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Saturday vacation thread

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

On vacation until … today. Next column is tomorrow.

The floor, as ever, is yours …


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. Welcome back, Dejan!

  2. Where’s Drew, anyway? Must have slept in or is out walking “The Poodle”.

    He should have a vacation comment by now.

  3. Welcome back. Well deserved vacation.

    Anybody got any word on the starting pitcher for Sunday? I would love to see Justin Wilson get a shot. This is not based on last week’s performance out of the pen alone. He has a nice track record as a starter in the minors. Furthermore, he has shown electric stuff from the left side.

  4. JMac on normal rest is cool with me, too.

  5. It just hit me. Our little contest for The First 32?

    Pirates are at 4-6.

    Meaning Dejan’s 1-31 prediction? He blew another one.

  6. So you all call me out and then disappear?

    Are you all snow shoveling?

  7. Tonight we have the PENS, Frozen Four, Riverhounds, and the Buccos, all about the same time.
    What to watch???? Hmmmmm…..

  8. 32 degrees with flurries here.

    -Al Roker

    Lucky, what does grass look like again?

  9. I didn’t hear any of the announcers comment on it, but I saw for the first time this season Garrett make one of his patented bone headed plays. I believe it was right before the home run Watson gave up. There was a guy on first and Martin threw a bullet to Garrett, who was playing in a little and off the bag. Instead of attempting a swipe tag, Garrett never moved his glove, and just turned around to look. When Garrett got the ball the runner was diving for first base, but had not reached it. Would he have gotten him if he had tried to tag him? Don’t know. But he should have tried. Martin seemed disappointed. It would have been the third out. Next thing you know, the homerun,

    • AW,
      I was listening to the radio broadcast of last night’s game and Brown & Walk were joking about G. Jones’ bonehead plays. I think it was a baserunning blunder. And then the next inning he didn’t try to make the tag at first on Martin’s throw. They both seemed to agree that it would have been very close if he would have tried to tag him.

      • That was what it looked like to me. It would have been close, with a competent first baseman. But Garrett never moved his glove. He looked. Smh

        Gaby came in as a defensive replacement soon after that, but I don’t remember if it was the next inning, or if it was connected.

        • I think Gaby pinch hit, so he probably would have been the defensive replacement anyway.

          Martin seems like the type of guy that won’t let something like that go by without saying something.

          • Martin looked more disappointed than mad. But yeah, I think he’d say something after. i’m pretty sure Gaby came in as a defensive replacement before he hit. And he’s not listed as a PH in the box, like Harrison and Tabby.

        • Oh, and thanks. I was beginning to think I was imagining it. Of course, Tim seems to be having trouble keeping the count and the score straight this year. :-)

    • Sometimes these sluggers cost you as many runs as they knock in. I like Garrett, but he needs to hone his defense, in one position or both.

    • Gaby would have made that play.

    • If Jones turned and tried it may have been close. Trouble was he was so far away that it would have been hard to make the play. I noticed even when holding on a runner he is in front of the bag by a couple feet. Needs work for sure.

      • I couldn’t tell how close he was depth wise from what they showed on TV. It was the fact he didn’t even make ANY attempt that got me, adding Martins reaction. He just looked behind him. I don’t even blame him for where he was standing. To me, that’s a coach’s job to catch. Not taking a swipe tag attempt, even if you have to dive, regardless? No excuse.

        • Oh I agree with you, just trying to put the positions in position so to speak. No attempt is not going to cut it no matter the situation.

  10. I’ll bet Jack thinks Tiger should withdraw. :)

    • Tiger missed what looked to be a pretty routine putt on 18 to close out his day.

    • Hey Milo,
      What’s goin on there. Flipped the golf channel on and still am not clear on what happened?

      • Tiger took an illegal drop on 15 after his ball went into the water. It’s a two stroke penalty. But since the penalty wasn’t assessed until this morning, he was deemed to have signed an illegal card. Which of course results in a disqualification. Apparently the Masters committee found a loophole in the rules which allows him to be assessed the penalty yet avoid disqualification because he was made aware of it prior to his signing his card & the officials told him there was no penalty.

        Fairness, and CBS’ ratings are coming into question here. Many former champions are calling for him to do the right thing & withdraw.

      • You are talking golf, here, right?

  11. While listening to the game last night I started to think about “keys” to this season.
    I know a lot of people picked JMac and Pedro as two key players that will determine success or failure of the team.

    And we all know the starting rotation is looking like a mess.

    But I think that if Tony Watson and Neil Walker regress, then it could be a very long year. They need to stay healthy and be at least as good as they were last year.

    • I believe Walker will be alright. But Watson, we really don’t have time to let him work things out with a key role like he has. Wilson may have to be the lefty go-to guy until Tony comes around. And Wilson has to be sharp and throw strikes like the other night.

      We can’t afford to blow a game that we have the a 4-run lead and one of our top 2 starters going. We were fortunate last night.

    • Ya, I think Walker gets a free pass sometimes from fans…..he’s a good player, but has performed a litte less each year….I know it’s only been a couple years!

    • Something is wrong physically with Tony Watson.

      • Experience tells me that you don’t lose 3 or 4 mph off your fastball without physical issues. Trust me, he’s got a sore arm.

  12. Roberto,

    Watching Fred Ridley, chairman of the Masters rules committee. He says that while they carefully reviewed the videotape prior to Tiger finishing his round, they did not speak to him about it before he signed his scorecard. I wrongly stated otherwise in an above post.

  13. Howdy all.
    About Neil Walker and last year’s meltdown, yes, he was part of it. But he was in and out with a bad back until the team shut him down. I give him a pass — injuries happen. As long as he doesn’t start going from injury to injury like, say, Willie Colon or Jeff Karstens. As for this year, I don’t know why Walker is slumping. But the season is still just a week old and he’s only one of many not hitting. Here’s hoping he snaps out of it.

    • Hopefully last night will jump start him with 2 hits and 2 RBI’s. His OPS after 10 games last year–.423. This year—.434.

      • Good stat, AW. Didn’t realize we were already ten games in, but Walker still has plenty of time and at bats in front of him.

  14. Good Saturday to one and all. A few thoughts from sunny and hot Arizona:

    1) Jones did make a mess of that play at 1B before the home run. He should have been standing back on the bag (the ball travels faster than a swipe tag) and he should have put a tag down. Martin reacted because he cleary had the runner but Jones doesn’t really know how to play first base. I like Jones, I really do, but let’s be honest.

    2) I think it was kind of odd that Gaby replaced Jones after he pinch hit because moving the pitcher from the 9th spot to the 4th spot really doesn’t do too much. So it is obvious Hurdle noticed Jones’ bad play also.

    3) Comments on Watson… let’s just give credit to a really good offensive team and a good offensive player (Phillips) before we start reading something into Watson that isn’t there. The Bucs bullpen is solid…better than last year and not many of us were saying that after the Hanrahan trade. Melancin is very good. Grilli in my opinion is superior to Hanny because he can “pitch” if and when he doesnt have the big fastball…note how he got Phillips out last night with offspeed pitches. Joel can’t do that.

    4) Tiger/Masters… I love that Bob Costas ripped the Masters yesterday on a radio program because this issue really shines the light on the hypocracy that the Masters is… how can people worship the ‘integrity’ of the Masters when they have such a shoddy record with treatment of minorities and women? And this ruling and the pretty embarrassing explanation by the rules committee is similar… integrity? Woods clearly had the intent to break the rules (he took an extra yard or two to make his shot easier based on distance)…and the rules officials looked at the video and ‘made a ruling’ but because they didn’t tell Tiger they ruled before he signed a scorecard he isn’t disqualified becuase they should have told him they didn’t make a ruling at that time. Isn’t the responsibility to follow the rules on the golfer at all times? And the golfer clearly knew at the time he was taking the drop that he was “taking an extra yard” and then when signing the scorecard he knew he was getting away with it….. what a joke.

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