Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 5, Blue Jays 4, exhibition

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (7-10) vs. Toronto Blue Jays, exhibition

Starters: RHP James McDonald vs. LHP Mark Buehrle

Time: 1:05 p.m.

Site: McKechnie Field, Bradenton, Fla.

Radio: 93.7 The Fan

Here is the official live box score.

Here is the TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Rob Biertempfel is back on the beat.

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. This lineup sucks. Oh wait, there isn’t one yet. Got ahead of myself.

    I thought this was the Fire DB thread.

  2. Nate83 says:

    The lineup actually is pretty darn close to what you will see opening day except Gaby is at first instead of Jones. That may very well still suck but it’s the best we got to offer. I for one think it will be an adequate lineup that goes as far as Snider/Tabata, Marte and Alverez take it. I have higher hopes then going into last year.

  3. Bizrow says:

    Anyone know what the latest on the Legend is, healthwise?

  4. I hadn’t seen it. I was just being smart. I have no argument with any lineup, especially in ST.

  5. Nate83 says:

    I knew you were just joking and hadn’t seen it yet. It was just funny that you made the comment on the day that they actually fielded something close to what should be their opening day lineup and some may think that it still sucks.

  6. I’m like you. I have higher hopes this season and more confidence in this lineup. Pedro is still under the double Mendoza line currently, but it is ST. (Redundance intended).

  7. Arriba Wilver says:


  8. pattonbb says:

    Jeez, Barmes is still in the lineup? Why won’t they give Holt a chance? I’m so tired of seeing….

    Oops. Sorry, friends. That was last year’s comment. Guess I’ll need to work on a new one.

    Play Ball and Lets Go Bucs!!!

  9. TJ says:

    Just so I’m clear; the center piece of the Hanrahan trade was already cut? Seriously? Couldn’t make it out of the first round of cuts and he’s what 25? Nice job NH

  10. 21sthebest says:

    Melancon was cut?

  11. Bizrow says:

    Sands was sent to Indy, Pimenwhatever too

  12. TJ says:

    So we are saving face by saying Melancon was the center of the trade? Funny if thats the case cause he was the last name heard mentioned in the trade.

  13. TJ says:

    Pemento loaf

  14. TJ says:

    ESPN just made their first appearance on the Ray Lewis network. Rather disgusting.

  15. Arriba Wilver says:

    Have to define “centerpiece.” Melancon was clearly a key part of the trade to be on the 25 man roster as a pitcher. Sands didn’t have much chance to make the 25, which seems to be Snider and Tabata as shoo-ins.

    DK: My own understanding was that Melancon was the main piece in the trade, though obviously not the main motivation for making it. That was money.

  16. radio wave says:

    Disapointing opening inning for McDonald. I thought Walk’s comments about lack of control was noteworthy. Sounded like Jmac’s stats from previous starts were OK, but I guess he doesn’t pass the eyeball test.

  17. At least they won’t get no-hit today. Marte is still on fire.

  18. Arriba Wilver says:

    Agree, DK.

  19. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I thought the main motivation was to increase the depth and strength of the team?

    We’re steadily making Indy and Altoona some of the deepest and strongest organizations out there.

  20. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    I like the fact that every time Huntington makes a trade with Boston, they get a bona-fide player who has been to multiple all-star games and the Pirates get a handful of AAAA players.

  21. NMR says:

    Sands is the only OF/1B candidate with an option left. This was a no-brainer.

  22. NMR says:

    You realize they haven’t played a game yet, right?

  23. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s my understanding, too.

    Lots of legitimate criticism of the FO without manufacturing stuff.

  24. Glad to see him settle down. If he falters, Cole will be our #3 starter before the end of the season. He may be anyway.

  25. radio wave says:

    Walk is unbelievable today. What he just said about Marte…
    Makes it sound like the guy is 1 hit away from Cooperstown.

  26. Thundercrack says:

    Hey if the hockey (Pens) fanatics can do it , why can’t we do it too


  27. Jandy says:

    Go all out!
    or is that all in?

  28. Arriba Wilver says:

    Between Singer and what I’ve heard from the broadcast crew so far, it’s clear the word is out— you’re either with us or agin us. From FC (not manufactured). And anyone who thinks that’s a stretch hasn’t been paying attention IMHO.

  29. NMR says:

    Honest question, who does Singer report to? Who actually signs his paycheck?

  30. Bizrow says:

    That puts me in quite a quandry. I am a died in the wool PBC fan, but I am NOT going to carry a telephone pole :-)

    Sorry, it must be your avatar

  31. Arriba Wilver says:

    Don’t know, but regardless, I’m guessing the team has a say in if he continues in that role. There is a very clear difference in the tone of the coverage so far from last year that I don’t see being justified by differences on the team itself. So, I assume there is another reason for that.

  32. NMR says:

    Soon enough, my friend. Soon enough.

    I know we don’t always see eye to eye, but it sucks to have that kind of contentious personality running a team. I personally tune it out, but its clear to see good people, good fans, getting turned off by it.

  33. Arriba Wilver says:


  34. NMR says:

    My question definitely wasn’t in disagreement. Honestly just plain inquisitive.

    I think the front office in general is such a polarizing entity that anyone in Singer’s position is going to come off a bit like that.

    BUT…it also wouldn’t surprise me a bit to hear that there is also some conversations being had behind the scenes.

  35. Arriba Wilver says:

    What I am seeing is a difference between Tom’s coverage last year and this year. It’s like 2 different people.

  36. Bizrow says:

    Here’s some info on Cole and others regarding service time this coming season. If this has been posted before, much apology

  37. NMR says:

    Wow. Didn’t even realize he wrote in that position last year. Certainly making a name for himself thus far…

  38. Nate83 says:

    Melancon was the main piece. Sands was protection against Tabata/Snider falling on face and also makes it possible for trades to improve team in other areas. It’s never bad to have depth for injuries or providing trading chips.

    That said, I agree with DK. Money was the centerpiece of the trade.

  39. Arriba Wilver says:

    He was actually very good last year, and after the games had some of the best questions. Not the usual, “so, did getting the win feel better than losing?”

  40. Naje says:

    Sure sounds like a conspiracy, AW… but I’m not buying it. This is ST and all they have to go with is personality pieces and such…there’s little to no news to report. Singer and all the MLB beat writers get paid by MLB. None of them do much more than write AP type stories with some home side flavor and extra facts thrown in.

    And they are all paid employees of MLB…

  41. Naje says:

    It’s, after all…owned by MLB…paid for by all 30 teams in the league. They probably have strict guidelines on style, topics, etc. So really, there is nothing here more than reporting P.R. for MLB teams.

  42. Arriba Wilver says:

    Naje—ignore the obvious, dude. You saying the Pirates, assuming they wanted to, could not get MLB to get someone else to cover them? Really? Frank, the former MLB labor counsel?

  43. TJ says:

    Mendenhall signs with the Cardinals

  44. NMR says:

    Stats aside, I think we’re seeing what we’re going to get from Jmac.

    He hasn’t been the complete mental wreck that he was when we last saw him in the rotation. And he also hasn’t been the lights out ace, either.

    For what it’s worth, he posted a spring training ERA over 8 last year. Thats pretty incredible(ok, not when you remember that ST stats really are worthless) considering he came out of the gate completely on fire.

  45. I’m hard-pressed to hold back the tears.

  46. Naje says:

    No, I’m saying moves their writers around quite a bit after a couple year stint here or there. I think individual clubs have little say in the matter. I do think that the writers probably put in for jobs that they may think are plum jobs for them. And Jen, being from the midwest, maybe wanted to get closer to home… plus, she was a decent enough writer to probably ask for another assignment.

    DK: Jen wanted to go home. Nothing else to it.

  47. Iceman says:

    Should anyone really be surprised. Seems like anyone who leaves the Stillers ends up in Arizona. It’s pretty remarkable.

  48. I think she’s from Iowa, right? Probably a Cards’ fan at heart.

  49. Dom says:

    Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the new Pope.

  50. TJ says:

    Jandy your work is done; we have a new pope

  51. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m not suggesting for a second Jen was moved because of her coverage. She obviously wanted to go ” home.” What I am comparing is Singers coverage from last year to this year. I know if you can put a “conspiracy” hook on any criticism of the FO you quit thinking, but don’t you think it’s at least conceivable that, in the face of DK’s pretty withering criticism, that they may have tried to counter that where they could? They seemed pretty sensitive to it at Piratefest.

  52. Bizrow says:

    Jandy’s work is never done ;-)

  53. Arriba Wilver says:

    Francis I

  54. JohninOshkosh says:

    The Vatican must have good South American scouting.

  55. Arriba Wilver says:

    I see Rene Gayo’s hand in this. :-)

  56. Bizrow says:

    I humbly nominate the above as post du jour

  57. Naje says:

    Gotcha… and sure, that can happen. I just think Singer’s a different type of writer. That writer’s are paid employees of MLB and thus, the team(s) they represent (as some writers cover as backups a few teams). For me, it’s not even close to a primary source of information because really, they’re paid employees of MLB and that’s a very fine line to deal with as a writer.

  58. Naje says:

    She’s from Mizzou… remember her bio about not liking Kansas?

  59. 21sthebest says:

    I think the main motivation for making it was value of which money is a part of, obviously.

  60. Naje says:

    arriba arriba….!

  61. 21sthebest says:

    NMR, given your last paragraph, how do you come to the conclusion that you came to in the first paragraph?

  62. Thundercrack says:

    I think Singer is paid by MLB.
    I’m sure the Pirates would say something like “we’d appreciate if there weren’t a bunch of articles on our web site that are highly critical of us”.

    AW brings up a good point about Singer’s coverage last year —but I also think we should wait and see how he reports things this year…when the season actually starts.

    I did think Singer’s recent article about the depth & quality of the minors was a bit of a head scratcehr.

  63. Jandy says:

    Wanna hankie? ;)

  64. Jandy says:


  65. Jandy says:

    why does that name make me think of a gigolo????

  66. Why do they have to change their names? Why not Pope Jorge?

  67. NMR says:

    Basically because he hasn’t been a mental trainwreck but he also hasn’t seen the “stuff” come back, either.

    Besides, the middle road has been the most likely outcome all along. First half Jmac and second half Jmac are the far, far outliers to the rest of his career.

    Just my rambling thoughts, of course.

  68. Arriba Wilver says:

    The one thing I’d mention is it’s not like he was criticizing everything last year. He just wasn’t the cheerleader, beyond all reasonable interpretation, he has been so far this year.

  69. gregenstein says:

    At least it explains the Ray Lewis love affair they had during the Ravens’ run to the Super Bowl.

  70. Arriba Wilver says:

    Wrong blog. :-P. :-P. :-P

    Maybe wrong century.

  71. NMR says:

    Pretty sure the Jeffress guy who pitched for Toronto today is battling Brad Lincoln for the Jays last bullpen spot.

  72. TJ says:

    If Gayo had his hand in this he would have signed with another Church.

  73. Thundercrack says:

    I thought someone mentioned the other day that Andy LaRoche was having a great spring training. His average is .240. Maybe the post was about his home runs?

    And I guess .240 is great for HIM

  74. Bizrow says:

    Not bad, TJ, not bad at all ;-)

  75. Dom says:

    It looks like the Broncos are going to sign Wes Welker.

  76. Dom says:

    Russ Grimm
    Bruce Arians
    Ken Whisenhunt
    Rashard Mendenhall
    William Gay
    Crezdon Butler

    Who else am I forgetting.

  77. CeehowUR says:

    I wonder if all Cardinals have to go through Hoka Hey training? I know someone that would recommend it.

  78. Bizrow says:

    A two year deal, missed how much it was for

  79. TJ says:

    Nice of Brady to take that pay cut and Welker heads to Denver!

  80. Chris says:

    Joey porter
    Clark haggans
    Bryant McFadden
    Nick eason
    And a few more coaches like ray Horton and Deshea Townsend

  81. TJ says:

    12 mil total not per year

  82. Thundercrack says:

    I guess Belicheck’s warm & fuzzy personality wasn’t enough to keep Wes in New England

  83. Bizrow says:

    12 million for two years???

  84. Drew71 says:

    “Andy LaRouche, who no longer makes outs”

    I never let anything go.


  85. Bizrow says:

    + 1

  86. Milo Hamilton says:

    Another walkoff win for the Buccos today. Ignore the pitching line, James McDonald threw the ball great. He could have easily given up no runs thanks to a wild throw by Pedro & shaky relief pitching by Mark Melancon. Josh Harrison has stung the ball every AB I’ve seen & Felix Pie seems to be making a serious bid for that last spot.

    And boy did Russell Martin get a rude reception from what seemed like the whole Province of Ontario in attendance today. They are just not going to let that WBC thing go anytime soon. He got thrown out at the plate & they reacted as if they had won the Stanley Cup.

    DK: How did Melancon look, Milo? Seemed fine in the two outings I saw him.

  87. Milo Hamilton says:

    Nearly forgot to mention a record crowd at McKechnie Field – 8,439 today.

  88. MadTurk says:

    All out is resevered for Drew

  89. Bizrow says:

    Thats equal to a Tuesday night vs??? at PNC

    Thanks for the updates Milo

  90. Thundercrack says:

    Thanks for the recap Milo.

    I can’t wait to get down there next week.

  91. JRay3 says:

    Encouraging to hear about how JMac threw. Harrison seems to be picking it up. Thanks for the info…enjoy your time down there.

  92. TJ says:

    6 per year

  93. 21sthebest says:

    Obviously nobody that knows anything about baseball.

  94. 21sthebest says:


  95. TJ says:

    Whats amazing is to go from a QB like Tom Brady to Peyton Manning. Should be interesting when Denver visits New England this season.

  96. Eric Bowser says:

    Out of all NHL forwards with 20 games played at even strength, Pens 4th line of Vitale, Adams, and Glass own 3 of 16 worst ratings for PDO.

    There’s your problem to address by the trade deadline.

  97. radio wave says:

    Thanks Milo

  98. JohninOshkosh says:

    ‘Nova looks pretty solid against SJU. I don’t think they are going to be dispatched back to Philly easily.

  99. JohninOshkosh says:

    Huggy Bear and WVU lost their last seven games of the season including today’s loss to 11-19 Texas Tech in the opening round of Big 12 Tourney.

  100. He fared better in the Big East.

  101. Milo Hamilton says:


    Melancon was very shaky. His control was lousy. Good stuff, though. We were saying today that no reliever seems to get through the spring clean. Maybe just a bump in the road for him. Jared Hughes struggled through the 9th also. He left the bases loaded after a visit from Uncle Ray.

    DK: Yeah, spring ball and all. Was most interested in whether Melancon was outright spraying or anything. That would be a red flag. But we’re also getting close to dead-arm time in the spring. As you say, almost EVERY reliever has one of these.

Other blogs
Sports: Rob Rossi | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | iPreps | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports
News: This Just In | Trib List | ICycle | Flow Back | Stories Behind Trib Stories  

» Top Sports
» Top News
» Top Breaking News