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Morning Java: The Cobra’s battle

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> I call special attention this morning to colleague Joe Starkey’s Tuesday column on Dave Parker, the Pirates’ MVP right fielder of the 1970s, and his biggest battle.

Best wishes to the Cobra.

>> Saw this figure the other day: The NFL has suspended 16 players for performance-enhancing drugs in 2013.

Did you know that?

Better question: Can you name a single one of them?

If not, why do you suppose it is, given the NFL’s stature in our sporting society — No. 1 by such a distance that No. 2 should be left blank — that football avoided all the big, ugly headlines we’re seeing all over the country this morning related to baseball’s latest scandal?

Could it be that the NFL simply issues a press release, the guy gets suspended, and that’s that?

No dragging out a drama over months?

Roger Goodell is rightly criticized for a lot, but give him huge props for keeping his PED manhunt a lot more discreet than Bud Selig has, even as the NFL has taken significant steps toward, you know, not ignoring steroids anymore.

Here’s the Trib’s coverage of the Biogenesis scandal.

>> The Pirates face the Fish again, and all that pitching.

Here’s Marlins coverage from the Miami Herald.

Here are official game highlights from

And here is what all the gang on WPXI-TV’s ‘The Final Word’ thought of the Pirates staying in first …

>> Pitt opens camp on the South Side today. Jerry DiPaola has the hold. Shaping a young roster will be Paul Chryst’s main challenge.

>> Markus Wheaton is catching up quickly in Latrobe, writes Alan Robinson. If Wheaton somehow can work his way onto the field in something more than four-wide sets, that would be a boon for the Steelers.

Also, Cortez Allen insists he’ll be ready for the opener.

Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert have switched tackles.

And there’s a new no-purses policy at Heinz.

>> That’s all for this morning. It was a light Monday, and I’ll be off again today. The radio show is tomorrow, as is my next trip to the ballpark.

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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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