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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Lincoln, Thome and eyeballs

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Brief and to the Point …

>> Brad Lincoln vs. Jim Thome, followed by the staredown.

Seminal moment for the 2012 Pirates?

I’m not there yet, but maybe you are. Let’s hear from you.

(Oh, and thanks to blogging madman Rum Bunter for coming through with the shot.)

>> Here’s a video of the K, courtesy of MLB.com.

>> Part of the beauty of soccer is that it’s the world’s sport, that its grandest stages draw the attention of hundreds of millions across the globe.

Is it really asking too much that they finish the game?

Watching the Spain-Portugal semi yesterday, I saw terrific skill and two sides attacking, only to be thwarted by equally good defending and goalkeeping. But all through it, I couldn’t help but think how awful it would be if they went to penalties. Which they did. And, of course, the usual randomness and luck ensued.

There really isn’t anything else like it in the world. Yeah, hockey’s got the shootout, but not in the playoffs. Not when the games matter. The players skate till they drop.

I understand not wanting that in the regular season. No need to wear players down and risking injury. But add another substitution or two for elimination soccer, and let them play.

Penalty kicks are more guesswork than skill, on the part of the shooter and the keeper. Call me nuts, but I don’t want to see the fate of national teams decided on coin flips.

>> Serious question I posed on Twitter yesterday: Could our very own Riverhounds beat Spain in penalties?

>> If you want parameters for future contracts of Kris Letang or even Ryan Suterdon’t look at Dennis Wideman’s deal with the Flames yesterday. Doesn’t mean much at all, and I’m surprised to see so much reaction to it.

Wideman is 29, he’s mobile and, by far most important, Calgary HAS the money. The Flames entered this offseason with $20 million in cap space. And they’re hardly alone. There are more teams well under the salary cap than most think. Every once in a while, a team like that will target a player and get him. The Flames need to overpay, and they did. Big deal. No precedent

I’m not suggesting Letang and Suter won’t make more than Wideman. Both will. Just that Wideman’s deal doesn’t necessarily have to create some dramatic upward curve in the broader market.

>> The weekly chat is today at noon, though you can post Qs as early as 6 a.m.

 
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