Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

You’ll have ‘The Final Word’ on Pirates, Steelers

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

The joint venture between WPXI and Trib Total Media into sports TV continues tonight at 11:35 p.m. with the latest episode of The Final Word.

>> Who’s on: WPXI contributors will be Alby Oxenreiter and Bill PhillipsThe Trib will be represented by myself and Alan Robinson. Our topics will by led by the Pirates’ colossal series with the Cardinals and the Steelers opening camp.

>> How to participate: Each week, we also take comments from viewers through 20-second videos you submit on The Final Word’s Facebook page, as well as comments to The Final World’s Twitter account

>> Where to watch: In addition to the regular broadcast on WPXI-TV, we have WPXI’s live online stream for Pittsburgh’s many out-of-town sports fans, as well as video podcasts available on both outlets’ Web sites.

Here’s last week’s episode.

Really hope to have you, not only watching but also joining in!

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.


  1. Ghost says:

    According to the MLB Notebook on the Trib’s Pirate page, Atlanta’s GM Wren says he’s “willing to pay” for starting pitching. The Braves probably prefer someone like Jake Peavy or Bud Norris, but a lot of other teams will be also be competing for those guys. Evan Gattis playing in right field for the Buccos? I’d let them have Charlie Morton back for that guy, though not Jeff Locke.

  2. Drew71 says:

    Did I miss a programming note?

    I thought The Final Word was on after my bedtime on Sundays, not Saturdays.

  3. theplanisworking says:

    I didnt know you had a bedtime.

  4. theplanisworking says:

    The Final Word for the Pirate game last night………. STINK !
    Fell asleep before it was over……….. no comeback.
    neal is in Miami……….. hope he got a gooooooood look at that offensive offense.
    Maybe he can pry himself away from South Beach long enough to get a bat.

    Expect to be underwhelmed, folks.

  5. theplanisworking says:

    Speaking of South Beach, did you know that the area used to be run-down, crime-ridden, and drug-infested?
    The show Miami Vice was predominently filmed there………….. which led to a resurrection of the area to the tourist destination it is today.

    neal needs to do something similar with this offense.

  6. Drew71 says:

    i keep Jandiesque hours.

  7. theplanisworking says:

    Your % is rising. :)

  8. JAL says:

    JAL’s Running on Empty Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    5 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

    BLOGS and such

    6—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Is the Trade Deadline Overrated?

    Locke’s Control and a Weak Bench Are Two Concerns From Tonights Loss

    Prospect Watch: Another No-Hitter, Dickerson Drives In Eight Runs

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates’ offense absent in 2-0 loss to Marlins


    Game 101: Marlins 2 Pirates 0

    9 The Green Weenie

    Buc Bats Quiet In 2-0 Loss

    10 Rumbunter

    Are The Pirates Interested In Brian Wilson?

    11 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Marlins 2 Pirates 0

  9. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Miami Herald

    Miami Marlins’ gamble in sixth inning pays off

    13 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates Starter Jeff Locke Has Massive Future

    14 Pittsburgh Catholic

    Pirates’ Neil Walker on the gift of life

    15 Centre Daily

    Former State College Spike Vic Black makes major league debut

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates v Marlins Game Preview

    17 Fish Stripes

    Fish Cap: Miami Marlins 2, Pittsburgh Pirates 0

    18 PBC Site

    Locke limits damage, but Pirates blanked by Fish

    Notebook: Grilli’s forearm requires rest, not surgery

    Pirates’ prospects remain strong in new Top 20 list


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Alfonso Soriano Joins the Worst Right-Handed-Hitting Team of All Time

    20 Fangraphs

    The 2013 NL East, and Strong and Weak Divisions

  10. JAL says:

    Running on Empty Jackson Browne 1977

  11. kr70 says:

    Legend says we don’t need a trade…. so walk the walk.

  12. theplanisworking says:

    Here is a story mainly about PED penalties, but buried in there is a paragraph about a potential trade target for the Pirates…………………….

  13. Wild Bill says:

    Hippo, you sure know how to scare a guy. The second segment in that article was about the Brewers and a proper price for Braun if they wanted to trade him. Thank God I kept reading all the way to the mention of Morneau. After last night the temptation is to send them all to Indy and bring up the whole Indy team to replace them. Hope tonight the Bucs get it together

  14. Karen22 says:

    Ain’t THAT the truth!

    Need help NOW, Jobu!

  15. Milo Hamilton says:

    A common theme among those who believe the Pirates should stand pat is that they don’t want to mess with the team’s chemistry. Considering their finishes the last two years, has anyone considered that maybe the chemistry needs messed with ?

  16. macchamp74 says:

    Winning takes care of chemistry!

  17. Milo,

    Apparently you were a “no show” yesterday. I left you the following message:

    Groat2Maz2Strangeglove says:
    July 26, 2013 at 8:47 am

    OK Milo!

    Today is game #101. Your countdown begins!!!!! You stated the firs’ hunnerd was just “Preface.”

  18. Not with me it’s not!

  19. Hey JAL,

    I like the theme songs that attach themselves to previous night’s Pirate performance!


  20. Milo Hamilton says:

    Didn’t check in until evening. But here we go, nothing they “accomplished” in the first 100 will mean a hill of beans (and this is our hill & these are our beans) if they don’t make it stand up down the stretch. This core group has proven they can’t handle the pressure. Only they can change that.

  21. theplanisworking says:

    Did you say pressure?

  22. Milo Hamilton says:

    Love it.

  23. Thundercrack says:

    I was on the road to Maryland last night. It sounded like a boring game. Listening to Nevrett for the first 5 innings didn’t help. Then having to switch to XM the Marlins actually have a broadcast more boring than Nevrett.

    Holy Crap…all those strikeouts

  24. Thundercrack says:

    So in TV right now is a show called Nats Talk. 2 hosts who take calls

    Guess what the topic brought up by the first caller…team chemistry!!

    And of course the hosts offered up “winning takes care of chemistry “

  25. Drew71 says:

    What a foolish thing to say.

    Unless of course we say it.

  26. Wild Bill says:

    Tc –

    One great Marte to Walker to Martin and a tag out at the plate, but the rest? Zzzzzzzzz.

    Martin did seem to be hurting in his last at bat, and then came out. I hope he’s not too bad or we’ll be seeing a lot of the Fort against the Cards this coming week.

  27. Drew71 says:

    Heading to the Ravens camp, huh?

  28. Thundercrack says:

    The host of this show does look like Brian Billick. I know it’s not him because this guy sounds like he knows what he’s talking about

  29. chethejet says:

    Some players believe chemistry takes care of winning.

  30. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t think the chemistry needed messed with. I think some injuries hurt us, some of the guys weren’t mentally tough enough, and some of them needed to grow up.

  31. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pirates would do well to win today.

    Fish have Fernandez on the bump tomorrow. Being a Pirates fan, I can’t wrap my mind around a young, highly touted prospect actually making the club straight out of camp.

  32. I’m in your corner . . . . . actually standing behind you in case others throw things.

    NOW is where the rubber meets the road
    ——is the proof in the pudding
    ——is when we separate the men from the boys
    ——is when Jack meets Diane
    ——is when we decide to cue “We Are the Champions” or “Hotel California”
    ——is when we declare “A penny saved is a penny earned!” Wait . . . that’s for another blog.

    Just like pitching or batting in Inning 9 is not the same as pitching or batting in Inning 3, so too Bucs must prove they can play ball in Games 101-162.

    YOU declared it right here!

  33. pattonbb says:


  34. Oshkosh b’Gosh,

    Marlins do not follow normal club etiquette rules . . . . . sometimes refreshing, other times maddening.

    Seem to be run by that group of 5th grades from “School of Rock”

  35. JohninOshkosh says:

    One of my favorite movies, Groat. It was all downhill from there for Jack Black. Guessing he will end up on an ABC sitcom as “the crazy neighbor.”

  36. theplanisworking says:

    How on earth can you be in his corner…….. in a round room?

  37. Daquido_Bazzini says:


  38. Hey Oshkosh b-Gosh,

    My Sports Illustrated arrived today. Your boy Ben Hansen from Milladore, Wisconsin (Up North?) was the star of Faces in the Crowd. Sounded like he was King of the Wild Frontier with an ax, a crosscut saw, and a chain saw. They build them tough in Wisconsin.

    Hey, what’s the deal of your Bucks getting rid of all of my Duke boys? J.J. Redick could be in the perfect place for his game with Chris Paul and the Clippers.

  39. Eric Bowser says:

    Pirates have 61 games left (31 Home – 30 Road) and 26 are against teams over .500
    (opponent Team ERA & OPS)
    6 against CIN (3.35) – (.731)
    14 against STL (3.37) – (.752)
    3 against TEX (3.74) – (.736)
    3 against ARZ (3.69) – (.712)

    Pirates ERA 3.09 and OPS .698 since All-Star break 3.28 ERA and .718 OPS

    Pirates have 29th ranked RF with .658 OPS
    Pirates have 11th ranked 1B with .785 OPS
    Pirates have 11th ranked PH (NL) with .197 AVG (ATL, CIN, STL, LAD are much better)

    This might surprise you… Pirates have 3rd ranked (NL) OPS from 7th inning at .705

  40. Chet Walker,

    And some believe in better living through chemistry!

  41. Fido Eric,

    Thanks for the info to digest.

    Who can be embarrassingly below the Bucs in pinch hitting?

    The 14 against the Cards are the whole season! 10 and 4 would look awful good!

  42. Eric Bowser says:

    NL teams worse at PH than Pirates..
    Nationals – .196
    Mets – .195
    Brewers – .187
    Padres – .182

    Pirates go 7-7, I’m happy. If they go 13-13 in those 26 games vs good teams, I’ll be happy. They should be able to make up ground against the Cardinals in those other 35 games.

  43. twentytwo22 says:

    I was looking up Pence’s stats and found this article on top 5 San Francisco in-season trades.

    For those who wonder what one bat would add to the lineup consider the addition of 1 Marte and 1 Martin. The improvement of the Pirates lineup this year is mostly due to the implanted upgrade of those two players over Presley in LF and Barajas at C. Our RF is hideous and adding Pence to it would have the same impact as adding those two. Pence is another Marte. 112 hits, 55 runs, 23 2B, 14 HR, 41 XBH, 51 RBI, 14 SB. Not including this year he has 5 20 HR seasons and 3 seasons of 90+ RBI. Adding him to the middle of our lineup would help our lineup flow like the Reds (L Choo, R Phillips, L Votto, R Ludwick, L Bruce, R Frazier). Highly impactful.

    R Marte
    S Walker
    R McCutchen
    L Alvarez/Jones
    R Pence
    L Jones/Alvarez
    R Martin
    R Mercer/Barmes

    In that article they mention the impact of Scutaro. I remember the series in Colorado where he fouled off pitch after pitch. Made me think of Aoki. He is a Scutaro clone.

    I compiled Aoki’s stats for the last 10 games.

    (I say this everytime I do this, I add fast and check, re-check, and check again, but do it fast. It should be 100% accurate)

    44 Plate Appearances
    157 Pitches
    62 Balls
    26 Strikes Looking
    4 Strikes Swinging
    27 Foul Balls
    38 Balls in-play

    4 Swings and Misses!
    in 69 Swings 5.8%.
    in 157 Pitches 2.5%
    Crazy good.

    12-40, 2B, HR, 3BB, 2K, HBP
    .300/.364/.400 .764OPS

    Tell me that wouldn’t be a positive impact.

    There is something to be said for a guy who doesn’t strike out.

    I’ve actually heard the poo-pooing of what one guy can do. Laughable.

    Chemistry. McCutchen goes 1-4. 1-1 with nobody on base. 0-3 with runners on. Alvarez goes 0-4, 3K. Pence hits a 2 out 2 run double that gives the Pirates a 4-3 lead. The bullpen closes out the game. Afterwards nobody mentions McCutchen and Alvarez sucking. During the heat of a pennant race that is Pence impacting 3 guys. Himself and 2 guys who didn’t get the job done. Each one is a deflecter shield for another that failed. That is a huge impact and it galvanizes a team.

    Now say that you don’t want to pay the money. Say that you don’t want to pay the prospects. Even say that you aren’t smart enough to pick the right guy for our team. But don’t say that one guy doesn’t matter.

  44. theplanisworking says:

    + many.

    Send this in an e-mail to neal.
    Fast, before he drowns on South Beach.

  45. 22 Squared,

    You sweet talked me into it!!

  46. I just read yesterday’s Chat.

    In it Dejan says his beautiful wife’s favorite team in town might be the team that kicks the spotted white balls.

    We should have recognized her poor judgment when she selected DK.

  47. theplanisworking says:

    ZING !!!

  48. Milo Hamilton says:

    Amen brother.

  49. JohninOshkosh says:

    Awesome 22.

  50. cmat0829 says:

    Agonizing game to watch last night… the camera angle in the new park made it seem like home plate was far away, and any balls the Bucs hit on a line were right at their fielders…

    John Wehner said it best in the postgame… pretty much said:

    1) They need to add a big bat to the middle of this lineup
    2) Russell Martin is not a middle of the lineup hitter.

    I’m now fully convinced, after 2+ years of being more on the side of “make a few small moves, don’t sell the farm for an impact bat now”, that we MUST add an impact hitter… if for no other reason, they can move the pieces around to where they fit. Martin should hit 7th… Jones can hit 6th.. Walker 2nd… Pedro 5th…

    And I know DK expressed a solid view that the Bucs offense can get much better if Jones, Walker improve to their means… but this group, the CORE group, not the 24/25th bench guys and the revolving door RF, the CORE group, led by Cutch, Pedro, Neil, Garrett… has NOT shown they can perform in a penant race when it rise to the ‘next level’ that you need to get over the top. So, even more than the need to replace the Snider/Tabata disaster, the move needs to be made to fortify the CORE GROUP. I am NOT CONVINCED the core will do what needs to get done on their own.

  51. Ghost says:

    So our core corps are corpses.

  52. theplanisworking says:

    Or, Ghosts.

  53. Ghost says:

    Yes! Ghosts DO play baseball!

Other blogs
Sports: Rob Rossi | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | iPreps | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports
News: This Just In | Trib List | ICycle | Flow Back | Stories Behind Trib Stories  

» Top Sports
» Top News
» Top Breaking News