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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 2, Yankees 1, exhibition

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (12-18-1) vs. New York Yankees, exhibition

Starters: LHP Jeff Locke vs. RHP Hiroki Kuroda

Time: 1:05 p.m.

Site: George M. Steinbrenner Field, Tampa, Fla.


Here is the official live box score.

Here is the TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Rob Biertempfel bids farewell to Florida.

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. A caught stealing and without an error on Martin. Of course Ichiro is about 65 years old.

  2. Bizrow says:

    Pretty good chat, as per usual

  3. Bizrow says:

    Anyone know if Robby Grossman is sticking with the Astros this year? Just saw that Gorkys is not going to make Miami’s 25 man roster

  4. 21sthebest says:

    Gorkys had a decent spring, just looking at the numbers. No idea about Grossman.

  5. 21sthebest says:

    Totally warms my heart to see spring training coming to an end.

  6. For sure. 4 K’s through 3. We’re in mid-season form. :)

    Locke has been good through 2 FWIW.

  7. Milo Hamilton says:

    What do we think ? About 2 hours 10 minutes today ?

  8. Bizrow says:

    Grossman got sent to AAA last week

  9. If that. Large strike zone today.

  10. Milo Hamilton says:

    And all the 1st ball swinging. They can’t wait to get home.

  11. Bizrow says:

    The ol’ Get Out Of Town Today strike zone, I guess

  12. 21sthebest says:

    Reminds me about 10 years ago when my kid was in Little League playing a weekday game. The ump started out by telling everyone to keep it rolling, that the Friends finale was that night. I think the game took an hour.

  13. Milo Hamilton says:

    I did the same a couple years ago with the Stanley Cup Finals. I was doing the bases for my nephew’s game & I told both teams before the game everyone’s out. Everyone else was in a hurry too.

  14. Afternoon Sports-fans!!
    Still time to “wager” on the very first OVER / UNDER of the year!!
    This line will stay open until Sunday evening, and as always this is just for fun and entertainment purposes.

    Total number of Pirates Victories in 2013
    LINE is 81.5
    Maximum “wager” is 250 units. All “wagers” must be divisible by 5.

    Anyone can play, and everyone should try!
    What’ll ya have? What’ll ya have?

    **The Window is on twitter @TheBuccoWindow, feel free to follow**

    Please reply in this box, makes it much easier for me to “book-keep” that way.
    If you “wagered” yesterday, and got a reply back from me, then I have you on the sheet.

  15. JHadar says:

    Saw the Yankees picked to finish 5th in the AL East yesterday — AP report in the Des Moines Register.

    Their last losing season was in 1992.


  16. 21sthebest says:

    I’m not a Yankees basher, but the Yankees finishing low does kind of make you feel warm and fuzzy.

  17. Milo Hamilton says:

    I came across this little nugget – FanGraphs & Baseball Reference agree to value for replacement level in WAR.

    I don’t know about you, but I’m sure gonna sleep better tonight.

  18. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yeah, but do they know the golf courses are closed up north?

  19. JohninOshkosh says:

    I can’t remember. Did Ross and Rachel end up together? I always thought Ross was a putz.

  20. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t even know. We swore off prime time television when Seinfeld went off the air in 1998.

    And don’t bag on Ross. There’s nothing wrong with the putz getting the hot chick. I did.

  21. Milo Hamilton says:

    6 innings in 1 hour & 17 minutes. Good outing for Locke.

  22. JohninOshkosh says:

    :) Me too. Still don’t know how it happened. What’s the great Groucho Marx line: “I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member “.

  23. Now he’s made the rotation and he’s Yankee killer, too. Quite a week for the lad.

  24. I always have learned that when you start talking about retirement, it’s time to stick a fork in you. You will never excel again——just coast along.

    Anyone else concerned about AJ Burnett’s retirement comments?

  25. JohninOshkosh says:

    Now if they can just agree on a proper algorithmic value for PECOTA.

  26. 21sthebest says:

    Nah. He’s a competitor. Same with Mariano Rivera.

  27. Milo Hamilton says:

    Chuck Noll said, “When you start thinking about retirement, you already have.”

  28. Milo Hamilton says:

    What does Bill Pecota have to do with this ? :)

  29. Oshkosh b’gosh!

    I hope you are still into college basketball. Sometimes it’s hard after your team takes the big dive.

    Tonight and tomorrow’s games are fantastic . . . . . . .
    Ohio State/Arizona, Indiana/Syracuse, Marquette/Miami, LaSalle/Wichita State tonight.

    Tomorrow Duke/Michigan State, Kansas/Michigan, Florida/Florida Gulf Coast, and Lullvile/Oregon, with Kyle Singler’s bro.

    The only way it could be better is if Wisconsin was still alive. I told you they had the bracket for them to reach the Final Four!

    I watched the 2nd Half of Bulls/Heat game last night——SWEET!!!!

  30. Jandy says:

    I’ll have a Labbatt’s and sleep just fine ;)

  31. Arriba Wilver says:

    I remember seeing something a week or so ago Grossman was sent down. Don’t know if that has changed.

  32. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sorry, for some reason this only appeared on my screen after I posted below.

  33. TCB says:

    Over for 200.

  34. Milo Hamilton says:


    Where do you see Stefan Welch starting the season ?

  35. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hi Groat:

    No haven’t given up, Ill be watching college hoops. I used to have to deal a lot with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and Marquette. I follow them. (I was rooting for Dolan-the former Archbishop in Milwaukee to become Pope so that I could tell people I’ve talked to the Pope in his office). The Big Ten always interests me. I root for Ohio State and Duke to advance because of you and Lucky. I lived in Lawrence, KS for a brief while. And, I’m not afraid to admit it, I’m a fan of the Oregon cheerleaders. Plenty of stories for me to follow. In my world-the tournament beats out the Pens for my television time.

    I could not believe the crowd at the United Center last night. It will be appointment TV for me if those two teams meet in the playoffs. My Bucks are playing like they don’t want that eighth seed at all and are willing to give it up to Philly. We will see.

  36. He’s penciled in on the Altoona roster, Milo. Probably play against him Saturday. I think he’s a keeper.

  37. Milo Hamilton says:

    Ausie, Ausie, Ausie.

  38. There are way too many infielders penciled for Indy to think he might start there. None of those rosters are set in stone, but it’s interesting Alderson is still tentatively in AA and so is Taillon.

    Very different roads for 2 number 1 picks.

  39. Or at least 1st round, not number 1 for Alderson I should say.

  40. Lots of talk on Mine & Mike this morning about Derek Rose refusing to come back and play. Say he has been playing all out at Bulls’ scrimmages for over 30 days.

    If you add Rose and Noah, that Bulls team is a heck of a team!

    So, so glad the Heat lost!!

  41. Arriba Wilver says:

    Playoffs—150 on the UNDER please. My head says go the whole 250, but my heart won’t let me.

  42. NMR says:

    Checked the blog for the first time since the game started and saw just 38 comments.

    First thought was that Jeff Locke must have pitched well.

    Sure enough.

  43. JohninOshkosh says:

    They are the only team in the East that can take them out, Groat. I will be curious to see how the Heat respond. Will they be able to beat the Spurs?

    Wonder if hockey people in other towns will view the Pens like many view the Heat. The team to root against, that is.

  44. JHadar says:

    And the Hawkeyes beat Virginia last night and snapped their home court streak. They’re going to the NIT final four. It’s interesting that all the teams they’ve played so far in that tournament have been heavy on freshmen and light on seniors. Maybe next year they can challenge in the Big 10 — especially if the NBA raids the opposition.

    The game may not be “important” but the NIT run has been fun.

    Also caught up with Iowa State loss at Ohio State that I didn’t see. It seems there was a officiating controversy at the end. Second time it’s happened to the Cyclones in the last seconds of a big game this season. First time a was a loss to Kansas in the regular season. Like Hoiberg said though, it doesn’t change anything, just makes you feel worse.

    Instead of five minutes of hockey last night, I saw five minutes of really good rugby. Fiji and New Zealand. I wonder if those guys have anywhere near the concussion rate that the NFL has — playing without pads and helmets the way they do. Whatever the answer it’s a very watchable sport. Just no one to root for.

    And I know spring training stats are meaningless, but Barmes is hitting .178. I hate to pick on one of our own guys — but it’s getting to be like the proverbial under the saddle.

  45. Milo Hamilton says:

    Still stinks. Contractually obligated.

  46. The strange thing, there is only 1 true third basemen on the Indy roster, Goedert, as of now. And Hague has played there some. There are 3 on the Curve roster. Never know what may transpire.

  47. Penguins are my favorite sports team———Duke and the Pirates are FAMILY———and I follow them religiously.

    However . . . . . . . I HATE the Yankees and now the Dodgers because they bully other teams with their money! I HATE the Lakers and the Heat (salary cap league) for the same reason!

    I feel a wince of guilt or hesitancy about the Pens getting Iginla, as much as I am excited to see him in Black and God. If the shoe fits . . . . I don’t want to have the same attitude as the Lakers or Heat.

    Anyone else experiencing this dilemma?

  48. Milo Hamilton says:

    Not in the least.

  49. It’s been mentioned, but Jandy had some good points on the W.Call. They didn’t buy this team. They traded for and drafted it.

    They have a true salary cap, unlike baseball.

  50. Iowa Hader,

    I watched the last 5 minutes of that NIT game with Iowa and Virginia last night.

    Hawkeyes really took it straight at them. 3-pointers galore. I was surprised because Virginia is strong, strong on defense.

    I love your coach! Finally got the right one! You and I talked about Tom Davis last week. Terrible move that took 2 decades to overcome.

  51. Thundercrack says:

    Locke pitched so good he should be bumped up to #4 Starter!


  52. I must have been writing the comment below while you were writing a similar thing here.

  53. cosmo says:

    I’ll have 250 on the over. Don’t know if you got it yesterday or not.

  54. I can’t get to work on my computer today——what’s the latest on Bucco game?

    I’m really Jonesing for that 13th Grapefruit win!!!

  55. JHadar says:

    I think it came down to conditioning and bench strength. It was pretty much trading blows for the first 30 minutes — that defense was tough, but in the end they wore down — and the Hawks had a great shooting night.

    McCaffery is a very good recruiter and his offense looks like it’s fun. It’s fun to watch — especially when the shots are falling.

    But to the topic at hand, who is Ethan Hollingsworth?

  56. Pucknutz says:

    250 under way under

  57. NMR says:

    Milo says Locke still stinks. No report on his pitching, though. :)

  58. JHadar says:

    Overbay just doubled in a run; 2-1 Bucs, 2 out bottom of ninth, Yankees on second and third.

    Have they let Grilli pitch in the 9th inning yet this spring? Not today evidently.

  59. They got it, 2-1. After a Lyle Overbay double probably could have tied the score in the bottom of the 9th. They probably held the runner at 3rd on purpose.

  60. Milo Hamilton says:

    Raise it !

  61. JHadar says:

    Final now, 2-1 win.

  62. 21sthebest says:

    I’m not sure but I think the plan with the closer is usually to have him pitch to major league hitting regardless of the inning.

  63. Kentuck Knob,

    I don’t know about your church, but the church I go to has a special service tonight to focus on what Jesus did for us: a Maundy Thursday service. I forgot to set the DVR, so I will need you all to capture the sights of tonight’s Penguin game and recall them tomorrow.

    Can’t watch the replay at 11:00 because I will be watching live college basketball!

    I should catch the 3rd Period with Mike Lange on the way home.

    A most somber service tonight——Gethsemane, betrayal, humility at foot-washing, denial. Chilling. Moving. Do you have one?

  64. Thanks, guys!

    Lucky #13 !!!!!!!!

  65. We don’t. We used to in the denominational church I was raised in. Very nice service, too.

    We kind of combine a lot of stuff on Sunday. Hard to get all 15 of us together during the week. (Sarcasm not omitted)

    Exs. Monday night prayer-3 or 4; Wed. Bible Study-4 or 5

    I think we’re reaching more on Facebook, etc. now than in this community. Some have even clicked on “the blue” off this blog. Don’t know if they listened to any messages or got scared away, but at least it’s on there. :P

  66. Baywatch says:

    Forgive me if this has already been posted or written about, but anyone know when the minor league rosters will be set? If it’s been done, if anyone has a link to assignments I’d sure appreciate it.

  67. There are tentative ones off There is a disclaimer at the bottom of each saying they won’t be set until ST ends.

    They look pretty set to me. They are by ML team, which is really nice.

  68. Baywatch says:

    I saw’s last night, but it looked like West Virginia’s was from last year still. Taillon starting out at Altoona, I guess?

  69. As of today. You could be right, though. They still have Josh Bell in WV, but he probably should start there with the lost year last season.

  70. Baywatch says:

    Yeah, and there are also those pitchers on the roster who were released a few days ago, Nathan Kilcrease and Mike Jefferson. I just figured by the time Pirates were breaking camp, they might be ready with opening day assignments. Looks like they start next Thursday, at least the Power.

  71. Indy seems loaded. They should win their division by 12 games again.

  72. JohninOshkosh says:

    Paul White, National Writer for USA Today Sports Weekly picks the Pirates to win the Central with a record of 89-73.

  73. Your folks and ministry will be in my prayers tonight!

  74. Sounds good to me.

  75. Paul White likes his gin straight up, you say?

  76. Bay-bee!

    How’s the pizza business going in Texas?!?!

  77. NMR says:

    Box score says Francisco Cerveli tripled off Jeff Locke.

    Any word on which outfielder broke a leg in order for that lump of lard to make it all the way to third base without taking a breather?

  78. Sounds like Derek Bell or Joggin’ George Hendrick playing right field.

  79. JohninOshkosh says:


    Nice with the “lump of lard.” :)

    You are no doubt too young to remember this, but David Letterman famously once referred to former Major League pitcher Terry Forster as a “fat tub of goo.”

  80. Arriba Wilver says:

    No downside to that prediction. If he’s wrong nobody will remember, but if he’s right he’ll be this year’s Jeane Dixon.

  81. JHadar says:

    I would think that he’s already had quite a bit of experience pitching to major leaguers — and would benefit more from being in in the 9th with the game up for grabs, since it’s first year as closer. But I’ll take your word for it since I asked because I didn’t already know.

  82. Baywatch says:

    Hey, Buddy! We rockin’ and rollin’! How’s about some continued Blue Devil action in the Sweet 16!!

  83. Baywatch says:

    I was not so much surprised SI picks the Reds to win the division – but by 12 games? I’ll be interested to read why they figure the wide margin. Guess they wound up winning it by that much last year though, right?

  84. NMR says:

    I can just imagine Letterman saying “goooo” through those pursed lips!

  85. Baywatch says:

    Guess by now you’ve Googled on him yourself, Jim, looks like the Pirates got him in the minor league Rule 5 portion in December. Came from the Royals organization. Keep an eye on that boy!

  86. It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it?!?!

    Do Duke!!

  87. tom p says:

    He must double as Huntingtons and/or Frank’s hand maiden.
    This team will be fortunate to break 70 wins.

  88. Forster came to Pirates from White Sox in Goose Gossage trade.

    Of course, when he got good he ended up on Yankees with Gossage.

    I hate the Yankees!! I hope they finish 7th! (behind two imaginary teams)

    All their players will go straight from multi-million dollar contracts to Social Security!

  89. Bill Born says:

    250 on the under please.

  90. RobertoForever says:

    Playoffs, glad to see ya back.

    I am one of those ptimist things on the Pirates, and I’m all-in on the Buccos, so give 250 of those W’s on the over.

    I see more incremental progress this year with the growth of Cutch, Marte, Pedro a healthier Walker. For a specific guess, I see 84 wins.

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