingdon trademark big-bodied-electric-stuff-power-arm disciple, so I guess I’m just more willing to give up GI Jones for a chance at Burnett’s upside.

    A lot of people were calling Joel Hanrahan just a big hard thrower before he got here, too.

    With that being said, like you, I wouldn’t mind giving Lincoln a Charlie Morton scholarship to see if he’ll sink or swim for a couple months.

  27. LuckyNKentucky says:

    You’re right about Twitter, etc. That’s what I liked about Maholm. His tweets, although boring to some, were family-oriented, clean and engaging. Had to dump him when he started the positive-Cubs chatter (which is understandable). You’re right about Hanrahan, too. Bet the Nats would like to reverse that trade. They thought they fleeced the Bucs, too, getting T. Plush and Burnett.

  28. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I too would rather see Lincoln grab a spot on the rotation….

    Here’s a question/thought: Since the Pirates won’t be contenders anyhow, trade for Burnett, trade him at the deadline for “prospect” of course. Then put Lincoln in the mix, if he’s already not in the rotation. If Burnett has a comeback type of year, that could warrent a decent prospect, preferably at 1B.

  29. Corey says:

    Regarding the possibility of a Burnett trade, I think you need to get as many major league proven arms as possible. If you look at the current rotation, now that Malholm is gone, you don’t have very many guys left that you can count on to A) stay healthy all or most of the season and B) give you at least an average pitching performance whenever he’s handed the ball. They guys that have proven that they can pitch are injury prone and the guys that aren’t injury prone don’t have enough of a track record to count on them without at least thinking about a Plan B. I say trade for Burnett, and due to injuries or lack of production somewhere along the way, Lincoln will still get his chance to pitch with the Buccos this year even if he’s not in the opening day rotation.

  30. Andy T says:


    Incisive comment about McCutchen in your chat today. The Pirates lived, then died, on their arms last summer, but his looking at his splits before/after the All Star Game were as deflating as anything else that went awry in the second half last summer.

  31. Milo Hamilton says:

    Great news. The Pirates didn’t sign Nick Johnson. Danny The Dunce got him in Baltimore. I’d been sweating that one out.

  32. CWalton_67 says:

    Don’t know if this is being widely read in Pittsburgh–Pensblog has it posted. Thought Pens fans who come here should see this article, as well as you, Dejan. It is exceptionally well done and sheds a great deal of light on the Crosby injury. I suffered both a concussion and a neck injury simultaneously. Reading this article, I experienced much of what is explained and never even knew it. I know I’m late posting it, and will post it on the blog again tomorrow unless DK himself mentions it.

  33. scapper says:

    cwalton67….Great find with that article. Any fan of Sid should read this, but it’s his critics, doubters and questioners who really need to read this.

  34. JAL says:

    If Dejan does not mention it I will put it in the morning links.

  35. pattonbb says:

    I have absolutely no problem with them adding Burnett to this team….if it costs them absolutely nothing.

    I haven’t done the math, so don’t blame me if it’s wrong, but a buddy of mine just told me that AJ Burnett only won 11 games last year, and the Yankees gave him an AVERAGE of 6 runs a start in support. 6 runs? is that even possible? An average of 6 runs per start and he can only win 11 games? Multiply that with his insane contract and you can see why they want to deal him.

  36. Milo Hamilton says:

    I also have no problem with trying to acquire AJ Burnett. But if Neal is anywhere close to trading Garrett Jones for him, Art Rooney should overrule it immediately.

  37. JAL says:

    Olney says Yankees asked about Jones but the Pirates said no.

  38. CWalton_67 says:

    Thanks scapper–Totally agree. it’s a very illuminating article.

    Thanks JAL–if you put it in the in your links post, it will definitely get read.

Other blogs
Sports: Rob Rossi | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | iPreps | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports
News: This Just In | Trib List | ICycle | Flow Back | Stories Behind Trib Stories  

» Top Sports
» Top News
» Top Breaking News