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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Pirates 7, Red Sox 6, exhibition

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates vs. Boston Red Sox, exhibition

Time: 1:05 p.m.

Site: McKechnie Field, Bradenton, Fla.

TV, radio: None

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. And here’s our Bucco Blog with all the pitching matchups, lineups, etc. Rob Biertempfel and photographer Chris Horner are on the scene.

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. Bizrow says:

    Open Blog Fantasy Leagues –
    All on Yahoo
    12 teams Full
    Autodraft, head to head
    League ID 29140

    Dejans Lunatics
    12 teams Full
    Autodraft, head to head
    League ID 29140

    The PBC Blog Inmates
    12 teams, currently 2 open
    Autodraft, head to head
    League ID 29145

    PBC Inmates
    16 teams, currently 4 open
    Autodraft, head to head
    League ID 29147
    If we can get a league filled and folks choose to change the draft type to live or live auction, we can do it, trouble is scheduling a time where everyone can do it. Autodraft is you simply rank the players and when everyone has done that, the draft is held.

    Any questions, please e-mail me at Thanks, and Beat Em Bucs

  2. The Czar says:

    Like the lineup for today. Holding out hope Lambo can take over, but remain skeptic!
    On the flip side we see Carp against us. And Daniel Nava which we were rumored interested in as well.
    You never know with these rumors though!
    Let’s Go Bucs!

  3. Sweet Jimmie,

    Neal Huntington talked Lambo up big time on his Show yesterday. Seems that rumors about Carp are probably just rumors.

    If BMTIB had obtained Carp in November, then he would be a positive reaction to the platoon hole at 1st Base.

    If Carp would be obtained now in early Spring Training, it would be an admission of failure with “Lambo being the answer.” Sure Carp has at least legitimately played at the Major League level, whereas Lambo has only 1/2 season of adequecy at the AAA level, but, even if I am not a big Lambo booster, it’s too soon to abandon his horse right now for a Carp who is not significantly better.

  4. Jim S. says:

    I agree that Carp does not appear to be significantly better, Groat. I think his numbers may come back to earth this year.

  5. Dom says:

    Any word on us obtaining kendrys morales in a deal?

  6. Bucs will give up a 1st round draft pick AND big money/years for Kendrys Morales as soon as the DH is instituted in the National League!

  7. Dom says:

    When is that going to take place?

  8. pattonbb says:

    How about Tabata for Carp and Lambo goes to RF?

  9. Milo Hamilton says:

    Right. They won’t sign Morales because of his lousy defense but they’re willing to go with a guy who has never played the position above winter ball.

  10. The Gunner says:

    it doesn’t matter because Kendrys Morales will not be a Bucco in 2014

  11. The Gunner says:

    you forgot to mention the substantially lower salary of young Lambo

  12. Milo Hamilton says:

    Ya think ? Really ?

  13. The Gunner says:

    it is certainly considered by the BMTIB

  14. Baywatch says:

    LOL! Hey, Milo! Seriously, I think the kid Lambo deserves a shot. Let’s see how his bat plays. Defense is WAY overrated … At least it was last time I played Little League! :-)

  15. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hey Bay.

    I think Lambo should get a shot too. In rightfield.

  16. The Gunner says:

    If Lambo can hit, Clint will find a way to get him into the line up whether it is at 1B or RF. And, let’s hope what we saw from Tabata after Marte went down last year is what we see until Polanco’s planned June arrival.

  17. NMR says:

    Interesting thought, patton.

  18. General,

    Excellent take! Yet why would the Red Sox want Tabata?
    Carp can play both 1st Base and outfield. Tabata can only do outfield corners and has never been stellar as a pinch hitter.

    Just because he’s our trash doesn’t mean he would be Red Sox treasure.

  19. Baywatch says:

    I LIKE you guys!

  20. Milo Hamilton says:

    Listening to Greg Brown & John Wehner. I’m thinking 153-9. It’s like listening to Tunch & Wolf on the 1st day of training camp trying to figure out where the Steelers 1 loss is going to come.

  21. theplanisworking says:

    Jeff Clement lives !!! ;)

  22. theplanisworking says:

    If these Carp rumblings are true, what would the Bucs have to give up to get him? I heard Boston’s asking price would be steep………

  23. Milo Hamilton says:

    It looks to me like the Pirates are going to try to get away with dealing one of their relievers that are out of options (Morris, Mazzaro, Gomez, Pimentel). So far that hasn’t been enough to get something done.

  24. pattonbb says:

    He comes with a “team friendly” contract. :)

    I don’t think it happens, Groat. I was just throwing it out there because I think the Sox need OF depth. They have 3 guys without Carp that can play 1B.

  25. NMR says:

    I think that is the problem with trading for Carp.

    This is to say nothing of the Pirates options, but what would the Red Sox even want? Backup center fielder? 3B?

  26. NMR says:

    If Tabby was a strong defender in CF, I think you’d have a match.

    The again, a strong centerfielder with Tabby’s bat is worth a heck of a lot more than Carp.

  27. Thundercrack says:

    Well sometimes around here you would think their record is going to be 9-153


  28. Milo Hamilton says:

    With Dempster pulling a Timmy Thomas they probably could use another starter. Would be a homecoming of sorts for Locke.

  29. Thundercrack says:

    I like reading Nick Cafardo’s Sunday column. He does a nice job with it.
    And I realize he is from Boston.

    But he seems to throw a lot of stuff (rumors) against the wall – and not everything sticks.
    I just wonder about this Carp rumor. Maybe it is very valid. Maybe not.

  30. Jim S. says:

    Tabata is way too much to give up for Carp, I think.

  31. tdb1977 says:

    So Pedro and Russell each have put 2-run homers on the board today. And yet, Edison and Russell allowed 3 base steals. Last time I looked, good guys up 5-1 on Boston. And Boston had yet to have a hit.

  32. Jim S. says:

    Carp is close to Boston’s trash, guys! He improved in most areas of hitting last year, but he still whiffed 28% of the time. Maybe he played LF in Fenway, but so could my mother-in-law! Ok, I’m exaggerating a little. But, I think he’s pretty much a 1b only. There are Carps around – everywhere. Tabby will be a nice 4th OF, I think, once Polanco establishes himself.

    I still say Smoak has more value and is a better fit for us. Maybe we could get him for Tabby.

  33. Thundercrack says:

    We really need a first baseman. Can you mother-in-law play first? And how many options does she have left?

  34. Jim S. says:

    If Carp had played for Minnesota last year, I think people would see him for what he is – a decent hitter, nothing more. But, since he was on the BoSox and they won the WS, suddenly he is so good?

    I’m not saying he isn’t worth pursuing as a 1b option. But, I would not be giving up all that much. Do we get the Mike Carp of 2013? Or, Mike Carp of 2012? Check that one out.

  35. Jim S. says:

    2 days in a row for Russell going deep? Or, was that Saturday?

  36. Jim S. says:

    +++, TC.

    I think it is the nature of fandom. Often the negative is easier to see and believe for many of us than the positive.

  37. Jim S. says:

    She has options, TC. But, her hands are not “supple.”

    Sorry, Groat. I couldn’t resist!!

  38. I made my glove “obvious” to Clint Hurdle every time he walked near me at Pirate City. He just smiled at me. Even held up the ball I caught.

    He must really LOVE Lambo to turn me down!

  39. NMR says:

    I think this one has to come down to the scouts, Jim. Not sure the stat lines give anyone enough of an idea about what Carp’s true talent level really is.

    More than anything, I think we should be learning from the IDEA of Mike Carp. And James Loney, for that matter.

    Both guys were given a chance in varying limitted roles by contenders despite less than stellar track records. Both contenders saw talent and took a chance.

    Honestly, how does Andrew Lambo NOT fit this narrative?

  40. Jim S. says:

    When you told the story of him getting hugs from the brass, I figured he would get every chance.

  41. Jim S. says:

    My sarcasm meter just shot up. :-)

  42. Jake Elmore recently DFA’d by White Sox. Really wish the Pirates would have signed him before Oakland picked him up.

    Don’t know if he can play infield but I’ll bet he can really sing the Blues!

  43. The Gunner says:

    Dealing Locke for Carp sounds interesting. It can’t (and won’t) be that simple.

  44. Baywatch says:

    I’m a big ROCK fan! And Greg has grown on me!

  45. Pirates 6-1 over the Bosox in the 3rd. Papa Francisco allowed no earned runs and struck out 3 in two innings pitched.

  46. Jim S. says:

    That’s fair. But, I do think we see Tabby’s warts up close, so we tend to downgrade him more than the industry does. Then, we see the good things Carp did last year from afar, and we upgrade him over what the industry thinks of him.

  47. pattonbb says:

    I’d make that deal tomorrow.

    But I don’t run a major league baseball team, nor did I sleep at a Holiday Inn last night.

  48. I still involuntarily shake my head when I picture Huntington doing that to Lambo!

  49. Jim S. says:

    Nice reference. Jake and Elwood … the Blues Brothers.

  50. Milo Hamilton says:

    Except that Carp & Loney weren’t being asked to learn a new position at the major league level at the same time trying to learn to hit at the major league level. Lambo needs to be in right field.

  51. tdb1977 says:

    Think it was Saturday Martin went deep.

  52. NMR says:

    Can we at least see him once before claiming it can’t be done? Let’s not make this out to be more than it is.

  53. The Gunner says:

    Over time, Greg Brown has evolved into a damn good #1 announcer. He gets the fans revved up like Bob Prince used to back in the day.

    Keep up the good work, Brownie. The real Gunner would be very proud of you!!

  54. theplanisworking says:

    Maybe one of the 4 bullpen guys, and a prospect?
    Problem is, what would the Sox want?

    And, on the Bucs side, there would be obviously a bunch of untouchables.

  55. Milo Hamilton says:

    By the way, I loved your one word scouting report on Chris McGuiness. :)

  56. Jim S. says:

    ++, tdb.

  57. Jim S. says:

    I like Brown, too. But, I do think Milo is right about the hyperbole.

  58. Jim S. says:

    Funny, Patton!

  59. Jim S. says:


  60. NMR says:

    There is beauty in simplicity. ;)

  61. The Gunner says:

    Brownie is a salesman for sure. That is what his employer has asked him to do & he knows where his bread is buttered. He is just being a good employee and taking direction well.

  62. tdb1977 says:

    How fast is Polanco? I guess you can say he is freaky fast by beating out a ground ball he hit to the 2nd baseman. Could the Pirates outfield of Marte, McCutcheon, and Polanco be one of the fastest in baseball history when they bring him up?

  63. NMR says:

    Not sure any of those four arms even breaks into the Sox pen.

    I think the only chance of Carp being traded for something reasonable is if Boston just flat out does not have room on their roster.

  64. theplanisworking says:

    That’s another thing to consider.
    This may all be pipe dream central.

  65. Jim S. says:

    Ok, you guys are winning me over a bit on Carp. I do like the possibilities with his bat. But, that .385 avg. on balls in play, coupled with the career high line drive rate, career low popup rate, and par for the course whiff rate of 28% tell me that he’s no sure thing to be the Mike Carp of 2013 again. He scares me a bit from the regression angle. If I’m Huntington, I keep reminding Boston of that, btw.

    Plus, I thought Tabby had turned a corner at the end of the year. I think he’s a nice #4 for the next few years if he has actually grown up. He’s not vital going forward, but I think he’s worth a bit more than Carp.

    Locke is a LHP who gave us one heck of a 1st half last year.

    See, this is one of the many, many reasons I could not be a GM. I value my guys more than someone else’s guys. And, I am an admitted serial prospect horde-a-phobe. The 12-step program is not working. “Hi, I’m Jim and I horde prospects.


  66. Jim S. says:

    Some have mentioned Dawson, Cromartie and Ellis Valentine. I think our guys are every bit as fast as them.

    I’m sure there are a few other comparable examples, tdb. But, I can’t think of them off hand.

  67. Jim S. says:

    Oh, wait. Wasn’t there Bonds, Sr., Maddox and Sarge Matthews in SF once upon a time? That group could really run, too.

  68. cmat0829 says:

    To the extent Lambo as a starter makes sense, and it’s far from a no-brainer, it’s as a LH 1B platoon with Gaby. Can’t see that Lambo is a better alternative in RF than Tabata with Snider platoon, and we all know this is just keeping the turf warm for Mr. Polanco.

    I tend to prefer we let Lambo give it a try ****IF HE CAN FIELD THE POSITION ADEQUATELY****… if he can’t field, then sure, go fishing for Carp.

  69. NMR says:

    Ironically, a Carp for Hanrahan swap would’ve been pretty convenient. The difference a year makes.

  70. Milo Hamilton says:

    Al Martin, Jermaine Allensworth & Jose Guillen ?

  71. cmat0829 says:

    I really think it comes down to the Pirates maybe wanting to see what they might have in Lambo. Like it or not, we are running out of time to give Lambo a shot to prove himself as a Pirate. Pretty clear June 2014 Polanco is in RF. And if we go get Carp on the hook, then we are basically closing the book on Lambo.

    I know some believe that Lambo should just get the April/May starts in RF until Polanco is ready, but to me Tabata earned it late last year… and of course you have Snider who has shown every bit of pedigree that Lambo has but has yet to do it consistently in the bigs. So shuffle the cards, but a Carp deal is more than just what you give up to trade for him… it’s also the cost of pulling the plug on either the Lambo OR Snider ‘prove it’ opportunity.

    To me, just like my philosophy as fantasy football and baseball GM, if there is an OBVIOUS upgrade, a definite difference maker, you go get him. That player at 1B doesn’t exist, so any pickup is going to be some sort of roll the dice…

  72. cmat0829 says:

    Dont think there are many local team announcers who sound much different at this stage of spring training. I think John Sterling and Susan Waldmyn have already hyperventilated about the final season of “Jet-a” and preparing Cooperstown speeches for their offseason acquisitions.

  73. Jim S. says:

    Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!

  74. Jim S. says:

    Boston may be asking a lot for Carp because their latest whiz kid GM’s rear is still smarting from the whipping he took in the Hanrahan deal.

  75. Milo Hamilton says:

    Mike Carp just hit a homer off Brian Morris (stinks). Don’t let him get on the bus. :)

  76. Jim S. says:

    He’s just showing off! :-)

  77. Milo Hamilton says:

    I don’t know enough about Carp.

  78. theplanisworking says:

    So we can’t Carp about him. :)

  79. Baywatch says:

    Back from my nap, Y’all! Great discussion! And NO, DK did not hack my account! :-)

  80. Baywatch says:

    I never really felt like Morris was that great, myself. I think like all our guys last year, Ray got all he could out of him. Just not much to write home about.

  81. Baywatch says:

    Carl Yastrzemski was on deck!

  82. Cute. One thing we can’t do is give up the store for him.


  83. theplanisworking says:

    Good one.

    I gave you appropriate credit for not going in to work on the Mornin’ thread. Ice is for skating, and hockey, not cars.

    Hope you enjoyed your day off, Rev.

  84. I did. Most any time away from work is good. Feel like we’re up north again. Ice and snow in March. Must be global warming. (sarcasm alert).

  85. Jim S. says:

    First the Cincinnati media torpedoed Brandon Phillips’ 2013 season by making his stats public.

    Now, they screw up attendance by reporting the team’s off-season moves.

    They are vicious down there.

  86. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, I bet you feel like you are back in the Burgh.

    After this winter, I may move to a tropical island.
    (As long as there is a Primanti’s).

  87. NMR says:

    Can you even imagine the sh*tstorm if Nutting said something like that?

    It would be magical.

  88. Jim S. says:

    Or, Coonelly? Wait, I could actually see him saying that.

  89. NMR says:

    Haha, very Coonelly-esque

  90. NMR says:

    Hurdle seems smitten.

  91. Jim S. says:

    Like I’ve been telling you guys … get Carp, whatever the cost. :-)

  92. Jim S. says:


  93. Carp have a fishy taste.

  94. theplanisworking says:

    Jim, some of the offers for him could be very fishy………

  95. Jim S. says:

    Or, is it this? =>

  96. theplanisworking says:

    No, Coonelly would say the TV deal is in the top 3, instead of top half.

    But man, what a disaster this could turn into in Cincinnati ….

  97. Jim S. says:

    I’m just saying, I feel like we might flounder without Carp.

  98. Jim S. says:

    Mrs. Latos might have to make up a story about getting punched, kicked, stepped on, spat upon and verbally assaulted to change the topic.

  99. theplanisworking says:


    Over the weekend, ESPN did a look back at Marge Schott.
    Guess bad owners run in the Reds family tree?

  100. Jim S. says:

    She was a peach. Well, if you don’t mind people that openly admired Adolf Hitler. She did have the blind spot in that one area.

  101. :D


    We might be “condemned and criticized”, too.

  102. Brandie says:

    Will the Buccos try to lure Carp just for the halibut? Tuna in for the continuing saga…

  103. Brandie says:

    That mustache (Hitler or Schott, take your pick) was absolutely mesmerizing.

  104. Jim, I made the mistake of using Hitler in one of my messages a few years ago as an example of people who have changed the world. My boys have never let me live it down. They call me “Hitler Lover” to this day.

    It doesn’t help I’m half German and have the same first as last name as one of Hitler’s henchmen.

  105. Brandie says:

    Carpe Diem before some other team does!

    Thanks Revvie!

  106. Brandie says:

    Or shall we worry about him going to the Angels to play with Mike Trout? Trout and Carp…what a tandem.

  107. theplanisworking says:

    Now THAT is really fishy……….

    These bad puns better stop, or I will have to call the Cods……………..

  108. Brandie says:

    Cod Squad! That one had Peggy Lipton right?

  109. theplanisworking says:

    Maybe, Squidward Muppet. ;)

  110. Brandelita, the maiden of Pun Stars.

  111. Brandie says:

    One more…Carp May Be…Wait For It…The Next…

    Fish That Saves Pittsburgh!

    Nailed It!

  112. Absolute59 says:

    NMR: Actually the Sox acquired Carp from Seattle in November of 2012 for financial considerations. So actually the PBC could have had Carp before last year for financial considerations.

  113. rcch says:

    This coming from out there somewhere, but what is the status of Russell Martin? I haven’t seen or heard anything concerning him.

  114. Absolute59 says:

    thank you Milo. As you stated above like you I have no problem seeing if Lambo’s bat plays in the majors but as the RF platoon (I have seen enough of Travis “dripping with Power” Snider) until Palonco is ready not putting the pressure on him to learn a new position at the same time getting significant AB in the ML.

  115. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t know much about Carp. Either kind. But after today I hope the Pirates NEVER get him. ;-)

  116. Arriba Wilver says:

    Veterans in ST are like offensive linemen in football. The less you hear about them the better.

  117. Jim S. says:

    He hit 2 HR in the last 3 days.

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