TribLIVE
Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

« Font size »
Decrease | Reset |Increase

Morning Java: Small opportunity with ESPN I’m excited about

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Wednesday column tries to pry a whole lot of hands of the preseason panic button.

Yes, that’s preseason panic button.

Or, as Ben Roethlisberger described it when I asked about that very topic …

Which doesn’t mean, of course, that the Steelers don’t have to perform better than they have to this point. They’ve actually got to do so in a hurry, as Ryan Clark told our Alan Robinson.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage.

>> Proud to let you know here that I’ve signed a contract with ESPN to appear as a regular contributor on Keith Olbermann’s new show that debuts Monday at 11 p.m. on ESPN2.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, is changing with my role at Trib Total Media or with anything else I’m currently doing. Total status quo.

I’ll be on the show once a week, not necessarily on a set date, as one of a handful of rotating sports columnists from around the country. The segment will be about four minutes, and it could cover pretty much any sports topic imaginable, I’m told. All of the video work for the segment will be shot from a studio in Pittsburgh.

I’d be lying if I didn’t confess to you that I’m excited about this.

>> The Pirates put up eight runs and still pitched great. Travis Sawchik is in San Diego.

Here’s the rest of our baseball coverage.

Here’s Padres news from the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Here are official game highlights from MLB.com.

>> I’ll have a separate post up in the late morning for today’s TribLIVE Radio show at 2 p.m.

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 more, including 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 top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.

348 Comments

  1. Sounds like I’ll be watching ESPN again, great for you.

    • Mr. K and Steeler nation,
      With the Steelers being so tight lipped about the injury to La’veon Bell, do you think the decision to not draft Eddie Lacy (because of his “injury” history) is weighing on the minds of those in the know? Lacy has looked pretty good (at least he’s on the field), Bell,…..
      I’m not one to push the panic button just yet, but after seeing the other teams in the division play this pre-season, our first team looks months behind them in comparison. I’ll say it again, letting STEPHEN JACKSON get away was a HUGE mistake

      SteelerTom

  2. Congratulations on getting some national exposure. I always thought that the views on the blog have been more refreshing than the drab they cover on the national outlets. This is not a critical comment but as I recall, I remember on more than a couple occasions comments you made despising ESPN coverage and saying how you avoid watching the channel altogether. Regardless this is exciting news that there is yet another outlet us yinzers can watch, read or hear your insight.

  3. Congrats, Dejan. Great exposure for you and The Trib. What’s your over/under on number of appearances before getting a hockey question?

    Seriously,,,exciting news. Looking forward, as usual to your informed, insightful commentary.

    DK: Thanks. It’s the host’s show. What he wants to discuss is what gets discussed. And anyone who knows of the host’s sporting history knows he is a baseball maniac.

  4. Great news for you and us. Over under on how many days it takes the nation to say your name correctly? Hoping it’s none.

    DK: I’ve known Keith a long time. Won’t be an issue with him.

  5. Is it a panel segment or are you exclusive for the 4 minutes?

    DK: Not a panel.

  6. Congrats! I predict big things for that novel little all-sports channel!

  7. Congrats Dejan. But just remember, this may require you to comment on the NBA!

    DK: Explains the cold sweats before signing. Thanks.

  8. The best of luck. Well deserved and a great venue. I seem to recall KO was a bit of a Pirate follower?

    • Congratulations on the call up! Go yard, every week!

      Drew will razz you more than ever about becoming a “personality.” But you can just get him back by wearing t-shirts on national television that reference his posts. For example, if at 3:14 that afternoon Drew posted, “I locked my wife in a trunk and shipped her to Buenos Aires,” your t-shirt can simply read “Drew 3:14.”

    • Patrick, my post was obviously not meant to be inline with your post. But if I had to be under somebody’s armpit, yours is a fine armpit to be under. ;)

    • Olberman lobbied hard for Billy Maz for the HOF, as I recall.

  9. That doesn’t sound like a small oppertunity. Congrats!!!! Well deserved with a lot of hard work and talent.

  10. I always thought Olbermann has the chops to do for sports what Jon Stewart has done with politics.

    Congratulations. Sounds like it will be entertaining.

  11. Good luck and Congrats. I don’t like Olbermann, but I’ll check you out.

    Did the new Fox channel ever approach you?

    DK: No. And thanks.

  12. Your appearances on ‘Showdown’ and ‘The Final Word” have shown, at least to the audience, your comfort in the television medium. Do you feel this experience was integral to landing the position? Or is it more your writing talents combined with the radio show? Or all of these?

    DK: I appreciate that, Bob, but the next opportunity I pursue in anything other than newspapers will be the first. Thus, I didn’t really land anything. Olbermann and the producers were familiar with my work and invited me to be part of it.

  13. Awesome news DK.

    As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of Keith Olbermann the sportscaster. When you retire, the national unemployment rate will go up 2%.

  14. Just stopping by to say a HUGE CONGRATS to you Dejan on ESPN. I’m happy for this opportunity for you. I’ll be sure to tune in.

    DK: Thanks, Tracy.

  15. DK, this is both a surprise, and great news!!!

    Olbermann is knowledgeable, but has burned many bridges with his acerbic personality. I do wish him (and you, of course) the best……………… I see this as a huge plus for you.

    I do fear for you with the NBA talk, and A-Rod talk.

    Maybe this will lead to appearances on “Around The Horn”??

    Good Luck, and well played, sir!

  16. DK- congrats on the opportunity presented to you. Will be excited to see you on the worldwide leader.

    Always felt when Olbermann was at ESPN and Sportscenter that was the stations peak at its best, so good to see him back in a role he thrives in and I’m sure you will add many positive contributions.

  17. I was just wondering if DK negotiated anything about neckties, and will he be required to brush up on Thurber?

  18. Congratulations DK!! I’m thinking the first segment might be whether Steelers fans should be concerned after last night’s dismal showing …

  19. Wow. You’ve created quite the conundrum for me, Dejan. Very happy for you, but I planned on never tuning into Olbermann. Just heard too much craziness come out of his mouth that it’s hard to listen to him even when it’s not about politics. But again, a sincere congrats for you.

    DK: Thank you. No politics.

  20. Congrats DK, I’ve always thought KO was more than the usual talking head, glad he had the good taste to pick you. Looking forward to catching your appearances.

    Stuart

    DK: Much appreciated, Stu.

  21. DK. This is cool. Keith is an excellent broadcaster, especially with sports…this will be compelling TV and more so when you appear.

    DK: Thanks!

  22. Great news DK!….I look forward to watching.

  23. Congrats, DK! Much deserved.

  24. Well, well, well looks like ESPN may get my attention again.

    Congrats DK, remember us little people later on down the road.

    • 1st person that popped in my head just now was Beano. You could be the next Beano.

      I didn’t know him, but sure did like listening to him.

  25. Here we go DK! Here we go!
    Here we go DK! Here we go!

    Many congratulations and good vibes to you sir. I know you will represent Pittsburgh well. :-)

  26. Okay, so Pedro has gotten hot again at the plate. And I noticed that he was one of the guy’s who has taken to Clint’s message about going oppo more often. His triple last night was case in point. The night before he also slapped a single to left. This is really encouraging –heck, exciting– that Pedro is beginning to take his hitting to the next level.

    HOWEVER… hate to be the guy who keeps pointing this out, but he really should have been marked down for two (2) errors last night, save for Yonder Alonso being a slow-running first baseman who also amateurishly looked at the ball the entire time he was running down the line. Petey looked very bad on both the official error and the would-be one. Now, he clearly is not letting the defensive fumblin’ and a-bumblin’ affect his head when he is in the batter’s box. Offensively, I couldn’t ask for more from the kid right now, just as we really need it. But, eh hem, teach him 1B over the winter and truly set him free. I know 3B replacements don’t grow on trees, but it really will be best for everyone.

    • (Whoa, forgot to close my italics there. Didn’t mean for all that. Oh well, should help trick at least a person or two into reading it.)

    • You said it yourself. 3B replacements don’t grow on trees. You are basically replacing Jones/Sanchez with a heavy dose of Josh Harrison. Jones/Sanchez isn’t great, but it’s a heluva lot better than Harrison when you’re talking hitting. To boot, you wouldn’t be improving the defense by doing this. You’re just sacrificing offense.

      • I wouldn’t touch anything *this year.* It’s during the winter that I’d go hunting for one of the following: A) a good 3rd baseman, B)a good SS, or a good 2nd baseman.
        NH used to have a bad record of signing FA’s, but he (or his scouts, or both) has gotten much better. So go out and get a good (doesn’t need to be “great”) 3b-man. Or, get a good 2B-man and Walker goes back to 3B. OR, get a SS and Mercer goes to 3B. Mercer does not have good enough range to be a longtime SS, anyway. Ideally, a team wants 25+ HR’s out of 3rd, but that’s “ideal.” Few teams actually get that. Mercer will get stronger anyway, but even now his 270′s-ish BA and 10-ish HR, plus a very strong arm, would be good for 3B.

  27. Dejan, that’s tremendous. Seriously neato.

    I’m gonna have to fire up the DVR since I keep Jandy hours.

    By the way. Your very first ESPN segment…is it on the Red Sox, Yankees, Jets or Tebow?


  28. I see no reason why this “loaded” lineup doesn’t score about 8 runs tonight.
    Reply

    Happy Bob Hasis, three hours before last night’s game.

    Our new good luck charm got the boys loaded before the game and, well, see?

    Thunder, you are fired. Take your hat and go home. And don’t even think of stopping in Harrisburg on the way home.

    Happy, you’re in. Keep it up. Or else.

    • “Happy Bob Hasis.” (HBH) “Our new good luck charm got the boys loaded before the game and, well, see?”

      When Doddering Bud Selig (DBS) hears that the Pirates are loaded on HBH, MBL and FBI investigations will be launched. CNN, CBS, NBC and ABC reporters with their satellite vans will swarm to town, covering any breaking news. Curiously, ESPN will have a different take. Their broadcasts will cut away to live broadcasts of DK and Olbie competing in sumo wrestling bouts, but each pitted against an opponent he cannot see. Our daring, Underoo-sporting heroes will be matched — not in the flesh, but by remote video feed and TV monitors. Basically, our two heroes will take turns shaking and shivering their pasty-white, virtually naked, middle-aged bodies at a camera, then challenge his counterpart to “top that move, Pal!”
      It’ll be cataclysmic viewing.

    • Now you know, I was referring to my opinion that the lineup was “loaded with talent and hitting skill”, and facing a pitcher I felt was hittable. Plus we were for a break out game.
      Any other external reference to being loaded was a creation from someone’s imagination – certainly not mine.

      It was a pure guess and we won. Bottom line.

    • I was going to post that this team doesn’t hit enough triples.

      I forgot to post it.

  29. Congrats DK…..VERY well deserved….happy for you!
    .
    PS: Remember us little folk when U R basking in the national limelight. :-)

  30. Hoka Hey everyone!
    .
    Pirates win…Pirates win!!! ….LXXIV wins down, …and VIII to go.
    .
    Yes, GM Neal and Mgr. Clint ….82 wins DOES make a difference.
    .
    Beat Em’ Bucs !
    .
    PS: Great to see AJ shake off the “August funk” and pitch well in his start last night. (…hard to believe he only has 6 “W” so far…. this season)

  31. Congrats DK!!!
    I can see people all across America trying to pronounce your name as they read it from the banner on the bottom of an ESPN2 screen at their favorite watering hole/sports bar. But I have to advocate Ghost’s idea from above…The DK & Olbie Show has a great ring to it! Though you may want to wait a little bit before you pitch that idea to Keith.

  32. Congratulations Dejan! A big feather in your cap. Clearly, the ESPN producers and Keith Olbermann recognize your highly original way of writing (and talking) about sports, your strong ethical positions, and your independent points of view, especially when they run contrary to the herd. No doubt KO and his staff want to attract a large viewing audience with your help. Try not to be influenced by what the ESPN producers want you to say or suggest that you say on the air. Just be what the regulars on your blog know to be your free spirit and you’ll go from strength to strength.

  33. The Pirates now have the second best record in baseball, 2 games behind Atlanta. With 37 games left, the Pirates magic number to eliminate Arizona is 30, to host the wild card game is 34 (vs. Reds) and to win the division is 36 (vs. Cardinals).

  34. I always knew Jim Langer of the 1972 Dolphins was a Hall of Famer.

  35. JAL’s California Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DI1MqxhnmJQ

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsjN0zO-DxI0dHVOMzdPYm9wUEJtdVJ0WWUzVWhFc2c#gid=0

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: The Conflicting Reports on Justin Morneau

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/08/first-pitch-the-conflicting-reports-on-justin-morneau.html

    Prospect Watch: Stolmy Pimentel Tosses Seven Shutout Innings

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/08/prospect-watch-stolmy-pimentel-tosses-seven-shutout-innings.html

    A.J. Burnett and Pirates Offense Bounce Back Strong for 8-1 Victory

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/08/a-j-burnett-and-pirates-offense-bounce-back-strong-for-8-1-victory.html

    Pirates Playoff Odds: NL Central Could Be St. Louis-Pittsburgh Dead Heat

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/08/pirates-playoff-odds-nl-central-could-be-st-louis-pittsburgh-dead-heat.html

    Pirates Notebook: How Justin Wilson and First-Year Relievers Face Long Season

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/08/pirates-notebook-how-justin-wilson-and-first-year-relievers-face-long-season.html

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates whip Padres 8-1

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/8/21/4642924/pirates-whip-padres-8-1

    6 Rumbunter

    About Those Players The Pirates Didn’t Get At Trade Deadline

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/08/20/about-those-players-the-pirates-didnt-get-at-trade-deadline/

    7 WHYGAVS

    Game 125: Pirates 8 Padres 1

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/august-2013/game-125-pirates-8-padres-1.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    8/20: Boots, Homers, Unions, Extra Innings, One-hitters, the Antelope, a B-day and a Trade…

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/08/820-boots-homers-unions-extra-innings.html

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 8 Padres 1

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/08/pirates-8-padres-1/

    • California Manfred Mann’s Earth Band 1977 Manfred Mann was a member of the 1960’s group Manfred Mann, which had a hit with “Do Wah Diddy Diddy”. The Earth band was formed in 1971 and had big hit with a cover of Bruce Springstein’s “Blinded By the Light”. The song is off their 1978 album Watch. Manfred Mann is the keyboard player, not the lead vocalist.

  36. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    10 San Diego Union Tribune

    Padres flail in 8-1 loss to Pirates

    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/aug/20/padres-frustrated-loss-pirates-burnett-ross/

    11 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Is Neil Walker a platoon player?

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/08/20/pittsburgh-pirates-is-neil-walker-a-platoon-player/

    12 Yahoo Sports

    Where Would the Pittsburgh Pirates Be Without Pedro Alvarez?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/where-pittsburgh-pirates-without-pedro-alvarez-154900524.html

    13 Rant Sports

    Starling Marte Is Pittsburgh Pirates’ Version Of Yasiel Puig

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/08/20/starling-marte-is-pittsburgh-pirates-version-of-yasiel-puig/

    14 IS Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Rightfield filled with uncertainty

    http://isportsweb.com/2013/08/21/pittsburgh-pirates-rightfield-filled-with-uncertainty/

    15 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Tony Cingrani leaves game with low back strain in 4th inning

    http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2013/08/20/tony-cingrani-leaves-with-apparent-injury-in-4th-inning/

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates vs Padres Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130821_PIT@SD

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Brewers think big to beat Lynn

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/brewers-think-big-to-beat-lynn/article_8ada238d-4fe8-5a49-a6fc-6e5b9873a1a7.html

    18 PBC Site

    Burnett in control behind surging Bucs offense

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_08_20_pitmlb_sdnmlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Marte scratched from lineup with bruised hand

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130820&content_id=57660946&notebook_id=57661506&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    19 Indianapolis Star

    Pirates pitching prospect Jameson Taillon closing in on the big time while with the Indianapolis Indians

    http://www.indystar.com/article/20130819/SPORTS/308190088/Pirates-pitching-prospect-Jameson-Taillon-closing-big-time-while-Indianapolis-Indians

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    20 Fangraphs

    Giants May Be Next Member of First-To-Worst Club

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/will-giants-join-the-first-to-worst-club/

  37. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers vs. Redskins: Perspective from FedEx Field

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/8/20/4640352/steelers-redskins-recap-postgame-analysis-review

    Ike Taylor points at transition for Steelers slow start along offensive line

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/8/20/4640938/steelers-ike-taylor-radio-offensive-line-transition

    22 Steelers Depot

    No Changes Made On Latest Steelers Depth Chart

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/08/no-changes-made-on-latest-steelers-depth-chart/

    Soccer(football)

    23 London Evening Standard

    ‘Fenerbahce danger man Moussa Sow will be a real threat’- our guide to Arsenal’s Champions League opponents.

    http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/champions-league/fenerbahce-danger-man-moussa-sow-will-be-a-real-threat-our-guide-to-arsenals-champions-league-opponents-8775756.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    10 stories you need to read, 20th August, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-20th-august-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Fixing the Penguins Penalty Kill in 2014

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/8/19/4636836/fixing-the-penguins-penalty-kill-in-2014

    Mike Bales Hiring as Goalie Coach Completes Bylsma’s Staff

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/8/20/4639736/mike-bales-hiring-as-goalie-coach-completes-bylsmas-staff

  38. Awesome news DK. Looking forward to the show. Glad to see the Pirates rebound in San Dieago. The west coast air must have revived them..Or the fact that Ive been drinking coffee non stop out of my lucky vintage Pirates coffee mug since that heartbreaking loss to the Diamondbacks. Either way nice win.

  39. There’s nothing quite like the delight of going to sleep with a 3 to 1 lead and waking up with an 8 to 1 win! Sort of washed the bad taste of the Steelers’ game out of my mouth.

    I’m happy for DK too, and for Pittsburgh sports in general, that he’s going to be on Olbermann’s new show. I can’t help but think that the Pirates not stinking had something to do with this.

    I still see a leadership void among the Steeler players. When Pouncey is the supposed leader of the offensive line, we have a problem. When I think about it, the issue is mostly about the offense’s can do. I think that the D will be fine.

  40. Let me add my congrats to the many coming your way, Dejan. Certainly well deserved and very well earned invite from KO. Good luck! I know you’ll do DaBurgh proud :)

  41. I am not sure why anyone would listen to anyone who complains about what they see in the preseason. What do any teams show you? The best you can get out of preseason is to see individuals. You might see Jarvis Jones and say yeah, good, this kid can play. But to complain that the Steelers look vanilla…well yeah, that’s the point. The pre-season now, more than ever, is about those making the team. You used to see the starters go 3Q in the next game and I bet you get a half now. So settle down Steeler nation

    And as far as the cable sports programmers talking about the Steelers and their troubles. If they are directing at what they see in the preseason than look at it as they need to fill time for their daily 24 sportscenters. If they are talking in general than they probably have a point. I see a 9 win team. I am just not as excited about this team as seasons past.

  42. Great news, Dejan…Pittsburgh always gets well represented by its sports teams; now it will be just as well represented by its media.

  43. Seriously great week for Dejan, and by happy extension, us

    In proper order:
    - Good Mom news
    - ESPN gig

    Now. If we can just get those predictions working, it would be a clean sweep.

    – Wait for it…later today (after noon, no doubt), the snarky bold reply listing his correct predictions. Both of them. –

  44. Congratulations DK!

    You deserve the national exposure.

    I will tune in to catch your segment.

  45. Another morning of marine layer in the LB. That’s Lower Burrell, not Long Beach.

  46. Keith Olbermann was one of favorite newscaster on SportsCenter in the 90’s. Of course that was back in its heyday with Stuart Scott, Dan Patrick, and Craig Kilborn.

    • Agreed. Olbermann is very, very knowledgeable, always ultra-prepared.

      Wonder how he got back to ESPN, after self-admittedly “burning the last bridge” there?

      Hope DK posts in the blog the day he is scheduled to be on……….

  47. Congratulations, Dejan! Obviously, I won’t be able to watch it, but I hope whenever you get some highlight links, you’ll make sure to share them here. :)

  48. Congrats DK.

    Are you now contractually obligated to reserve comment on the idiocy of ESPN covering the 4th place Yankees all the time?

  49. Congrats DK – is your wife working on your wardrobe?

  50. Late to the party. Congrats DK on the 4 letter network gig. And you’ve got some pretty fast company in Richard Justice. I’ve been reading his work since he was at the Houston Chronicle.

    Cole is pitching today. Are folks satisfied with his performance? Is he producing as advertised?

    • I think he has been good, radio. He’s not yet a finished product. He needs to work on a “wipeout” pitch to get more strikeouts at key times.

      The arm is elite. He needs to sharpen up the control, as I think he has a tendency to catch a bit more of the plate than he needs to. Still, when you throw 96-98 consistently, even catching the middle of the plate a lot doesn’t hurt him like most other pitchers.

      Bottom line, IMO, is that he is good already and has a good chance of going to an elite level in the next 2-3 years. It is all up to him and how hard he works.

      Most talented 22 year old pitcher I have seen in my time following the Bucs.

  51. How much does it pay?

    You did say any questions.

  52. Just think. National exposure for the Riverhounds!

    ;)

  53. Good morning, happy Loonies, and CONGRATS to the Chief Loon! But does this mean we can’t make fun of the Four-Letter-Word network anymore?

  54. Congrats, DK! You were and are destined for great opportunities. I believe this will lead to more of them in the future.

    I always found Olbermann interesting and knowledgeable as a sportscaster. I’m glad he’s back to the world of sports.

    Great game by the Bucs last night, from start to finish.

    Walker continues to heat up. His OBP is pushing .360 for the season now. That is much needed for this team of mostly free swingers.

    Gaby had a couple of nice hits off a righty? Wow!

    JHay, whom I have ripped for the better part of 2 years, got another huge hit. He has a knack for coming up huge in big spots. He’s excelling in his “spark plug” role. I’m glad he played his way on to the roster.

    Pedro has been working diligently over the past 2 weeks to catch Cutch in triples for the year. Finally, he turned on the jets last night and caught Cutch at 2. So, what does Cutch do? He gets #3. I believe Cutch now has an insurmountable lead on Pedro “The Gazelle” Alvarez.

    Speaking of Cutch, that was a clutch hit that put the game away.

    AJ threw a lot of pitches for awhile there, but he pitched a gem. We needed 7 from him, and we got it. Staff Ace #2.

    Overall great effort. Now, let’s get Starling back today. Go Bucs!

    • Tape that finger (or thumb) up and get Marte back out there…
      I’m a mean yinzer.

    • Great points, Jim. Terrific game from many Buccos. I’m so happy AJ followed Frankie with a good effort of his own. Now if only Jonesy would find his…anything…and join the party. He’s been MIA the entire season.

      • Jonesy needs to find his libido…he left it at home with his wife….he keeps forgetting to bring it with him ;)

      • You’re right, Karen. I keep thinking he’ll snap out soon.

        Justin Morneau is available. He can’t play RF, but he can definitely replace GIJ at 1b if he doesn’t start hitting soon.

      • I’m afraid Jones’ time is almost up. He’s gone from slumping to LOST. I hope he gets it turned around. And with the way Gaby was FINALLY tagging the ball last night (and against a righthander at that) … who knows but what that was his audition to replace Jones as FULL-TIME first baseman. Definitely don’t see Jones back next year.

        • I think you are right about Jones, Bay. He seems to have developed a penchant for swinging at every high fast ball that comes his way now. He used to at least be able to hit RHP well, but now he isn’t even doing that.

          Gaby did have a few nice at bats vs. the righty last night, but he has a few years now of not being able to hit them. I think he is only a platoon vs lefty pitchers, as well as a PH now. That’s still an important role. But, I think they need to look elsewhere for a full-time 1b.

          Maybe Dickerson (AA) is an option to replace Jones. If not, there are guys out there to fill that role.

          • How’s it going, Jim?

            You probably know I agree that Gaby is no more than a platoon on a division contender, and thats what the Pirates should consider themselves next year.

            But I also don’t believe teams with payrolls around that of the Pirates should be sinking significant money into the first base position since generally speaking, their limited to their value hitting and not baserunning and defense. Spending upwards of $10m for a Mike Morse/Mike Napoli/Kendrys Morales in free agency may be better used elsewhere.

            What Gaby Sanchez does for this team is gives them a low cost option next year, with signs of improvement.

            You may not like sabermetrics, but one reason people said Russell Martin could turn it around in Pittsburgh was because of his obscenely low BABIP of .222 last season. Sure enough, that number is up to .299 this year and has raised his batting average 40 points.

            Gaby Sanchez had a BABIP of .285 and .279 against righties in ’10 and ’11. This year its at only .245. Now there is no way of knowing if he’ll get a Martin-like bump next year with consistant starts, but if that were to happen, you’ve got yourself a perfectly serviceable first baseman.

        • I fear that is true. I’ve always liked Jones, but he’s a big mess this year and continues to hurt the middle of the lineup. Thought he might be breaking out of his funk recently when he started to tag the ball, but, unfortunately, directly into opposing mitts. Now he’s flailing at everything. I feel bad for him, but he has to produce, or sayonara.

          • He is about to break loose…Clint knows it. Last night Jonesy was robbed on a sharply hit ball that was headed for the hole between 1B and 2B.

            I am telling you Jonesman….for the last time….You have to give up the Grapenuts. It’s too much. Life is about balance. Baseball is about balance. You are blowing it….and for what? A lousy cereal. Mix it up a little.

    • JHay has always hit in the minors and some on the big-league scale.

      It’s just every other facet of the game he falls short on.

      But he’s scrappy and a good kid, so he’s good to have around.

      And, like you said, Jim, he’s come up big more than once this season. Great to see it.

  55. Congratulations on the new part time Dejan!

    But far more importantly, congratulations to the Pirates not starting a game at 10:10 tonight, and more importantly, winning again.

    8 to go, and then we are all going pantless.

  56. Doesn’t ESPN film in NYC? Is DK going to have to travel there every week or do you all feel he’ll be able to shoot his segments from home?

  57. All we need is the Super Hero, Lad 9 to add his three cents and we will really be off and rolling!

  58. Morning, All! DK, Congrats on your ESPN Gig! Exciting!

  59. So disappointed you’re going to be on a program with Keith Olberman. Not a fan of his, to put it mildly.

  60. Dejan, one tip, just don’t mention President Bush 2′s name on any segment, he will turn red in the face and his blood vessels almost explode. Politically the guy is a toad, and not liked by many but congrats on the exposure.

  61. Is it just me, or does it seem like Greg Brown’s old spontaneous, let’s get excited about this call is starting to get a MIGHT more planned? It was HIDEOUSLY ANNOYING a couple times last night! And the one where Pedro bobbled then got up in time to nail Alonzo at first base – the one where he said Pedro went from Bull to Matador – that was just WRONG!

    • Homerism at it’s finest.

      Us fans, consumers, etc. We do not need the artificial excitement. That’s what the blog is for.

    • Brown did get off one good line last night. As Pedro dashed around the bases at high speed and into third with his triple, Brown exclaimed, “The running of the Bull!” I thought that was original.

  62. Olbermann’s return to sports is long overdue (I don’t count that ridiculous Football Night in America thing on NBC). Congratulations Dejan. Sounds really interesting. Looking forward to watching your contributions to the show.

    I have to admit, when I first read the words “opportunity with ESPN”, I had a minor panic attack. I should’ve known better.

  63. ok Crue (and everyone else) I gotta git…tons of stuff to do…y’know..that OTHER four letter word…
    I’ll check in later on in the day…
    meantime…don’t be good…be bad and have fun! ;)

  64. Grats DK… but I still hate ESPN. Let me know when your next/first segment is so I can DVR. Please and thanks. :D

    - go pirates… win one more against the padres and they’ll have one of those rare thingies… well… rare for any August pirates team in the past 20 years. A winning streak!

    - I might be going to the preseason football game. Might be looking forward to booing the hapless steelers in person. I say “might” because I might also be spending the same time with my ailing grandfather in McMurray, PA. He had a mini-stroke late last week and not doing so great.

  65. Guess I’m done reading your stuff. Good luck.

  66. You’re going to be on his show? Do you have no pride? I think way less of you now and wish you bad luck. I hope his show gets cancelled.

  67. Congrats Dejan, break a leg as it were ;-)

  68. KO put his politics out their long before this gig. He was a wack job on his show, but sports is the topic and he will fail to attract enough viewers as he has bombed on every talk show he has hosted due to his snob sh** don’t stink attitude. He isn’t very likable.

  69. So ESPN went ahead and DFA’d “The Schwab”
    Then used that $$$ to sign Dejan.

    How many years of control do they have you for?
    What is your projected television WAR?

  70. Not sure if anyone has posted this already. Here is the recent Olbermann interview in the Hollywood Reporter. Goes in depth regarding his return to ESPN

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/keith-olbermann-defaces-a-rod-604903?page=show

  71. ESPN opportunity could not happen to a more deserving individual! Great writer,commentator and an even better person. Cheers to you Dejan

  72. Congrats, Dejan. A well deserved opportunity for you and I’m sure that you’ll be a success.

  73. I must waive my self-imposed Pirates gag order for a moment to amend something I said last week. I said that I would take Justin Morneau for his glove alone. Checking fangraphs this morning & their advanced fielding stats (uzr etc.) say his defense has slipped badly since the concussion. For what it’s worth.

  74. KO must follow DK’s twitter and instragram accounts. He should’ve been hired on for photography.

    I was a huge KO fan back in the day, very entertaining, until he became political. It went downhill from there.

  75. I’m having a hard time wrapping my garage sale, dumpster-diving mind around the Pirates or even THE YANKEES being willing to pay ANYONE – Morneau, or even a SUPERSTAR – $3 million to play ONE MONTH!

    • Just curious: How much did we pay Derek Lee to play two months, minus the time he was down with that hand injury?

      • I’d estimate it would be around 2.5 million. Why are you so concerned about the money? The Buccos along with every other MLB team will obtain 25 million next season.

      • I think his salary was 7 mil that year, so half what Morneau’s is. But there’s no financial commitment going forward, just like with Lee.

        You’re thinking real world, my friend. This is baseball. Think Monopoly money. I don’t know if Morneau’s the answer, but if the only reason they aren’t getting him is the 2.6 mil that I understand it would take, they shouldn’t be in the baseball business.

        I’d take the 2011 version of Derek Lee right now, and we are in a much better position to do some damage in the playoffs. We have the pitching.

        • +1 +Amen + You Preachin’ To Da Choir Now!

        • The latest on MLBTradeRumors says the sticking point with Morneau is the remaining salary.

          And he’s not been dealt, so its not just the PBC and their limited pockets??

          • Fact of the matter remains that NO team has traded for Morneau. None. Even the Rangers with their losses on offense and deep pockets have not traded for him.

            It makes me wonder what the asking price in talent is along with the expectation that the team takes all of the salary.

            Morneau is an icon in Minnesota and I don’t see them giving him away just to save X number of dollars. I would be willing to bet they are asking for the salary to be taken and a quality prospect in return.

            • It makes me wonder if teams / scouts see something that we don’t. (or that the stat-geeks see). Like maybe he isn’t as good as we think. I don’t know.

              I still believe that the Twins would rather keep Morneau as a Twin for the remainder of the year – as one last ‘tip of the cap’ to him, than trade him for a mid/lower end prospect. That’s just my opinion. And maybe he’s told them that he’d prefer not to be traded – or maybe not to the other league.

        • If I had to guess what was keeping Huntington from tryng to work his 2011 Derek Lee magic again, its that the 2013 situation is far less desparate.

          In 2011, they took a chance on a rapidly declining Lee because their first baseman was Lyle friggin Overbay and their right fielder was Matt friggin Diaz(with a struggling Garrett Jones). Literally was nowhere to go but up.

          In 2013, you can convince yourself that Garrett Jones still has a hot streak left in him and Jose Tabata will continue stroking the ball in September, and theres at least a decent chance you’d be right.

          • Certainly fair guess. But in 2011 I think they were looking at MAYBE breaking .500 and they had money in the lower budget since they hadn’t “front loaded” (according to Mr. Nutting). This is a chance to do more. JMO

    • He;s still on his hot streak. He’s batting around 350 in the past week. I would take the chance.

  76. While I haven’t had much time this summer to really keep up with the Pirates, I am aware of the issues involving lack of production at 1B and RF. What has been the discussion of possible solutions? Is there anyone available? And apologies if this ground has been covered already.

  77. *****ATTENTION*****
    Newbies and lurkers….we want to chat with you! If you list your hometown, Bizrow will add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum.
    Don’t be shy, we don’t bite :)

  78. Exciting win by the Buccos last night. Just as we’re giving them crap for their lack of offense they come through.

    AJ was outstanding. His interview after the game was just as good. The dude’s a bulldog. Hopefully he keeps this trend going. They all at somepoint have a bad outing, he just had 2 back-to-back.

    I don’t know about you guys, but I am very comfortable with our top 3 heading into the playoffs.

    1. Liriano
    2. Burnett
    3. Cole

    I’ll stack those guys up against anyone the Cards or the Reds have to offer.

    • Maybe Morton in lieu of Cole and Locke might pick up his game.

      • I think Locke needs to skip a start or 2. Might have too many innings accruing on his arm.

        Morton is the wild card. Great stuff, needs to be a little more consistant, but most teams go through the playoffs on 4 man rotations. CM on the back side of that, is not a bad thing…….depending on which CM shows up.

        • Agree, agree and agree.
          Especially about Locke needing a little more rest. Skipping two starts might be too long and throw him off. He insists he wants to stay on his schedule. But whether it’s mental, physical, or both, something is amiss and giving him a blow might be the answer. You’re right on about CM, and so therefore, I agree that Cole is our #3.

          • The trouble is, you gotta skip both Locke and Cole.

            Sept 1 call ups should get spot starts, but before then, skipping is dicey.

            Maybe the idea would be to start Burnett, Liriano and Morton every 5th day, push Locke and Cole back when possible?

          • I wasn’t necessarily suggesting that they skip 2 in a row and think Locke’s problems are probably more physical than mental. Not suggesting that he’s hurting, but more drained than anything.

    • definitely liked the game last night. especially being able to watch the early “action” before bed. Got to see the glorious running of the bull not once… but twice!

  79. OK Just checking in…later on Loonies!

  80. Congrats, DK, on the ESPN gig. I’m sure it is exciting. You’ve come a long way from your early appearances on the KDKA Showdown, where you seemed a little uncomfortable/nervous, understandably.

  81. Happy 70th to Felix Millan. Hope he’s not expecting a card from Ed Ott.

  82. Take a look at this article. Now, I don’t feel so guilty eating fried food for lunch:

    http://now.msn.com/khaled-mohsen-shaeri-morbidly-obese-saudi-removed-from-apartment-with-forklift

  83. Just catching up today. Congrats Dejan! Anytime we can get our proud “Leader of the Loonies” on national TV to talk about Pittsburgh and our sports teams…pretty cool stuff.

  84. The Pirates are not going to gain ground on the Cardinals today. Already 7-0 Redbirds.

  85. Leveon bell is out this week with a listfranc injury and will probably be out for the start of the regular season. This is the same injury that Matt Spaeth but it is supposedly not as severe.

  86. Free Felix Pie !?

  87. Make sure you ask olbermann what he thinks of the tea party :)

  88. Well, trying for another come back. Been away for a couple of weeks, trying to put together a network after a server crash, a couple of funerals, and all sorts of stuff that leads to general listlessness, but managing to crawl out of the hole.

    So first of all congratulations to Dejan on the new gig. I hope it turns out to be fun for you (and us as well.)

    I think the “resurgient offense” scored eight runs on eight hits. Efficient yes, but eight hits. It seems like that it’s often the way with this club — success means bunching the few hits they get well and depending on pitching. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has noticed.

    Morneau no no no no, well maybe if the deal works, gee ok, we do need some hitting, and I’m not really sure what I’d give up . . . . . but it just doesn’t seem just right, but well you’d like to have a guy like him, and I guess either I have too many opinions or not much of one. Justin case.

    It would be nice to be see Cole pitch well tonight.

    St. Louis and Cincinnati haven’t managed to capitalize on the last couple of cold spells. I take that as good news. Will the Reds catch the Cards? That could make the last week of the season exciting.

    Pedro at 31 and counting.

    Another thing everybody knows is that base-running has taken us out of about as many if not more rallies as it’s created.

    Above all, keep reminding ourselves that this was a team that not many thought had much of a chance of breaking even at the end of spring training.

  89. I hope his sorry gets cancelled.

    Funny, DK always bashed espn but they come calling and he is like a puppy.

  90. Congrats Dejan!! We will be turning in to see you and am positive you be great! Good luck buddy. Dejan, How long do you think it will take for you to get a standing ovation when you go to your morning coffee establishment??

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.


Other Blogs
Sports: Dejan Kovacevic | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | Sitting Ringside | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports | H.S. Sports Insiders
News: This Just In | Trib List
» Top TribLIVE.com Sports
» Top TribLIVE.com News
» Top TribLIVE.com Breaking News