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Wakeup Call: Some serious humbling

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Brief and to the Point …

>> Today’s chat is at noon. Hope you’ll be there.

>> I won’t get too much into this thing I learned yesterday, because it won’t look good no matter how I do it. So let’s just say I was floored, if only by looking at that list of names there.

And thankful.

I appreciate the faith the Trib had in me, I appreciate the amazing support I’ve gotten from everyone here and, above all, I appreciate you the readers for being here with me. The feedback I’ve gotten, good and bad, has been as welcome as it has been overwhelming.

That’s it. I’ll shut up now.

>> Mike Wallace talked to satellite radio about his immediate future with the Steelers. Much of this comes across as silly, especially when Wallace starts actually considering how he might fit with other teams. I just don’t see that happening, and I’d have to think he really doesn’t, either.

>> This stinks …

The photo, taken yesterday after another leaf crashed down, is courtesy of Dave DiCello of HDR Exposed Photography.

>> Here’s good stuff from colleague Joe Starkey on the Penguins’ Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek.

>> Marc-Andre Fleury might be overworked, per Josh Yohe’s research.

88 Comments

  1. Dejan,

    Can you explain a little about the APSE. Is a particular column submitted? a body of work? How are selections made?

    I think the award is well deserved by the way. You are an excellent writer and always seem to offer creative, balanced, fair, and INFORMED opinions and reporting. Have really enjoyed following your work. Would love for you to write a book.

    Congrats.

    DK: Thanks, Deb. Associated Press Sports Editors is what it sounds like, a collection of the nation’s sports editors. They meet once a year and judge a zillion contest entries. Those are broken into three categories — think of baseball’s minor-league tiers — based on newspaper/online circulation. The Trib is now in the largest group (175,000-up), right there with the New York Times.

    In this category, I believe they need five samples. Some readers might recall that in December I asked in a post here for you to whittle down a smallish group to about four or five. This was why.

    I’ve been doing columns for about half a year and, to be totally honest, I haven’t been all that happy with what I’ve done to date. I can learn so much more, develop a more consistent writing voice for columns, planning, etc. Long, long way to go.

    Oh, and I’ll NEVER write a book. Way too much time on one project. Not my thing.

  2. Congrats again! You deserved this because you’re damned good at it. Bask a little, why don’t you?

    Sometimes one wishes for a crystal ball or a time machine. I wish I’d been paying better attention to Michalek’s performance all these months instead of collecting evidence for the defense of #7. Because now I have a suspicion…what if Martin’s performance has had more to do with trying to compensate for the fact that his partner is having an off season? Trying to do too much? I base this on how well he played with a confident, strong two-way partner who complimented his skills. I’ll have to pay more attention going forward.

    DK: Thanks, Leah. But see, I’ll never do things like collect evidence for someone’s defense. If Martin stinks, I’m going to write that he stinks, no matter the blowback. When he plays well like he did Wednesday, I’m going to write that he played well, no matter the blowback. That’s not being wishy-washy or flip-flopping. It’s reflecting reality.

  3. That’s why you’re the journalist and I’m the fan. :-)

  4. You might want to be just slightly less humble because when I first read this blog post, I thought you had done something wrong and the Trib was bravely standing by you despite calls for your head. I didn’t work it out until I clicked the link. But now that I have worked it out — congratulations!

    DK: Well, that’s quite the opposite extreme. Thanks, Cari, for this and for the illegal TV feeds!

  5. Price seems to be very high for D-Men at the Deadline, and the amount of forwards who would fit the Pens and Caps seem very low. Do you sense Shero could make a bigger move ala the Neal trade last year, or will he go small like the Adams deal in 09.

    DK: Hi, Clint. Wrote about this Sunday from Buffalo

  6. Congratulations, Dejan! It is always nice to get well-deserved recognition.

    DK: Thanks to the German contingent!

  7. Congrats, Dejan. Very happy for you. And I thought of you when I went to a Chicago Bulls game the other day.

    DK: Thanks, Agle.

  8. I had the same reaction as Cari.
    I read many of the other winners on a daily basis.
    Pretty fast company, well deserved.

    DK: Thanks, David, as always, my friend.

  9. Congrats, Dejan! Well deserved.
    As sad as it is to see the igloo demolished, that picture is amazing. Thank you.

    DK: Thanks, Jon.

  10. Dejan

    It speaks volumes that you believe you can do better, despite your honorable achievement.

    You’re destined for many more accolades in your future… and all of them are already well-deserved!

    Thank you for taking us along on the ride!

    Cheers!

    DK: Thanks, Dave. Trust me, that’s not false anything. There are times in the past six months I’ve been really unhappy with a column. Each one is a learning experience.

  11. DK,

    Gandhi once said, “Happiness comes from hardwork.” You deserve such an honor! Congrats!

    JClare

    DK: Thanks.

  12. DK,

    Well deserved recognition. I have stated many times to my buddies that you are the best in the business. Most agree. But those who debate me will now have to deal with these facts.

    DK: Thanks, Hooco. Wear the brass knuckles. Those people are tough.

  13. DK, Have you ever thought about running for political office? The reasons that you have a huge following, is what the area needs in politics. You take in all the information and make a decision based on your findings. You make your decisions based on that information and not personal feelings (of yours and whomever you are writing about). People might not always agree with you, but your logic is always visible.

    DK: Thanks, David. No politics!

  14. Wow! We have one of the best in our midst…right in DaBurgh! Congrats Dejan, and that comes from the heart. I know I look forward to this column every morning, and look for that to continue for a long time.

    The fact that Martin acknowledges he is struggling is a good thing…he is working on it. Hope he works a bit faster!

    Oh, that pic of the Civic Arena is awesome and sad at the same time. I hope someone is documenting the entire tear-down process. It’s a part of Pittsburgh’s history.

    I worry about Flower too. it will definitely be interesting to see how the season and post-season pan out. I hope he’s up to the task.

    DK: Thanks, Jandy.

  15. JAL’s Thursday That Old Feeling Morning Links

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 Yahoo Free Agent Tracker

    http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AvN8KLXkNW0TcRjzSCagLIMBbgM6?slug=jp-passan_ultimate_free_agent_tracker_baseball_110211

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates 2012 Spring Training Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/st2012

  16. 8 McEffect

    Can the Pittsburgh Pirates Make a Run in 2012?

    http://www.mceffect.com/2012/02/can-pittsburgh-pirates-make-run-in-2012.html

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES

    9 Albany Times Union

    Pirates’ Barajas getting acquainted with new team

    http://www.timesunion.com/sports/article/Pirates-Barajas-getting-acquainted-with-new-team-3353884.php

    10 Boston Herald

    Erik Bedard prepares for comeback

    http://news.bostonherald.com/sports/baseball/other_mlb/view/20120222erik_bedard_prepares_for_comeback/srvc=home&position=recent

    11 Bradenton Herald

    Spring Training 2012 | Nate McLouth happy to be back with Pirates

    http://www.bradenton.com/2012/02/23/3895750/nate-mclouth-said-if-there-was.html

    12 Chicago Sun Times

    Cubs prepare for bunting madness

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/10813972-419/cubs-prepare-for-bunting-madness.html

    13 Charleston Daily Mail

    The future of Power Park looks very busy

    http://www.dailymail.com/Sports/201202220259

  17. Title song That Old Feeling, Anita O’Day, 1963. Although O’Day sang with some Big bands she was more of jazz singer than a traditional big band singer whose career went from 1938 to 2005, a year before her death.

  18. Congrats DK, I knew you were a good writer way back when, that’s why I followed you from your old paper and have to read your stuff first thing in the morning ever since. I understand what you mean when you say you are not happy with the columns you have written to date. I have the same problem, I write for a living and I am always second guessing my content. Also back in August I finished my masters, but I was writing 30-40 page papers for my classes and every time I finished one I hated it, and the ones I liked didn’t seem to go over as well. It is a tough thing critiquing your own work. But bask in the glory of your achievement, at least for an hour or two.

    DK: Thanks, IC. A constant struggle, indeed.

  19. Dejan…. many congrats on your APSE award!! What an honor! Humbling but a great honor none the less. Well deserved my friend. One doesn’t get on that list with that company by chance (or luck). It takes a lot (in countless areas that most people would never think of you putting your time and/or efforts). Very happy for you. Kudos!

    DK: Thanks, Frank, and best of luck in your new endeavors. Frank Velasquez was the Pirates’ strength coach until this season. He has a new fitness business at REVpgh.com

  20. I won’t claim to have any clue as to what goes into that award, but simply having your name along side the rest in that list speaks for itself.

    Us “yinzers” are always proud to see one of our own succeed.

    And, ok, I’ll stop whining about the book. But you should still do it. Just sayin’.

    DK: No book!

  21. Steelers Blogs

    19 Behind the Steel Curtain

    As Long as the Steelers Have a Franchise Quarterback, They Should be Able to Endure the Inevitable Roster Changes

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/2/22/2817437/as-long-as-the-steelers-have-a-franchise-quarterback-they-should-be

    Questions About Steelers Salary Cap Situation Need Answers

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/2/21/2814873/steelers-2012-salary-cap-free-agency-nfl-draft-mike-wallace

    Alleged Outside Interest for Steelers WR Mike Wallace Most Likely a Smoke Screen

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/2/21/2813718/steelers-2012-free-agency-nfl-draft-mike-wallace-franchise-tag-restricted-free-agent

    20 Steelers Depot

    - Mike Wallace Radio Interview Classic Contract Posturing

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/02/mike-wallace-sirius-radio-interview-was-classic-example-of-contract-talk-posturing/

    21 Steelers Gab

    Willie Colon the Latest to Restructure His Contract

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2012/02/22/willie-colon-the-latest-to-restructure-his-contract/

  22. Congrats DK. I enjoy your work. (NO soccer)

    DK: Thanks. YES soccer. One of these days.

  23. I guess the Pirates aren’t the only organization in town that lets top talent walk away right when its coming into its prime.

  24. Congrats, Dejan! Well deserved recognition…take a pat on the back.

    DK: Thanks, TJ.

  25. Congratulations Dejan. Good to see excellence rewarded.

    Stuart

    DK: Thanks, Stuart.

  26. The way that the Igloo is being torn down is painful to watch. As someone who had many of the best memories of my life in Section D11, it feels like I’m watching a friend slowly die. You column on that subject really struck a chord with me for that reason.

    Congrats on the award. Really well deserved, in my opinion.

    Trade deadline prediction — Shero makes 0 moves.

    DK: Thanks, Cap. I’m with you on the last one.

  27. Like I’ve said several times, DK, if you write about soccer I’ll read the d*** column because YOU wrote it. Bigtime congrats on a well deserved honor.

    For years I read anything Michael Wilbon wrote in the Post. Then he got ESPN-itis and started hobnobbing with big-name athletes, and before long his columns read like a Larry King name-drop-fest…dinner with this guy, cigars with this one and golf with that one. It was sad. And unreadable. Dude lost all credibility in print.

    So, here’s to many more years of great columns and morning links for us lucky readers….but the first time you slip in a mention of coffee with Crosby or a milkshake with Malkin, we’re bailing, ha ha!

    DK: Thanks, Stan. I once shared a cab in St. Louis with Salomon Torres. That count?

  28. Dejan – Followed you over from the PG…I now read the trib way more than the PG…thanks for your great coverage and insite, keep up the good work.

    DK: Thanks. Appreciate your coming over more than I can say, especially that you’re checking out everything that’s on our site. We have good people here.

  29. Congrats Dejan, well deserved. I look forward to reading you each morning, so don’t plan on going anywhere!

    DK: Thanks, Gregg.

  30. Congratulations DK! – What comes across to me in your columns is your passion for the subject and for sports in general. You seem very genuine and you connect with the reader (even when we disagree), which sets you apart, in my opinion.

    Also, the other day in the blog, you mentioned that 90% of a blog’s success is due to reader participation (I’m paraphrasing). Actually, I think your consistent and sincere engagement with us readers is really what makes it work.

    DK: Thanks, Skip.

  31. Congrats echoed. Very well-deserved indeed. I don’t know if it means anything, but you were the 7th one down on the list. Seven is God’s perfect number! You’re the only person in this universe that could get me to read one syllable about soccer. Keep up the good work!

    DK: Thanks, John.

  32. Kudos my friend…

    DK: Thanks, SS.

  33. Why are you surprised? You’re damn good, we all know it! :)

    DK: Thanks, John.

  34. I have a unimportant question. I haven’t been to the’ Burgh in over 14 years, but why does the arena roof look pink? I’ve been there many times and I don’t remember it ever being that color. Is it from natural elements or did someone try to maintain it in some way? Just looks different than my aged memory allows. Thanks.

  35. I am very pleased to see you get recognized. I have followed you for many years now, being a displaced Pittsburgher, and you are one of the few reporters I can actually say I read regularly. Congratulations.

    As for the picture. I still sigh. What a place.

    DK: Thanks, Jon.

  36. @Lucky

    It was cheaper to scrap the Igloo’s shell peice by agonizing peice than to implode the structure like most stadiums or buildings.

    What you see is the material underneath the dome’s iconic outer layer, which has already been dismantled.

    That is why you hear so many of us in the ‘Burgh talking about what a shame it is to see the old girl put out this way.

    Painfully slow process.

  37. I don’t know if you get to go or not to Orlando to accept the award, but perhaps at the award ceremony you could have Drew accept the award in your stead a la Brando and Sacheen Littlefeather.

    To be in the same company as the likes of William Rhoden-that would flip my wig.

    Congratulations-well done.

    DK: Thanks, John. No, if I recall, the awards come by mail.

  38. Congrats, DK. Well deserved. Master of your Domain.

    DK: Thanks, AW, but I’m not even master of the living-room remote.

  39. Not sure why so much dislike of soccer, which the rest of the world calls football. Watch Lionel Messi and tell me you don’t see some Sidney Crosby.

  40. Congrats. Well deserved recognition. Much more to come in the future I am sure.

    DK: Thanks, Wally.

  41. Thanks, NMR. It makes sense. Sad to see, especially with that pink. Real arenas wear pink, I guess.

    JAL,
    Just can’t warm up to a sport that 2-1 is a high-scoring game. No offense. I know there’s talent there, men and women.

  42. @ JAL ~ I don’t dislike Soccer, nor do I bash it. I just haven’t paid any attention to it. I watched your video of Messi. What I see is a well-conditioned athlete who plays with a lot of vision. He is very cerebral, and sees the entire playing field well. So yes, that could describe Crosby as well. How long is a soccer field? I can’t imagine running up and down that field (skating up and down the ice) for very long shifts. YIKES!

  43. “DK: Thanks, AW, but I’m not even master of the living-room remote.”

    LOL!

  44. Congrats!

    DK: Thanks, Rob.

  45. So did Salomon pick up the tip or did he suggest to cut the fare in half?

  46. Congrats. Enjoy reading your articles and blogs.(especially since they are free!)

    DK: Thanks, Stewart, but I do hope you consider picking up a paper!

  47. Congrats man! That’s great to hear.

    Would you be able to update the credit on the photo? It is actually one of mine…here’s the link.

    http://hdrexposedphotography.com/2012/02/razing-of-the-igloo/

    Thanks a lot!

    DK: It’s done, Dave. And thanks!

  48. In honor of post 27 – one would think with FA move like that, the PG was a McClatchy owned paper. #oldmemoriesdiehard

    Without an ounce of intended disrespect – in light of the well deserved recognition, perhaps we should now be calling you Mr. Kovacevic?

    Not sure how I feel about AJ running alone this morning at camp. Hopefully it is the first of many positive influences on plenty of the young guys in the rotation and a few more join him tomorrow morning for a trot. It would certainly be nice to have a capable veteran leader amongst all those young arms.

    I am surprised there isn’t more chatter about the Wallace comments on Sirius yesterday. He has made very good strides to become a better almost complete receiver but until Ben can consistently complete those long passes the cap hit seems a bit much for his 4.5 catches and 0.5 TDs per game. Oh, and I understand the mindset that he opens up the field for the running game and passing game by stretching the field but having that cap hit available to spend on a competent offensive line should also prove quite beneficial and even keep 7 upright more often.

    DK: No Mister!

  49. As you wish, back to plane ole DK.

  50. Dave,
    Some great shots. I like the B&W photo of the arena much better. It alleviates the pink. Do you do weddings?

  51. Jandy

    A soccer field is 100–130 yd long and &0 to 80 yards wide. Bigger than a football field

  52. Dejan: Congrats and well-deserved. I suppose its only a matter of time unti we see you on The Sports Reporters or Around the Horn?

  53. @Jandy

    I proudly bash soccer every chance I get.

  54. Hi Dejan,

    I couldn’t be happier for you and your success.

    I appreciate your humility, so allow me to do the bragging for you: You’ve been a columnist for about six months and in that time you produced enough quality work to place you in the top 10 of all columnists of large circulation papers. Period.

    For those of us who have been reading your work for numerous years, this comes as no surprise. Your dedication and commitment to your craft is always evident in your work. Your humility is not surprising either, but I hope you can set it aside long enough to enjoy the honor.

    Congratulations.

  55. Lucky

    There were three big soccer games yesterday–one ended 3-1, one 4-0, the other 1-0.

  56. JAL

    I appreciate your prosthelytizing for soccer, but as someone once said: Three things Americans hate: taxes, gun control and soccer.

  57. Anderson Hernandez is the only Pirate yet to report to camp. Could it be the dreaded “visa problems” ?

  58. Milo-

    He is from the DR. I hope we don’t find out that Anderson is not his real name.

  59. Congrats Dejan, the recognition is well deserved, and the commitment to your craft is appreciated.

  60. Thanks, Jandy, but that’s still an average of 3 goals per game. I don’t mean any offense really, but I’m a baseball, football (American brand) and college basketball person. Only hockey games I’ve seen were in Wheeling and the igloo and, although enjoyable, you’ve forgotten more hockey than I know. We’re less than 2 hours from Nashville and the Preds, but I’d rather see the Nashville Sounds AAA team play. My absorption limit from a mental standpoint won’t take soccer. One of my sons played in HS and we saw all his games and enjoyed them, but they were 6-4, 7-5, 11-0, etc.
    (I won’t watch golf, either).

  61. Mister Dejan – Well done. Is it a columnIST award, meaning tied to the writer for all work over a specific time period, or an award for a specific column? If the latter, can you provide a link to the column, or did I miss it up there somewhere?

    Wouldn’t it be funny if it is the “Nuts” column that I took such umbrage to? But fine if it is. These things aren’t written to get universal opinion, or you’d write about the weather. (And we’d still disagree.)

    Congratulations.

    DK: Thanks, Drew. Check very first comment up top, where I responded with a bit of an explanation.

  62. “Pirates president Coonelly charged with DUI”

    Woops

  63. I wonder if the arresting officer is a season ticket holder?

    Terrible lapse in judgement Frank. At least nobody was hurt.

  64. @ JAL ~ an athlete would have to be in prime condition to play soccer well. Much like Crosby is, and he plays ice hockey well =)

    @ Milo ~ “@Jandy – I proudly bash soccer every chance I get.
    LOL Milo!

    @Dave DiCello, since you’re a Cowboys’ fan I don’t suppose we’ll be seeing any Steelers pics on your site anytime soon? ;)

  65. Never ceases to amaze me that people drive intoxicated.

  66. @LuckyNKentucky ~ “(I won’t watch golf, either).”
    I don’t either! I don’t consider it a sport ;)

  67. Coonelly and DUI?? OK, so is there a fine or a suspension for this? Who fires the president of the club?

  68. Drew ~ What DK is saying, is that the columns we voted on helped win this award for him ;)

  69. I’d be drinking, too if I was Coonelly and I’m a minister.

  70. Oh. Ok. I get it now.

    I like that. it’s us. It’s all about us. It’s always all about us. (Well. At least me.)

    Dejan, those toasters better be good ones. Cause it looks like we earned some good bread.

    Ok enough. Congrats again. (See? I can self-edit. Sort of.)

  71. Congrats on being recognized by your peers. We are lucky to have you in Pgh. Hoping not to hear you on satellite radio asking to show you the money like Wallace was yesterday.
    You asked for column ideas off the beaten path yesterday. I would suggest the RMU men’s lacrosse team or something about the growth of that sport in the area. It might be too far off the path however.
    Loved the Moose column yesterday because of the memories, but also the message behind his success in believing in himself. Can we make that mandatory reading for the Buccos?

  72. This morning shows why Dejan is the best. Breaking stories. Commenting on his blog. Preparing for online chat about a variety of subjects. Are you Batman?

  73. Congrats DK! I’m sure that you earned the award from all your pieces on potential package trades! :)

  74. Congratulation DK on a well deserved award. As much as it pains a former delivery boy of the “other paper”, following you here has shown me which is the superior paper in Pittsburgh. Keep up the great work!

    @RightSaidTed – nooooooo!!! No ESPN for DK! Love Around the Horn, but see comment above by scrapper re: Wilbon.

  75. @ Drew ~ LOL stop, you’re killing me!

  76. Jandy – Dejan just tossed the plugged-in toaster into my bathtub.

    (Though what he’s doing in my bathroom is something I’d rather not discuss.)

  77. Dejan, congratulations on a well deserved recognition of your work. I would submit that it is exceptional precisely because you are never satisfied with it and will never be so. Seems to me that the key, like an artist who paints, is simply knowing when to put down the brush. I enjoy visiting here each day, because of the quality of your work and the quality of the others who also visit here. Thanks for what you do, and congrats again.

  78. OMG! Drew, you gotta stop. I’m at work, and they think I’m nuts lol (Good assumption).

  79. Lucky,

    Just looked something–in 14 games last season the Steelers scored less that what would be 4 goals in soccer. Looks bigger because they get 7 points per most TDs.

  80. JAL,
    You’re right and a lot of their games were boring this year. Nothing worse to a football fan than a 6-3 game unless you really love defense. I’m being hateful, as they say here in KY when I talk about 2-1 games in soccer. Not a sound argument for not liking a sport. Just like liver. Some people love it and some can’t stand it. Still, no offense to those of you who appreciate it. Liver or soccer. They actually started playing it here in KY in the last several years and it’s catching on. And that from a state where they think a football is a basketball that was manufactured incorrectly.

  81. Lucky

    Well put. Great line about them thinking football is a basketball that was manufactured incorrectly. :)

  82. Congratulations. Well deserved. Your columns always make for fascinating
    reading. I think I’d even read one about soccer!

  83. DK: That is some pretty heady company listed with you. It is especially impressive that you garnered this honor after such a short time as columnist. Going from one of the top beat writer in baseball to an award winning columnist in one year. Congratulations.

  84. Congrats on the award! Not a bad accomplishment for someone who apparently still drinks the kool-aid!

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