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Chat with Dejan Kovacevic

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  1. Well I have been saying it for awhile, that the problem was both Shero’s failure to get top 6 wingers and Bylsmas failure to use to the best what he has. Seems like he kills the grinders if they mess up but lets the stars do what they want. Say what you want about Babcock, he runs the team!
    The only thing I half expected Shero to say that he did not was…..if we only had one more puck moving smallish defenseman we would have “gotten to our game”

    • I think the “Who runs the asylum?” question is very fair. I think stars need to be able to voice opinion but coaches have to know they are ok to make the decision. I am not sure Bylsma was able to go against what his stars said. I think he is to close to them. Opinions are ok but the coaches decision has to be made for the benefit of the team first not the individual.

  2. Forget about the penguins, lets talk backup catchers- I’m a fan of Michael McKenry, but he hasn’t looked great at catcher this year. (Not terrible) but I think he’s looked great in his at- bats, I’d like to see him used as a PH more in the 7-9 innings, with Inge left on the bench as an emergency catcher. If McKenry keeps hitting, could boost his value for a trade or possibly worth while for him to transition to another position in the future. For next year I’d like to see Tony Sanchez as Martin’s backup so the pirates can see what he can do, and he can work with Martin. Your thoughts?

  3. Does the malkin extension mean Kris Letang is gone?

  4. Oops, that was supposed to be in the chat.

    DK: Next time, Neil. I did see it in the queue for the chat, thought it was a little long for the rapid-fire format. Thank you, though.

  5. Cole Pirate game had 8th best tv ratings for Pirate game since 1997. Do you attribute high ratings to Groupon promo?

    DK: Do you have any idea how stupid that sounds?

    Not to be mean here, Ryan, but the fact regarding attendance the other night — at the risk of continually repeating myself — is that 18,000 tickets were sold before the Cole announcement. That had somewhat to do with Groupon. That’s not my characterization. That’s the Pirates’ characterization.

    Stop and reread that paragraph because it clearly didn’t sink in the first 100 times I wrote it. That’s not my opinion or even my info. It’s from the team.

    From there, the natural course of sales was going to take attendance to 22,000. Again, not my opinion. Not my info. From the team.

    Because of Cole, an additional 8,000 tickets were sold, leaving roughly 6,000 unsold. Again, not opinion. Just math.

    When does training camp open in Latrobe?

    • Don’t worry, Ryan. When DK gets all indignant you know you’ve hit the mark.

      DK: What’s the factual inaccuracy in what I put up there?

      • From now on, I’m attributing all Bucco successes to Groupon. (I’m sorry Ryan. Forgive me. But even the word “Groupon” makes me laugh.)

        DK: The Pirates did the attributing.

      • + many

        DK: You can feel free to explain, as well, AW. Factual inaccuracies.

        • Here’s some facts:

          “DK: Do you have any idea how stupid that sounds?
          Not to be mean here, Ryan . . .
          When does training camp open in Latrobe?”

          Who, besides Ryan arguably, accused you of factual inaccuracies? (Twitter doesn’t count, and regardless I don’t tweet)

          I don’t know who Ryan is, but I think he was trying to get your goat, and succeeded. And, if not, who cares? It was a silly question on its face. We used to say, “page down.”

    • A lot of exchanges on The Blog make me crack a smile. This one actually had me audibly laugh!

      On another matter, I’ve decided we should set our Jason Grilli aspirations on loftier goals than just the HOF. Since he is age 36 now, he is, after all, eligible to hold the highest office in the land.

    • Not the same Ryan

      DK: Definitely not. Where’s your gravatar, man?

      • I knew that wasn’t you. sheesh!

      • I can’t get to the website from a govt computer……I’ll try and hook you up when I get home. Though I can never remember the same log in information from one computer to the other….

    • More important question: What is a groupon?

      DK: I actually don’t know much about it. The description came from the Pirates, not from me. But, a lot like the Travis Snider “dripping with power” stuff that came from some blogger in Toronto, I can see it’s getting attached to me.

      The Steelers report on July 26, first public practice July 27.

    • Does Groupon offer tickets to Latrobe?

      DK: Ask the Pirates. It’s their program.

      • Groupon is not a Pirates program, it is national website that offers discounts on many things across the country. Pirates may participate in it but it not their program.

        DK: Of course not. Just noting that they cited it, not me.

      • Um, I don’t know about anybody else, but I was joking.

        BTW, Groupon is an online thing that typically offers 50% off tickets or vouchers to things like sporting events, restaurants, massages, dental work, golf courses, online classes, even shooting ranges. I think sometimes the percentage is less.
        They’re a middleman.

    • Is Ryan the 32nd or 33rd Pirate blogger?

      I’m losing count.

      DK: No need to count him as a blogger or anything else. He’s someone who once threatened me on Twitter. You know, over baseball.

      • I appreciate you remaining in touch with your readers, Dejan, but the twitterverse seems like a venomous, scary place to hang out.

        DK: It’s not that bad.

      • Why in the world would you then not only accept his question, but stoop to his level?

        Honestly, no idea why you bring this upon yourself.

        DK: Didn’t recognize who it was immediately. The email gave it away.

  6. 8th best TV ratings since 1997?

    That’s pathetic:
    - that it is the reality
    - that anyone follows that
    - that anyone cares

  7. Now that Crosby and Malkin are locked up for 12 and 8 years, respectively, and 28 percent of the salary cap is accounted for, what moves do you see the Penguins making in regard to Letang, Dupuis, Neal, etc.?

  8. “even the new Soldier Field is a bit out of the core.”

    A short leisurely walk through Grant Park and you are right in the thick of it. Can’t imagine it being much further than walking from PNC across the Clemente Bridge to downtown.

  9. From a google, it looks like Groupon gives out coupons for savings for stuff?

  10. Mr. Kovacevic:

    In the chat, you said that Simon Depres responded to your question with an something you could not print.

    I was just wondering: Would it have anything to do with male cow excrement?

    DK: No. 1, not No. 2. :)

  11. ” But, a lot like the Travis Snider “dripping with power” stuff that came from some blogger in Toronto, I can see it’s getting attached to me.”

    Honestly, I never thought that line was attached to you DK.

    DK: You aren’t the only one who communicates with me, TC. Every time the guy gets a hit, I get spammed with these #DrippingWithPower hashtags. Man, I don’t even remember writing two syllables about this guy one way or the other, beyond that he was having a lousy spring training. Which he was.

    • Ha ha, I remember the dripping with power debate between that Toronto blogger. It was pretty funny………at least from my perspective.

  12. “Lost in the fun last night at PNC was that a whole lot of pitchers got clubbed,”

    I was at the game and I would disagree. Three pitchers got scored on. At one point I turned to my wife and said “it seems like we’re getting dinked & dunked” (and then I had to explain that term)

    The Giants had 15 hits: 3 doubles and 13 singles, and I thought one of Pence’s doubles was a hustling double (an poor defense)

    Liriano wasn’t great and I didn’t like his pacing but I don’t think they got pounded

  13. If you count blog posts & responses, chats, twitter, and radio there was more than 2 syllables….and it just wasn’t about Snider’s spring.

    We pay attention But you already knew that

    • But I also believe Dejan when he says he doesn’t remember.

      I don’t remember how many times I’ve mocked Starling Marte’s plate patience, it’s just a part of how I comment on him. I’m sure Nor Cal Ryan and Jim S. think I do it way more than I think I do.

      This is just how Dejan sees the Pirates. Its not going to change, regardless of anything. We’re always going to see what he writes differently than he does.

    • +2

      “I don’t like him as a ball player” from Spring Training comes to mind, as well as reporting that scouts didn’t like him. (And after a decent start he has cooled off significantly.). But, yeah, I actually only remember the “dripping with power” from DK saying he didn’t say it.

  14. The discourse here has truly taken some wacky turns, the past day or so. Like I indicated above, it has struck me as funny stuff. Zero derision by me intended for DK, though. I can imagine how some of the pot shots and “gotcha” posts must be adding up to be annoying.

    But the question about attributing 8th place TV ratings to Groupon was about as fatuously absurd a question as I’ve ever seen posed. It works as a gag whether it was a smart-aleck question or whether the asker actually thought he had a legit question.

  15. Gotta run. My favorite teams are playing today — the two that my kids play for. Gotta be there. But just wanted to say to Jandy, that I’ve been missing some of your repartee with me (or my posts) in live time. But I always catch up with them all and they’ve been a big part of the good spirits I’m always in when I do my catching up with these threads. :)

  16. Enjoy the week off. I have been taking a break myself from certain radio talk show hosts/columnists who have been defending Bylsma since the Pens were eliminated, but never articulate any real understanding of what went wrong. Granted that I know nothing, but there must be some offensive tactics consistently useable against a team like Boston which packs the defense down low and plays even strength like it is on a penalty kill. The Bruins would be happy with opponent’s shots all night from the perimeter. The Pens never tried anything different. I was upset last year when I saw no adjustments to the Flyers’ tactics. One of the Islanders was quoted at the outset of the playoffs this year that his team knew everything which the Pens would be trying to do. Daring the other team to stop what everyone knew was coming is a style which worked for the Lombardi Packers and the 75 Steelers, but does not work for the Pens. I can no longer enjoy hockey’s regular season, knowing that it is just a tease leading to another failure. It took four years but I am now a full fledged Bylsma/Shero cynic. It looks like selling tickets, ratings and entertainment are more important than winning championships with sound tactics and defense.
    More things I stupidly think: The first DK column after the series loss articulated or alluded to a lot that is wrong. By following the Pens since their inception (when I was 14), I became accustomed to incompetent general managers. I suppose that we are fated to live with yet another weak GM, but I had mistakenly thought that the front office had gained some competence since Craig Patrick was hired (and discounting his declining years and personal problems when he was also kept around much too long). Concluding message to Shero: A lot of GMs can take a team, especially this one, add a few pieces and enjoy some success. That is just a matter of distinguishing the good players and coaches from the bad ones. Making the hard decisions needed to win championships requires something more. Choosing between the merely very good players and coaches, as opposed to the championship winners, is a lot tougher and requires more strength of will. Moses led the Israelites to the gates of the Promised Land, but he never actually entered himself. There is a long list of GMs and coaches who almost but not quite won the trophies, but no one remembers them because they are not worth remembering. Just a few quick thoughts for a rainy evening with no time to filter or edit.

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