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On location: Phillies 5, Pirates 0, exhibition

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

BRADENTON, Fla. — Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (3-6) vs. Philadelphia Phillies, exhibition

Starters: RHP A.J. Burnett vs. LHP John Lannan

Time: 1:05 p.m.

Site: McKechnie Field


Here is the official live box score.

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

And here is the home team’s lineup …

  1. Starling Marte, LF
  2. Alex Presley, CF
  3. Travis Snider, RF
  4. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
  5. Russell Martin, DH
  6. Michael McKenry, C
  7. Jared Goedert, 3B
  8. Jordy Mercer, 2B
  9. Chase d’Arnaud, SS

Here’s a podcast of my TribLIVE Radio guest appearance today with Ken Laird, mostly baseball.

UPDATE 5:50 p.m.: My news notebook about today’s events.

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. Somebody complain about the lineup.

    C’mon. Just for fun.

  2. Found this, which late yesterday was imbedded in one of my posts from the Astro’s game thread…

    “DK: Drew hates me.”

    No Dejan. I love you like family.

    (But you should ask my wife how that’s working out.)

    DK: Well, next time, tell me where you are, so I can come down and meet you, dammit.

  3. I’m bummed out. I’ll be in Bradenton in 2 weeks. Figures DK will be back in Pittsburgh.
    I would have loved to get together with him.

    I can’t speak for him….not sure he would use the term “love”.

    • Nothing wrong with that term. Meeting people you interact with on line, especially in this type of blog, would be awesome. No shame in the work Love in this case. Just sayin’

      • Jandy,
        I meant that I’m not sure DK would ‘love’ meeting me.

        I’m a big fan of love. Especially if he has a high OBP, can steal some bases, and play solid defense in the field.

    • You should go a little north that week TC, and see better baseball.

  4. Drew said he was going to post pictures of players butts. Does that mean he was operating the Jandycam?

  5. Is anyone besides me hoping that Felix Pie makes the team — just for his name’s sake. I know he pronounces in a non-English way, but how can we resist


    A line drive that tails off to the right: a slice of Pie.

    When he admits an error: Pie are square.

    And so on and so on; now if Appel had just signed . . .

  6. By the way. There were abuncha brushback pitches yesterday, especially by The Stros. Which means either…

    1. They were offering a fond farewell before starting AL play, or
    2. Early spring…control hasn’t yet come around, or
    3. Cold day…hard to grip the ball, or, my guess…
    4. Stro’s pitchers stink

  7. WOW! Malkin plays tonight versus Tampa Bay…. =)

    • Some concussions must heal faster than others.

    • Awesome! I wonder if Tyler Kennedy will be on his line…

    • I was hoping this was the place to come talk some hockey. Just saw Yohe’s post saying that Malkin was playing. Have a couple thoughts regarding tonight’s game (you Pirate people kept getting your baseball into the hockey threads, so here I am threadjacking a Pirate thread):

      1. I’d like to see Bennet moved up to the second line. I’ve been impressed with his play and think he has a chance to thrive setting up Malkin and Neal. Also, I think Cooke’s play fits much better into a third line role.

      2. TK needs a couple games out of the lineup. He was just plain bad in Thursday’s game and Dustin Jeffrey has been playing very well since getting put back into the lineup. I think he would play well alongside Sutter and Cooke.

      3. I think it’s time for the Pens to admit that Despres needs to stay in the lineup. Every game he plays in the NHL he looks more like an NHL defender and I would say that Saturday’s game was his best yet. The upside looks huge with this kid.

      4. Mark Eaton did well in his replacement of Paul Martin on Saturday. He was pretty much un-noticeable in the game and this is what I ask and expect of him. He’s not an offensive threat and he’s not going to make a huge hit, so if we’re not talking about him, he played a fine defensive game.

      Ok, back to your regularly scheduled programing (Buccos talk).

      • Ice, it’s a SPORTS blog, so we talk ALL Sports ;)

        I agree, Bennett needs moved up. And Depres needs to just play, dammit. Keep the kid in the lineup.

        TK…he needs to do something to get his head outta his butt end. Don’t know what’s wrong with him. I’m not one that’s expecting him to score 30 goals, but a goal now and then would be nice. And cut the stupid penalties, please.

      • I originally sided with Jandy on Bennet and Sid, but you convinced me.

        Mostly because I think it is a waste to have Matt Cooke play with a guy as skilled as Malkin.

      • Lines and D-pairings from the morning skate…

        (Bennett, Boychuk)


        • Oh if that stands and Bennett sits and Kennedy plays, I may lose it. I thought Bennett had a great first period in Saturday’s game and he continues to look better with each game. Kennedy just gets worse and needs to be held responsible.

          I’ve not jumped on the “fire DB” bandwagon yet, but if this happens, that bandwagon is looking a whole lot more inviting.

          • Dejan retweeted a post saying Boychuk has been put on waivers

            • I was wondering what would happen with Malkin coming back. Sounds like the Zach Boychuk experiment is now over. It was worth a shot and really nothing lost. I would be surprised if no one else picks him up (When Carolina lost him on waivers, they said they would take him back if Pit ever put him back on waivers. Don’t know if that still stands, but I bet someone takes him).

              Good news is that Bennett stays with the big club and continue to develop into an NHL winger.

            • Doesn’t surprise me. Carolina will claim him again.

            • Oh I’m betting it’s a long, long leash. It’s already 1.5 years and growing.

        • Tyler Kennedy had 5 goals and 31 hits in the 2009 playoffs. He absolutely should be playing.

      • I did not check this for accuracy, but one of the guys on the Sports Showdown on KDKA last night said the Pens are 12-4 when Despres is in the lineup.

  8. Jh:
    Remember pie with the I cubs?

    • Only follow them a little bit — mostly as a result of what I hear on WGN when the Bucs play the Cubs. Vaguely recall him as a “can’t miss” prospect.

  9. -Glad that baseball is back, less than a month now for Opening Day.

    DK: how’s Florida treating you? If you have a spare 45 minutes, drive south to Venice. The greatest place on earth..

  10. With Malkin being activated the Pens will need to make another move to reduce the roster. Perhaps Boychuk is sent packing; or Martin on IR.

    • And perhaps if I had read the previous posts I would have seen this has been answered!

    • it happens lol.

      Now, am I the only one worried about playing the Lightning after they have lost their last 4 games? Seems like we “let up” and get bitten for it.

      • I’m not worried about the lightning. We are our own worse enemy. If we don’t beat ourselves we are in good shape. But if we come out flat like we like to do every other game then we get blown out.

      • I only get worried if the other team is starting a rookie…”And so-and-so get’s his first NHL goal!” I wonder how many rookies have gotten their first goal against the Pens. Gotta be a lot of them.

        That, or a nobody goalie who the Pens decide to hold a contest against seeing who can hit him in the middle of the chest with the most shots from 10′ out. I like those the most because all the Pens fans can tell us afterwards how the goalie stood on his head. That said; where’s that Halak character these days?

  11. News Corp and Rupert Murdoch are likely to challenge ESPN with a national sports network.

    While the competition is most welcomed, be careful what is wished for. And athletes-don’t be saving anything on your cellphone.

    • You mean covering things outside of New York and Boston?

      Having actual games on instead of “The View” and “Oprah” for guys?

      I could go for that?

      I actually miss the day when ESPN covered things like Aussie rules football during the day. (Didn’t understand the game all that well, but loved the refs’ gestures)

      I miss the old days of Wide World of Sports, too.

  12. Bucs are losing

    We need Drew at the game

  13. If I am the Pens I try to trade Orpik and Kennedy for somebody like Jarome Iginla or Dany Heatley. I know they are both near the end but they won’t bring Orpik back on his next contract and Kennedy is Kennedy.

    • While trading both Orpik and Kennedy sounds good to me, I think to get Iginla they will have to pony up a 1st round pick. I actually have no issue with that, even if it winds up being just for a rental. The Pens will need a big trade for some offense to accomplish anything in these playoffs since they’ll have to outscore everyone 10-9. Defensively there’s nothing they can do at the trade deadline or by the end of this season since it’s not so much a player talent issue on defense, but a game philosophy one. Besides; they’re just gonna burn the 1st round pick on a yet another defenseman anyway…one that will be 3- 5 years away from contributing realistically, since he’ll be a late round pick no doubt.

      • Not sure Iginla would take that much now. He is 35 and will be an unrestricted FA next year. As you have said Shero only drafts D-men so losing Orpik isn’t that big of a deal. Eaton is back and keep playing Despres and Bortuzzo. Engelland gives you everything that Orpik does plus a little bit more offense.

        The time is now to make the move.

        • Yeah, he’s 35 but I’m pretty sure he’s gonna require either a can’t miss prospect, or a 2nd to 1st round pick, combined with an established NHL player to land him. Once teams start throwing offers at Calgary for him, someone will ultimately pay the price to get him, so I don’t think they have to worry about watching him walk next season. The only reason Atlanta didn’t get even more for Hossa, is because at that point in his career, he was considered by many a playoff slacker. Iginla has the veteran leadership, physicality, skill and proven playoff capabilites to put a team over the top. Teams like the Rangers and others who think they are very close would pay top dollar for a player like Iginla.

  14. Anyone following the, um, game?

    DK: Even I’m not doing that.

  15. Tomas Vokoun in net tonight? I heard he was penciled in back on February 3rd for this one. If not, I’ll be ok as long as Bennett and Despres are healthy scratches, we play an extremely passive box at all times in our own end (why limit the idea to only the PK) and only Chris Kunitz spends more than 15 seconds of the whole game in the crease. That will have us ready for a deep playoff run.

  16. So in the bottom of the 7th, we have more errors (2), than hits (1)

  17. Despite everything going on in the world I’m just happy to know that after signing that contract this morning that guarantees him 52 million that Joe Flacco feels respected by the Ravens. I will sleep so much better tonight.

  18. Yankees put Brian Cashman on the DL after breaking his ankle Sky Diving. Steinbrenners looking into wether that violates his contract to possibly void it and not pay him.

    • I don’t think the Yankees are going to make the playoffs or even compete for a spot. They have a ton of dough but haven’t used it wise to say the least. I’m thinking it will be the Nats over the Angels.

  19. AJ is now 0-3 with a 17.36 ERA this spring.

    The rest of the team is is mid-season form. 1 hit today.

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