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Morning Java: It’s here … well, it’s close, anyway

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> No column today. It was pushed back to tomorrow to run on the day of Game 1. After that, unless I’ve misread the Eastern final schedule, there will be a column every day for the next little while.

>> The chat transcript from yesterday touched on the always uncomfortable topic of when it’s OK to wonder — or ask — if an athlete might be using steroids. Thanks to all who participated, as always.

>> We’re at least close now, right?

The seemingly eternal gap between the Penguins and Bruins finishing off their respective opponents in five and actually getting to play another game has only about 30 hours to go.

Today will nonetheless be a busy one up at Consol with media availabilities for the both teams, both coaches, even both GMs, which is part of the process when you get this far. Ray Shero will go at 10:45 a.m., and I’ll be up there and sharing right here as time allows.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage this morning, including a column by Kevin Gorman.


>> The Pirates pulled out another one with what by now is a stunningly familiar formula:

1. Short start (Jeff Locke 5 1/3)

2. Beat the bullpen to death for the next 5 2/3 (Mark Melancon, too)

3. Not much offense, but a big hit at or near the end (Russell Martin walkoff single)

They’ll probably do it three more times this weekend against the Reds, too.

Here’s some of what was spoken afterward …

>> The Steelers’ young O-line is Alan Robinson’s focus from OTAs. Other than outside linebacker, this looks to me like the one facet at which this team could — that’s could — be most upgraded in 2013. And they weren’t exactly bad in 2012.

>> The few Penn State types still pounding the Joe Paterno case almost invariably focus on exposing flaws in the Louis Freeh report. Which to me reeks of convenience.

The Freeh report has holes. Every major investigation does.

The Freeh report also doesn’t matter. Certainly not anywhere near Paterno telling the grand jury that he was informed that something of a ‘sexual nature’ had occurred between an old man and a young child.

In my eyes, that’s case closed right there. Freeh could have written his report in pristine iron-clad fashion, and it wouldn’t have weighed an ounce next to that statement from Paterno’s own mouth.

In fact, every time some Penn State person writes to me and wants to nitpick Freeh, I respond with this and never hear back from them. Seriously, not once have they even responded.

(And, boy, am I sorry every time I bring this topic up. But there it is.)

>> The fun will begin soon enough.

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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.

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