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Tuesday Wakeup Call: Special guest Steven Adams

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media columnist

Morning, lunatics …

>> The TribLIVE Radio show today — 1-2 p.m., as with every Tuesday — will feature special guest Steven Adams, Pitt’s 7-foot center who I suspect you’ll find is cooler than you might have thought.

I’ll ask about his breathtaking dunk move last night against Seton Hall, how he feels he’s coming along in a Jamie Dixon system, how he views his NBA future and, of course, about Crowded House and other favorite New Zealand bands of mine.

To listen, just click on TribLIVE Radio. It’s free, easy, no registration.

If you’ve got an iPhone, iPad or Android, we’ve also got the TribLIVE Radio app that’s recently been upgraded and now does everything except take away Chris Kunitz goals.

Also on the show, the Trib’s Steelers beat man Mark Kaboly will check in to talk Ravens, Steelers and Bar Rafaeli’s peculiar passion for nerds. And we’ll debut a weekly feature starring local Twitter legend @suckmeter who will offer, in his own inimitable manner, the Suck of the Week in Pittsburgh sports.

I want you to be involved, too. Email: Or call 412-320-7925.

>> Here’s coverage of Pitt’s rather gnarly win over Seton Hall by our Kevin Gorman, focusing on the welcome emergence of Cam Wright.

And here, by no coincidence, is a quick vid I shot of Wright taking a couple Qs …

>> How far are the Ravens ahead of the Steelers?

Our Alan Robinson advises waiting for the next shift of the wind.

>> The Penguins are using Simon Despres more than expected, which is to say he’s in the NHL at all. But, as Rob Rossi reports, they’re still treating him as a prospect.

>> Hoping to hear from you on the show. Don’t be shy.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and more, including his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.


  1. How far are the Ravens ahead of the Steelers? Probably not as far as 8 – 8 vs. Super Bowl Title would appear. But as PattonBB stated yesterday, the discrepancy in draft production has to end now.

    Speaking of yesterday, I heartily agreed with Officer Mancuso’s post about Ray Lewis. He’s been a great foe to root against but he has been the real deal. I don’t know what happened 13 years ago — and nobody else does, despite all the charges of murder that are loosely thrown around. But Lewis has been great for the game and not a bad egg at all in how he comports himself. All the other Ravens swear that he is a terrific teammate. Except for maybe Heath Miller, is there even a Steeler as broadly loved by his own teammates? As for the deer antler stuff, give me a break. Every NFL locker room, including the Steelers, has a lot more than that going on. The league needs to get serious about this issue. But crucifying one player here, one player there, while chemical enhancement continues to go on wholesale everywhere, is truly pointless.

    • Do you think all the stuff Ben Roethlisberger did won’t be brought up 10 – 13 years from now?
      I’m not giving Lewis a break.. Screw that.

  2. “Embrace the Suck!” Oh wait, not baseball season yet.

  3. @suckmeter!!!! I want your autograph, man! :) :) :)

  4. The TribLIVE Radio show today — 1-2 p.m., as with every Tuesday — will feature special guest Steven Adams, Pitt’s 7-foot center

    So Steve Adams will be on every week? Is he the new cohost?


  5. TC, you keep Dejan on his toes, don’t ya? :p

  6. How many more days until spring training?

    It was fun watching the Penguins on TV on Sunday, but baseball season is coming…

  7. JAL’s Alice’s Restaurant Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Spring Training Tracker

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Francisco Liriano vs Jonathan Sanchez

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates reportedly nearing deal with Jonathan Sanchez

    7 Bleacher Report

    MLB: NL Central Projections for the 2013 Season

    8 The Green Weenie

    Pitchers, Catchers Camp Roster

    Jonathan Sanchez

    9 Rumbunter

    Looking Ahead At 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft; Looking Back On Mark ‘Can Wait On That’ Appel

    10 Puckett’s Pond

    Too Short, Kevin Correia and Getting in Where You Fit In

    • Alice’s Restaurant Arlo Guthrie 1967 His only hit is basically talking blues. Live versions may go on for a half hour or more.

      • WMGK here in Philly on some date, don’t remember when it is or for why, will play the whole Alice’s Restaurant piece in one shot. They’ve been doing it for a number of years now.

        • Also forgot, he had a hit with Steve Goodman’s song City of New Orleans

        • Usually they play it on Thanksgiving morning, since the song refers to the Thanksgiving day Massacre.

          • @ JAL’s #12:

            The irony will run deep, if this does happen. Pirates are a minor league developer for Red Sox?

            “New closer Joel Hanrahan was the primary player acquired in a December trade with the Pirates, but the Sox view Holt as more than merely a throw-in.

            At 24, Holt is only three months older than Middlebrooks. A left-handed hitter with doubles power, Holt made his major league debut last September. And although he was a shortstop in the minor leagues, he also can play second base, a valuable skill considering Dustin Pedroia has spent time on the disabled list in two of the past three seasons.

            Will Holt be this year’s Ciriaco?”

  8. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Patriot News

    A decade of Pittsburgh Pirates struggles: If they could draft all over again

    12 Portland Press Herald

    Next Ciriaco? Here are five possibilities

    13 Youngstown Vindicator

    MLB umpire Bell ready to hit Florida

    14 MLB

    Bargain hunting: Five smart under-the-radar moves

    15 Slate

    A Baseball Salvaged From A Civil War Battlefield

    16 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    MLB notebook: Scherzer gets 1-year deal for $6.7 million

    17 Baseball Nation

    How good was Brandon Webb?

    18 Sweetspot

    Kershaw could learn from Webb’s story


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Many Days in the Life of a Minor League Baseball Broadcaster

    20 Fangraphs

    Vetoed Trades, Part One

  9. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Super Bowl 2013: Flacco, Ravens the Steelers’ way

    22 Steelers Depot

    - The Terrible Podcast – Talking Super Bowl XLVII, Joe Flacco, Hall Of Fame, Steelers & More Episode


    23 Daily Telegraph

    Liverpool’s 2009 Champions League match against Debrecen allegedly fixed by Hungarian side’s goalkeeper

    24 World Soccer Daily

    10 stories you need to read, 4th February, 2013

  10. i can’t WAIT to see who is the guest the day PITCHER AND CATCHERS REPORT

    (maybe Groat?)

  11. Oh yeah. Silly me. I forgot about that…

  12. Heading down to Pirate City on the 15th or 16th to watch PRACTICE.

    I wonder if my avatar can get any sunnier.

  13. I bet DK is going to pull a stunner and get Ray Lewis on the show. He’s going to break him down like Oprah and get him to admit to taking PED’s.

  14. “Hey now, hey now, don’t dream it’s over…” Pitt survived despite a major letdown last night. Lots of issues:

    * After a quick start, Patterson disappeared for a large part of the game. Seems he could have been even more involved in the offense.
    * Adams continues to impress although he missed a lay up from absolute point blank range. That move to the hoop and resulting dunk were awesome though.
    * Where were Trey Ziegler and Talib Zanna?
    * Lots of unforced turnovers again last night.
    * free throws, free throws, free throws…sigh
    * Somebody guard Fuquan Edwin!

    Take the conference win and move on.

    • The last thing you said is the most important one: take the conference win and move on. While Jaime Dixon has been one helluva coach, he has had a tendency to lose that next game after a big win; i.e. Providence a few years back after becoming #1 in the country. He found a way to win that game last night against a team with a hot shooter. Kudos to him and the team.

      • Could not agree more with the posts, would have been a devastating loss but it wasn’t and the team had to battle to find a way to win.

        Something lost in the ugliness of the offense last night is once again the Panthers defense smothered an opponent holding Seton Hall to 33% shooting and 46 points to improve to 5th in the country in points allowed at 54.5 per game right there with Florida.

        In Joe Lunardi’s new bracket today the Panthers are a 6 seed that is ascending with still ample opportunities to improve that with games against ranked Cinci, Marquette and Notre Dame upcoming.

    • Here, Here. Lots of negativity after last nights game, but for real lets take the Big East win. Last year’s team would have folded in the second half. I think it was actually great to see Cam Wright continue to be aggressive, and Adams develop a little more each and every game.

      Would love to see the turnovers stop though. Specifically, Durand and LP had a couple of pretty bad ones on fast breaks and such.

    • loved that Adams’ dunk last night, but still unclear as to why he drew a T? Can anyone shed some light on that for me please?

      DK: Here’s an answer from Steven Adams himself, special guest on my radio show today:

      • hmmm, missed that on the show DK, Thanks. Must have been distracted by all the Jandyliciousness.
        Clear as mud now. I’m enjoying this Pitt team. And Dick Groat (I think that’s who is doing color with Billy H, right?) just cracks me up. He GROANS when Pitt players miss foul shots, and the way he gives voice to his sense of outrage over what he believes are flagrant fouls against his hometahn team is just hilarious.

        Mr. Groat makes a Pitt hoops loss funny. Maybe I’m odd but it do be funneh. So stick that in your shuttlecock and smoke it.

  15. Don’t look now, but the Knicks are a very good, healthy and winning team.

    • Yes! Go Knicks!!

      • See what happens when you dump your coaching problem on the LA Circus?

        (And acquire more than a one-dimensional point guard and a defensive stalwart center to offset and support their growing list of offensive weapons.)

        They are deep, they can play SOME defense, they have scoring threats on two units of players, and they have a legit star who is (finally) playing to ability.

        I’m not a fan. I’m just impressed.

    • the Knicks stink
      the Rangers stink
      the Craplanders stink
      the Crankees stink
      the Mess stink
      I stink

      • shuttlecocks don’t stink :p

        • “I have a dream! That one day our skies will be filled with shuttlecocks of all kinds; where the color of a shuttlecock wont matter as much as what’s inside the shuttlecock…”

          9,233 minutes and 54 seconds until pitchers and catchers and Sanchezs report

  16. Neal is at it again. Jonathan Sanchez instead of Lirano? Sanchez had a miniscule 8.03 combined for 2 teams last season. But, that’s baseball and we’re a week away from the smell of freshly mowed grass, Neetsfoot oil, the crack of real wooden bat and young men roaming on the Florida landscape.

    • Two words.

      Come. Down.

      NOTHING in baseball beats spring training.

      Don’t know why. Just is. Sometimes you just have to accept on faith.

    • This is another one of NH’s man crushes. He wanted Sanchez when the Pirates traded Freddie to the Giants. So now he has him at no cost. But then again the Giants got Freddie at no cost as well.

      • True and true.

      • Did you see Tim Williams link that old trade rumor article from the PG, penned by some guy who claimed “Teams are not enthusiastic about taking on Sanchez’s potential 2010 salary, the league executive said, but, at the same time, teams would offer less if Sanchez were on the verge of free agency.”

        Just another blogger making excuses for the FO. :) (full sarcasm intended)

        It’s fun to revisit moves after a couple years. That article also contains this snippet: “The other player in the Pirates’ “pushing hard” category, according to the executive, is first baseman Adam LaRoche, but interest is known to be minimal given his $7.05 million salary, pending free agency and .259 average.”

        People have awfully short memories.

    • Who said the two are mutually exclusive, Lucky? 24/7 says Sanchez is in on a minor league deal. That doesn’t change the Liriano discussion at all.

      • Very good point. Pirate Prospects, which I never read but made an exception today, has a good piece on the comparisons of both. Junior says to get them both and have Sanchez as a plug-in out of AAA if necessary out of the bullpen.

        His comparison leans toward Liriano as a starter. He also says Sanchez was hurt some of last season and spent time on the DL several times.

        Both pitchers have trouble finding the plate, though. Why in the world would we want more pitchers who walk too many hitters?

        • NH doesn’t see the walks as an issue now that he has Russell behind the plate to throw them out attempting to steal. Ha!

        • Funny you mention that, Lucky. I was daydreaming on the trolley this morning and thinking about the team and this “anti-moneyball” direction they seem headed in. Frankly, the entire game seems headed in. Billy Beane’s A’s lead the league in K’s last year, for cryin out loud.

          Strikeouts are accepted, as long as power and on base skills are there for hitters. Walks are accepted, as long as strikeouts and run prevention is there for pitchers.

          It’s not the baseball I learned as a kid, but I guess I can accept it. I just worry the Pirates current team is on the wrong side of balance.

      • Nobody in hear is making that up. 24/7 said it, or more accurately, speculated as to the impact on Liriano discussions.

        From RB’s Trib story:

        “A deal with Sanchez might signal an end to talks with free-agent lefty Francisco Liriano.”

        • “Might” is a meaningless word. A bad cup of coffee might signal and end.

          • Agree. Makes the whole supposition meaningless.

            But that wasn’t my point.

            NMR asked “who said the two are mutually exclusive”. And while Rob didn’t say THAT, I’m pointing out that the source of this Sanchez-Liriano trade-off discussion is not blog speculation.

    • Lucky

      That is a fine ERA you refer to – he’ll fit right in.

  17. Sanchez doesn’t have a broken arm. (At least it hasn’t been reported yet)

    Seems like a plus over Liriano

  18. One week to go, and hockey too.
    Pretty good.

  19. Don’t “student” athletes ever attend class?

    • The VAST majority of student “athletes” use their scholarships to obtain and education and then move on with productive, professional, non-sporting lives.

      We only hear about the fringe, the very few with professional sports futures. And even most of these are real students.

      When I attended Penn State (1920s), I recall seeing statistics that the average GPA of scholarship athletes exceeded the student body’s average GPA.

      And before we talk about basket weaving courses, I was a Liberal Arts major.

      So i made FINE baskets.

      One more note. My youngest son, a junior at UCF, has the option of online classes for at least 3/4 of his curriculum. So class attendance is now an anachronistic stat, since there often is no way to measure it online.

    • Tim
      DK’s interviews on his radio show are usually pre-recorded

  20. Man, just imagine how good Pitt could be if they made lay ups & foul shots!!! One thing I really like about this team is how interchangeable pos 2-4 are. They have a lot of guys in that mix. March should be fun! (Or extremely painful to watch)

    • Layups and foul shots will be gone in 30 years like football. Its not flashy enough; you never see anyone on ESPN for a great layup or great free throw technique.

      • Unless its the shot that wins the game! With this team I’d rather them shoot a three to win. Can’t count on them making an easy one.

  21. So how do I put up an avi? I’m on an iPad & don’t see that anywhere. Must I be on a PC for that?

  22. Avi test

  23. Wow! I made the blog!! That does not suck one bit.

  24. Dejan,

    I didn’t know you liked CROWDED HOUSE!!! Favorite song / album??

    I’d have to go with “Nails in My Feet” and the album it’s from, Together Alone. Time on Earth was surprisingly good, too, actually, given the hiatus.

    Ever seen them? I was lucky enough to catch them in Kansas City in ’07. Great show – very classy vibe they brought to the Uptown Theater.

    Ever heard Split Enz (the Finn’s band before CH)?

  25. That Go-Daddy commercial was gross! Watching the game with friends, and there was just a collective awkward feeling. I wish my friend just turned it.

    • As long as your friend wasn’t the nerd, sure, turn it.

    • Talk about awkward, try watching it with your 9 yr old daughter. Her reaction was the same as mine “groooossss”. I think the sound of the kissing was worse than the actual kiss. Thankfully my daughter is into sports & not boys (yet). I can tell I’m getting old, because I thought the seductiveness of the commercials were pathetic!

  26. I don’t think NH can buy too many lottery tickets this season in the starting pitching area. We got two “for sure” starters and everyone else is a question mark, or two ??, or more ???.

  27. I read that the Pirates can only draft Mark Appel in the upcoming draft if he signs a waiver allowing the Buccos to do so. If this is true, does anyone know if this has been done?

    • It is true, can’t draft him again without his permission. Don’t know if that has ever happened.

    • I’m more interested in what happens with Appel than with anything the Pirates do.

      This is just good theater.

      Logic says that he has no leverage this year in negotiations since he cannot go back to Stanford, but Boras surely knew that last year when he advised him to turn down the guaranteed money. I hope Boras blows the whole stupid system apart.

      • Unfortunetly that probably won’t happen. Appel will go #1 in the draft if he stays healthy. I certainly do not wish him harm in those regards.

        Some other player could rise to the challenge, there usually are to take that spot away.

        It was definetly a bold move on his “advisors” part last year and really made Appel look foolish.

  28. Tyler Boyd is exactly the reason I try to ignore recruiting. Even if he does end up coming to Pitt, I’ve already decided I don’t like him.

  29. Sporting thoughts on a post-pong tournament Tuesday…

    * I’ve been playing beer pong recently at a few bars I frequent, and, let me just say, it is a fantastic game. I forgot how much I enjoyed it after I stopped playing when I left college. If you’re out at a bar (or at a house party) and you have the chance to play, do it. Such a fun time.

    * I think the Pirates should look to sign both Sanchez and Liriano. I agree with NMR’s thoughts above on how I don’t see this as leverage, but definitely insurance. The BB/IP ratio for both is troubling, but if both can “bounce back” it could be a coup for our pitching staff.

    * AJ Burnett is the perfect veteran to lead this pitching staff.

    * This is a big year for James McDonald. He made some great strides at the beginning of last season, only to see them fall apart in the 2nd. If he can keep his game consistent all year, we have ourselves a bonafide #2.

    * I hope at some point this season the Pirates can work out some type of long term extension with Neil Walker. Love seeing the hometown kid playing for the hometown team. We need to keep him in our colors for the duration of his career.

    * I really don’t see the Pirates as being “that far off” of being with the Cards & Brewers. We were right there with them the last 2 seasons, only to collapse both times. Huntington has hopefully made the right moves this offseason to get the team “over the (proverbial) hump” so to speak. It’s make or break this season for Huntington. If they don’t get over .500 or into the playoffs, he’s got to go.

    * Its like being a drug addict who knows their next fix is coming soon. You start fiending for it. Ahh baseball, America’s oldest drug.


    • I’ve done the beer pong…I lost badly…but had a blast losing ;)

    • JAL’s piece on Rumbunter yesterday had some good points on confidence and quotes, too. I believe JMac specifically and the Pirates generally speaking ran aground on it the second half of last season.

      We may not be that far off from the Cards and Brewers, but they’ve been there and they know their capabilities.

    • Nate, I have to disagree with your take on the Pirates not being “that far off” from the Cards/Brewers. Until the Pirates have a serious upgrade at catcher and the pitching staff, they are no where near those 2 teams. Until Cutch dominates teams like Ryan Braun does, we can’t catch up. Pitching wins championships. As of right now, the Pirates don’t have the pitching to contend for the ENTIRE season.

  30. “Bar Rafaeli’s peculiar passion for nerds.”

    I was thinking it was more like a passion for paychecks.

  31. I see that Manny Ramirez is in negotiations to play in Taiwan. Makes perfect sense. I mean, how do you pass on a chance to play with Brian Burres ?

  32. Sure has been alot of Bucco talk going on around these parts today and spring training hasn’t even started. In an attempt to get us back to a sport that is more relevant this time of year :) I’m curious what other Pens fans have thought of Boychuck so far. Even though he hasn’t scored yet, it appears to me that he is playing with alot of energy and is looking to do a pretty good job of staying out of the way of Malkin and Neal (something Kennedy and Tangradi couldn’t/wouldn’t do). What have others thought about Shero’s early season pickup?

  33. has Pitt’s football recruiting class ranked #30. That’s 15 spots ahead of Chryst’s former employers in Madison.

    Other completely meaningless rankings can be found at their website.

  34. -I saw Steve Adams play for the first time on Saturday. I was impressed. I’m not a huge basketball fan and I was waiting for the Penguins game to start, so I figured why not. You can see he is still a little rough around the edges, but when he knocks that off of him, he’s gonna dominate college basketball. I think Adams needs to spend the off season in the weight room, put some weight on him and he’d be tossing guys off for rebounds. Good thing to have.

    -Also impressed with another big man on the team, but don’t remember his name. He’s just that, a big dude, need that type of guy in the paint. I think his number was 42. Odd last name.

    • Talib Zana… He’s also raw like Adams but steadily improving. It’s amazing watching Adams improve every game, he is definitely gonna be a problem. He’s got great touch & athleticism for a 7 footer. Fun to watch!

      • That’s it, thanks. He seems to be a little more of a power guy than Adams, but good points on Adams himself. Very athletic for a big guy. Fun to watch. I don’t get to see many Pitt games out here, but might have to watch more if they are on.

    • This post is like jumping into the water………it shrinks

  35. Have always loved Zanna’s hustle and knack for hitting the midrange jumper, but boy has he been rough the last few weeks. While I think Zanna is a key to Pitt’s future in March, how much longer should Jamie wait before playing J.J. more minutes?

  36. Just decided to read some suckmeter tweets to see what the fuss was all about. Read a couple dozen. What am I missing? Do people think this guy is funny?

  37. I don’t tweet, so I can’t answer that, 21. He has posted on here occasionally, and I’ve had no problem with it. If you’re talking about things that suck, you have to read it in the correct frame of mind. Mostly half fun and full earnest.

  38. @suckmeter really sucked by not coming up with a non-sports “suck of the week.”

    C’mon dude, how about a little preparation.

  39. Nice Q, “Abe”!

  40.…Gerrit Cole is one of four top prospects staring back out of the central panel picture (hyping Keith Law’s Top 100 prospects, an insider article that I can’t open).

  41. Chris Carpenter is unlikely to pitch in 2013, and is considering retirement. Kinda good news for the Pirates.

  42. OK Mother Theresa has to get some serious work done so I can go home and get home stuff done before the Pens come on at 7. Go Pens!!!!!!!!!!! Catch you all later, maybe…

  43. -Bleacher report has Mike Wallace listed as the #6 Free Agent in the NFL. They also reported that he was the worst-rated WR in the league, but figures someone will pay up for his speed.

    -Good luck Mr. Wallace


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