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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wednesday Wakeup Call: One big shot, one Big Apple

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

>> The Wednesday column pins Pitt’s hopes for the Big East tournament on one pretty special kid. And don’t worry, it’s nothing Tray Woodall can’t handle.

Who’s your key player?

Better question: Which version of the Panthers do you think will show?

A video of some of my talks with the Panthers before they departed …

>> Count me squarely in the let’s-see-what-comes-next sect of those looking at the Steelers’ offseason. There’s lots of time, lots of moves still to made, not to mention an NFL draft.

I wrote after the season it would be nice to have Plaxico Burress back, though I didn’t think it would happen.

I wrote after the season it wouldn’t be so bad if Larry Foote were allowed to walk, and I did that it seemed highly unlikely he’d stay.

Well, both of those did happen, plus Mike Wallace got paid, and much more.

But I’ll repeat: There’s no bigger waste of time or energy, never mind emotion, than to judge an NFL roster in the second week of March.

>> That was quite the exceptional comeback at Consol last night.

>> By the time the Rangers get here this weekend — they’ll stop in Winnipeg first — it is entirely possible that John Tortorella will have internally combusted.

What a jerk this guy’s become, as he illustrated again last night in Buffalo.

>> Here, again, is yesterday’s TribLIVE Radio show podcast, featuring guest Brooks Orpik. And below is video of the opening segment …

>> I’ll visit with John Steigerwald today at 1:30 p.m on TribLIVE Radio. And later in the week, I’ll be part of the pregame show for NBC’s broadcast of Penguins-Bruins.

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. Mike A. says:


  2. Eric Bowser says:

    *Count me in the corner of the Steelers fandom that wonders why Colbert talked about changes for 2013 and all he’s done is bring back Foster, Burress, Foote, and Gay.

    * Offensive line should be set with Gilbert, Foster, Pouncey, Decastro, and Adams as the starting five with Beachum and another two guys as backup. I hope the team brings back Legursky to be the center/guard backup. I doubt Starks comes back at veteran minimum to be a backup as he’s too good for that role.

    * I guess the Steelers bringing back Foote means we won’t be seeing a top round (1st/2nd) pick involving an inside linebacker. No missing girlfriend jokes…

    * Burress signing has to mean Cotchery won’t be back and what happens if Sanders gets a tender too high for Steelers to match? This went from being a strength last offseason to a weakness. No Wallace around to help push safeties back could hurt underneath routes.

    * What a great game at the CEC last night… Penguins stuck to their system, as Bylsma is apt to do, and they came back from a 2-0 third period deficit to win 3-2.

    * BRANDON Sutter was the game’s star with two goals. He has 8 goals on the year… same as Claude Giroux.. you know the guy Crosby passed the imaginary baton last year.

    * Was not a fan of Engelland playing over Despres and I’ll hold to it even though he had an assist on the Kunitz goal to open up the scoring for the Penguins.

    * Fans and media out in LA are back on the Jamie Dixon to USC train and citing the same old tired reasons for Dixon’s departure from Pitt… going to ACC will hurt his recruiting. Let me be the the first to say it… Pitt going to ACC will get better recruits to come to Pitt.

    * Steven Adams and Dante Taylor need to own the paint. Pretty simple recipe for me.

    * I’ve hit a rut with the Pirates this Spring, not sure why but not much has generated a spark with me. I guess I’ve hit Missouri stage with them… “Show Me”.

  3. Mike A. says:

    If the Pens can just play teams 5 on 5, thereby not giving up power play goals, or have their own PP short-circuit their momentum, they can be one whale of a hockey club.

  4. Eric Bowser says:

    Just need the first one tonight (Kunitz), lol

  5. Ghost says:

    Agree that much of what we’re seeing with the Steelers seems like watching old reruns. *So far,* that is. But I like the Burress deal. We’ve known all along that Wallace was gone. He’s now somewhere where his limited but explosive talent can be better used. Meanwhile, Plaxico can be the possession receiver that Cotchery was (and Wallace wasn’t). Plax can’t get behind corners like he once could, but he’s a big and dependable target on short and medium routes, just what the doctor ordered for Ben’s skill set. And Todd Haley’s offense. And for the league minimum? This is a smart signing.

  6. Milo Hamilton says:

    What a jerk he’s become ? i have a great deal of respect for Sam Rosen, and the way he just dismissed him was ridiculous. What a clown. And that’s being kind. Does he realize that you guys have a job to do ?

    DK: Speaking only for myself, I actually don’t have an issue with it. I’m bugged for others when it happens. But my own stance always has been that, if you want to make a buffoon of yourself for whatever reason, it makes for a better story.

    The day of the Steelers’ last game this past season, I approached LaMarr Woodley to be be fair, to give him a chance to say his piece. When he blew right by me as I asked if he could spare time for a couple questions, that actually strengthened the column. If anyone thinks that would have bothered me, they don’t know me well.

    You just keep it professional on your end, that’s all. If someone else wants to be a clown or even go Ryan Leaf on you, that’s on them.

  7. Dave says:

    I know it’s early yet, but has anyone else noticed Brandon Sutter has 2 more goals and only 5 less points then Jordan Staal?

  8. zivkov34 says:

    From a journalistic perspective I would have to think “That’s Gold Jerry! Gold!”

  9. Skilliemischief says:

    Don’t know if anyone else has mentioned this but the videos are non-existent when viewing the blog on an iPad. That’s only a recent thing, what happened?

  10. Skilliemischief says:

    By the way, I really enjoyed the Trey Woodall piece. Sounds like a great kid. I can see Pitt winning the tourney just as easily as I can see them losing their first game. Lets hope the “good” Pitt team shows up.

  11. JoeyBats says:

    Hoka Hey everyone!

    So you got out of bed this morning wondering how the Jenmar Gomez expeirment was going? ;-)

    (….from the Karen Price article)

    Gomez was a member of Cleveland’s Opening Day roster last season but has given up 12 runs (nine earned) on 10 hits, walked five and struck out three for a 13.50 ERA in six innings.

  12. Drew71 says:

    I missed the Pens game last night. Had no idea how it turned out so I read the game thread.

    – Pens lost by 7
    – Bylsma can’t coach
    – Pens have no penalty kill
    – Pens will never win withou Staal
    – But good riddance; He Doesnt Want To Be Here
    – A coupla posters are heading to the bridges
    – Milo is chasing coeds around St Armand’s Circle

    After reading the thread, I guess Milo will win before the Pens do.

  13. TK39 says:

    Does anyone know if there is a podcast for Dejan’s recent guest spot with John Steigerwald and if so, where I can download it? I love the radio spots but dont have a smart phone so I can’t listen to them live when I’m at work.

  14. Jandy says:

    Torts has always been a jerk, sometimes he’s just a bigger jerk.
    I wonder if his players want to play for him?

  15. Jandy says:

    ::wavin:: noticed::

  16. Jandy says:

    I wasn’t on the thread, but I watched the game. Was sooo tired…had a beer…and feel asleep when they were down by 2. Woke up and Kunitz scored. It was all good from there on out. Maybe I should fall asleep in the middle of the game more often…go figure…

  17. Jandy says:

    Stuart and Spunky, I’m glad someone missed me last night. I was watching the game, not the Papal chimney ;)
    See my post above to Drew…Labbatt Blue put me to sleep for a short time. Glad I woke up to see the second line take over the game :)

  18. JAL says:

    JAL’s King of the Faries 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

    The Pirates Have a New International Player at Pirate City

    Pirates Release LHP Aaron Poreda

    6 Bucs Dugout

    The Pirates’ 25-man roster: March 2013 build

    7 Tucson Citizen

    After two-year long “offseason” Bobby Crosby is back in baseball

    8 Bleacher Report

    Grading All 30 MLB Teams on 1st-Round Drafting Skills of the Past Decade

    9 Rumbunter

    Alex Dickerson, Breakout Pirates’ Prospect

    Can Jeff Karstens Continue The Magic Show?

    10 Green Weenie

    Can Jeff Locke or Kyle McPherson make an impact with the Pirates?

    Phil Irwin is dominating this spring. Can he make an impact in 2013?

  19. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Uniontown Herald Standard

    Pirates lack of depth apparent again

    12 MLB Reports

    The Method To Pirates GM Neal Huntington’s Team Building Strategy

    13 Minor league Ball

    Prospect Note: Phil Irwin, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

    14 WTAE

    Neil Walker ready to put back issues to rest

    15 WWSB

    Steve Blass: A Pirate for life

    16 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates looking to clear next hurdle

    17 Sweetspot

    Jameson Taillon vs. Josh Beckett

    18 PBC SITE

    Notebook: Bucs’ work on pickoffs paying off this spring


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    9 Bets on Vegas Over/Under Odds

    20 Fangraphs

    FanGraphs Top 100 Prospects

  20. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Rumor: Could Beanie Wells end up in Pittsburgh?

    Mike Wallace signs with Miami Dolphins

    22 Steelers Depot

    -Report: Colts Free Agent LB Moise Fokou Scheduled For Visit With Steelers


    23 Daily Telegraph

    Lionel Messi gave a ‘magisterial lesson’ as Barcelona crushed AC Milan, says Barca coach Jordi Roura

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 12th March, 2013


    25 Pensburgh

    Sutter at Home. Pens Top Bruins 3-2.

  21. JAL says:

    Horslips King of the Faries 1973 Called the founding fathers of celtic rock they were most active from 1970to 1980 but continue to play shows today.

  22. John Lease says:

    When Neil finally leaves, at least the Pirates won’t be recycling the Indians re-treads anymore. Why he remains fascinated with these guys is beyond me. The ones he brings are always bums.

  23. JoeyBats says:

    # 21 — Beanie Wells coming to Steelers?
    Please NO….say it AIN’T so …we are accumulating enough AGE on this team. We do not need someone else’s broken down junk! (….well, not this piece, anyway :-) …look at the stats….he can’t stay healthy.

    DRAFT a young RB.

  24. Dom says:

    This is a weak draft in terms of RB. There might not and probably will not be one taken in the first round.

  25. Jandy says:

    The biggest kick I got out of the win, was Brandon Sutter being listed as “Brent Sutter, player of the game” lol.

  26. kr70 says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad the Pens won but don’t forget that was Boston’s 3rd game in 4 days.

  27. Jandy says:

    It was the Pens’ 3rd game in 4 days too. Nx.

  28. kr70 says:


  29. Drew71 says:

    Biggest kick EYE got was from the long string of angry-deoressed-fire Bylsma posts, followed by shocked happiness.

  30. Arriba Wilver says:


  31. Drew71 says:

    And I mis-wrote earlier this morning.

    Nobody was heading to the bridges for their own use.

    They were dragging Bylsma there.

  32. BillyBaduka says:

    - I think Colbert was referring more to the departures than the signings when referrincing changes. Things like Harrison being cut.

    – I like the Foster signing. He’s consistent and this line needs that.

    I like Foote returning this year too. Just not sure about the two years after that. Wonder the cap hit in those years.

    – I don’t see Burress signing pushing Cotchery out. Cotchery is under contract, a reasonable one. If Sandars stays, that’s only 4 WRs. Plenty of room for both vets and they fill different roles. Does Buress replace what Wallace brings? Of course not. But it’s a tall guy, which Ben likes, with good hands that looked like he could still contribute when given a chance last year. It’s low risk even if not a high ceiling/reward. It’s not a huge boost but an effective tourniquet.

    – what a comeback by the Pens! Sutter does have nice shot and its great to have two more right handed threats setting up or coming down the left wing.

    – many likes on the Sutter props and Flyers bash. Living near Philly, I see this team a lot. Too much. I think Philly put too much pressure too soon on Giroux. He bothers me the least on that team. Not that I’m shedding any tears over his struggles this season.

  33. Hey. Ease up on my ex-Buckeye.

    Really, couldn’t agree with you more. He was hurt all the time at OSU. Surprised he lasted this long in the NFL.

  34. Jandy says:

    Well, he DOES frustrate a lot of fans with his refusal to make in-game adjustments. I hope for his sake the Pens advance past the first round of the playoffs.

  35. You were missed. Better stick with that womens’ beer Drew drinks and you can stay up for the whole game.


  36. BillyBaduka says:

    “There’s no bigger waste of time or energy, never mind emotion, than to judge an NFL roster in the second week of March”

    Good advice Dejan. I’ll probably need to hear (read) it again next year. :)

  37. Milo Hamilton says:

    Bylsma angst – catch it.

  38. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1. (Except that part on Philly. I don’t know anything about The Flyers other than I don’t like them. On the rest, spot on)

  39. BillyBaduka says:

    I hope for his sake, your sake, my sake and the sake of the team they make it past the first round.

  40. BillyBaduka says:


  41. Jandy says:

    Amen, Brother!

  42. Erie says:

    I hope Pitt fans heading to New York really enjoy it. Greensboro isn’t quite the same. Though the only restaurant within walking distance of the Greensboro Coliseum, Stamey’s BBQ, isn’t bad.

  43. Jandy says:

    Hey now, I resemble that remark :P

    But anyhow, hubby had been out of town for a night, I had double duty at home, and worked OT, so I was just wee tad tired. He brought home some Labbatt Blue and we had one…and it knocked me out lol

  44. TJ says:

    Rangers are 13-10 and 10 points behind the Pens. I am a little surprised this guy isn’t on the hot seat yet. I know they have suffered some injuries but this is a team that has some serious talent and high hopes after picking up Nash in the off season. It would be a similar situation to the Pens having signed Parise and having that record.

  45. Jandy says:

    The Hague is out!

  46. TJ says:

    So much for the Robinson experiment at 1B. Guess he and Hague can go to AAA and fight it out. Remember last summer when everyone was clamoring for Hague to be called up. Now he’s one of the first out of camp.

  47. SJB says:

    The Bruins late in that game sucked and they sucked at a time when they couldn’t suck! lol

    I love it when Fonzi Tortorella Barbarino shows us what a true wordsmith he is and the great thing is; it happens after almost every game.

  48. Jandy says:

    I’m betting he IS on the hot seat with the owners…and now with the players after he threw them under the bus yet again.
    What a dork.

  49. TJ says:

    It is a total waste of time to examine an NFL roster in March; but its hard not to look at the talent that is leaving your NFL roster in March. There is plenty of time to try to replace that talent but its hard not to look at it as its waving goodbye

  50. SJB says:

    Oh he’s on it alright. If they fall out of the playoff hunt by even a couple points, he’s gone.

  51. TJ says:

    Jandy I know the conclave is going on and all; but you don’t have to be afraid to be a little stronger than “dork”

  52. Jandy says:

    TJ, don’t tempt me to cuss, I can keep up with the guys when neccessary ;)

  53. Stuart says:

    J-girl, glad to see you saw the game. At times I wondered if I was watching the same game as sme of the posters. I see Drew noted that too. I felt like I was being Susie Sunshine compared to some.

    I remember telling my wife at about the eleven minute (left) of the third that I wasn’t giving up yet.

    BTW, if anyone would have asked me what brand you imbibed, without my knowing you personally, I would said “not sure, but nothing “Lite””!


  54. Jandy says:

    LOL Stuart. I like strong lagers (Yeunglings and Molsons) and hubby had gotten some Labbatt Blue. One usually doesn’t knock me for a loop, but I was dead tired. Lite beer is for *ussies. ;)
    I do like Michelob Ultra, however, so there is an exception.
    Loved the game’s outcome. Brandon Sutter was clutch yet again.

  55. AL says:

    The Bruins still looked tired in the third period last night having played overtime the night before. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad the Pens pulled this one out but I can’t help but wonder if perhaps we’re seeing a preview again of why the Pens will go out in the first round. The Bruins played solid defensively in the first period and a half and we were starting to look frustrated. Had they been the fresher team I wonder if the result would have been the same?
    Just like in baseball where good pitching always stops good hitting, good defense always stops good offense. I sometimes think the Pens believe that defense is only to be played by defensemen. I hope they give more than just lip service to playing better team defense. You catch glimpses of it occasionally but definitely not on a consistant basis.

  56. TJ says:

    Rumor as it that Ray Lewis turned down the conclave; said it would be a step back

  57. NMR says:

    Agreed on the Pirates, Eric. I find myself following other teams more closely the last few weeks.

    This whole season feels like it’s not going to matter until August. One big elephant in the room.

  58. Dom says:

    I’m a little disappointed that Duke Welker was on the first list of cuts. I was hoping he could contribute to the pen early this year.

  59. SJB says:

    The Pens really have to address the PK problem. I’ve said before, Staal and his ability to pressure the points was key to it’s success and with him gone, they’ve stopped being aggressive entirely. They have to force the issue at the point like they used to and like the Bruins did last night. The fact that Chara was able to casually get off that slap shot without so much as a dirty look bothers me. A short-handed goal sure would be nice but that won’t come being so passive.

  60. SJB says:

    Yeah, he said God has bigger plans for him.

  61. Jandy says:

    radiowave, what do you think about Tort’s comments after their loss?

  62. Stuart says:

    I had hopes for Robinson. I hac hoped Clont could be “Legend-II”Oh well SOP (same old Pirates). ((Slight modification of a pre-Noll Steeler refrain -“Same Old Steelers”))

    I’ve noticed the lack of Legend trade rumors. That is really surprising, especially since the Yanks are looking to fill their first base position.

    Is it just me, or has this been an especially dull spring?

    hope it’s the calm before the storm.


  63. Jandy says:

    God is a woman, and trust me, She has NO plans for him. smh

  64. It’s not you. It’s been dull. Not much hitting. Mediocre pitching. Not much happening that wasn’t expected.

    Some bright spots pitching, like Irwin, but not a lot that jumps out at you.

  65. Stuart says:

    Curse this iPAD keyboard! “Clint” equals Legend II (NOT)


  66. TJ says:

    Actually I think he was busy working up a list of things for God to do. Like Ray answers to god…hah

  67. Jandy says:

    Karma is a beyotch and Lewis’ day will come ;)

  68. Jandy says:

    No worries, Stuart, we followed you :)

  69. Bizrow says:

    Is Hague even still on the 40 man?

  70. Bizrow says:

    Legend is still hurting, isn’t he? That could be one reason why there are no trade rumors floating around

  71. Arriba Wilver says:

    He’s not, although Robinson is.

  72. AL says:

    I’m getting a little tired of the stay-in-the-box and wiggle the sticks PK. Just doesn’t work.
    The Bruins gave us lesson on how to do it last night. Be agressive!

  73. NMR says:

    Clint Robinson is exactly where Clint Robinson was expected to be. Not sure what “experiment” you’re talking about.

  74. NMR says:

    Did people really expect Clint Robinson to make the team right out of the gate?

    Where exactly was he going to play?

  75. NMR says:

    It almost feels like it’s just Spring Training or something…:)

  76. NMR says:

    Speaking of injuries, is Russel Martin’s shoulder still attached to his torso?

    Feel like I haven’t seen his name all spring. I think you’re definintely seeing the veterans taking this camp like most veterans take spring training. Wake them up when its over.

  77. Jandy says:

    53 year old Mitch Seavey wins the Iditarod. Older people rock :)

  78. tpbco says:

    IMO, the most material issue with the PK, is failure to clear the crease. THAT’S why Chara scored.

    Not to diss on Staal, because he did bring success to the PK and was a gr8 Pen, but against philly in last year’s playoffs, it could easily be agrued that between him, Orpik and Fluery,,,there was no way to pick who was worse. After every PP goal there was Staal with his shoulders sagged and his hands on his knees, staring at the puck in the net.

  79. Arriba Wilver says:

    Other than apparently Stuart, I don’t think so.

  80. hap2009 says:

    Is Sutter the best “clutch” player we have this year? Seems he keeps coming up big like this late in games; it could make for an exciting post season.

  81. Jandy says:

    So far he is. I hope to see more of it for sure.

  82. stuart66 says:

    Multiple plusses!

  83. Nice song. Have to say I really like Irish and Scottish music, especially bagpipes. Love the sound track from Braveheart.

  84. Bizrow says:

    This is a longer ST than normal due to WBC, or at least thats what I understand

  85. Joni says:

    Just curious for those who consistently maintain stats: was Tyler Kennedy on the ice when Brandon Sutter scored both goals last night?

    Possible theory for TK falling down an average of one time per game… he is trying to give hope to the little kids who fall but still dream of playing in the NHL. A noble desire,to be sure, but less than helpful to the other Pens (like Brandon Sutter) on the ice.

    Earth to HCDB: put Sutter on the second line while Malkin in healing.

  86. Jandy says:

    Sutter was on a line with Neal and Bennett for his first goal, and on with Sid and Kunitz the second.
    No dice.

  87. NMR says:

    ah you know what, that was too flippant of me. I’ll admit, I’m hitting the wall as well.

    Every February I get all excited for spring training only to remember every March how darn boring it is to sit through spring training.

    The internet just makes it worse. Anybody care to read four articles about Phil Irwin’s meaningless stats? They’re out there. Anyone interested in reading about AJ Burnett’s “struggles” by some guy who hasn’t been south of the Mason-Dixon? Just Google it.

  88. NMR says:

    You think Karstens in particular is being worked slowly because of that?

    Feels like they’re setting opening day as the goal and working backwards, not trying to get these guys back ASAP.

    I probably answered my own question, but would like to hear your thoughts.

  89. Even worse, a story on Bobby Crosby. I’d rather read one on Bing. Good human interest though.

  90. Jandy says:

    disclaimer…I don’t keep track of stats!

  91. Bizrow says:

    I think they know they have extra time and may be just a bit more cautious with some of the guys, Martin for example, although he might be calling his own shots with that.

  92. SJB says:

    That Flyers series was an abortion on many levels PK included. He had a bad playoffs just like all of them, but he’s also the main reason they had the best PK in the regular season and were threats to score a shorty ever since he got there. Don’t know of many teams with a great PK that just sit back and let’s the PP set up and get comfy like the Pens do now.

    I think the less than physical play in front of the net is a problem as well that goes beyond just the shorthanded situations.

  93. SJB says:

    Yup, and the dogs do too.

  94. SJB says:

    TK was a -1…no surprise there.

  95. Jandy says:

    all 10 of them :)

  96. hockeymonster says:

    Even though boston looked very worn down in the 3rd and maybe even the 2nd I thought the pens did a great of job of pushing thru the frustration thoughout the game. Boston defensive schemes take away time and space. The trap is part of it but much like the ol’ Jersey and Detroit teams they mark the defensive assignments early in any possession and give them very little room to build up speed. Our forwards need to come back and skate up the ice with our dman so we can out number their trapping players. Hope Bylsma has some breakout schemes in his back pocket when we play teams like boston, montreal and hopefully chicago. Although chicago is more of a up and down the ice team.

    And although PM got stripped in the corner by marchant which led to the 1st goal against i thought my buddy/pal PM played his best game of the season and maybe one of his best game in 2 seasons. And fortunately for blysma benching despres AGAIN worked out with a W. He’s been with the team since late last season and performed well in the playoffs against philly…when are they stop babying him and let him play? At what point do they want to see what he can do consistently against good teams?

    P.S.- PM’s trade value is probably sky high right now :)

  97. Bizrow says:

    Probably dachshunds ;-)

  98. Bizrow says:

    Taillon, Sands, Black, Pimentel, Strickland, Welker, Cordier, Hague, Hernandez and Ford sent to the minors.

    Roster now at 51.

  99. Jandy says:

    there won’t be any ESPN in MY house!

  100. Arriba Wilver says:

    Last year, if memory serves, Marte went with the first cuts. Cole, apparently, is still there. Hmmmmm.

  101. JHadar says:

    53 — wish I was still that young.

  102. Arriba Wilver says:

    To switch back to DK’s Weds column, Pitt seemed like a different team after Woodall came back this year. They aren’t national championship caliber this year, but it would be great if they could bow out of the Big East as champions, which IS doable, if not likely. Hopefully, at least, they aren’t one and done.

  103. Thundercrack says:

    Seems like the Buccos cut a lot of first basemen.

  104. Arriba Wilver says:

    A puppy.

  105. Vinny Giardina says:

    The videos (at least in today’s column, I haven’t checked earlier ones) are in Flash format, which won’t play on an iPad or iPhone.

  106. JHadar says:

    The lack of interest in spring training noted above has several roots.

    1) Two epic collapses
    2) Federal Street Follies
    3) 20 and counting
    4) DK’s not covering them
    5) No underdog tearing it up (Remember Meinkewitz)
    6) Win or else rings else rings hollow (as much as we hope it’s true)
    7) (Personal Reason) There’s a foot of snow on the prairie and it was 15 degrees on the way to work. Still basketball season and the Hawkeyes have some slim hopes.

    I’ll stop here because if I put a ) after an 8 the blog will turn it into a smiley. Add your own if you like.

    RE: #4 — I do read other writers, but it’s just not the same.

  107. BillyBaduka says:

    I hear you. :) I am like minded but moved from Pgh to this area 15 years ago. Before I could afford Center Ice package I had to get hockey fix somehow. I never rooted for them but followed to talk with friends in the area.

    I also held out hope early in Giroux’s career (I remember his first game) that Philly wouldn’t recognize the talent and Pens could get him.

    Thanks for your response!

  108. NMR says:

    I think DK has had good ST coverage.

    We got an entire week of work, and really, what more is there to say?

  109. Drew71 says:

    so many thoroughly inappropriate, uncomfortably personal responses are dancing through my head

  110. Drew71 says:

    They’re calle Nissans now

  111. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I booed Sidney Crosby again last night. He passed the puck to Tyler Kennedy.

  112. JHadar says:

    Yes, and during that week it seemed to me (subjective) of course that my own interest in spring training as well as the level of commenting here was up quite a bit.

  113. Drew71 says:

    Yes. 7 out. 14 more to go.

    You’d think Varsho was still on staff

  114. 21sthebest says:

    If I may steal from Twitter legend Suckmeter, in my opinion if anyone has a lack of interest in spring training could it be because spring training sucks!?! It does to me.

  115. Bizrow says:

    That is a bit interesting

    But its still early

  116. Bizrow says:

    + 1

  117. JohninOshkosh says:

    From Dejan’s column:

    “He takes from his background, too, famously rough as it was from a broken, impoverished family. As he puts it, “The way I grew up, I never thought I’d come to college.””

    Ladies and Gentlemen: The reason I love basketball. College basketball in particular. The mast egalitarian of the American sports.

    Really enjoy it when Dejan writes columns about Pitt. Very fortunate for us readers that he is no longer limited to baseball.

  118. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Since it’s what I do, I have to gripe.

    1. There is no freakin logical/understandable/intelligent reason why Simon Despres is a healthy scratch. None. Perhaps that’s why Disco and Sugar Ray don’t talk about it much.

    2. There’s ABSOLUTELY no good reason for Tyler Kennedy to be on the 2nd PP unit, the 3rd line, or in the lineup. He’s not even on pace to proportionally match Chris Conner’s stats from 2010-2011. Not even close actually.

  119. Jandy says:

    Go ahead Drew, let it all hang out :P

  120. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Sing it, Tom Singer.

    “Come See Our Guys Pick Off — and Tick Off — Their Guys.”
    “Buccos pitchers have been pickoff-crazy through the first half of the exhibition season.”

    Um, last time I checked it is still Spring Training. Might be getting a little ahead of yourself there guy.

    “Even at the gate: Everyone, chicks included, may dig the long ball…”

    I’m sure chicks also enjoy your coverage and analysis as much as I do, Tommy Boy.

  121. Jandy says:


  122. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I still think he should be fired if we don’t get past the first round.

  123. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Aussies? I thought Foster’s was a lager…

  124. They need to bring Jennifer back. She was more level-headed than this guy.

  125. 21sthebest says:

    Not sure what your issue is Brad.

  126. JohninOshkosh says:

    Agree. I even sometimes look at the Cardinals site to read her.

    And I would rather chew tin foil while scratching a chalkboard while listening to someone crush styrofoam than read about the St. Louis Cardinals!

  127. Naje says:

    What’s level-headed to one is boring to another. Jen got better in her last year, but Singer and all those MLB writers are writing about one team–more or less–for the better part of 250 to 300 days a year… Singer likes his zingers and no better place than to spice up a column than in the middle of a long, boring spring training.

  128. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Some of his stuff is beyond left field. Not so much these, but some of his past work. He mentioned Vic Black and Travis Snider in some dream scenario the other day. As Lucky mentioned, Langosch was much better IMO.

    I’ll be impressed once we have some PO’s in real games against other teams’ real players.

  129. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Singer’s Zingers… I like it!

  130. radio wave says:

    Concerning your earlier question, the video won’t play on my pc. So I missed his coments. I cheer for the team, but yes, he can be a jerk. To this point in the season, very disapointing.

  131. pattonbb says:

    Steelers signed Bruce Gradkowski?


  132. 21sthebest says:

    Yeah he’s different. Maybe because he’s a little older. But I think a lot of them can be beyond left field, especially Dejan which is probably why I like his work. I never know what I’m going to read with DK whereas some others often just state the obvious, IMO.

    But Tom Singer is an Allderdice grad so he’s mostly all good!

  133. Bizrow says:

    He’s just trying to sell the product, thats why I usually pay no attention to what he has to say, Singer that is

  134. 21sthebest says:

    I think he’s just reporting on the product.

  135. Nate83 says:

    I’m sure he has accomplished that playing with lesser talent on the third line then Staal on his Carolina line.

    I really would like to see what him and dupius would do on the same line if they do make a trade, but on the other hand I’m not sure the Crosby line should be touched.

  136. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Good point.

    I just really can’t get into ST much or read much into it. Probably has something to do with the dusting of snow this morning. Guys down in Florida sayin “Oh it’s chilly today. High’s in the low 60’s. Not premier baseball weather.” Really?!

    Everyone talking about the Super Bowl should be in Pittsburgh- maybe they should have ST in Pittsburgh since the weather is so bad in Florida.

  137. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    So what happened with Foote? I see we signed him but I last heard yesterday driving out to warm and sunny Cresson that he was supposed to sign with Arizona? How’d that happen? And any word on Lewis yet? (not the deity one)

  138. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I also booed Disco for benching Despres. Again. For no good reason. Whatsoever.

  139. Kevin says:

    I agree. Boston definitely looked way different than what the penguins bring on the PK. Maybe if penguins pressured more they’d get more shorthanded chances?

  140. JRay3 says:

    Really enjoyed the column DK…we sometimes forget some of the situations these young men come from, and the odds they overcome and that is no further exemplified than in the stories of Tray Woodall and Dante Taylor.

    Those two men have been great leaders and ambassadors of this year’s Pitt team and have guided the youngsters behind them. Such an unselfish team that has achieved so much this season and hopefully has a little more magic in them before it is all said and done.

    J-Mac toes the rubber today, boy I hope his head is in the right place, if he could just give us a full season from the glimpse he provided in the first half of last year, I really think this rotation can make a little noise, If J-Mac starts to go sideways it really puts a burden on the middle to back end.

  141. Dom says:

    Fine by me. He’s an improvment over Batch and Leftwich.

  142. Iceman says:

    I think another issue with the PK that people are failing to address is the loss of Michalek. By no means to I think the Pens should’ve kept Michalek and he had more struggles than I can name, but he was very good on the PK and was a shot blocking mastermind. My guess is he would’ve stepped right in front of Chara’s shot last night (which is absurd to say because that shot will kill a man). This combined with the loss of Staal do explain much of the struggle of the PK this year.

  143. Jandy says:

    LOL Brad, nice try, but no cigar :P

  144. Jandy says:


  145. Iceman says:

    Sutter actually replaced Kunitz on the second goal so Kunitz wasn’t on the ice. It was Neal – Crosby – Sutter.

  146. Jandy says:

    Well, I was thinking about you, cuz that’s your team. At this point, I think they’d be better off without Torts.

  147. Iceman says:

    Glad to see they went youthful for a backup *sarcasm*

  148. Jandy says:

    Cresson? Do you teach there, Brad? It’s 10 minutes from me.

  149. Kevin says:

    Nobody else has any thoughts on how Wallace is getting 12mil per year? It’s incredible to me. As equally incredible as re-signing plaxico. But, I always liked plaxico so maybe he can still do some great things for us.

  150. Iceman says:

    I’m ok with TK staying on the ice as a fourth line replacement for Tanner Glass. At least with TK on that line, they have some (albeit small) chance of actually scoring a goal.

  151. They could cut him if they do get a young guy. They did that last season with Troy Smith. Probably just building options now.

  152. Arriba Wilver says:

    There have been plenty of thoughts expressed over the last few weeks when it was rumored he would get 11 to 13 mil per.

  153. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Yes I do- Mount Aloysius. I don’t know how you survive the windburn.

  154. Jandy says:

    LOL! My son-in-law is a student recruiter for the Mount. I was born and raised in Gallitzin. I like Duncansville much better :)

  155. nyrpete says:

    As a NYR fan you learn to live with Torts’ often-boorish behavior with the media. Fact is, he’s the best coach the Rangers have had in ages. He’s a big reason why the team is developing young players who can actually help the big club. Gone are the days when a NYR coach keeps sending past-their-prime players over the boards in hopes of saving his own rear end. The team is relevant again …

  156. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    And I’m starting school (again) at IUP in the fall.

    Is it sad that when i first heard it called “the Mount” that I immediately compared it to a Drew post?

  157. Arriba Wilver says:

    Probably means you’re part of the “sad dozen or so.” ;-)

  158. Jandy says:

    LMAO…that’s priceless. All the locals call it “The Mount”, that’s all I’ve ever heard it called.

    Our flooring company did work there several years ago. Sister Virginia does NOT like me ;X

  159. Jandy says:

    Classes to keep up with the changed or new field?

  160. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Well, I teach history. But I’m starting my Ph.D. in comm-media in the fall. So that I can heckle Dejan.

  161. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    + several

  162. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Neal the SEAL has a night job as GM of the Miami Dolphins?

  163. Jandy says:

    great! and good luck, Brad :)

    If you see Matt B. up there, tell him I said hi lol

  164. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Thanks, Jandy. Will do!

    Unless he’s a Tyler Kennedy fan.

  165. Dom says:

    A new Pope was been chosen but no word yet on who it is!

  166. Dom says:

    Rashard Mendenhall is going to AZ. Is it just me or does the Cardinals like our guys?

  167. Dom says:

    The Steelers cut Colon, as was expected. However, I thought if they cut him before June 1st we would have had to pay him more. Can anyone shed some light on this?

  168. BillyBaduka says:

    Fonzi Tortorella Barbarino – that’s funny! Good stuff. Nearly just out laughing at work on that.

  169. BillyBaduka says:

    I saw this in another Pgh paper.

    “Colon, who had two years remaining on his contract, will be designated for a June 1 release — meaning he can immediately become an unrestricted free agent and pursue signing with another team.
    The move also means the Steelers will create $5.5 million in salary-cap space after June 1. That will push $4.3 million — known as “dead money” — into cap accounting in 2014.”

    Apparently you can notify player and league that it will occur on 6/1. Them team gets cap space after 6/1. The player can negotiate with other teams immediately.

    DK: All of that and much, much more is on our site right now:

  170. BillyBaduka says:

    Thanks I’ll check it out.

    No offense intended referencing the competition.

    DK: None taken.

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