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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: On extending Neal


DETROIT — Brief and to the Point …

>> The Monday column from Comerica Park wonders what Neal Huntington is waiting for.

>> One common topic that’s raised anytime I write about Huntington is that, shortly before the Pirates gave him the three-year extension last summer, I preemptively endorsed that extension in a column. Would love to link it for you here, but our database is all messed up right now. If anyone can find it on Google …

Anyway, the line of questioning aimed this way is usually: If you don’t like that Huntington did this or that, why were you behind the extension?

The answer, as I wrote back then, is that I’ve always liked his methodology, his overall plan. But, as I also wrote then, the results at the major-league level needed to improve dramatically. They’ve been very good with the pitching, very bad with the hitting. It’s an odd extreme, but that’s what’s there.

When I’m ready to write about Huntington’s job status, I won’t do it in code or in hints. I didn’t last summer, and I won’t in the future.

>> Somehow I made it through a whole column on the Pirates’ ability to evaluate hitters without mentioning Jose Bautista. So, there’s that.

>> It was uncomfortable watching Nate McLouth yesterday in Comerica Park. He was jittery in the hours leading up to the game, and he went … well, you saw it. He’s at .143, he’s 0 for his last 19, and he looks utterly lost at the plate.

I will be very surprised, as I mention in the column, if this is sustained much longer.

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

>> And this was my appearance last night on KDKA-TV’s Showdown.

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