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Morning Java: Ladies’ turn

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

SOCHI, Russia — Доброе утро, Lunatiks …

>> The Tuesday column looks ahead to four imminent, important events in which the ladies could help rescue the U.S. Olympic effort.

Here are all nine videos for Channel 11 News so far, including yesterday’s, which was easily my favorite …

I’m also doing weekday reports for TribLIVE Radio, and here’s yesterday’s edition interviewing Paul Martin and Jussi Jokinen about the bigger ice killing scoring.

Here’s the Trib’s Olympics page.

Here’s the official Sochi 2014 page, with all the schedules and results.

Here’s the official U.S. Olympic team page.

Here’s the official NHL Olympics page.

And here’s NBC’s Olympics page with all the highlights.

>> The accommodations for the athletes have been so extraordinary that some have been moved to speak or tweet about it without prodding. Teemu Selanne, Finland’s hockey legend, told a group of us the other night these were ‘the best organized Olympics’ he’d seen.

Talking about beds per room?

Nope. Bikes, mostly.

The Finnish Olympic Federation, seeing in advance that the Athletes’ Village and venues were close and security-clean, thought to bring a bunch of blue bikes. And once all of their athletes began using them, Selanne and the Penguins’ Olli Maatta included, more bikes were brought for other nations. Some Americans have them now, too. That’s Patrick Kane over there to the right.

“It’s not what I expected at my first Olympics, with everything you hear,” Maatta said. “But it’s been a lot of fun, for sure.”

“It’s been 20 years,” Olli Jokinen said of how long it had been since he biked to a game, back in his native Kuopio, Finland. “My parents didn’t have a car, so I would ride my bicycle every time. Obviously, when it was minus-25, I took the bus.”

>> Back in that other hemisphere, Scott Boras tells the Trib’s Travis Sawchik that his client, Kendrys Morales, would be a fine fit for the Pirates.

In the interim, Andrew Lambo is spending a lot of time at first base, Morales’ position, in the early part of spring training. Here’s a video on that topic …

Here’s the Trib’s Pirates page.

>> This shooting slump is killing Pitt right now. Kevin Gorman reports.

In football, the Panthers’ Tom Savage and Devin Street hope to impress at the NFL combine. Jerry DiPaola reports.

Here’s the Trib’s Pitt page.

>> We have tons of great blogs at TribLIVE, all specializing in their respective sports. Encourage you strongly to check them out and bookmark.

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.

265 Comments

  1. Good article on the women’s potential impact on the US medal count in the Olympics. I am especially impressed with the poise of Mikaela Shiffrin at 18 years old. Good luck to all of the athletes competing.

    To 21′s the best…Yes sir…East Liberty and Sliberty are one in the same. I grew up near Broad street. My Dad grew up on Larimer and Joseph streets. He is a Westinghouse grad, my sister is a Peabody grad. I went to Liberty Elementary in Shadyside and spent a good amount of time hanging out in Stanton Heights, Highland Park, and Shady Side.

    • Ahhh, Brandie, you bring back many memories of good times in the Burgh. I lived the first 18 years of my life in Morningside, sandwiched right in between Stanton Heights and Highland Park. I went to high school at Central Catholic, and took the streetcar to get there for most of my 4 years there, with a change in Sliberty. I also hung out a lot in Shadyside & Walnut Street. Good times for sure.

  2. Scott Boras tells the Trib’s Travis Sawchik that his client, Kendrys Morales, would be a fine fit for the Pirates.

    Mr.Boras……Pedro Alvarez IS a fine fit for the Pirates……..HOPE that his interest and concern remains as high in the Pirates, when THOSE negotiations occur. ;-)

  3. I don’t know…I haven’t talked to another person who has mentioned the medal count or the overall U.S. performance. Only people who seem to talk about it are media. I didn’t even know that the U.S. won so many medals in Vancouver until hearing about it so much over the past few days.

    • Ya, scapper, gotta agree w/ya. Have not heard one comment on the medal count.

      “,,, help rescue the U.S. Olympic effort.” DK

      Rescue from what?
      I and most of the people I know that have any interest are enjoying these games just fine. I have been mostly focused on the hockey but have been watching whatever happens to be on (except figure skating) and have been quite happy with it.
      Medals are just another boring stat.

      • Exactly. In fact, my favorite sport to watch during the winter games (now that those sweet Russian curlers are eliminated) is always cross-country skiing. Magnificent backdrop shots regardless of where the games are, athletes giving it up like Tour de France riders, and the inspiring human wreckage at every finish line. I never care what country the medalists are from. It’s sport at its best.

  4. Scott Boras tells the masses that Morales would be a fine fit for the Bucs.

    Keep in mind, Boras has 3 things that he lives for:

    1) Scott Boras,
    2) Maximum money for his clients,
    3) Scott Boras.

    I see no wisdom in signing a 1B that is really a DH in disguise, paying him an 8-figure contract, AND giving up a pick. No thanks.

    Smoak would be an interesting option, but who knows how much would have to be given up in the trade. I don’t think that would work out too well either.

  5. Nice article on the women “rescuing” the US Olympic effort.

    Our fearless leader forgot to mention the US ice dancing Gold……… first ever.

    And, while perusing the ESPN Olympic coverage, I saw the US is tied with Russia for the overall medal lead. Really don’t know how much “rescuing” is needed. Sure, 37 medals in Vancouver was great, but it isn’t like the US is in 26th place.

    Someone get DK a bike so he can pedal to a StarYucks somewhere. He needs it really bad. ;)

  6. JAL’s Brown Eyed Girl Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-Jylprbkk0

    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 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsjN0zO-DxI0dDNkaWxFNWIwNDVUQzEwYXp5SlpGNkE&usp=drive_web#gid=0

    4 Pirates Prospects Spring Training Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/st2014

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Additional Proof that Andrew McCutchen is Awesome

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/02/first-pitch-additional-proof-that-andrew-mccutchen-is-awesome.html

    Some #ElectricStuff From Charlie Morton to Charge Your Day (Video)

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/02/some-electricstuff-from-charlie-morton-to-charge-your-day-video.html

    Stolmy Pimentel Looks Like a Favorite For the Opening Day Roster

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/02/stolmy-pimentel-looks-like-a-favorite-for-the-opening-day-roster.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Scott Boras wants Pirates to sign Kendrys Morales

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/2/17/5421020/scott-boras-wants-pirates-to-sign-kendrys-morales

    Dry Land to be released next month

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/2/17/5419620/dry-land-to-be-released-next-month

    7 Rumbunter

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Only Move Left Is To Make A Trade

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/02/18/pittsburgh-pirates-move-left-make-trade/

    8 Green Weenie

    2/16-17: Flying Dutchman, Negro League Stars, Nate McLouth…

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2014/02/216-17-flying-dutchman-negro-league.html

    9 WHYGAVS

    Can the Pirates fix Edinson Volquez?

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/february-2014/can-the-pirates-fix-edinson-volquez.html

    10 Saber Bucs

    Volquez vs. Vargas, et al.

    http://saberbucs.com/blog/2014/02/17/volquez-vs-vargas-et-al/

    11 Pirates 101

    A.J. Burnett Explains Decision to Leave, Reminisces Over Time with Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.sportsmedia101.com/pittsburghpirates/2014/02/17/a-j-burnett-explains-decision-to-leave-reminisces-over-time-with-pittsburgh-pirates/

  7. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Bradenton Herald

    Second time’s a charm for Pirates’ Taillon

    http://www.bradenton.com/2014/02/18/4999488/second-times-a-charm-for-pirates.html

    13 Beaver County Times

    Pirates Cumpton hopes to top impressive 2013

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/pirates/pirates-cumpton-hopes-to-top-impressive/article_90939345-8242-5b09-a3c2-83c948df80a9.html

    14 Pirates Site

    Coonelly: Time for Pirates to build on success

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article/mlb/pirates-president-frank-coonelly-its-time-for-the-pirates-to-build-on-their-success?ymd=20140217&content_id=67832116&vkey=news_mlb

    15 SB Nation

    Pedro Alvarez: The Jeff Goldblum of third base

    http://www.faketeams.com/2014/2/17/5418334/third-baseman-profile-pedro-alvarez-pittsburgh-pirates

    16 Fangraphs

    On Craig Kimbrel and Committing to a Closer

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/on-craig-kimbrel-and-committing-to-a-closer/

    17 KDKA

    Andrew Lambo: ‘Every Day I’m Racing To The Field’

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/02/17/andrew-lambo-every-day-im-racing-to-the-field/

    18 St. Louis Post Gazette

    Bird Bytes: It’s good to have plentiful starting pitching

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bird-bytes-it-s-good-to-have-plentiful-starting-pitching/article_1a7bf444-0f4e-5aad-8498-d784fb622253.html

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week In Quotes

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22836

    20 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Matt Garza bolsters a rotation that could be the Brewers’ strength

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/matt-garza-bolsters-a-rotation-that-could-be-the-brewers-strength-b99207677z1-245914311.html

  8. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Louis ‘Da Missile’ Delmas was the emotional leader for the Lions

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014-steelers-free-agency/2014/2/17/5420458/steelers-louis-delmas-free-agency-lions-released-salary-cap

    The best rushing seasons in Steelers history

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014/2/17/5418750/the-best-rushing-seasons-in-steelers-history

    22 Steelers Depot

    Antonio Brown Has Issues With the New Pro-Bowl Draft Format

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2014/02/steelers-wr-antonio-brown-has-issues-with-the-new-pro-bowl-draft-format/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    How do shots translate into points in the Premier League?

    http://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/football/shots-translate-points-premier-league

    24 BBC Football

    Man City better than Man Utd – Manuel Pellegrini

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/26226901

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Olympic talk: why stars aren’t shining…yet

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2014/2/17/5418808/sidney-crosby-points-during-olympics-team-canada-patrick-kane-usa-hockey

  9. Slovenia and fleury’s future back up gettin it done…

  10. Heard some talk about how boring some of the hockey has been due to too much defense and what not. Well been thinking from a coaches perspective and if you’re playing the long game showing vanilla in the pre-lim’s makes sense so that you can release the hounds in the elimination games and catch some squads off guard. Anyone who jumps to conclusions after the pre-lim’s is missing the point….

    • So it’s like playing possum eh Monster? Talk about employing some wily strategy.

      • Yup…atleast thats what i would do. We’ll see what happens in the next few games. I wouldn’t abandon defense 1st strategy if i’m norway or slovenia but if i’m the swiss i think i’d want my team to have their skating legs ready to play canada. And the slovaks wont pass up a chance to attack the czechs.

  11. Ovie finally moved to RW but now geno has mighty mouse(popov) playing his off wing on the LW. This coach has no feel for his squad. Poor poor geno…

    • The mistakes of the Russian coach makes me appreciate Dan Bylsma and the job the staff has done with our Olympians. I am not quite ready to say “All hail the Disco Stretch” however.

      • Ha…ya the USA team was picked in a way where the lines kind of make themselves. Good balance of lefties and righties so disco’s job is just to organize the breakouts, dzone coverages and special teams. Everything else is kinda standard stuff. I was gonna post my lines and d-pairings but thought it was pointless cuz the lines are self explanatory for the most part. I’d be focused on creating more consistent cycles and possesion tho.

  12. And Russia draws first blood. 1-0.

  13. Russia’s coach is every other teams best friend.
    Ovie neutralizes Malkin better than any defense……he is just so friggin useless beyond his 1 skill, a good shot. The rest is ridiculous….

  14. Clearly playing popov ahead of nichushkin makes all the sense in the world…..

  15. I wonder if that video of Nick Leyva working with Lambo will bring Bob Hasis out of his winter hibernation. I guess the “Cuz” that Lambo is talking about is Leyva? Those guys should be encouraged not to use nicknames in interviews. Only DK is on a nickname basis with the players and coaches. We don’t know them here.

    ;)

      • :D

        I believe Lambo recognizes this is his chance. Definitely his best shot yet and maybe ever. Seems to be working hard. That’s half the battle with these kids. Even the talented ones. I’m pullin’ for him for his own good and the success of the Bucs.

        • Looking for Lambo to make his own breaks through his hard work and efforts. I am not prepared to say the season is lost due to moves we wish were made but were not. I can understand why people get worried. We have a very passionate fan base that is invested in the team’s success.

        • I am pulling for him also, Lucky. I question whether he is ready for most of the 1b at bats this year, though. I actually think it might take him a couple of years to settle in as a pro. I think he’s a bit like GI Jones. But, I don’t think he should automatically be dismissed. It looked like a lightbulb may have gone on last year. He hit 33 HR, and that means there is talent.

  16. Gracious…..Norways G keepin em in it…..

  17. Russians got away with ripping the stick out of an opposing players hands.

  18. Just got on and just started following the Russia-Norway game. How the frick is Norway only down 2-0 without Zuccarello? I figured the Russians would destroy this team and get momentum, but they look very ordinary. Maybe they are tight with Big Brother/Putin looking down on them?

  19. Geno looks tired and frustrated.

  20. Say what you want about Leyva as a Third Base coach, I think his value to the team from the beginning has been his teaching skills and knowledge of the game.

  21. I received my weekly Redbox E-mail. It’s entitled, “More action than a curling game.”

  22. Still snowing here. Where will it all go when it starts to rain? No one is talking flood….yet.

    Oh to be in Bradenton!

    Stuart

    • So much snow in IL I have officially run out of places to stack it. I now have walls on either side of my driveway, and they are about 8′ high. I’m so ready to be done with this crap.

      Spring sports are going to stink here unless the weather turns warm very early.

  23. The NBC TV guy did a piece with 20 or 30 SI swimsuit models. Talk about heaving Bison!

    Stuart

  24. Final score: Russia 4, Norway 0, although Norway put up a good fight. Unfortunately, fog in Sochi has caused the delay of or postphonement of several outdoor

  25. Final score: Russia 4, Norway 0, although Norway put up a good fight. Unfortunately, fog in Sochi has caused the delay of or postphonement of several outdoor events.

  26. Another good article about Sid and Olympic hockey in general – at least some Canadians seem to get it…

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/olympics/sidney-crosbys-true-impact-on-team-canada-is-immeasurable/

  27. Looks like Dejan’s cousin had a goal and an assist in today’s game today….

    http://scores.espn.go.com/olympics/boxscore?gameId=1209

  28. Y’know it occurs to me no matter what happens, first game back at Consol could be…..”awkward” ….
    US wins of course the place will go nuts….while Sid and Geno stand there….
    Canada wins, you hope Sid will get a huge cheer, as Martin Orpik Geno stand there…..
    RUS wins, you hope Geno gets a huge cheer, as Sid…..you get the idea!

    Awkward!!!

  29. So can SUI win another 1-0 decision??? Hiller’s been Like Wall thus far…..

  30. CZECH up 1 nil….

  31. ….and I jinx Hiller!!! LAT up 1-0….. My bad, Jonas!!

  32. Rumor is Kunitz back w Sid……

  33. The Czechs are leading 2-0 in the first half and have also out shot the Slovaks 9-3.

  34. When the Pens, their coach and their GM get back together, the coach and GM are likely to point out that no matter who won gold in Sochi, there is something still to be won that all of them would like to win at least as much – Lord Stanley’s brandy snifter.

    That should calm hurt feelings and bring focus for those who are disappointed.

    • I sure hope professionalism takes over and they immediately leave Sochi behind and focus on the task ahead … the one they all get paid for!

  35. And now, it is the Czechs 3-0.

  36. Does anyone know whatever came of Petr Sykora?

  37. Going out to help hubby….look out shovel, here I come ;)

  38. And now, It’s raining outside like crazy in Sochi while the hockey is underway inside.

  39. 4-0 Czechs, Swiss get one to make it 2-1

    • Well I thought CZE would get through. Hoping for SUI, cos they have given CAN fits in the past….but they need to come back…..

      • The intermission guys just brought up a great point about the Czechs….they have 6 players older than 35, and two older than 40. The fact the Slovaks made it 4-1 means they (Czechs) can’t rest players so easily as with a 4 goal lead. Lets hope the Slovaks make it close and wear the Czechs down – who then would have to play the US tomorrow.

        Swiss have 20 minutes to get another goal….

    • It’s 4-1 Czechs at the end of the second half, and would you believe that two of the Czech hockey players are 42 years of age.

  40. Frankie named the opening day starter.

    • Really? I don’t get the point of telling us this on 2/18.

      • Really? I don’t see why not. I think he deserves it and not that it really matters, other teams have announced their opening starters.

      • I am with you, Jim.
        This serves no purpose now, but I guess it is harmless.
        I am just glad AJ isn’t on the team…….. he would have been mad he wasn’t named the Opening Day starter…………

        I m much more interested in how Searage is working with the pitchers, and how the 1B experiment/scholarship is going with Lambo. But what do I know?

        • I think it is fine to have him start. He’s the choice for me right now, too. But, there’s 6 weeks to go. Why not let them … you know … pitch a little bit is my thinking. Let’s see who’s healthy 3 weeks from now.

          • I agree with you that they should wait…but Liriano was 8-1 at home, with .174 avg against. I see the logic.

          • Well if Liriano isn’t healthy, he obviously won’t start.

          • Well they aren’t going to name Morton the Opening Day starter.

            If they named Garrett Cole the Opening Day starter would that be considered a “scholarship”

            I thought the logical and obvious choice all along was Liriano. (even if AJ was still on the team)

  41. CBS is adding Tony Gonzalez to their pregame show and canned Marino and Sharpe.

  42. You know, watching the first Olympic hockey game I thought it was awesome the refs were calling everything. Since then, they’ve done a 180….maybe even worse than the NHL now.

  43. Hossa gets 2nd goal, 4-2 Czechs. Slovaks have owned the 3rd period. Still 2-1 Latvia with about 10:00 left…

  44. Tomas Surovy scores to make it 4-3….Slovakia coming on…

  45. Well there goes my bracket…slovaks didnt get wake up call till it was too late but i did get the score right for latvia/swiss game…even got the empty net part…just not the right winner :)

  46. …and looks like SUI is out!!! RATS!! Would have loved to see them torment CAN!!!

  47. It’s the US vs the Czechs in the quarterfinals tomorrow night since the Czechs held off the determined Slovaks 5-3.

  48. ….and CAN breathes a sigh of relief……to not face SUI…..

  49. OK PEEPs!!!!

    PICKS FOR QUARTERs?????

  50. My popcorn match is RUS-FIN!!! How bout you???

  51. I am picking US, SWE, CAN (rats!!! So mad SUI lost!!) and…….DUNNO!

    RUS-FIN???

    I am so hoping for FIN but I kind of think RUS may have loosened up just enough to get to the medal round. Let’s not forget that poor FIN is missing basically ALL their Cs….both Koivus, Flipula and Barkov. They MUST play D-first….will they have enough O to get it done??? I dunno.

    Also, VERY conflicted between Geno and Ollie…..rats, I hate for either of them to lose…..

  52. Travis Snider slices his finger cutting sweet potatoes. It’s always something with this guy.

  53. We are in the final days of the Olympics.
    The Americans have “screwed it up”.

    The medals race is killing me with suspense.
    NBA trade deadline Thursday……… can’t wait.
    Snider the Dud gets cut on a spud.

    When do the RiverPuppies start their season????? :)

  54. The US’s David Wise won the gold in the half pipe in skiing yesterday. And the Dutch lead with 19 medals and the US and the Russians are tied for second with 18 each.

  55. Is any one in need of a virtual assistant?

    • What is your skill-set?

      Stuart

      • Stuart…I come from a background of client services and counseling. I have been a client services manager. I have worked with Excel, know how to use email etc.

        • You may want to try linked-in. Good place to list your abilities, and others can “endorse” you. A relative convinced me to get on it quite a while ago. I thought it was more social, but it turns out that it is mostly for networking, and job movement. A good place to keep your name “out there” for others to see, even when you are currently working.

          The last time you changed jobs, I had guessed where you were going. I’ve kept it to myself, but still think if I am right, that it is a position with a lot of turnover. If I am right it is in another county from where you reside.

          BTW my wife is a PSU grad in the social sciences. Many years ago we made a vow that if either of our kids so much as helped an old lady to cross the street, we’d wire a cement block to them and head for the nearest lake. I turned out that we didn’t have to worry. They both chose education in the sciences (NOT social). The youngest is finishing at Pitt in Chemistry.

          ABTW, I’m in my fifth retirement, and if I decide to start on a sixth, it will be in some totally independent field.

          Good luck Brandie, you’re too bright to be in a job you don’t love.

          Stuart

  56. Just caught up on the slovenia/austria game and i promise you that slovenia has the swedes attention. I know that austria isnt much but they shutdown vanek, grabner and raffl like it was nothing and Kristan did the rest in the cage.

    Talk about story of the olympics..how bout a country of 2M with 7 rinks…let me repeat…7 rinks beat slovakia like it was practice, more than held their own against russia till the 3rd, hanged with the US squad sans Kopitar and beat austria like they stole something.

    I’ll be 2M and 1 for slovenia tomorrow.

  57. Ahh Lloyd McClendon. Too bad the managing never quite matches the bravado.

  58. If Milo checks in later, he’ll be excited to know Dana Eveland has signed a minor league contract with the Mets.

    No wonder they stink.

  59. And now that the US’s Alex Diebold has won the bronze in snowboarding, the Dutch and the US are tied for medals with 20 each, and the Russians are third with 19.

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