By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media
Brief and to the Point …
>> The Friday column is the newspaper version of the piece you saw get built right here throughout the day yesterday. This last one has additional rewriting and a couple updates.
Over to the right you can see our Trib sports cover, designed by the richly talented Melanie Wass.
>> Our team coverage of the investigation can be found here.
>> “Whatever happens, it won’t be the Pirates’ fault.”
Those were the very last words someone from the Mark Appel camp had for me a couple weeks ago, and no, I have absolutely no idea what they mean. Didn’t know then, I don’t know now that the team and the No. 8 overall pick are fast approaching Major League Baseball’s signing deadline of 5 p.m. today.
But it obviously didn’t sound all that encouraging.
I’ll say it one final time: I don’t see Appel, a bright Stanford kid with wealthy parents, passing up $3.8 million now that might be, what, $5 million at the very most in the next draft if his status rises a player or two?
And to miss out on a year of development that gets him closer to his real payday in the major leagues?
Scott Boras is fantastically intelligent. A conversation with Scott can make your head spin, the knowledge he can rattle off like a machine gun. I’m sure he has ideas, and I’m sure I don’t know what they are. But it also might be the case they’re just angling for the best they can get.
>> Have heard that Starling Marte is not likely to arrive this weekend in Milwaukee. I don’t know why, don’t know when, but I can repeat that a very high-ranking team executive told me last week, “It’s time.”
>> Here is the chat transcript from yesterday.
>> I’ll have another column running in the Saturday paper. It was originally set to run Friday, but you might have heard something else happened.
>> On Saturday afternoon, I’ll be up at the Penguins’ prospects game, always an outstanding chance to see the best of the system in action. And that’s especially true of those European guys you rarely see or even hear about once they go back.
If you spot a guy with a Starbucks brushing up on his Finnish, stop over and say hi.
>> I’ll be taking next week off. My next column back will be July 23 and, two days after that, I’ll be off to London for a long time. You, of course, don’t have the luxury of time off, so keep this place clean and humming. I’ll put up the daily discussion and Pirates game threads.
>> A final note on Penn State, for now: I’m still waiting for the first person, out of all these that are writing, to say, “You know what? I am mostly worried that they won’t play football next year. That’s important to me.” It wouldn’t be a criminal sentiment to express, and it sure would be refreshing.