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Morning Java: Blaming Marte? That’s fair?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> Today’s TribLIVE Radio show — on its new day and new time, 2-3 p.m. — promises some good stuff. It will feature a special guest culled from my visit today to Latrobe, one I’ll reveal via Twitter at the first opportunity.

We’ll also talk with Chris Adamski, one of the Trib’s college football writers, on topics covering all our regional teams. And, of course, we’ll have @SuckMeter.

To listen, just click on the link above. It’s free, easy, no signup. If you’re mobile, there’s a TribLIVE Radio app. Better yet, participate: Email at or call 412-320-7925.

>> By the job’s nature, more time is spent with some teams than others. Which can drive me nuts because, having something of an obsessive personality, my preference would be to attend all events all the time.

Such as it is, I finally made it over to Pitt camp yesterday (when I was supposed to be off, but hey) and finally had a chance to poke around for some names that might be a bit beneath those we read or hear about daily.

The question goes something like this: Who do you like?

And the answer most often was James Conner, whom I snapped (poorly) below for Instagram …


Conner is a 6-2, 230-pound running back and true freshman out of Erie McDowell, where he was a beast: 1,680 yards, 21 TDs, average of 10.8 yards per carry. On the other side of the ball, he had 12 sacks as a senior. Probably was Homecoming King, too.

I’m just throwing his name out there, mind you. Isaac Bennett’s the designated starting back, but he’s out with a mild knee injury right now, so Conner is getting the first-team reps … and doing very well.

Today’s coverage by Jerry DiPaola focuses on the defensive secondary. and a Joe Starkey column on Paul Chryst’s many tough calls since taking over.

Here’s some of what Chryst had to say after practice …

>> The Pirates lost a crusher in 14 to the Cardinals, one in which Starling Marte had the most nightmarish of roles. Karen Price is in St. Louis.

People will rally around Marte, or they’ll bury him. If I had to guess, being familiarized daily with the short-term thinking of most fans, many more will bury.

Is that fair?

Is that ignoring that the offense went the final 12 innings without scoring?

Is that ignoring that the offense, in general, hardly ever wins the game?

Let’s hear from you.

Here’s the rest of our baseball coverage.

Here’s Cardinals coverage from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

And here are official game highlights from

>> Dick LeBeau’s future and Heath Miller’s present are detailed by Alan Robinson in Latrobe.

Here’s the rest of our Steelers coverage.

And here’s what our panel on WPXI-TV’s ‘The Final Word’ had to say about the O-line …

>> More mythbusting on the Penguins beat, this regarding Evgeni Malkin. Rob Rossi brings the Lysol.

>> Hope you can tune in this afternoon.

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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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