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

    I thought this was the Fire DB thread.

  2. 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.

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

      • 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.

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

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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

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

  7. 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.

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

    • 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.

      • 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.

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

          • 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.

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

    • 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.

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

        • 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.

          • 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.

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

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

              • 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?”

            • 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.

              • 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.

      • 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

      • 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…

        • 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.

        • 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?

          • 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.

          • 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.

            • 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.

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

  10. Mendenhall signs with the Cardinals

  11. Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the new Pope.

  12. Jandy your work is done; we have a new pope

  13. The Vatican must have good South American scouting.

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

  15. 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

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

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

  18. 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.

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

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

    • DK,

      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.

  19. Thanks for the recap Milo.

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

  20. 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.

  21. Thanks Milo

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

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