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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Chat with Dejan Kovacevic


  1. kr70 says:

    Hey Dejan, what do you think the pirates will do before the trade deadline? and how about the cards and reds?

  2. Jandy says:

    kr, you have to go to the chat to have your questions and comments noticed. They don’t check here :)

  3. Skip says:

    DK in your opinion would Justin Morneau be a good fit here? Improve defense at first and keep GI Jones in RF

  4. Frank says:

    There are no Pirates wildly exceeding their career highs in power production, so I’m not sure why I would bring any of their names up.

    Chris Davis’ season, on the other hand, can only be compared to other steroid users. So, there are one of two explanations here: Chris Davis is the single greatest clean power hitter in the history of Major League Baseball, or … like Bonds, and McGwire, and Sosa… he’s using PEDs.

    Which seems more likely for a guy who hit .192 with 1 HR in 49 games a few years ago?

    Keep pretending he’s clean till you find out he’s not, then act outraged. I’ll live in reality.

  5. kr70 says:

    thanks Jandy

  6. Ghost says:

    (Sorry, this is not a Chat post, but 21 asked me a fair question in this morning’s thread and I here try to answer it as best as I can.)

    As you could see at my original post, I did already correct myself as Alvarez, was, in fact, signed after all was said and done. But Coonelly and Huntington played a game of chicken with Scott Boras and did NOT have a contract in place at the 4 pm deadline that day. Boras filed a grievance with the union and it took a few weeks of wrangling and an extra $300K for Boras to put the grievance aside. Technically, I think the Pirates had a chance of losing their rights to Alvarez as their draft pick. Please correct me if I’m remembering this wrongly.

    While this was all going on behind closed doors, Coonelly meanwhile lied to the public and said something to the effect, “We don’t know why Alvarez isn’t coming in for his physical and to sign his contract. We don’t know what the problem is.” That’s not verbatim, but that’s close and it was an out an out lie.

  7. Thundercrack says:

    I don’t recall them saying that they didn’t know why Alvarez wasn’t coming in. I don’t recall that quote.

    And because their were issues to be resolved (regarding whether the offer was accepted by the deadline) I could see why they would not want to make a public statement. I am not saying they should make up a lie, but I can why they wouldn’t want to divulge the specifics at that time.

    I have heard NH say on numerous occasions that they way the draft was previously set up, it was very prevalent that agents and teams would not begin negotiations until the day of the deadline. (or right up against the deadline).

  8. Ghost says:

    But they did say that (or words to that effect) and it was an out and out lie. As for the 4 pm deadline, it was still the deadline both sides were playing chicken against. It had a meaning. Boras won. Why the FO thought they could outsmart Boras is beyond me. Maybe others who also remember these events will soon chime in.

  9. Ghost says:

    Separately, the lastest SI edition just came for my son. We was robbed. No Grilli cover; we got Buster Posey instead. Maybe that’s a good omen though. If a fan living out West cannot see the Grilli Cover, does that mean the SI Cover curse will never happen???

  10. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t remember all the details, but Frank did lie IMO. And more than one as things developed. I believe they initially said it didn’t happen after the deadline, and later they had to acknowledge it actually did. And his public letter to Boras was filled with lies. There may have been some of the “it depends what the definition of ‘is’ is” In there, but we all know what that means. That’s my recollection without going back and researching it.

  11. Arriba Wilver says:

    I do. I just don’t remember if it was actually Frank or Neal who said it. There was a lot of confusion and ambiguity at the beginning, much of it aided by Frank. If you want to put it off to inexperience, that’s one thing, but it happened.

  12. Ghost says:

    Thanks, AW.
    You’re right, it could have actually have been Neal who made the public remark about supposedly not understanding why Pedro wasn’t coming in to sign the deal. It would take some digging around to reconstruct that actual events of the time which took about a month, back then, to play out.

  13. Ghost says:

    Good memory — you’re right. Haven’t found my smoking gun with the “What’s wrong?” quote, yet. But I did find in an old Baseball America article that the Pirates DID initially claim they had an agreement 15 minutes before midnight (I had been mistakenly stating the deadline as 4 pm), but then the truth came out that Coonelly had his buds (intended pun) in the MLB head offices unilaterally extend the deadline past midnight, which was in direct violation of the labor agreement negotiated only two years prior.

    The below article also reminds us of how Coonelly callously threw Eric Hosmer and the Royals under the bus in his damage-control PR campaign.

  14. bizrow says:

    Grilli is also on the cover of my version of Baseball Weekly.

    Regarding Slick Frank, the one that gets me is his silence on reupping NH for what 6-8 months?

    That and a bunch of other stuff he has pulled

  15. Ghost says:

    I believe John Russell was re-up in the same way.

  16. Arriba Wilver says:

    Biz–you and I have been on the same page about Frank for years. We used to get admonished by DK when they were still buddies.

  17. bizrow says:

    I’m old, ;-) I know a snake oil man when I see one

    Heck, I work in nuclear power and see the consultants that will “fix stuff”, they never do

    But I expect Slickster to show up some day, selling his wares

    I’ve never, I don’t think, been too upset with Nutting, honestly, but Frankies lack of character and NH’s babble are another matter

    Regarding NH, I’ll give him a flyer for now

    But what value does Slick bring to the table?

  18. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    DK – By the way….In regards to the chat….Just speaking for myself, I’m not “pumped up” about Nutting making a profit.
    That’s not really my problem at all.
    Just thought I’d clarify that, as I’m a well known Anti-Nutting person.

  19. Brandie says:

    Jose Contreras has been released by the Pirates triple A team (Indianapolis).

  20. Lad9 says:

    How could they do that to you on your birthday? Oh the humanity. How can we bear it? :)

  21. Thundercrack says:

    Don’t worry Daq, your reputation remains intact


  22. JohninOshkosh says:

    No baseball tonight. TCM showing two very good films starting at 9:45 ET. First is “The Manchurian Candidate.” Arguably, Sinatra’s best film, certainly his most politically significant. That is followed by one of France’s best efforts, and one of the most significant movies ever made, from a filmmaking perspective, “Rules of the Game”, directed by the genius, Jean Renoir.

  23. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thanks for he heads up, John.

  24. Yeah, I missed that on the schedule.

  25. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    As does yours Thunder….

  26. Thundercrack says:

    French films.

    Hurry back Baseball!


  27. Thundercrack says:

    I looked up (google) some stuff about the signing and subsequent days.
    It was a lot more screwed up than I remembered.

    Makes me really think that FC, and maybe NH to a certain extent, really were green and tried to do things “a new way”….and it didn’t work.

  28. Arriba Wilver says:

    Then just watch the Manchurian Candidate. :-)

  29. Taillon pitched better tonight:

    Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
    Jameson Taillon (W, 4-7) 7.0 5 3 3 2 7 0 3.76

  30. 21sthebest says:

    Frank told a small group of which I was a part (Morton’s Restaurant) that Huntington was on the phone with Boras before midnight and that Pedro was with him. He said Pedro grabbed the phone from Boras and asked if it was too late to sign. They said there was still time, came to a verbal agreement with Pedro, and faxed the contract to the MLB offices a few minutes after midnight.

    Frank said it was customary for the league and the Union to accept deals in this manner since at that time there was no specific procedure and that it was the intent of both parties to enter into a binding contract. Now they have a specific procedure outlined in the newer CBA so that there cannot be anymore loose interpretations. Anyways, Frank cited several other deals that were done this way including Weiter’s with the Orioles which wasn’t done until almost 3 a.m. that year, 3 hours after the deadline.

    DK: This version of the story is completely contradicted by the one Scott Boras told me and, to be honest, what I’d initially heard from the Pirates themselves.

    Slow news day around here, huh?

  31. 21sthebest says:

    I have no idea if Frank was telling the truth.

  32. Thundercrack says:

    He had to bring up Weiters didn’t he?!

    I wonder how Daniel Moskos’ negotiation went.

  33. JohninOshkosh says:

    Ha! Like.

  34. Arriba Wilver says:

    So he admitted it was done after the technical deadline? That’s inconsistent with what their public stance was at the time IMO.
    No reason to go through all that if it was done before the deadline.
    Technicality? Sure. But not true. And the question was how did Frank lie.

    I think the article linked by Ghost pretty much confirms this, including the fact they said they didn’t know why he wasn’t reporting.

  35. 21sthebest says:

    He said the contract was in place before midnight but the paperwork didn’t get there until after midnight. And that the CBA had not outlined exactly how this was required to be done logistically. He said the CBA said all that was required is that a a contract needed to be in place by midnight, which he said it was, and that what had become acceptable practice was for the paperwork to be submitted within a reasonable length of time after the contract was in place.

    I know for a fact though because of this debacle, they have now spelled out the required procedure to be followed with clear deadlines.

  36. 21sthebest says:

    In that statement by the Pirates in that article, they said it was done in a “timely fashion.”

    I also thought the article seemed to be consistent with what Frank said about Pedro taking control of the process. That reminded me that Frank also said that it was customary for the league and the Union to accept late arriving paperwork when it appeared clear that both sides were in agreement before midnight. Actually I think I’m repeating myself.

  37. Arriba Wilver says:

    We will not agree on this.

  38. Arriba Wilver says:

    And, by “this,” I mean this subject. He lied. Having some secret knowledge about what’s been done in the past doesn’t change that.

    DK: That’s one of the smaller lies that’s been told from within that building.

  39. 21sthebest says:

    I’m just relaying what he said. As I said above, I have no idea if he was telling the truth. You have Boras, you have Coonelly, good luck with that.

    But I didn’t take it as secret knowledge but common practice across the league b

  40. 21sthebest says:

    This one has so much stuff flying back and forth, I’m not sure how any of us can figure out what the truth is.

    DK: I’m sure that won’t stop a small handful from trying for, what, years to come?


  41. Ghost says:

    I really wish I could find the reports of Coonelly verbally feigning that he could understand why Pedro wasn’t reporting. That was the clear lie I originally brought up, because he knew damn well a grievance had been filed, the signing was in troubled water, and that Boras was now holding out for a different agreement (which he eventually won). As for Coonelly’s contention that it had been customary for agreements to be reached past the deadline, yes, *had* been the case, but that the labor agreement in 2006 now prohibited it. By the time of Pedro’s signing in ’08, Coonelly simply had lost his game of chicken with Boras and didn’t have a point of contention.

    But, I am not doubting that Coonelly personally told you otherwise. I think these words by you best sum up where we fans stand: “I have no idea if he was telling the truth. You have Boras, you have Coonelly, good luck with that.”

    Let’s let those apt words have the last say.

  42. Ghost says:

    “…that he couldN’T understand why…”

  43. Arriba Wilver says:

    As I said, I have never attempted to do that. And for some reason you deleted the posts and your comment that led to my comment.

    And I agree with you 100% about not stifling comment on any subject. Like I said, as far as I know I never have.

  44. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t believe the 2006 agreement prohibited it Ghost.

    I haven’t gotten into the issue of Pedro not reporting but the grievance being filed wasn’t in the news until August 28.

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