Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 4, Red Sox 3, exhibition

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (9-13) vs. Boston Red Sox, exhibition

Starters: RHP James McDonald vs. RHP Clay Buchholz

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 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. John Lease says:

    I’m ready for a good outing from McDonald. Season is getting close, time to start trying to get guys out.

  2. Arriba Wilver says:

    TC–I hope we get more today than “Polanco is tall.” :-)

  3. NMR says:

    Huge change brewing. Sounds like Bud will get his wish for a World Wide Draft.

    I’m not even sure where to start with this. So many questions to be answered. Thank god we have Bud, the champion of economic equality.

  4. Hope it’s not raining there like it is here or the only report we’ll get is how the local watering holes are.

  5. Milo Hamilton says:

    I forgot to mention that I personally witnessed Frank Coonelly greeting last week. He wasn’t quite in top form but it is spring training for him too you know. His wife seemed very nice. Poor woman.

  6. Bizrow says:

    So it looks like JMac has given up two runs so far in the first?

  7. Bizrow says:

    It will be interesting to see how they blend Latin players in, as you can sign them when they are 16 vs the 18 and older portion for the guys that are in the current draft

  8. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc says:

    Howdy all….

  9. NMR says:

    Absolutely. Will they make a uniform minimum age?

    Also, what will happen to the Latin American facilities, period?

    What will be team motivation to spend money teaching kids who will be fair game to all other teams?

  10. TC, is JMac’s downward plane really downward this spring?


    He’s tall, too, right?

  11. Bizrow says:

    An update to MLBTradeRumors says they may be separate drafts

  12. Thundercrack says:


  13. Are you back home?

  14. Thundercrack says:

    Funny you mention that Lucky. My wife’s scouting report today was that the Red Sox loaded up on short players versus JMac

  15. Milo Hamilton says:

    Safe, sound & cold.

  16. Is Walker’s homer our 4th of the spring? I know Barmes has 2 & Gaby one. Anyone else hit one?

  17. The first 2 are the most important.

  18. Thundercrack says:

    Too many pitches by JMac so far. The ump doesn’t seem to be helping him.

    I will say that his body language is terrible. I am starting to by into the notion that his struggles could be above the shoulders

  19. Thundercrack says:

    I forgot my phone yesterday

    Tough crowd.

  20. Jandy says:

    The third one can be fixed with a brew ;)

  21. Jandy says:

    Hi Ryan :)

  22. Milo Hamilton says:

    You’re pretty much describing what I saw last Wednesday. He did straighten himself out & finish strong. 2 runs in the 1st then shutout ball the rest of the way.

  23. Jandy says:

    Maybe a neck-wringing will fix that?

  24. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc says:

    anything new in here??

    thoughts on Cole being sent down? I think its a good thing, only from the business stand point.

  25. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc says:

    Hi Jandy…Go Pens huh?

  26. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc says:

    I just read that Gaby has 3

  27. Thundercrack says:

    Don’t trust the box score today.

    The winds are wicked today

    (Holy crap…I sound like a Sox fan)

  28. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc says:

    He obviously has the natural ability, but his head could be the problem.

  29. Probably does. Just seems like we haven’t hit many this spring.

  30. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc says:

    That’s Florida for ya, the wind seems to always affect outcomes.

    –I just wish it blew out more when I was playing

  31. Milo Hamilton says:

    Thunder’s getting wet. Not many places to escape there.

  32. Milo Hamilton says:

    I saw Cutch, Pie & Hawpe hit homers. There may have been more but those are the ones I remember.

  33. JohninOshkosh says:

    Not good news.

    Mechanical problems can be fixed.

    Mental issues…not that easily.

  34. Thundercrack says:

    I am under the roof on the first base side. But the wind is blowing the rain in

  35. NMR says:

    I think I have to agree with Groat, Lucky. You’re snideliness is at full speed lately!

  36. JohninOshkosh says:

    Protect your phone! They don’t like water too much.

  37. NMR says:

    Thanks for the heads up, Biz.

  38. NMR says:

    AAA lineup for the Sox, too.

    I think Locke’s second outing has been the closest to a full squad as we’ve gotten from Boston this spring.

  39. Milo Hamilton says:

    Do you like what they’ve done with the place ?

  40. Guess I’m way off. Just seemed like they’ve been few and far between. It’s about what to expect from a team that’s not the ’27 Yankees.

  41. Did he say that again? I was just commenting. Not meaning to be snide about it.

  42. Guess I need to quit.

  43. Thundercrack says:

    Yes, very much Milo. Sat in the new outfield bleachers yesterday. The view was much better than I expected. The new boardwalk is nice

    And I just realized that the regular seats now fold up!

  44. Jandy says:

    No, no Spunky, keep up the good work, you’re making me laugh :)

  45. Jandy says:

    They’re on a roll, Ryan!

  46. Milo Hamilton says:

    I love it too, Thunder. The boardwalk is tremendous. If you get there early enough, they’ll let you down by the batting cages. I watched Jay Bell work with Brad Hawpe & he hit a home run that day.

  47. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc says:

    I honestly haven’t been paying attention…

  48. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc says:

    Still don’t like Locke

  49. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc says:

    Always a good thing…

  50. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc says:

    This all could be worse, look at what the Braves put up on the Phillies…

  51. hockeymonster says:

    Just jumping on today to say that in the last 3-4 games PM has played as well as I’ve ever seen him play…he looks stronger on the boards and more aware around the net. HOWEVER he’s had impressive stretches before too and then fizzled in the playoffs. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice……….So I say we take advantage of his increased trade value for cap purposes and to get the depth we need at forward and on defense. Prior to the last 3-4 games he cost us 4 goals in the Toronto and philly games so lets see how he does now…especially with letang out.

  52. Thundercrack says:

    I liked being able to look into the bullpens too

  53. Thundercrack says:

    Just almost got buzzed by a line drive foul ball. Went right into the Altoona booster club.

    And apparently it is really snowing a lot in Altoona

  54. Thundercrack says:

    One more strikeout by a Pirate pitcher and we get free biscuits & gravy at Bob Evans

  55. Iceman says:

    Two big news items I just saw.

    1) Tiger Woods is dating DK’s favorite Skier, Lindsay Vonn. Not sure who is crazier in this situation.

    2) Steelers just signed Matt Spaeth. When I think of early season replacement for Heath Miller, not sure Spaeth even makes the list.

    So maybe neither of these are big news items. Maybe I should’ve said two scary news items. Oh well…

  56. JohnS says:

    Well if it is anything like what I am getting in State College then Altoona is getting pounded as well.

  57. Drew71 says:

    I may stop by that watering hole again today.

    Film at Eleven.

  58. Thundercrack says:

    Gaby Sanchez is on fire and will prove to be a great deadline deal pickup

  59. tpbco says:

    Okay, if Dman giving up goals is your standard, how many has Letang given up, or Orpik or do you only count Martin’s? If I remember right, Orpik and Letang gave up 4 in ONE game in the philly playoffs. How many times did they look forlornly at the puck sitting in the goal with their hands and sticks across their knees in last month of the season and that playoff series. Getting rid of them too?

    How about Depres when he tripped over his own blue line and caused a goal a couple of games ago?

    That’s a lot of trades to make…Especially for a team with the highest point total in the conference.

  60. Bizrow says:

    For someone this coming deadline??

  61. tpbco says:

    Maybe Vonn is still high after her knee surgery.

    Spaeth doesn’t make the list. Particularly with all the question marks with the WR’s.

    The first one is a shrug of the shoulders, the second one, I’m not sure I understand much of anything that they are doing and probably won’t until after the draft.

  62. Thundercrack says:

    The sun is shining here in Florida

    And I just won free biscuits & gravy.
    You can’t bring me down

  63. hockeymonster says:

    Now we’re comparing letang to martin? And I’m not worried about isolated instances regarding orpik or despres. They don’t have the lapses around the net and with the puck PM has had last season, playoffs and early this year. Martin is playing better this year and especially the last few games. But after last season and playoffs we’ve lowered our standard for him. I don’t wanna go back n forth. If you search previous posts n threads you’ll see my thoughts in great detail but essentially his improved play is exactly why we should capitolize on his increased trade value.

  64. tpbco says:

    Orpik has only played well the last few games (sound familiar?) especially against Boston, who he ALWAYS gets up for, sounds like pretty much the same thing. Up and until about 10 days ago several opined he was done, time to move him.

    Letang, who argueably is playing his best THIS YEAR, has a history of great moves and stupid plays in the same game over most of his career. Isn’t his value at it’s highest, too? If he is able to win the Norris, what’s he gonna command on his next contract? Using the same criteria, why wouldn’t you trade him now?

    You just seem to have some irrational grudge against Martin, did he pee in your wheaties or something? The dude is playing big minutes and has been one of the best players on the ice the last couple of games. Perfect no. Will it last, who knows. Kunitz hasn’t scored in three games, either.

    He seems to me to be paralleling Gonchar’s start with the Pens, did you want to trade him after his first year too? James Neal needed a year and a position change, would have been real easy to get down on him.


    Okay, ASSUME your right and this is only a flash in the pan. Do you think you’re only one in the league that would see this?

    Exactly what do you think you’re going to get for him?

  65. hockeymonster says:

    Ha and who peed in ur wheaties? You ignored cap situation during your hissy fit. That was the basis for the majority of my agruement. Not to mention poor play last season and horrendous play in playoffs. Even Martin admitted to embarrassing play. I could point out all the holes and flaws in your hissy fit but instead I’ll ask if we can afford to pay a slightly above average dman 5m with the cap going down, letang needing a raise and Cooke, Kennedy, and dupuis needing to be signed or replaced?

  66. Bizrow says:

    I forgot to post the smiley face

    And practicing up for the season ;-)

  67. tpbco says:

    Hissy fit?

    Dude, take a valium or three.

    All I did was point out that YOUR arguement could be applied to 1/3 of the team, at a minimum.

    And you want to resign Kennedy? Really?

    Let’s put THAT one up for a vote…

  68. Thundercrack says:

    I forgot the smiley face too Biz

    And I wish Bryan Morris would have had a 1,2,3 inning in the ninth

  69. Bizrow says:

    Thanks for the reports, TC

    What we do in the pitching area is IMO much more intriguing than the bench spots

  70. Chris says:

    Was wondering the actual number myself…

    After today, pirates have 17 home runs this spring.

  71. hockeymonster says:

    I covered all that in previous threads. Just dont wanna rehash.

  72. officer mancuso says:


  73. officer mancuso says:

    He’s certainly putting on a show this spring. His career splits, LHP vs. RHP, sugguest the likelihood of a platoon factoring into his opportunities to start. Looking only at the last 2 regular seasons, Gaby has hit for about 35 points more batting average against southpaws than against NHB (normal human beings). Pedro and Garrett have the opposite split. Pedro has punished NHB’s to the tune of about a 50 point batting average differential to his average against handedness nonconformists. Jones nearly breaks the spreadsheet, having hit NHB’s at about 110 batting average points better than he’s hit LHP’s. You can look it up

  74. Arriba Wilver says:

    Well, at least Lucky was close.

  75. Thundercrack says:

    I realize that I’ve only seen two games but I am kinda impressed with Felix Pie.

    I wonder if they will keep Presley …he seems to be doing well, is re-dedicated, and they may have some sense of loyalty to him

  76. I only missed by 13, AW.


    Of course, that was me being snide.

  77. Arriba Wilver says:

    Me too. :-)

  78. Arriba Wilver says:

    Does he have any options left?

  79. The Gunner says:

    I understand Presley (.297) has options left & Scabata (.222) does not. I have been hearing Joggin Joe is a lock to make the team. He looks like he is in much better shape vs. 2012. I got on him real bad last year, he stunk so bad. Pie is having a good spring @ .281.

    Presley is the fastest white guy I have ever seen but, I can’t see him breaking camp with the Bucs.

    DK: Olympic track gold medalist Jeremy Wariner, whom I covered, takes exception to your stereotype of the caucasian race, my friend:

  80. The Gunner says:


    JMac is a real question mark, I am concerned about the rest of the pitching staff this year. Like you said, this year’s Bucs is not the ’27 Yankees or ’71/’79 Buccos. I am concerned big time.

  81. Good to see you, Gunner. I was playing off Neal’s comment a few years back after the Bay trade I think, when he said he didn’t exactly trade away the ’27 Yankees.

    But I truly hadn’t realized they had hit that many homers. Then 3 today raised them to 17. We need to score some runs. Our 3rd to 5th starters are big question marks.

    Milo said last week when he was down there that JMac threw real well after the first inning. Seems the same today.

  82. Jandy says:

    You’re a friggin idiot

  83. Jandy says:

    4 inches of snow/sleet….topped with 1/4 of ice.
    Gonna go shoot that friggin rodent!

  84. kevnj says:

    ok DK that was funny. If anyone remembers him Don Beebe held the record for 40 time at the combine for a lot of years, he and Deion ran the same time in the same year.

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