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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: S. Crosby, 87 Main St., Pittsburgh, PA

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Brief and to the Point …

>> The Wednesday column recounts my visit with Sidney Crosby. Pretty sure I don’t have to say a lot more than that.

>> But if I do, here’s a little extra I set aside for the blog …

Crosby has spoken to me often about his passion for Pittsburgh, but there’s talk and there’s walk: He’s building a house right now in the suburbs and, from the sound of it, it isn’t exactly a tent community.

When I asked what he’s doing with his days during this lockout, Sid replied: “I’ve actually been really busy. I’m building a house here, and that’s been a lot of work. It’s something I’ve never done before. It’s been fun.”

So, I asked, between that and the mega-zillion contract he just signed, does he feel like a true Pittsburgher?

“This city has been awesome to me from the day I set foot inside the airport terminal here,” he said. “It’s been a lot of fun. I think that the pure fact that it’s as big of a sports town as it is, as competitive as I am, I want to play somewhere where people really care and really take the team to heart. That’s something, as an athlete, that every guy wants. If you don’t want that, then I don’t know where you want to play.”

>> Here’s a bit of video from our talk …


>> What a refreshing change of pace that was from the other garbage I’ve been covering most of the past few days. I can’t say that strongly enough. And I don’t care in the slightest if that comes across in the column. I’m always going to write with what I hope is a measured emotion, and I hope that can be respected even when our viewpoints differ.

>> The Pirates have now made multiple references on recent radio appearances — the latest from team broadcaster Greg Brown yesterday — suggesting that, if Neal Huntington is fired, the next GM will institute “another five-year plan.”

This is unfounded to the extreme.

There has been no indication from the top of another rebuild, and it’s insanity to think that any new GM would do that given the age group, years of control, two big pitching prospects, and other factors.

If a new GM is brought in, he’d have to be certifiable to do a wholesale rebuild. It’s not going to happen. What that GM would need to do is to not waste tens of millions of dollars in trying to finish the product. Huntington’s greatest shortcoming has been an inability to acquire major-league talent from the outside. Beyond that, it’s a lack of depth resulting from poor drafts and/or development.

All this other stuff is orchestrated distraction. And nonsense.

>> Here’s the radio show podcast from yesterday. My special thanks to Jack Wilson, who announced his retirement on the show, completely unbeknownst to me in advance. (As you can tell from my lack of a follow-up question. Hey, I’m new.)

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