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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Pedro Alvarez, unconditional starter

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Brief and to the Point …

>> My Monday column provides my first chance to share feelings on Duquesne’s firing of Ron Everhart. Suffice it to say I won’t be getting those 11 missing credits on an honorary degree anytime soon.

>> How silly does Neal Huntington look in vowing Pedro Alvarez will make the team?

What was he thinking?

This is the same GM who spent significant dollars to improve the 2012 roster for the sake of improvement in 2012, but it’s OK to force a .191 hitter having a disastrous spring onto the team.

This is the same GM who no longer can come close to talking about accountability, scholarships and stuff like that. I’ve downplayed complaints on that front before. Not anymore.

This is the same GM who consistently pledges not to move players up before they’ve mastered things at a given level, but he’s now adamant that Alvarez has mastered all there is to master in Class AAA.

Really?

Routine fastballs right under the fists?

I’ve watched all types of pitchers this spring — Class AAA and lower — strike out Alvarez effortlessly, and even my untrained baseball eye can tell he hasn’t mastered any level. If you’re mastering anything related to hitting, you’re not trying three different batting stances in the same spring training.

The protective cocoon adds another layer.

>> For those who missed it, the Sunday paper had my annual Pirates five-reasons analysis.

>> If you think the Steelers’ loss of William Gay was no big deal, then you’re probably one of those football fans who remembers only when the corner blows a coverage. Either that, or you have a lot of faith in Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown.

This won’t help the defense at all. And no, they’re not going to get a free agent. They’re the Steelers.

>> This might not be the Penguins’ best team ever, but to focus on one tiny slice of the game, it’s by far the best I’ve seen at the art of catching passes. They use feet, shins, knees, hands, shaft of the stick, whatever. That was true again last night in beating the Devils, and it’s something worth paying extra attention to when they face the Islanders tomorrow.

>> My weekly appearance on the online TribLIVE Radio will be today at noon.

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