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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: If it’s 7 a.m., it must be … um …

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

LONDON — Brief and to the Point …

>> Wow. Talk about the cool parts of a job that really doesn’t have many non-cool parts.

This is one of the great cities in the world, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to be here for this extraordinary event — again, the greatest gathering of humans of any kind in our civilization — with a chance to help bring you a small part of it.

I’ll be writing a column every day from here, beginning with one tomorrow. That will be 18 in a row by the time they blow the torch out. And yes, they’ll all be Games-related. I’ll toss in my two cents about Pittsburgh sports here on the blog, but the columns and news coverage will be all Olympics.

Couple links: This is the Trib’s Olympics page. On it, you’ll find my daily coverage on the left, links to this blog on the right and global material from our partner The Sports Network at the bottom. It’s all there.

This is the official London 2012 page, this is NBC’s page, and this is the U.S. Olympic Team.

>> Oh, and for those curious, London is five hours ahead of Pittsburgh. Which means I’m typing this way before JAL wakes up to post his links in the comments.

>> Literally a couple minutes before my plane took off from Charlotte, I got a text from a Pirates source confirming Starling Marte was on his way to Houston to make his major-league debut.

I really had only time enough to put out a couple of tweets to share the news, so I thought I’d add a bit.

You’re really going to like this kid. He’s a tireless worker, a fun kid who’s been popular with teammates all the way up the system ladder, and a dedicated son and brother to a family that’s had more than its share of hardship in the Dominican.

Most of all, you’re going to like the player. You’re going to like the way he swings to all fields. You’ll like his pull power. You’ll love his speed, especially the first time you see him steal second standing up. That’s pretty cool. But most of all, if you’re a diehard, I’m guessing you’ll love most of all that arm.

Is there anything in baseball as scintillating as a dominant throw from the outfield?

>> You all know enough about the sport that you don’t need me to tell you not to expect Marte to go 5 for 5 every night, right?

OK, good.

>> Kudos to Rene Gayo and staff for signing Marte for $85,000 and for finding the Pirates’ first Latin American amateur to make it all the way up since Jose Castillo, who was signed in 1997. This is a really big moment for those guys.

>> Again, our chat will be pushed back to tomorrow at noon because of logistics.

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