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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Since we last saw Starling …

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Brief and to the Point …

>> The Friday column offers friendly advice for how the Penguins can pay Sidney Crosby back.

The only thing I’ll add today — and it’s not really an addition — is to emphasize that line in the column that no one should ever doubt Crosby’s commitment to the Penguins and to Pittsburgh. That includes those people that prompted my #C column back in January, and I mean all of those people.

Crosby is for real.

>> This is where to find all our news coverage on Crosby, by our Rob Rossi.

>> Oh, and when referring to Evgeni Malkin by his nickname, please spell it “Gino.” That’s the request he and his family made of the Trib, and we will honor it, of course.

>> Want to see Starling Marte get a stand-up triple, his International League-leading 10th?

Let that clip keep running if you want to see Marte go deep.

Then another triple.

Then another homer.

This is all in the past couple days, and it’s why he’s currently on a 13-for-35 tear that includes four home runs, 12 RBI, five steals in six tries and three walks. For June, he’s batting .304 with a whopping 27 RBI. For the season, well, look for yourself.

You guys might recall my trip to Indy early this month, as well as the column out there backing the Pirates’ stance that more patience was required. By the team, the player and yes, the fans. But you reach a point in a prospect’s development, I’d think, where you stop looking at what a player can’t do and start looking at what he can.

This kid can play some serious baseball.

If the primary issue is strike-zone discipline, Marte has struck out 65 times and walked 19 times, neither of which is alarming within 283 at-bats. Especially not when 31 of his 77 hits have gone for extra bases.

Maybe it’s about time for the Pirates to look again.

>> It might also be time for Clint Hurdle to stop threatening Jose Tabata once, then twice, about going to the minors without following through. This act is getting tired.

>> Pitt’s Ashton Gibbs didn’t get taken in the NBA Draft. Can’t begin to imagine why anyone, including Gibbs himself, thought he had a chance. He was a highly effective one-dimensional player as a junior, a highly ineffective one-dimensional player as a senior. That wasn’t exactly progress.

He’s a nice player and was a good citizen at Pitt. But it just isn’t easy with two rounds. Kevin Jones was a far superior player at West Virginia, and he got blown off, too.

>> This was the chat transcript from yesterday.

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