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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Meet Bill from Blawnox


Brief and to the Point …

>> My Wednesday column discusses the Pirates’ coming season with a literary entity I’m calling Bill from Blawnox. If you can think of a better level at which to have this particular conversation, I’m all ears.

>> If I offended any readers with my Mike Milbury screed in this space yesterday, don’t worry. I’ll make everything right. I’ll call your boss and tell your boss that I’m sorry.

Seriously, it was good that Ray Shero piped up, better that Sidney Crosby did (a little), and now it’s certainly best for all concerned to move on.

If the NHL and NBC want someone like Milbury representing them on national TV, the loss is much more theirs than it is the Penguins’ or ours.

>> Lots to like and some to dislike from the Penguins’ effort last night in Boston. Power play looked sharper. Kris Letang was part of it, this after Dan Bylsma answered Dan Potash’s question about Letang and the power play 180 degrees differently than he did Saturday. Sidney Crosby moved around, as did others, on the power play, but Sid also had regular linemates. And best of all by far, Brent Johnson looked at his very best for the first time since the first trip to Winnipeg this season.

But man, somehow this team has to stop giving up all these chances. A lot of it’s Paul Martin. That’s not scapegoating. It’s the truth. But he’s not alone. And it isn’t just the defensemen. It would really behoove this team to prioritize rock-solid defense these final two games.

>> The Pirates still have one more call to make today to close out the roster, now that Daniel Moskos was sent out. I just can’t imagine, with Charlie Morton on the DL, that Matt Hague won’t make the team. It’s not just the seven home runs and .400 spring average. There have been greater flukes with better numbers. It’s that he’s 25, he’s been a consistent on-base guy through his career and, yeah, he’s earned it. You ignore him, you can’t look players in the eye next spring and tell them they can win a roster spot.

Send out Jared Hughes and/or Chris Leroux, and get on with it.

>> If Bruce Arians and the Colts are successful in poaching Byron Leftwich, as our Mark Kaboly wrote yesterday they are attempting, that will leave the Steelers having Charlie Batch as primary backup. Dennis Dixon isn’t coming back. And actually, Batch isn’t signed yet, either.

No one likes to think about quarterback as a position of need, but it could get that way.

>> I’ll be over at the Pirates’ practice this afternoon for a TribLIVE video we’re doing from PNC Park. I’ll let you know when it’s up. We’re planning on doing a lot of these.

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