By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Morning, lunatics …
>> The Wednesday column takes on that most dreaded of baseball topics — at least as far as overfilling the inbox — and that’s picking out a lineup preference.
Included in this piece are three elements related to the Pirates’ 2013 lineup:
1. How it looks like Clint Hurdle will fill out his card April 1. That’s on the graphic at the top.
2. How I think it should look, meaning my opinion. That’s the body of the column.
3. Where the players themselves would prefer to hit. As you can see, all involved — except Pedro Alvarez, who always has hated this topic — gave a fairly firm answer.
Thought that last one might add something to the fun here, but I can also tell you that I based none of my calls on what the players wanted, even where they match. In fact, I was more than a little surprised that Starling Marte, in particular, chose No. 2.
Anyway, I’ll also welcome seeing your suggestions in the comments below.
>> Here’s video of Hurdle answering my question about valuing on-base skills at leadoff …
>> Here’s the TribLIVE Radio show podcast from out in the right-field corner yesterday, featuring special guest A.J. Burnett. Thanks to all who emailed!
>> And finally out of all this, here’s the news notebook feature that focused on Gerrit Cole’s day, accompanied neatly by this vid of Cole’s postgame …
>> The amazing Chicago Blackhawks are a wonderful story for all of sports, not just the NHL. Too bad the circus at ESPN saw fit to denigrate them.
On that note, Hallelujah.
>> Elsewhere in pucks, if you missed what Eric Fehr pulled off last night in D.C. …
>> All kinds of developments on the Penguins’ front, not least of which is Beau Bennett being assigned to the Evgeni Malkin-James Neal line. It’s overdue but welcome nonetheless.
>> Also welcome is the Steelers working to restructure with James Harrison. Ideally, all these old guys are replaced with the wave of a wand with a ton of new guys, but we don’t live in an ideal world. Instead, we live in a world where the local football roster isn’t exactly overflowing with pass-rushers.
>> On the first day of Pitt spring drills, Rushel Shell’s future impact is gauged by our Jerry DiPaola.
>> This will be my final day in Florida. Flying home tonight after Pirates-Red Sox here in the south of the state.