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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Your voice needed for blog upgrade


Brief and to the Point …

>> I’ve spent much of this week in training — along with all Trib employees — on our new system that will lead to all kinds of new stuff here, including a new web site and a new blog.

Here’s the part I like most: The overall look and functionality of the blog won’t change much. Just enough to add some pieces. But I’ve always liked the fact that it’s clean, simple and — way above all — it works. I can’t count on two fingers the number of times it’s gone down since I came over last June. That’s nice.

Here’s another part I like: We’ll have the capability to add a lot more features to the comments section in particular, and I know many of you have been pushing for that.

But that’s your area, so I want you to decide what’s there.

Do you want direct-reply features in the threads, meaning you answer another blogger directly?

Do you want like-dislike buttons?

Do you want avatars that are large or small?

The blog will be up and running by mid-April at the very latest, possibly a little sooner, so there’s some time for your input. But soon would work best. Know for sure that I’ll be reading and considering everything you share, as will our web guru Steve Adams and blog queen Lisa Fuqua. They want what you want.

>> Oh, and yeah, it’ll still be free.

>> I wrote it back in January, and I’ll repeat it anew: The Quebec Nordiques will be back, barring yet another absurdly oversized subsidy from the residents of Glendale, Ariz., to keep the Coyotes. The NHL is well past the homework stage on this front, and the city of Quebec is about to stick a shovel in the ground for a new arena patterned after Pittsburgh’s.

That will be eight teams in Canada, the 1980s all over again.

>> Charlie Morton won’t be thrilled at being left behind in extended spring training to open the season. Trust me on that. It’s something he and I discussed at length while I was down there. But one glance at the schedule tells you — as I told him — the extra time could work out best for all concerned.

His outing last night in Port Charlotte looks like it might have confirmed that.

>> If AMC’s fine TV series “The Walking Dead” were embodied in a sports team, it would be your Pitt basketball Panthers, whose season really needs someone to drive a stake through it.

Game 3?

To rank No. 101 in the country?

>> Our weekly chat will be at 1 p.m. today — an  hour later than usual — because of an interview I’d doing a little before noon. Figured it would be safer this way.


  1. deb says:

    Very excited that this blog engine will be updated. It’s great, but would love for it to have a reply thread for folks to post notes/comments that directly thread/link underneath the original comment..similiar to the way the blog at the post use to when you were over there.. It’s great that you, as administrator, can go in an post threads, but If we want to reply/add as a response, we have to go to the end of the blog and it frequently gets ‘lost’

    It would also be great if the blog had an option for folks to get a notifier sent via email if someone comments on our post. some blogs have this feature and you can click a ‘notify re comments’ link for specific comments you would like to be in dialogue about. That way you aren’t getting 60 notifiers, just the few you click and request notices.

    Finally, and i realize i may be the only one who wants this, but if there was some way to flag/search via topic (i.e. hockey, baseball, etc) because I really dislike baseball, but love the hockey/steelers stuff. Perhaps even if there was just headings on the sidebar where your stuff is filed, and have it organized by Wakeup Calls, Puck Drops, First Pitch etc. filed by topic chronologically rather than intermingled chronologically?

    p.s. the final, final request would be for you to do more postings :-). I love your insider viewpoint and ability to start a good debate. Plus you are an excellent, entertaining, and informative blogger and journalist. This might be achievable by having the blog interact with twitter comments. Some blogs have a means to link twitter threads into topic boards/blog comments. I know you post things to twitter from time to time during the day/evening, so this would be achievable with minimal extra effort…just a thought.

    DK: All appreciated, Deb.

    The separation you seek in topics already is in place with the tags I put on every post. Just look at the bottom for those, pick your topic or team, and it filters down to what you want.

    As for more posts, I don’t want to sound like one of those people who talks about how much work they do, so I’ll just say that would be a challenge. Your point about Twitter integration, though, is one worth pursuing. Myself, I’d like to have a Twitter window added to the blog like we currently have on our regular sports pages. Maybe that would do it.

  2. Christian Barrette says:

    Great stuff once again. Mainly the part about the Quebec Nordiques (I hope they’ll get to keep that name… But let’s not jump too quickly to details lol). Thanks for keeping me informed about sports in my “adopted” city.

    As for the blog, I was not reading it on a regular basis but I do like it a lot. Great source of local info for an out-of-towner like me. The blog is now bookmarked and you’ll hear my comments frequently.

    DK: Bienvenue, Christian!

  3. Leah Backus says:

    I would like threaded comments. Then I could reply to people who reply to me and the whole thing would be more organized. The ability to edit posts would be nice in case of mistakes, but it’s also something that can be hard to implement.

    I have to admit being disgruntled by the idea of the province of Quebec getting a second team when there isn’t even an existing facility to accommodate them. There’s a gorgeous arena in downtown Kansas City ready and waiting for a hockey team. The pre-season game I went to between the Penguins and Kings sold out. I realize it’s a long shot, but a girl can hope…

  4. Nate says:

    Direct reply (message board style)? Yes.
    Like/Dislike? Only “like”, but yes.
    Option to receive emails after a comment is posted? No, we all get enough email.
    Avatars? No, user names are fine.

    Quebec Nordiques? Yes.

    Is Pitt’s 2012-13 starting center interning as your web guru?

    Last question: When did Pitt’s guards lose the ability to get the ball down low? Or have their forwards lost the ability to get free/open? Either way, I have never seen more 3’s shot by the Pitt, it’s very weird.

  5. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I like the direct replies to a comment.

    Like/dislike button would be nice as well.

    I dont care about an avatar, but others might.

  6. Hoov says:

    More updates throughout each day would be a big improvement. I know you are busier than ever so your morning wake up call is probably going to be it. But, other blogs sometimes go days and weeks without updates. There are blogs on the sports blog page now that are from December/January.

    When you did the Bucco Blog at the other place it was close to perfect. The content and frequency of updates was perfect. The technical IT issues of the site were not so perfect. But your dedication and inside information throughout each day were great.

  7. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    I’d like to see Dejan have the option of placing a poll question at his discretion for numerical/percentage feedback.

    Direct replies to comments would streamline subject matter to allow bloggers to skip over topics for which they have no interest.

    Direct replies to actual articles or columns would be great as well.

  8. JAL says:

    JAL’s By the Light of the Silvery Moon Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

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

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates 2012 Spring Training Tracker

    5 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training Broadcast Schedule

  9. JAL says:

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Playing With The 40-Man Roster, Juan Cruz Edition

    8 Rumbunter

    Pirates Andrew McCutchen: Don’t Feed the Animal

    9 McEffect

    Can Jeff Karstens Get More Strikeouts in 2012?
    Should Daniel Moskos Make the Team?

    10 WHYGAVS

    Can Andrew McCutchen get even better?

  10. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    20 Behind the Steel Curtain

    REALLY Mocking the NFL Draft: We Have No Idea Who Will Pan Out

    Report: Denver Post Suggesting Broncos Will Host Steelers in Week 1 of 2012 Season

    Now that William Gay Has Signed with the Cardinals, Who Will Step up to be the Steelers No. 2 CB?

    21 Steelers Depot

    - Ziggy Hood Move to Nose Tackle talk Back in High Gear but It Really Shouldn’t Be

    22 Nice Pick Cower

    Dan Kreider, Dust Off Those Pads! Please?

  11. Turner Ward says:

    I too like the direct replies to comments. Live updates for comments would be nice as well, so you don’t need to constantly hit refresh in order to keep up with comments.

    Other than that, the rest is unnecessary fluff.

  12. JAL says:

    Pitt Blogs

    23 Pitt Blather

    First Person Singular, Spring Practice 3/27: Part I

    First Person Singular, Spring Practice 3/27: Part II

    24 Cardiac Hill

    CBI Tournament Finals: Pitt Wins Game Two Over Washington State

    WVU Blogs

    25 Metro News

    Lindamood Leaves Football Team

    26 WV Illustrated

    RCB’s Fusco to WVU as Invited Walk-On

  13. JAL says:


    26 Pensburgh

    3/28 Penguins Power Rankings


    27 Sky Sports

    Bayern take control,,11065_3500357,00.html

    28 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 28th March, 2012

    29 Daily Telegraph

    EPL giants Liverpool seek to hit home run at Boston Red Sox’s home at Fenway Park

  14. JAL says:

    Title song By the Light of the Silvery Moon 1910 Jackie Wilson 1957. Song has remained popular, even the Three Stooges did a version. Jackie Wilson had a number of hits from 1957 to 1984, including Lonely Teardrops.

  15. scapper says:

    Re: Upgrades/changes to blog features.

    Can the techies make available a feature that blocks any future soccer columns?

  16. Jandy says:

    I love it when promises are kept =)
    Like/Dislike, for sure.
    Avatars are optional.
    Direct replies to threads – yes please!

    DK ~ This is the best blog I have ever had the opportunity to participate in. And you’re about to make it better. Gracias!

  17. Jandy says:

    @JAL, love your song today…and #14, that’s my “hometown” newspaper. I’ll be making my best guesses to enter that contest. =)

  18. bdubb says:

    Yes to ‘Reply to a previous’ post

    Yes to a Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down (I actually like Yahoo’s version of this so you can see how many approved and how many disapproved). A straight up ‘Like’ doesn’t give you a complete picture and the PG’s +/- feature is good but again, doesn’t tell you the true #’s.

    Don’t care about Avatars. Actually found them useless and most times shows some political side or something else pointless for this forum.

    I watched about 4 minutes of the Pitt game last night and it was brutal. No one there and it seemed like a few players just didn’t want to be there. I feel the tournament has been a success for the growth of Lamar Patterson (who is sensing this will be his team next year) and Zanna and Moore. A few others just aren’t in it. I wonder what Pederson would decide to do next year in the same situation because I can’t believe they are making money

    I also find it funny that the classic Canadian teams are now coming back. Why did Winnipeg and Quebec lose their teams in the first place? No new arena? “Small Market?” It is funny because in the end the NHL sees they made a major mistake (even if it was a new owner who moved them. Should never have allowed it)

  19. TJA says:

    You guys at the Trib are the best!

  20. APB says:

    Direct-reply features? Yes.
    Like-dislike buttons? Yes
    Avatars? small

  21. pens01 says:

    Avatars: doesn’t matter to me, just prepare for a lot of default avatars when no one adds one.

    Direct Reply: A must

    Like/dislike: Only useful if you do something with it, ie highest ranked threads float to the top, low ranked comments disappear, etc.

  22. Stuart says:

    DK, I’ a daily reader, but only occasionally a writer. Plus, I read the blog first thing in the morning before work and seldom get the chance to check in later in the day. So I would like the direct reply to posts and also possibly email notifications of replies.

    I do like the avatars, but would prefer them to be larger than a postage stamp. Their biggest use (from my experience at the other place) was to “skip over” posts from certain commenters who seem to think (for instance) that everyone was as fascinated with the exploits of their grandchildren as they were. Also certain of them can also be adept at beating dead horses, a waste of my time.

    PS, I appreciate JAL’s links, and enjoy your comments extravagantly.

  23. Milo Hamilton says:

    My only suggestion would be that the site refreshes automatically.

  24. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Ditto Milo.

  25. Lee says:

    Do you want direct-reply features in the threads, meaning you answer another blogger directly?


    Do you want like-dislike buttons?


    Do you want avatars that are large or small?

    Whatever works best, but preferably LARGE.


    DK…I am a HUGE Walking Dead fan. Excellent comparison….


  26. Lee says:

    Btw, unlike Pens01, I don’t want the comment that is disliked to disappear. Unless it has bad language, etc.


  27. Lee says:

    JAL……I STILL want the 3 Stooges version of that song.

    :) :) :)

    Foo, Curly and Larry

  28. NewGuyTim says:

    I was home sick from work today and decided to put together this basic statistical comparison between this year’s Pens team and the 2000-2001 Avalanche Cup winners. For some reason, the offensive firepower of the Pens top 5 forwards this season reminded me of the lethal top 5 of the 2001 Avalanche team:

    Top to bottom, the Pens might have a slight edge in forwards (see below). Although Staal and Kunitz don’t match the offensive production of Drury and Tanguay at the 4 and 5 spots, they are bigger, more physical, and perhaps a bit better defensively (though I seem to remember that Drury was pretty good defensively). Also, the Pens get much more secondary scoring from forwards outside of their top 5. Overall, I’d say the Pens are a bit faster up front but maybe not as gritty as the Avs were, particularly outside of the top 5.

    Forwards (age/points per game)

    Sakic (31/1.44)- Crosby (24/1.56)
    Forsberg (27/1.22) – Malkin (25/1.43)
    Hedjuk (25/.99) – Neal (24/1.03)

    Drury (24/.92) – Staal (23/.79)
    Tanguay (21/.94) – Kunitz (32/.71)

    Podein (32/.39) – Dupuis (32/.67)
    Nieminen (24/.44) – Cooke (33/.49)
    Yelle (26/.28) – Kennedy (25/.56
    Hinote (24/.2) – Sullivan (37/.57)

    Reinprecht (24/.3) – Jeffrey (24/.23)
    Messier (26/.19) – Asham (33/.24)
    Reid (36/.14) – Adams (32/.21)

    Defensively, I’d probably give the edge to the Avs. Not only did they get more offensive punch from their D-men in Blake and Bourque (see Pens 3 years ago with Goligoski, Letang, and Gonchar), but the Avs defensemen also have much better +/- ratings. The main difference though is probably Rob Blake, who had more size and experience than Letang, and was also a bit better offensively at that stage in his career.

    Defense (age/points per game/plus-minus)

    Blake (31/.88/+3) – Letang (24/.77/+16)
    Bourque (40/.74/+25) – Martin (31/.36/+6)
    Foote (29/+6) – Orpik (31/+15)
    Skoula (21/.30/+8) – Michalek (29/-5)
    De Vries (27/+23) – Niskanen (25/+11)
    Klemm (30/+22) – Engelland (29/+12)
    (Berry/Pratt) – (Despres/Lovejoy)

    In goal, I’d say it’s a wash. Roy was nearing the end of his career and he and Fleury are statistically very similar. It looks like Aebischer was a serviceable backup for the Avs, but when Johnson or Thiessan are playing to their potential they are equally effective. Hopefully, they are playing to their full potential in the playoffs.


    Roy (36/.913/2.21) – Fleury (27/.915/2.30)
    Aebischer (23/.903/2.24) – Johnson(35/.882/3.17)/Thiessan

    Overall, these teams are fairly comparable. But until the Pens get more consistent defensively I give the edge to the Avs, a team with a lethal counter-attack and the ability to crack down defensively.

    Your thoughts?

  29. Jandy says:

    Hi NewGuyTim. Interesting comparison, althought I don’t know that I’d compare these Pens to the Avs. Just odd. Nothing wrong with it tho.
    If our boys would commit to playing responsible defense, there would be no comparison. At this point, I also question the back-up goaltending. It’s leaky.

    Hopefully, Letang is healthy and back in top form for the playoffs. Our moving forward depends on it.

  30. JoeBucco says:

    @DK – Some thoughts for features…

    Direct replies – very necessary

    Avatars – really help with finding posts by the people you most want to hear from. Sounds weird, but it is true.

    Like button – very nice to have, almost a ‘must have’ nowadays. It’s an acknowledgement without having to reply

    Email for replies – nah, those get annoying

    Post categories would be awesome. If I could filter to see only your Pirates articles, that would be awesome. I know many people want to read your work on all sports, as do I sometimes. But assigning categories (or tags, as they are often referred in the blog world), I could filter to stay focused on what I care about most – the Pirates.

    And yes, I wish you were still focused on the Pirates solely. Love it when you have something new on the Pirates. Especially after being belittled by the Pirates beat writer at your paper for asking for more (and more timely) Pirates content. (A posted response of “Forgive me for having a life and not working 24/7″ – yea, seriously.)

    DK: Joe, again, the tags have already been there for months. As for doing exclusively the Pirates … I appreciate the sentiment, but I’ve never been happier in life or career than now.

  31. Drew71 says:

    I agree that the no-down-time is the best “operating feature” of this blog. Thanks for opportunity to comment. I will give my preference in ALL CAPS to your questions and add one.

    – Do you want direct-reply features in the threads, meaning you answer another blogger directly? YES YES YES!


    – Do you want avatars that are large or small? PREFER AVATARS BUT SIZE NOT AN IMPORTANT DISTINCTION TO ME.

    -Here’s an additional suggestion. Offer other kinds of font features. Italics, bold, quoting, underline, etc. See how annoying and shouting-like my ALL CAPS replies looks? Would prefer other font options because I am quite capable of being annoying all by my self, thank you.

    – But please. No smiley faces. Please. (I said Please.) If one cannot differentiate a joke without a telegraphed aid, don’t try joking. And all the other silly faces too…dislike all that stuff. As with the Like-Dislike, I prefer the simplicity of needing to, you know, MAKE your own point.

  32. JoeBucco says:

    Heh, didn’t notice that you already use tags. They are sort of hidden at the bottom. Plus, many articles mix and match content. Would be awesome, and time consuming I know, if they were split out by sport / team. That way the Pirates tag wouldn’t have articles titled Fleury, Crosby, Hines, etc…

  33. tmp444 says:


    Can anyone say enough how this blog is just completely AWESOME?!?!?!

    With that said…

    Yes to direct replies/threads. I think adding this will only increase the amount of conversation that occurs on this blog.

    No preference on avatars — I can tell you that I wouldn’t add one

    Yes to like/dislike, and I agree with the post that suggested separate counts for L and DL, rather than an aggregate total

    Ditto Drew re: bold, underline, etc. AND NO SMILEYS

    Ditto Milo re: auto refresh. I assume Milo means when a new reply is posted a la If that’s the case, the auto refresh would be much more useful, and much less cumbersome, than automated emails.

    The other suggestion would be to try as little as possible to change the overall design of the blog. It’s so clean and easy to read.

  34. Jandy says:

    I disagee with that ANNOYING Drew, smiley faces and frowny faces are a MUST

  35. Drew71 says:

    Ugh, Jandy. Just Ugh. If i BELIEVED using in frownies, I’d use one.

    But see?? I didn’t NEED to.


    – AUTO REFRESH so we don’t have to hit the refresh button to see new comments.

  36. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I think we should have the face of Mother Teresa rather than emoticons.

  37. mayhay22 says:

    I can’t believe we’re spending this much time on blog design when we could be discussing the Pitt CBI finale.

  38. JohninOshkosh says:

    Direct Replies? Yes

    Like/Dislike? Agree with Drew. Also, if you like or dislike a comment, you ought to have the courage to articulate your position. If there must be one, prefer Like because Dislikes add nothing to the wonderful civility exhibited on this blog.

    Avatars? I love everyone here but don’t need to know what your kids/grandkids look like. Also don’t need to see another image of a character from “Family Guy”

    Would love auto refreshing and love Drew’s ideas about fonts and Dave’s poll question idea (conditioned to like them from all the other sites plus would be interested in results)

    BTW-once got an e-mail from Ms. Fuqua regarding the site. Was totally knocked out by that level of “customer service.” I used her as an example for my staff on how to deal with my customers. Very professional staff at the Trib so I am sure that the new site will be great!

  39. Dave J says:

    DK – with the new blog, will I still have to bug IT to get the time changed every time we move to and from Daylight Savings Time?

  40. pgherinfl - Carl says:

    My two cents worth(or less, lol)
    Do you want direct-reply features in the threads, meaning you answer another blogger directly? Yes, please. It is a lot easier to follow a discussion about one topic between different bloggers.Sometimes when scrolling down through the responses, you could miss an important entry. This could result in a flaming contest as I have seen in other blogs.

    Do you want like-dislike buttons? I do not think they are very useful. I have seen the like-dislike used as a way to yank one’s chain and start something which gets out of control.

    Do you want avatars that are large or small? Why can’t we have both?

    Have a great day everyone!!!

  41. Jandy says:

    @Lucky, I am going to download a picture of Mother Teresa to use as my avatar LOL!

  42. Jandy says:

    @ Drew, THAT’S YOUR PREROGATIVE. Leave us emoticon people have our fun :p

  43. JohninOshkosh says:

    Also, whatever happens with the site, don’t let it affect JAL’s links. They are gold, Jerry, gold!

    DK: JAL’s links will always be priority No. 1 on the commenting threads of this blog. They’ll be taken care of.

  44. Karen22 says:

    Direct replies: Absolutely!
    Like/Dislike: I swing slightly to the “yes” vote
    Auto Refresh: Sure!
    Avatars: Don’t care (but small if we must have them)
    Emoticons: They’re OK by me, but would really like the ability to bold, italicize, and underline
    Edit post feature would be very helpful, too—unless that’s a difficult option to incorporate

    I, too, hope the design of the blog doesn’t change much—it’s neat and highly readable as it is.

    If we had a “like” button, I would have used it on #40’s (LuckyNKentucky) post!

  45. Andrew says:

    Please do not allow direct replies — it will to lead to an asinine collection of comments that is worthless to read for all parties involved. Read any of the ESPN or comment sections and you’ll quickly understand the dangers of giving readers too much power to voice their opinions. I sincerely hope no one at ESPN or has to read through those comments.

    Likes/Dislikes is good enough.

  46. TheSaltyRogue says:

    I love a “like/dislike” feature – the avatar, meh, could do without it here.

    About Pitt – I honestly don’t get the disdain people have for this tournament. It’s as though someone is forcing them to watch their mother be punched in the face. Pitt didn’t belong in the NCAA’s or the NIT – this is where they belong to be playing and that’s what they’re all there to do… coach basketball and play basketball… so you play. And if you’re going to play you play to win. End of story.

  47. Jandy,
    I like Joe Starkey as a writer very much . . . . . .
    . . but his column sounds like justification for a team that is down 5 points in the standings with 6 games to go!

    Home ice is always an advantage, whether it has worked the last 2 times or not!
    Obviously a team can still win by going on the road and doing it the hard way——but it is THE HARD WAY!!

    Losing is for losers!!!

  48. Dan1283 says:

    Love to hear that Quebec is getting the Nordiques back (hopefully)! Sorry Leah, I wish you had a team too that you could go see in person, but there’s no one in the world except for the people that live in KC that think KC should have a hockey team instead of Quebec. I hope they find another club for that arena soon…they should move the Panthers there!

  49. NMR says:

    Great call on manipulating text, Karen.

    No offense to our buddy Drew, but it would be nice to have options other than ALL CAPS for emphasis.

  50. radio wave says:

    Free, love it, worth a subscription if needed.
    Don’t care about avatars, and I’m probably the only one who cares about this, make everything accessible to the disabled users, both on the phone app and online. So far this site does all that, so keep up the good work.

  51. Jandy says:

    G2M2S ~ all that is true, but I like the optimism. I also like that Bylsma swore at them yesterday at practice without screaming like an idiot (Brucie, I’m looking at you). I like this group of players.
    With or without home ice advantage, these guys can do it, if they play defensive hockey first. Too many fans are moaning and groaning that we’re losing some games, and losing our chance for the first seed. Does that suck? Sure it does. But every team loses games. It’s not the end of the world.
    So, I like that Starkey points all that out. It’s not “justifying” their not playing defense, and losing. It’s saying, hey, we can do it.

  52. Dan1283 says:

    DK, as for blog improvements, I understand that more blog posts would be asking for a lot. So how about you meet us in the middle – more links! I read the blog every day but it goes by too quickly…I’m sure you’re being tossed different links to things all day on Twitter (I don’t Tweet so I’m only assuming) so maybe some more morning reading? I used to love on the site that shall not be named when you used to give us links to different stories that interested you….Pittsburgh sports, other sports, or just a news or feature piece. Let’s go back to that a bit, no? You’re a columnist now and clearly your opinions are valid, so how about a few more morning links from other papers/blogs/columnists?

  53. Drew71 says:

    NuMinoR – I agree. I didn’t make the point well, but I want more options than JUST all caps for emphasis. Because I can annoy in ANY font.

    (just ask Smilin’ Jandy)

  54. Jandy says:

    Yes, Drew can be annoying in ANY font, but we like him anyway :)

  55. Dan1283 says:

    That’s not a shot at you either, JAL, big fan of your work and have been for years!

  56. Milo Hamilton says:

    Pirates are making cuts today. Ryota Igarashi was the 1st. Says he was shocked thru a translator. Oh, so he’s the one.

  57. Milo Hamilton says:

    Today is the deadline for the Buccos to officially add Juan Cruz to the roster, or he becomes a free agent. New rules in the collective bargaining agreement.

  58. JohninOshkosh says:

    I had to look at some news coverage online of the new Quebec arena. I haven’t followed Quebec politics for some time (I used to go there on occasion), but could not believe that anything involving taxpayer money would have been approved without years of legal and political entanglements. Apparently, it is fait accompli. I guess hockey is the great unifier in Canada. It will certainly be fun to watch Montreal/Quebec fight it out on the ice.

    But, I am with Leah in that, in a former life, I used to go to a number of Kansas City Blades games, and I would have liked to have seen KC get the franchise. Although, I am dubious as to whether the city would have supported an NHL team long term.

    Quebecois! Je Me Souviens!

  59. Dan1283 says:

    “Pirates are making cuts today. Ryota Igarashi was the 1st. Says he was shocked thru a translator. Oh, so he’s the one.”

    That’s just mean….in a way that I really, really, really like!

  60. Milo Hamilton says:

    Also cut – Eric Fryer, Jake Fox, & Nick Evans.

  61. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Igarashi was shocked because he was cut or that he pitched so poorly? Adios. (Can’t speak Japanese).

  62. JohninOshkosh says:

    Don’t fret about Fryer, Fox and Evans. They will end up on a Triple A roster near you soon enough.

  63. Milo Hamilton says:


    It’s sayonara, I believe.

  64. Jandy says:

    Lucky, try “Sayonara” ;)

  65. Jandy says:

    LOL Milo beat me to it! :p

  66. Milo Hamilton says:

    All of these guys were reassigned so I assume they stay in the organization.

  67. I like avatars because: 1/ they allow me to find favorite posters like JAL more quickly, and
    2/ for too long I have missed JAL going apoplectic over “Blue Man” posts. His diligence to have everyone produce an avatar was appreciated and also very entertaining! The possibility of that return performance is akin to NBC announcing that they have found an additional 26 episodes of Star Trek in the can, and it will be on their Fall Schedule. I am already anticipating with joy!! Live long and prosper!

    FREE! Thank you! FREE! Thank you! FREE! Thank you! FREE! Thank you! FREE! Thank you! FREE! Thank you! FREE! Thank you! FREE! Thank you! FREE! Thank you!

    What I miss from when Dejan was at Grandmother’s House (“over the river and through the woods”) is his more frequent interaction with posters. When he mentions his comments and/or responses on Twitter, it just twists the knife for we who are the 92% who do not use or have access to Twitter. I don’t want Twitter: I like DK’s frequent presence here.

    I don’t want to put to get “A posted response of “Forgive me for having a life and not working 24/7″———but Kovacevic’s Krazies enjoy it when he deigns us with his verbal and interactive presence! It helps ease the “meds.”

  68. Jandy says:

    G2m2S ~ I don’t twit or twite or whatever you call it either. I couldn’t have said it better. Kovacevic’s Krazies…priceless!

  69. Milo Hamilton says:


    I plan on staying a gray man for as long as possible just so I can be continually harassed.

  70. Jandy says:

    Milo thrives on adversity, that’s when he comes up with his best ZINGERS!

  71. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Sayonara, Igarashi, Fox, Evans and Dyer. Enjoy the Hoosier state. The baskets are 10 feet there, too.

  72. Milo (not the vastly overrated baseball announcer),

    Dude, you have NEVER been taken to the woodshed like JAL will do with you if you continue to sport a gray man! The man was a Catholic nun school teacher, a la Blues Brothers, in a previous life!!

  73. Arriba Wilver says:

    Do you want direct-reply features in the threads, meaning you answer another blogger directly?


    Do you want like-dislike buttons?

    YES, but either both or none. I understand they have been used for other purposes on some other blogs, but at least for the current lineup of bloggers, I don’t see that as being an issue. Could always be down the road, I guess, and maybe some lurk and don’t post, so that’s hard to gauge. Just my two cents.

    Do you want avatars that are large or small?

    YES, don’t care about size, but I agree with the comments that it helps to identify posts you might want to look at. I would add, though, in recognition that some people don’t care for them, that if they are available, that it not be a REQUIREMENT that you have one. Different strokes for different folks.

    I agree with the posters who would like to be able to “manipulate” text, etc., such as being able to incorporate quoted language, italics, BOLD and such.

    I personally like the emoticons, the more the better. Maybe that is because I have a very dry sense of humor, and it helps to maybe not offend (or at least be less offensive). Also, they say communication is 70% non-verbal, so it adds a visual aspect to the comments.

    I also like the automatic refresh, but in all these things, there are only 2 things that are MUSTS or paramount to me: Direct Reply and functionality. In other words, aside from Direct Reply, don’t hurt the functionality by trying to add the most bells and whistles. If they can be added without technical issues, great, if not, forget ‘em. For example, I can type smileys (especially when I’m responding to Drew).

    :-) :-P

  74. Sheila says:

    I’m rather new to the blog, but really enjoy it.

    I have read thru the comments for improvement and have this opinion:
    1) Having the direct reply is really needed. This will improve everyone’s ability to thread comments into a real debate/dialogue.
    2) I’ve noticed many are asking for tags/order/search options. Clearly the current tags/method/sensitivity is not adequate if readers haven’t notices/used/or arent feeling they are meeting the need. I would add, I like the idea of having headings on the side bar that are just “wake up calls” or just “first pitch” like Deb mentioned. This would help with filtering beyond the tags.
    3) Integrating your twitter comments into blog posts is a great idea. This would mean very little added to your workload, but enrich the posts you put here.
    4) Like buttons are good. Don’t really care for the dislike buttons and feel they tend to stifle conversation which enriches a blog. If someone disagrees, they should add an opposing opinion…not just click a thumbs down button. The requirement of posting opposing opinions is what makes blogs dynamic and interesting.

    Most of all, keep up the good work.

    DK: Thanks on all counts, Sheila. Again, those “Wakeup Call” tags are already there. Bottom of each post.

  75. Sheila says:

    ooops… being able to edit your on comments after posting would be helpful. Just noticed I had deleted number 2, and hadn’t re-numbered the other points…

    Oh well…

  76. albatross says:

    I agree with Drew71: “Offer other kinds of font features. Italics, bold, quoting, underline, etc.” I, TOO, HATE ALL CAPS.

    As for the other stuff:

    Direct replies – Yes, number 1 priority

    Avatars – never had much use for them.

    Like button – Meh. Although, if they’re adopted, I wouldn’t like to see them used for censorship purposes. Let all the readers read all the posts (at least those that are permissible by the rules)

    Email for replies – I like getting notifications when someone comments on my comment. That way, I can respond immediately with a reason why he/she is wrong. :) (and, no, just because a typed a smiley there, doesn’t mean I think there should be smileys.)

  77. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Correction: Sayonaro Fryer, not Dyer. Duffy Dyer retired a couple decades ago. (We have a lot of Dyers here in UK-land. Typed it automatically).

    BTW, I think Jandy should dress like Mother T. and make that her avatar. (not to be disrespectful, but with several different faces–smile, frown for Drew, that patented wink she has, etc.)

  78. 1/ Where are ya’ll getting the cuts? I can’t find them on the Trib page or on Beergarden’s Blog. Anybody else besides the four you have mentioned? Sorry about Fox——Evans, don’t let the door hit you in your non-hustling rear on the way out!

    2/ Anybody have a starting lineup for today’s game? Is Obiwon Kenobe playing 3rd?

  79. JAL says:

    Direct replies are good as they can start a conversation. Much nicer than posting a reply 10 posts later.

    Like/Dislike–not needed

    Avatars–well, everyone knows my position on that. Makes it much easier to find a post from someone.

    Automatic refreshing, of course, makes the flow of the blog better

    emoticons don’t care, just put the code in :)

  80. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Twitter is the only place I saw them. Good for reference only. When did we sign Sir Alec Guinness? Thought he was dead.

  81. JAL says:


    The cuts are coming from Tweets

  82. JoeBucco says:

    @DK – yep, I understand and don’t blame you a single bit for being more happy in the new role.

    From one workaholic to another, I just wish that everyone had your passion, talent and innovation.

  83. Milo Hamilton says:

    JAL is right about the info coming from tweets. Like Charlie Morton starting the season the DL, for instance.

  84. Michael says:

    One request of the Trib in general which would add a great deal to the overall experience, which already trumps the PG since they redid their site in horrendous fashion……

    Please eliminate the pop-ups…completely ridiculous and low class.

    DK: I don’t get popups on our site, Mike. And I don’t have some in-house feed or anything.

  85. JoeBucco says:

    @Groat – you couldn’t find them on the “Bucco Blog” here? :)

    What? Do you expect him to work 24/7? Sorry, his comment to me just really, really rubbed me the wrong way.

    How dare news break at an inconvenient time? Guess this wouldn’t be a problem if not for this newfangled internet fad.

  86. Drew71 says:

    See, that’s the difference between you and me, Arriba.

    i LIVE to offend

  87. Drew71 says:

    Off to Space Coast Florida for a day and a half.

    Searching for emoticons.

    (I can’t believe they call it the Space Coast anymore. Doesn’t that name assume the existence of a, you know, space program?)

  88. JohninOshkosh says:


    I know you post a lot on the “other blog” (used insultingly) but love it when you chime in here.

    (Am I being sarcastic are not? The world may never know without emoticons)

    For the record, not sarcastic

  89. Milo Hamilton says:

    @ Oshkosh

    I call it the Pay Per Blog.

  90. Jandy says:

    Drew, if you intend to offend, you’re sorely failing. I love your WITTY POSTS ;)

    SpaceCoast? Is that like the name of a new drug center?

  91. Jandy says:

    Milo is on a roll…again…or is that still? lol

  92. JohninOshkosh says:


    Nailed it! Yes!!

  93. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think the point, JoeBucco, about the guy you are complaining about is—he’s not even there anymore, so it seems a bit stale. And the guy I think you are talking about just had twins (which were his first kids) at the time. All these guys work hard. Full disclosure, I met him once and liked him.

  94. JaxBuc says:

    @mayhay22, #41: agreed, what has this sporting world come to, when blog design trumps a CHAMPIONSHIP?

    Any changes to this blog must be made so as to not adversely affect the users and the overall quality of the interaction. This has got to bo the best blog anywhere, mainly because the subjects and the “patients.” Without Drew’s comments, Milo’s quips, Leah’s in-depth Pens analyses, and massive, well-formed posts like NewGuyTim’s at #32 today, it doesn’t matter whether there are avatars or Like buttons. Keep up the good work, everyone.

    However, direct replies, like buttons and auto refresh would be nice.

  95. JoeBucco says:

    FWIW – I think Brink is doing a heck of a job over there. His tweets come first, he’s been terrific. DK taught him well.

  96. Milo Hamilton says:


    Joe Bucco is complaining about Rob Biertempfel. I just read the exchange myself. Here, take a look, it’s in the comments.

  97. Does Pitt get a Runner-up Banner if they lose on Friday?

    I listened to some of the game last night on the radio . . . . in the 2nd Half there were more misses than a high school JV game.

  98. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @JoeBucco and all: With all due respect to how important the subject matter is to you, I’d really rather you take it directly to the parties you’re discussing. I’m always here to address any issues you might have with my coverage or opinions or whatever, but I’m just not into the local media thing. I try to worry just about myself.

  99. JohninOshkosh says:


    Thanks for the link. Joe and Aw’s posts were cryptic to me. I didn’t know what the h-e-double hockey sticks they were talking about. Good for you, Joe on the comment.

    Good dish. I rarely look at that blog even though Dejan dutifully pushed it for awhile.

  100. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sorry, JoeBucco. My bad. I interpreted “your paper” as the former one. Like I said, my bad, and my apologies.

  101. The toothpaste is already out of the tube, Dejan.

    Writers, of all people, should know what not to put in print. You are not involved.

  102. JoeBucco says:

    @DK – Sure, I understand. And I think it went as far as it will go with said parties.

    But truly, it is all your fault. You’ve spoiled us and now we have high expectations of everyone. :)

    emoticon just for Drew btw

  103. Arriba Wilver says:

    See, we need a “like” button (and a dislike–for me).

  104. New thread up with baseball lineups. Two guys playing 3B. Should cut down on errors, especially with no throw overs.

    Dejan’s Fireside Chat also upcoming.

    Let’s leave this accident scene to the injured.

  105. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    Just for a little perspective on the Pedro Alvarez nonsense. I submit to you these career beginning numbers, including 3 ex-Pirates.

    Aramis Ramirez (613 PA: 98-00) 12 HR, 66 RBI, 23 2B, 34 BB, 117 K, .238 avg
    Mike Schmidt (483 PA: 72-73) 19 HR, 55 RBI, 39 2B, 67 BB, 151 K, .197 avg
    Barry Bonds (484 PA: 1986) 16 HR, 48 RBI, 26 2B, 65 BB, 102 K, .223 avg
    Jim Thome (427 PA: 91-93) 10 HR, 43 RBI, 18 2B, 44 BB, 86 K, .243 avg
    Jose Bautista post musical chairs 2004 (428 PA: 05-06) 16 HR, 52 RBI, 21 2B, 49 BB, 117 SO, .228 avg
    Pedro Alvarez (648 PA: 10-11) 20 HR, 83 RBI, 30 2B, 61 BB, 199 K, .230 avg

    No matter what I think about how the Pirates have handled Pedro’s hitting deficiencies, so far. The guy deserves a true full season to figure it out. Bouncing him around from place to place isn’t going to do him any good.

    And I’m going to keep rambling about Pedro Alvarez’s foot placement in the batter’s box. He’s too far away from the plate, and there’s another difference. YouTube a few videos and you can see dramatic differences in his swing mechanics from college to now. He is no longer attacking the baseball with his lower half, as he was in college, and is beginning his stance in a closed position instead of an open position. His body mass, therefore, prevents him from adjusting to pitch location which is why he can’t reach pitches on the outside corner.

    I know I’m not a Major League coach but I’ve been around baseball long enough to know that hitters, like pitchers, are unique 100% of the time. There isn’t a mold that makes them successful and it seems like the Pirates coaches are trying to make Alvarez something that he is not (nor will ever be). And I, surely, can’t be the only one who sees it.

  106. Mr. Not Yellow,

    Are you sure that the Pirate coaches are the ones messing with Pedro’s batting stances? I heard Hurdle in an interview say that Alvarez came up with the leg lift on his own in the batting cages.

    Remember: Andrew McCutcheon closed his batting stance this spring on his own.

    Also the statistics you cite above for Mike Schmidt and Barry Bonds occurred in one season. They each improved dramatically in Season #2. Pedro is entering Season #3——it’s about time he exhibit that he has figured something out!

  107. CWalton_67 says:

    RE: The Blog. If it ain’t broke–don’t break it. Auto-refresh would be pretty cool, though.

    Enjoyed the Pens/Avs comparison by NewGuyTim above. Good, fun stuff to read.

  108. CWalton_67 says:

    Also like the idea of twitter accounts/comments being somehow connected here if possible.

  109. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:


    First, Mike Schmidt’s numbers were mostly one season and part of the season before.

    Secondly, Pedro Alvarez is not in Season #3 of games played. Those are career totals. He has played in 169 games. A baseball season is 162 games. Most everyday players have between 550-650 plate appearances in a single season. He has 648 plate appearances total. And he has yet to play one continuous full season of MLB.

  110. Dan says:

    Someone mentioned earlier about Pitt guards not feeding the post and shooting more 3’s than ever. I honestly haven’t decided if the coaches aren’t watching film of the same games that I’m watching or the players aren’t listening (more likely). The offense is only a few years removed from feeding the beast Blair constantly. Of course they had a legitimate floor leader in Fields, who in my opinion is the most underrated of the past Pitt points. That said, as offensively challenged as Predator was at the 5 spot, they would still feed it to him occasionally, even for him to throw the ball back out and maintain an inside-out offensive flow. This year, they absolutely looked frightened to ever feed the post. On a few occasions, they’d attempt a horrible angle post feed resulting in a turnover. Taylor is a horrible bust and Zanna a work-in-progress, but they weren’t given many opportunities to shine, and clearly by the season results, a perimeter offense wasn’t working.

    JJ 3 point attempt Moore was equally disappointing. Just when it looked like a light bulb turned on, the CBI he’s transformed right back to the “the allegedly most athletic player on the floor who can only think to stand and dribble out beyond the arc”.

    On a positive, I think Lamar can make a Sam Youngesque soph-to-junior jump. Certainly not with the offensive wow factor of Young, but a less dynamic but more versatile scorer/distributor. If James Robinson is not ready for significant minutes in year 1, which I fear will be the case on a Dixon team, I like Patterson in a Wannamaker role of running the half-court sets as an off-guard/wing, after Woodall brings the ball up the court much like the Gibbs/Wannamaker combo of last year. Woodall may be more apt to play/thrive off the ball in the half court, as he clearly is not a good decision maker w/ his A:T but has shown glimpses of being a proficient shooter/scorer. If Woodall is the half-court general again next year, my expectations are extremely low. Patterson can probably feed Adams in the post as well.

    DK: I’m with you on Patterson, Dan. He very much has that feel.

  111. NMR says:


    I’ll have your back in this Pedro swing discussion all day. I understand that baseball mechanics are harder to disect than football, for instance, but I really don’t get why so many on this board are hesitant to place any blame on the coaching staff.

    If Ben Roethlesberger started throwing like Tim Tebow next season, all of Pittsburgh would be breaking down Todd Haley’s door.

    Pedro’s swing is a mess. Whether Greg Ritchie and Clint Hurdle are advising the changes or just complacent in correcting them, does not matter to me. They are COACHES. Their job is to COACH.

  112. Mr. Not Yellow & NMR,

    First of all, Mike Schmidt had a cup of coffee with a September call-up the season before, much like Neil Walker had that same September call-up 3 seasons ago. You are using statistics to be misleading.

    In Schmidt’s Season #2 he had a complete turn around, hitting 36 dingers.

    In Alvarez’s Season #2 he spent almost as much time in AAA as he did in the Majors. One of the reasons his ABs in the Majors were down was because he sat the bench 1/3 of the time during the last months of the season. I haven’t even looked it up, but if you count the ABs he was forced to have in the minors the last two seasons——hopefully developmental ABs——he has many more than 648.

    Few batters, especially those who bat 4-7 in the batting order, play 162 games and get 650 plate appearances. My recollection is that only 2 Pirates played in at least 140 games (Cutch and Walker–possibly Cedeno). Normal load for most major leaguers is 450, maybe 500 ABs. Pedro doesn’t just have a “normal” one year of ABs. And . . . . he would have more if he had earned them!

    I have cited the Mike Schmidt numbers as showing possibility that Pedro can turn it on, probably foolishly, but certainly hopefully. Yet let’s not kid ourselves that Pedro only has one full season under his belt———THIS is his Season #3 and it’s time he exhibit some progress.

    NMR, baseball is not basketball. If a team can’t break a press or run an out-of-bounds play, it’s the coach’s fault. That is something that can be designed. Hitting is probably more like shooting free throws——all the work in the world by the coach cannot make a kid have proper form under pressure and not pull off the line in the clutch. Was it Phil Jackson’s fault that Shaq couldn’t shoot free throws?

    It’s not a feather in Greg Ritchie’s cap that Pedro is lost at the plate . . . . . but the predominate blame rests with the performer. See the ball; hit the ball!

    I did not hear anyone applauding Ritchie and Hurdle when Marte took his .500 average to the minors and Hague still approaches .400.

    It’s always got to be someone else’s fault——let Pedro accept blame as a man! Let him use help surely, but turn himself around. See the ball; hit the ball!

  113. NMR says:

    Hey Groat,

    I don’t want to turn this into absolutes. Nowhere did we say that none of the blame lies with Pedro. He obviously is ultimately responsible.

    All I’m saying is that it’s a coaches job to coach and Pedro has unquestionably gotten worse mechanically than when he got to the Pirates.

    How much flak did Dave Kerrigan get for ruining pitchers by tinkering with their mechanics?

    Why is it so hard to admit this might be Pedro’s problem, too?

    It’s easy to say “see ball, hit ball”, but hitting a round ball with a round bat is the hardest act in sports. Look at Pedro’s swing from 2010. THAT is a “see ball, hit ball” swing. Load up and let your hands find the ball. He doesn’t even look like the same hitter anymore with all his “adjustments”.

  114. NMR says:

    I’m certainly not saying it should cost Ritchie or Hurdle their job, but nobody is immune to criticism if it could bring improvement in the long run.

    I’m assuming that Ritchie is instructing Pedro, as it is his job description. Shaq couldn’t shoot free throws, but he still managed to make a Hall of Famer out of himself. I think you see where that logic fails with Pedro.

    A couple guys spring training stats are nice, but the teams most promising hitter is regressing.The results are speaking for themselves.

    Why would we keep following the same track?

  115. Leah Backus says:

    I am so tickled that people like my posts. I’m new to the idea of sports commentary and trying to create a new, mid-life career for myself, so the praise keeps me motivated!

    Groat2Maz2Strangeglove…Kovacevic’s Krazies? Oh, my goodness! We must have shirts. With toasters on them.

  116. RobertoForever says:

    DK, Hope you are still reading this for feedback on the new blog.

    Q – Do you want direct-reply features in the threads, meaning you answer another blogger directly?

    A – direct-reply is fine, but if they have direct-reply, then I hope they have the replies “hidden” and there should be an “expand” button so that you only have to see those replies, if you are interested in reading all of the replies to that vein of discussion.

    Q – Do you want like-dislike buttons?

    A – like buttons are fine. But dislike buttons just encourage a lack of civility. Like buttons can accomplish the same thing, with just positive reinforcement.

    Q – Do you want avatars that are large or small?

    A – No opinion. Large avatars encourage creativity, but I find that people tend to use that power more creatively for ‘evil’ than for ‘good’.

    Additional feedback – I would love the ability to edit my comments after the fact, or at a minimum, delete it. Whether just to fix grammar and spelling errors, or to edit a comment that is too snippy, it would be helpful.

    Looking forward to the new blog and comments

    DK: Much appreciated!

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