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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 5, Red Sox 3, exhibition

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (11-14-1) vs. Boston Red Sox, exhibition

Starters: LHP Jeff Locke vs. RHP Clay Buchholz

Time: 1:35 p.m.

Site: JetBlue Stadium, Fort Myers, Fla.

TV, radio: Root Sports, MLB Network (tape delay),

Here is the official live box score.

Here is the TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Rob Biertempfel is eyeing the Mini-Monster.

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. Thundercrack says:

    To the airport…on my way back home.
    Saw 3 games. The Buccos look good…and tall

  2. JAL says:

    JAL’s Tom Sawyer 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

    Prospect Notebook: Stolmy Pimentel Dominates, While A.J. Burnett . . . Not So Much

    Major League Roster Predictions With One Week Remaining in Camp

    First Pitch: Bryan Morris in Triple-A Might Not Be a Bad Idea

    Can Zack Dodson Bounce Back From His 2012 Season?

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates beat Rays 6-4, but Mike Zagurski may be pitching his way out of roster spot


    Important breaking news: Pedro Alvarez’s ears are free!

    8 San Jose Mercury News

    Chris Resop excited to be in Oakland A’s bullpen

    9 Rumbunter

    Alen Hanson, A Hope for the Pittsburgh Pirates Future

    10 Green Weenie

    Buc B-Team Rallies To Rock Rays 6-4

  3. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Rant Sports

    Making sense of Pittsburgh Pirates roster moves from the past week

    12 Yahoo Sports

    Should the Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Garrett Jones?–mlb.html

    13 Bradenton Herald

    Spring training | John McDonald enjoys debut with Pittsburgh Pirates

    14 KDKA

    Pirates’ Alvarez Not Changing His Approach

    15 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Strauss: NL Central appears a two-star solar system

    16 Bleacher Report

    Pittsburgh Pirates Season Preview: Outfield

    17 NY Times

    M.L.B. Turns to Young Stars to Reach New Fans

    18 PBC SITE

    Pirates’ rally follows solid effort by Gomez

    Bucs have breathing room in regard to Sanchez


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Becoming an Empowered and Informed Member of Society

    20 Fangraphs

    A Snapshot of Team Finances: Top Tier

  4. JAL says:

    Tom Sawyer Rush 1981 Probably the best known and most successful Canadian rock band, Rush has 24 gold records and 14 platinum records. Formed in 1968 they continue to record and tour.

  5. Drew71 says:

    Safe trip.

    Is you next game opening day?

  6. Drew71 says:

    From the AP story about #15 seed Florida Gulf Coast upsetting #2 seed Georgetown…

    “College basketball, meet Florida Gulf Coast. A school so new it wasn’t eligible for the NCAA tournament until last year busted a load of brackets Friday night.”

    Forget college basketball; EYE need to meet them. We’ve lived on the Florida Gulf Coast since 2007 and I’ve never HEARD of them.

    What a story.

  7. Drew71 says:

    Just looked them up.

    Fort Myers. Opened in 1997, 11,279 undergrad students, 1376 grad students. 52 undergrad degree programs, 30 grad, 2 doctoral. FGCU Athletics belongs to NCAA Division I Atlantic Sun Conference. (The WHAT?)

    Who knew??

    Well. At least 12,655 students know.

  8. Drew71 says:

    And by the way.

    – Only in Division 1 and eligible for the tournament for two years.
    – This is NOT a 29-2 team that no one but the experts heard of. This is a 26-TEN team that NO one heard of or was talking about. That had NO business doing what it did.

    Until it did.

  9. JAL says:

    Actually they did have business doing what they did. This makes the 4th straight year Georgetown has lost to a double digit seed.

  10. 21sthebest says:

    Ditto. Leaving Orlando in 10.

    Glad I didn’t take my shovels to the basement yet.

  11. Drew71 says:

    So at least you have something to look forward to when you return.

    By the way. What’s a basement?

    Safe travels.

  12. RobertoForever says:

    EYE knew. I watched a college baseball game against Penn State two years ago at their brand spanking new baseball facility.

  13. kr70 says:

    I was at the game, They had a kid name Eddie Murray who threw down 3 sick jams (you can see 1 on utube) and the crowd went crazy. 18,000 there and it was fun to join together and root for the underdog, go eagles!

  14. You’ve been missed.

  15. They’re part of the state university system in Florida, one article said.

    So they’re part Seminole?

  16. Eric Bowser says:

    Brad Hawpe granted his unconditional release, down to 36 players.

  17. Drew71 says:

    Not part of Florida State. The state university system is made up of smaller-mid size schools. The Dreaded Manatees, the Pirates former foil, for instance. Daytona State Univiersity. Directional schools and such.

    In Pennsylvania, they would match schools such as Clarion State, California of PA, etc.

  18. So now you’re gonna go there and get your degree?


  19. radio wave says:

    And one of the best things about Georgetown losing that game last night is that on the radio broadcast John Thompson Senior is one of the commentators. They always assign him to these Georgetown games that his son ends up losing. Thompson Senior tries to sound objective but he could never say that his son did not have his team prepared.

  20. Drew71 says:

    Lower cost, more state funding, often specifically chartered. Smaller and ess endowed than the big boys such as FL or FL State, but four year institutions, not CCs. Some were former CCs that expanded. A number of commuter colleges, but not solely.

    They fill an important and niche for those students who cannot afford the bigger institutions, or have to stay local, or have to commute and work part time, etc.

    Their academic standards are generally between community colleges and the big boys. But many students who select them do it as much for economic or lifestyle needs as academics. In other words, some of their students could get into Florida but other reasons direct them to schools such as this.

    My sons are examples of the different directions.
    – Oldest went to Florida for four years, graduated last year.
    – Youngest went to Daytona State University, one of these state university schools. Why? High school grades were much lower than his older brother. But he used the “second chance” to his advantage. Drove his GPA way, way up, graduated with an AA, then transferred to University of Central Florida (UCF) to complete his BS, where he’s currently attending with full credit for his Daytona credit hours. He could never have sniffed UCF out of high school. And the first two years at Daytona probably cost $10k+ (combined) less than UCF would have, yet his BS will still have UCF on it. A discount without any devaluation.

    As you can probably tell, I’m a big fan of these kinds of schools.

  21. Drew71 says:

    only if they have abnormal psychology.

  22. Naje says:

    Five straight years that G-town lost to a double-digit seed in the tourney…that’s what’s been reported by CBS (last night) and all the stories today. Wonder if the fire JT3 crowd is running wild in D.C.?

  23. 20 Years and Counting says:

    I was in the Civic Arena when Coppin State blew out South Carolina in 1997 I believe. Their is nothing like being at a tournament game where a low seed is pulling a huge upset. The energy in the building just continues to grow throughout the game, reaching a level that you never expected and can’t imagine unless you’ve been there. Easily one of my top 3 experiences as a sports fan

  24. JohninOshkosh says:

    Great day at the tournament yesterday. Big Ten acquitted itself well-except for my Badgers.

    UCLA got drubbed. Howland may be available.

  25. Arriba Wilver says:

    Link #7—Pedro’s EARS ARE FREE! What, it took Pat Lackey to tell us?

  26. Bizrow says:

    Is this the day they have to either add guys like Sanchez to the 40 man or release them?

  27. cosmo says:

    I read somewhere they had til Monday with Sanchez

  28. Bizrow says:


  29. JHadar says:

    Radio —

    Iowa State just DEMOLISHED Notre Dame last night. 76-58. Despite missing (if you can believe it) a half dozen or so almost uncontested dunk shots.

    Interesting factoid (Seven of the old Big 8 teams made the tournament this year: everybody but Nebraska)

    And in the “unimportant” NIT, Iowa polished off Stony Brook 75-63.

  30. Maybe Jamie Dixon can take the Georgetown job to stay in the new Big East, and Pitt can hire John Thompson III because of his recruiting inroads to Eastern basketball.

    Both sides short-sighted fans happy!!!

  31. His ears were free last year in Spring Training.

    Once he hitched ‘em up on Opening Day, he was hiding them like Mr. Spock again.

  32. Jon Heyman (via MLBRumors) today says that Gaby Sanchez is available and Yankees might sniff around.

    Sanchez’ availability is news around here. Sometimes I think writers make up so much stuff. Obviously 25 Major League clubs are just farm teams for the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, and Rangers.

    Any confirmation about Gaby Sanchez, Dejan?

  33. Drew71 says:

    After seeing 21’s note about shovels and basements, which i really didn’t understand, I checked Pittsburgh’s weather forecast for the coming week.

    Looked at the daily pictures on I didn’t understand the pictures, either. Almost all week long, there are these things. They look like this. * * * except much bigger.

    White. Falling from gray clouds. Every day.

    What are they?

  34. Thundercrack says:

    Sunny in Newark. I may stay for a few days. Of course I won’t leave the airport.

  35. Arriba Wilver says:

    You could always count the tall people. ;-)

  36. Patrick(RI) says:

    Sitting out here, in Gualala, CA gazing at the waves crashing off the rocks as both reflect the morning sun, I reflect upon the demonstration of Big East mediocrity. All is well, and even the Pirates reject a little mediocrity,by not Hawping to it.

  37. DemonDachshund says:

    Not saying that it’s a good idea, but…

    If you buy that Marte/Snider/Tabata will combine to fill the corner outfield spots, that leaves Sanchez with no role but the platoon with Jones at first. And the Pirates still want to get Jerry Sands back to the majors at some point this season, who is also a right hander who can play first base.

    Depending on what they can get for Sanchez, they may think it’s a good idea.

    Personally, I’d rather hang on to Sanchez to keep the option of Jones going out to RF in case Snider is who I think he is.

  38. RobertoForever says:

    Sanchez gave them till Tuesday to decide. Tuesday would be his regular day to pitch, if they felt they needed it to decide. I think I saw that in Singer’s report

  39. Drew71 says:

    I’d not only hang on to him for that purpose, I’d start the season that way.

  40. JHadar says:

    His ears may be free this year, but in a couple years, you just wait — Boras will want a couple million each for them.

  41. 21sthebest says:

    Thanks Lucky what about TC?

  42. JHadar says:

    Can’t speak for Pittsburgh, but out here on the prairie we actually welcome this substance at times, and we don’t have the little black bugs and hurricanes all summer.

    It’s for things like tobogganing, skiing, or sliding on. Children pack them into little round balls and toss them at each other for fun or build forts or sculptures with the stuff. There are endless games and sports that require the stuff — but the best of those are ones like “broomball” with made up rules.

    Best of all it cools the environment off so that kids can have an occasional day off school. Sometimes even grownups get a day off work — and it makes sense to build a small fire in a thing called a “fireplace” where the family can sit around and enjoy an evening together, or a couple can make up a cup of cocoa with a little Schnapps in it and snuggle up for a pleasant evening together.

    People with a pathological fear of being cold tend to avoid these sorts of activities and concentrate on the minor difficulties associated with travel when there’s an excess and ignore the beauty and wonder of it. The stillness of a moonlit night with small glittering flakes gently falling by the woods and water can inspire poetry. Personally, I tend to feel sorry for folks who don’t know what this miraculous stuff is.

  43. He’s been on throughout his trip.

  44. Drew71 says:

    Thank you for that lovely description.

    Now I can enjoy that miraculous stuff vicariously through your truly inspiring words while splashing through the Gulf waters.

  45. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hey Drew, think they’ll ever finish that construction on route 19 ? What a mess.

  46. I’ve seen enough of it for my lifetime, too, Drewster. It’s beautiful and all, our 2 or 3 inches a year around here is plenty.

  47. JohnH says:

    You can do the same thing with Westmoreland county community college up here in pa.

  48. 21sthebest says:


    I was reading a little. No time to post really.

  49. 21sthebest says:

    So there were a bunch of fellas on my flight with Pirate garb on including spring training T-shirts. If any of you are blogger geeks on this site as well, let yourselves be known.

  50. JohnH says:

    did they put morton on the 60 day dl yet? is there space?

  51. The Yankees have NOTHING at the top half of their Minor League system!

    To trade Gaby Sanchez for some low level far away prospect(s) would be the height of lunacy . . . . . . . . especially after BMTIB gave up a #32-34 first round draft pick AND Gorkys Hernandez for Gaby.

    That would be a $ saving decision only———and we know how much it messes up Bucs’ clubhouse chemistry when Neal gives away 1st basemen to the Yankees!!!

    Jerry Sands hasn’t proven crap at the Major League level. At least Sanchez was good once.

    However, I still think this is just a “Axis Mundi Sportswriters”——the world’s center is New York/Boston and all other teams are just satellites——made up rumor, unless Dejan confirms differently.

  52. RobertoForever says:

    Here on the grounds of JetBlue Ballpark. But I am on the minor league fields watching #2 overall pick from last year, Byron Buxton. And on the other field is Miguel Sano, with no one watching.

    In 85° weather.

    Ah the joys of Spring Training

  53. JohnH says:

    Please don’t murder me for asking such a dumb question. But what position would we trade for? Pitching and shortstop?

  54. Thundercrack says:

    Don’t watch Sano. We don’t want to know…or be reminded

  55. Bucs have to tell Jonathan Sanchez by tomorrow if he is going on 25-man roster.

    If they decide to send him to Minors, he has until Tuesday to tell them whether he will go to Minors or take his outright release. Gives him/his agent time to shop him. If he goes to Minors he gets $100,000 bonus.

    Hawpe had same deal and his answer is now obvious.

  56. RobertoForever says:

    Haha, sorry.

    With my Twins ties, he is certainly worth a saunter over.

  57. RobertoForever says:

    Sanchez gave the Bucs a 2 day extension. They don’t have to make a decision until then

  58. ONLY place team has depth is center field, with McCutch and Marte, and even Presley.

    Pirates traded Hanrahan for an outfielder, a middle infielder, a starting pitcher, and a reliever———and did not get stronger in any of those places.

    Bucs can use help or depth at 7 positions on the field (except CF and 2B) to make them a better MAJOR LEAGUE team.

    Pirates are collecting marginal field/marginal hit/marginal power RF and 1B like baseball cards! (seems to have “doubles” of everything out there!)

  59. Milo Hamilton says:

    Gotta say it’s going to get real old real fast watching Jeff Locke refuse to throw strikes. He’s afraid of the bat. And for good reason. Stinks.

  60. I watched a bunch of the Hawkeye game. They played well!

  61. RobertoForever says:

    See second link in JAL’s #eighteen above.

  62. When I watch Locke pitch, I feel like all the tumblers in his head don’t quite line up!

  63. Kryptonite I-70

    Wish I could have been there with you!

    I was rooting for them from my couch!

  64. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m not saying Locke can’t someday be an effective big league pitcher. But until he develops pin point control, ala Jeff Karstens, it’s not going to happen. He doesn’t have anywhere near that kind of control now.

  65. I’d be fearful of throwing anything near the plate, too, if I was him. It might get hit somewhere near Travis Snider.

  66. Milo Hamilton says:

    Rimshot. :)

  67. I’m much more sold on McPherson.

    If Locke wasn’t a lefty, he’d already be in Minor League camp.

  68. Not to worry. He’s pitching himself into Indy this afternoon. With the new, revitalized J. Sanchez and Karstens, et al still on their way, he’s toasting himself.

  69. Milo Hamilton says:

    45 pitches to get through 2 innings. Fielders are falling asleep out there, or daydreaming about prime rib.

  70. I hope the reason Dejan is not answering our questions today is because he is in his bobblehead room preparing background to attend the Pittsburgh Power football game tonight.

    He can take his kids and make it a family outing . . . . . . good seats still available.

  71. Milo Hamilton says:

    Karstens is starting the game tomorrow at McKechnie vs. Baltimore. Interesting to see how long he can go.

  72. Milo Hamilton says:

    TV game tomorrow too. I guess we’ll get to see for ourselves.

  73. Milo Hamilton says:

    I know the center. I’ve learned never to say the words “Olive Garden” in his presence.

  74. Drew71 says:

    Yeah. What about him?

  75. Drew71 says:

    I value ALL those kind of schools. They add so many opportunities for people who, for all kinds of reasons, can’t make the Big Boys work for them.

  76. Milo Hamilton says:

    A little hoops. Micah Mason is transferring from Drake (the coach was fired). He finished 4th in the nation in 3 point shooting percentage, just over 50%.

    Duquesne. That’s all.

  77. JHadar says:

    I don’t get ESPNU so I watched Iowa State and followed the Hawks on the internet.

  78. Eric Bowser says:

    If you fancy yourself as a 95-win team (laughing at you Clint Hurdle), then it is probably not wise to rely on Locke and McPherson as your 4th and 5th starters. Team has to hope Karstens is ready for his turn in the rotation and they can suffer through just one of Locke or McPherson.

  79. Drew71 says:

    Sounds like the name of a band that Dejan would like.

    Truth be told, I love snow.

    No kidding.

    It is everything ELSE about winter that I dislike. Especially gray skies for 5 months. Biting wind and cold. Feeling trapped. Excessive indoor-at home-TV time.

    But snow, when fresh, is beautiful. And usually “blanket” snow falls when it’s, like, 28-33. Not, you know, Negative Five.

    The sun shining on a fresh blanket of snow, with crystallized tree limbs changing colors as the sun filters through the ice, is one of God’s greatest gifts to the Earth.

    It’s just the rest of the gray, dull, salty-slushy, bitter five months that I can – and do – live without.

  80. Drew71 says:

    Probably when Rt. 28 is “ready” or “finished”.

    Lucky for us, the 19 construction is in the south central part of the county that we rarely visit.

  81. JHadar says:

    Watch out for the sharks.

    The ones in the water, too.

  82. Drew71 says:

    Just Snider.

    With French Fries and Gravy.

  83. Pedro Alvarez is taking such a big lead from 1st that if he would fall over toward the base, he would land on his belt buckle.

    Who is the new baserunning coach? 2013 Manny Sanguillen?

  84. cosmo says:

    Plus free blankets!

  85. I heard Hurdle give that 95 win breakdown.

    I have no problems with what he said. I’d rather he say what he said with his listed reasons than say, “I hope we win 4 more games.”

  86. 5 pitch inning for Locke after three 21 pitch innings———did someone else inhabit his uni?

  87. TJ says:

    I can’t believe no one is talking about that awful performance by the Pens last night. Giving up 15 unanswered shots in the first period. Just disgusting. That whole coaching staff should be fired. And Shero should go as well if the best option we have in the minors is Trevor Smith who is 28. Poor management all the way around!

  88. TJ says:

    That depends Eric… are we talking major league club or AAA?

    McPherson and Locke as your 4th and 5th in AAA would mean you have a pretty good shot a 95

  89. TJ says:

    I think the new baserunning coach is Rod Barajas; if there was ever an expert on stolen bases its him

  90. Said on TV he will go 65-75 pitches.

    If Karstens is on, that could be almost a complete game!

  91. TJ says:

    My guess he doesn’t make it past his pregame bullpen session

  92. TJ says:

    Fries and gravy; yum

  93. Naje says:

    Karstens will be ready for his start… Locke can’t help himself and continues to believe that he doesn’t belong… or at least pitches like that until the damage is already done.

    For all those that say “just start the young guys” well, that’s exactly why you don’t start young, untalented pitchers…when they can’t get a strike three… when they consistently get ahead in counts and cannot finish off a batter… that is a lack of talent; a lack of believing in their ability to get an out.

  94. Fire Dan Bylsma!

    Sure he has won 11 games in a row, but his defense is Michael Therrion’s and his good power play was installed by Eddie Olchek.

    Bylsma’s just lucky. For the last 11 games his team has only played against other teams who were in a scoring slump!

  95. TJ says:


    Just so you know I was being sarcastic. I wanted to see if anyone would jump all over me.

    But Fire Bylsma!

  96. TJ says:

    I think I finally figured out a mystery. For the longest time I could not figure out why little mario and luigi on mario brothers were plumbers. That is until my 6’4 body tried to climb under my sink to change the faucet. Whomever created that death trap obviously had something against tall people

  97. Wow! Buchholtz has already thrown 80 pitches but he comes out to pitch the 6th inning.

    Obviously Bosox don’t understand the Neal Huntington School of Preparation.

  98. Ghost says:

    Be assuaged knowing that Neal Huntington like’s ‘em tall.

  99. TJ says:

    Buchholtz passed SEALS training; he’s qualified to go further.

  100. Tony Watson in to pitch 6th——8 pitches, 1 K, 0 hits, 1 ball, 3 outs. I like it!!

  101. RobertoForever says:

    No talk about Melancon? Seems like he had a dominating inning. Second outing in a row.

    Upate on Sano – 2 for 4 with a Grand Slam, single, 2 runs, 4 RBI. A lock for a high A assignment.

  102. Dave G says:

    Bomb by Pedro and the Bucs take a 5-3 lead top eighth.

  103. Dave G says:

    Mezzaro K’s 5 of the 6 batters he has faced!

  104. JohninOshkosh says:

    Fire Dixon. Guy can’t out recruit Duquesne.

  105. 21sthebest says:

    Dixon extended through 2023.

  106. Arriba Wilver says:

    Just heard that on CBS.

  107. 21sthebest says:

    Probably the same CBS I was watching.

  108. Arriba Wilver says:


  109. Arriba Wilver says:

    I liked Barkley’s comment. “Didn’t he lose? What would they have done if he won? Extend him through 2052?” (He didn’t really say it in a mean way).

  110. 21sthebest says:

    Yeah I was howling.

  111. DK: I’ve put up a new thread on Dixon, guys.

  112. Hope the column tomorrow is on the POWER.

  113. Thundercrack says:

    Thanks a lot!!


  114. Thundercrack says:

    “The game has gotten faster in the last couple of years, and I just haven’t been able to catch up yet,” Hawpe said.

    1) I appreciate his honesty
    2) That seems to be the motto of most of the veteran free agent position players brought in here since 2008

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