By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media
>> The Friday column tries, undoubtedly in vain, to put all this David Wright hysteria into perspective.
Interested in your own perspectives, too, as always.
Oh, and for purposes of being complete, here’s the Greg Brown/Bob Walk dual rant on Wright the other night, the whole thing. Thanks to reader Drew Brown for taping this for me off his laptop …
Anyway, even with the Pirates off, they scored a win for all the local goats and chickens apparently sacrificed in the cause: Pedro Alvarez was added to the Home Run Derby. Jerry DiPaola reports.
>> The Pirates were off but still had a wonderful night in the standings.
>> The stunner of the day in sports, beyond a doubt, was Ilya Kovalchuk walking away from $77 million to leave the Devils and the NHL for a return to Russia at age 30.
If you don’t know Russians or Russian culture, you won’t understand this no matter what you read about it. Suffice it to say the bond is a hard one.
Related to that, our Rob Rossi looks at what makes Evgeni Malkin a bit different.
All I’ll add is that it’s a big loss, for the Devils and for the NHL. The Devils made a richly bold move in bringing Kovalchuk up from Atlanta to anchor their new arena in Newark, and it worked a lot better than most — myself included — thought it would. He carried the Devils to the Stanley Cup Final just two seasons ago with 19 points in 23 playoff games.
Now, with Kovalchuk’s timing having cost the Devils a chance to keep David Clarkson and, going back, Zach Parise … wow, who will score for that team?
>> The Steelers’ training camp schedule is out. Reporting day is exactly two weeks.
>> Pitt is inching toward selling out its season at Heinz Field, which is going to sound swell when it happens but still won’t carry much weight with me unless these people show up.
When you sell season tickets in this manner — low-priced and in bulk to a lot of the same customers — you’re going to have a lot of yellow. And fair or not, in college football, how your place looks on TV and in person to potential recruits counts a lot more than a little extra cash in the register.
>> Penn State sets up its post-sanctions schedule, also known as 2016-17.
>> Missed the weekly chat?
>> I’ll visit with TribLIVE Radio today at 11:30 a.m. to discuss the Wright column and more.
>> I’m headed up to New York this weekend to cover the All-Star festivities, beginning with the Futures Game on Sunday. There will be a column every day I’m up there.