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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

On location: Tigers 4, Pirates 1, exhibition

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

LAKELAND, Fla. — Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (2-5) vs. Detroit Tigers, exhibition

Starters: RHP Jeanmar Gomez vs. LHP Drew Smyly

Time: 1:05 p.m.

Site: Joker Marchant Stadium

Radio: 93.7 The Fan

Here is the official live box score.

Here is the TribLIVE’s Pirates page. I’m on the scene.

Here is some of my talk yesterday with Gaby Sanchez

And here is the visitors’ lineup …

  1. Starling Marte, LF
  2. Alex Presley, CF
  3. Russell Martin, DH
  4. Matt Hague, 3B
  5. Travis Snider, RF
  6. Josh Harrison, 2B
  7. Clint Robinson, 1B
  8. Michael McKenry, C
  9. Jordy Mercer, SS

UPDATE 4:43 p.m.: Here’s my news story just filed on some weirdness with Martin that took place after the game. Wouldn’t make too much of it just yet, but …

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, recently, 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 country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. PetroSteel says:


    I like where the Pirates will be on offense this year. Not just what they have been doing this spring so far. But, the overall talent appears to finally be there on offense.

    I think the defense should be pretty good. Not great but not bad.

    I am concerned about the pitching. Can we expect AJ to do what he did last year again? I see a small step backwards. Wandy will be a good, not great. But then I see big question makes for the rest of the staff until mid season when Charlie, Cole and FL are ready. But even with them you have to question the initial results. I’m not looking at the overall results so far in the spring with the pitching.

    Do you think the Pirates make a trade before coming north? Obviously, we have a number of first basemen and outfielders that might bring some return along with a decent prospect.

    You hearing anything on that front?

  2. JohninOshkosh says:

    Lets try to bring back an old tradition, shall we?


  3. John Lease says:

    So Gabby Sanchez was part of a time honored tradition of trading for guys who are hurt?


  4. Drew71 says:

    Nothing showing up under the Sanchez link. Is that an iPhone phenomenon or are you just screwing with us?

  5. Drew71 says:

    Maybe you were in a hurry to get to the beach and forgot the link. I found the story but from the tease, i wondered if there was additional video conversation.

  6. Drew71 says:


  7. Jandy says:

    He’s just trying to keep you on your toes, Drew

  8. Jandy says:

    Flacco: 6 yrs, 120.6 million. I hope the Ravens have to eat that crow!

  9. JoeyBats says:

    Hoka Hey everyone!

    Can’t wait to see how Jeanmar Gomez mows ‘em down today. ;-)
    DK: On a more serious note…have you talked to Charlie Morton and chatted with him about how the rehab is coming? Is he still on track for trying a mid-year return ??

  10. JohninOshkosh says:

    I don’t know what happened! When I posted I was the only one up. Then I was foiled by PetroSteel at some point during the night! Curses!

  11. Drew71 says:

    Just caught up on the chat.

    “They need a couple of total $#%^%$ types.”
    – They need MORE $#%^%$ types??? Haven’t you read my posts?

    “Promised myself I wouldn’t spend this whole trip bashing Florida”
    – Why not? Go for it. Gotta be right on target. I mean, it must be why no one comes here anymore.

    “This is the Internet at some of its worst.”
    – Again, haven’t you read my posts?

    “Holiday In Cambodia”
    – I prefer Turtle “Crick”

    “Get back to being a lot more annoying”
    – Again, haven’t you read my posts?

    I predict that by July, we’ll complain that Tabata is too muscular for baseball.

    I’ll leave you with a final thought.

    “If hope can spring eternal here, then truly hope is never fully extinguished.”

  12. Drew71 says:

    That’s PetroSteel.

    He’s a Foiler.

  13. Drew71 says:

    I was thinking of typing That’s Not My Toe
    but I probably shouldn’t.

  14. Pat4PGH says:

    Wouldn’t that make him PetroAluminumFoiler?

  15. 21sthebest says:


  16. Arriba Wilver says:

    Probably PetroSteel posted for first time in the new format, and it was waiting for approval. At least that answers the question of when that happens does the new post go up at the original time it was posted.

  17. JAL says:

    some baseball links

    JAL’s Hemingway’s Whiskey 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

    Prospect Notebook: Looking at a Few 2013 Breakout Candidates

    Draft Prospect Watch: Big Days For Bryant And Appel

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates take on Orioles, Red Sox

    7 This Is Getting Old

    Roster Watch: Bryan Morris


    When will we see Gerrit Cole in Pittsburgh?

    9 Rumbunter

    Andrew McCutchen’s Hometown Is Rightfully Proud of Cutch

    10 Green Weenie

    Boston Bests Bucs 5-2

    Orioles Bomb J-Mac In 6-5 Win

  18. JAL says:

    “Hemingway’s Whiskey” by Kenny Chesney 2010 Chesney’s 14th album has been certified Platinum. This is the title song from the album.

  19. Drew71 says:

    At least. That question had kept me up at night.

  20. Drew71 says:

    Now THAT’S a post.

  21. Arriba Wilver says:

    Saw that one coming a mile away.

  22. John Lease says:

    I was VERY happy they paid top dollar.

    Enjoy Flacco Balmer.

  23. Arriba Wilver says:

    The more the better.

  24. 21sthebest says:

    Charlie gave an interview this week. Sounded like he was pleased with how he was progressing. I believe he expected to face hitters this coming week.

    DK: Yes, he will.

  25. PetroSteel says:

    I would appreciate it if no one makes fun of my name (Pat4PGH and others in the past)…I was named after my late mother. That was her first name too. Let me tell you,…that women was as tough as nails, but she had a little problem with oily skin. So please,..this is a very sensitive area for me…


    Go Bucs!

  26. Thundercrack says:

    Did Hanrahan pitch last night?

    Was listening to a little bit of last night. Got a smile on my face when they said Drew Suttton was playing 3rd for the Sox. Reminded me of that great walk off homer he had last year.

    I was also smiling because I knew he wouldn’t be our #1 pinch hitter off the bench this year.

  27. Bizrow says:

    Sanchez and McKenry seem to be locks for the bench, any early thoughts on anyone else?

  28. +1

    Hope we can get some runs in the top of the first, so we don’t start this game in the hole, too, with Jeanmar on the hill.

    Seems like half the games last regular season started with us giving up runs early. Or a bundle in one inning.

    But it is Spring Training. (yawn)

  29. JAL says:

    Hanrahan did not pitch last night

  30. Tabata with his new, muscular body.

  31. Thundercrack says:

    I still think Tabata will be on this team. An if Inge shows that he can still hit I would think he has a good shot.

  32. JohninOshkosh says:

    Tabby hasn’t had any appointments at a certain clinic in Miami, has he?

  33. Drew71 says:

    That’s a heartwarming, wonderful story. Thanks for sharing. We would never imply disrespect for your mother.

    And interestingly, there is a parallel to my name. You see, I was also named after an important woman in my life. My wife.

    Drewella DeVille.

  34. JAL’s #18 is a good link on that discussion. He doesn’t mention Dejesus, although Indy is probably where he’s headed. He had a great winter league.

  35. His ex-wife probably mailed it to him, like a certain linebacker we all know and love.

    Wasn’t she from Miami?

  36. Sounds like there’s as much truth to your story as Petro’s.


  37. Do Ravens eat crow?

  38. Bizrow says:

    The backup SS battle is one thing I’m wondering about

  39. Drew71 says:

    Russell Martin has that.

  40. The guy in the #18 article projects Chase in the minors and Mercer as a utility man that can play short.

  41. Thundercrack says:

    Last year when the slide was nearing its end I wished that Mercer would have played more

  42. Bizrow says:


  43. Bizrow says:

    And Sands is out of options?

  44. JAL says:

    Sands has one option left

  45. 21sthebest says:

    Sands has one option year left. FYI, Gaby also has options left and so does Harrison and Presley.

  46. Bizrow says:


  47. Bizrow says:

    Good to see Martin getting some hacks today

  48. Thundercrack says:

    Enjoyed the article and video on Gaby. I think he has a good chance to be good and make an impact this year.

    I was waiting for him to say to DK “So I hear you weren’t too impressed that I was one of the players that was brought over here at the deadline”.

    Seriously DK, how often do players/coaches (in any sport) speak to you -and take issue- about what you have written?

  49. Jandy says:


  50. Jandy says:


  51. Jandy says:

    If they don’t yet, they will ;)

  52. Jandy says:

    The Lunatic Asylum’s edition of Dejan’s Fables

  53. radio wave says:

    Forgive me, what is the history of today starting pitcher? I don’t recognize the name.

  54. Thundercrack says:

    My guess is that his history, nor his stuff, are pretty good.


  55. Drew71 says:

    i’m too lazy to check but here’s my guess.

    – tall guy
    – had their eye on for years
    – can’t pitch

  56. 6-3, 200

    Only gave up 2 in the first on 2 hits and a walk. ERA for the Spring is down to 23.14.

    Sounds like a spot-on assessment.

  57. Drew71 says:

    Then. If the following set of circumstances occur (again)…

    1. It’s July and the Pirates are in striking distance of a playoff race, and
    2. The Pirates’ third, fourth or fifth starter has two consecutive below average starts, and
    3. Jeanmar, a man in desperate need of a nickname, has two consecutive above average starts in Indy, then…

    Exactly 13 of us will demand that they sit “X” down “so we can see what the young guy can do”.

    In the midst of a playoff race(!)

    Then if they’re crazy enough to do it, we’ll complain that “X” is sulking in the bullpen and demand that he be traded because “he doesn’t want to be here”.

    Then if Jeanmar flops, we’ll make snide comments about Neal, Jeanmar and his downward plane.

    We don’t even have to watch the season. We know what’s gonna happen.

  58. Sounds like another spot-on assessment.

    BTW, Jeanmar got through the second unscathed, but just gave up a 2-run dinger to Miggie after walking the leadoff hitter in the third.
    He had his ERA down to 13, but now it’s back up to 19.

    But, don’t forget, it’s only Spring Training!

  59. Arriba Wilver says:

    And I think we have our #5 starter.

  60. officer mancuso says:

    Another perfect fiasco of a game. On the bright side, at my age, routine is comforting.

  61. Arriba Wilver says:


  62. Thundercrack says:

    Drew, I wish you would have said “Spoiler Alert”.

  63. Double amen. But, on the bright side, Marte has our first hit.

  64. Drew71 says:

    So far today we’ve had a Foiler and a Spoiler.

    Good thing Dan Pastorini isn’t here.

    Because, well, you know

  65. Drew71 says:

    And by the way. I think I have his nickname.


  66. Ain’t no posts on your Dukes thread, Drew.

  67. Marte with “both” Pirate hits today through 7. But it’s only Spring Training.

    Pitching after Jeanmarred has been flawless. Zagurski, Melancon, Hughes.

  68. piratemike says:

    Insanity:Repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

  69. Drew71 says:

    Jeanmar, they got your number,
    ERA’s over nine.
    Neal, you are Dumb and Dumber,
    8-6-7-5-3-0-9 (8-6-7-5-3-0-9)
    8-6-7-5-3-0-9 (8-6-7-5-3-0-9)

    See? It repeats.

  70. officer mancuso says:

    Whoa! Saw a Pirate catcher named Paulino in the box score and concluded I had finally lost my mind.

  71. Bizrow says:

    You know, I honestly thought Joggin Ronnie might have been an option this offseason.

    Wonder what would have happened if PRNW had stayed at catcher?

  72. officer mancuso says:

    I think Flacco will serve the Ravens well. His short game is nothing to toot the horn about in terms of completion percentage, but he’s become savvy @ limiting interceptions. His long passing is Bradshaw-like elite. That organization knows what it’s doing, unlike the Pitt football program.

  73. officer mancuso says:

    You’ll know I’ve succumbed to the temptation to turn right on Might Have Been Lane if my next 7 posts are links to Country & Western songs :-)

  74. Bizrow says:


    Hindsight is an easy thing to do ;-)

  75. Dadtackular says:


  76. officer mancuso says:

    Gaby @ 3b is a sign that the Pirates are preserving weak options should it turn out that Pedro Alvarez is what he’s seemed to be – Il Busto.

  77. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t think Gaby at third has anything to do with Pedro. I think it has to do with helping to evaluate bench options.

  78. Arriba Wilver says:

    I have to agree with 21. I think they’re beyond the “Busto” stage with Pedro.

  79. Bizrow says:

    The club will sink or swim with Pedro

    Looking for flexibility

  80. Bizrow says:

    Fantasy Leagues

    Everyone is welcome
    All Yahoo

    League ID – 25547
    Password – 1203
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    Password – 1203
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    Password – 1203
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    Password – 1203

  81. 21sthebest says:

    I think pitching will determine if they sink or swim. I agree that they’re looking for flexibility, but not as it relates to Pedro. 30 homeruns and more importantly, 85 RBIs puts him pretty close to where I think he needs to be.

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