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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Pirates 6, Blue Jays 4, exhibition

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates vs. Toronto Blue Jays, exhibition

Time: 1:05 p.m.

Site: Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Dunedin, Fla.

TV, radio: 93.7 The Fan

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. Travis Sawchik and photographer Chris Horner are on the scene for the Trib.

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. Let’s go Bucs!

    APB for Playoffs and Drew now officially instituted.


  2. theplanisworking says:


  3. Enjoying this decent Spring (so far) for the Bucs. Of course they had a lousy ST last season, but a great Summer and Fall.

  4. Jandy says:


  5. Bizrow says:

    Steelers resign Troy to a 3 year deal, that is good news IMO

  6. Triple Amen! So good to hear IMO. Thanks, Biz.

  7. theplanisworking says:

    Health issues, and advanced age ( for a football player).

    Love Troy, but I think this is a mistake.
    Only if he stays healthy is this a good deal.

    I would have gone 2 years max.

  8. Even if he’s hurt or turns into a teacher, the man is a positive to have on the team. Just his personage is enough for me, if he never plays a down. It ain’t my money. But the cap may suffer.

    He is a top-notch, Christian person. Hope he stays with the Steelers until Hawaii freezes over in some capacity.

  9. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, not doubting that, Rarin’ Reverend.

    I was concentrating strictly on football, not his faith.
    In that area, he has few equals.

  10. Gotcha, bro. I knew you weren’t dissing him. Everyone grows old. Take it from an expert. :)

  11. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, guess that falls into 2 categories………

    1) Fine Wine.
    2) Old Jalopy.

    Take your pick.

  12. John Lease says:

    And Heath Miller. Gotta clear some more cap space though I’m sure.

  13. Baywatch says:

    I have a 5-2 Pirates lead in the 4th … I do have the right thread, don’t I? :-) Afternoon, Y’all!

  14. 3 years spreads his salary out for Salary Cap purposes. It’s not 3 years guaranteed.

  15. Jim S. says:

    So, we have Health issues AND Heath issues?

  16. Thundercrack says:

    +1 to Groat.

  17. Jandy says:

    Howdy Bay :)

  18. Jim S. says:

    That is correct, Bay. This is the Bucs thread.

  19. Baywatch says:

    Howdy, Yinz … (Said the Pittsburgh Cowboy!)

  20. theplanisworking says:

    But, more importantly, what is the cap number?
    I understand contracts aren’t guaranteed.
    I don’t want another player that results in “cap hell”.

  21. Baywatch says:

    Who the HECK is Jake Brigham? (insert Prince Fielder accent here)

  22. Jim S. says:

    I didn’t hear how they got the 2 runs in the 1st, Bay. But, the last 3 came on Walker single then driven home by Gaby, and Lunch Box went deep for a 2-run shot.

    And the Pens are in on Vanek! ;-)

  23. Jim S. says:

    So, the can continues to be kicked down the road?

  24. theplanisworking says:


    Jim is today’s winner.

    You get the real +1 !

  25. theplanisworking says:

    What’s up Hoff? ;)

  26. Baywatch says:


  27. Jim S. says:

    He’s apparently the guy who won’t be on the final 25 man who gave up the 2 runs in the 4th? He followed Duke Welker, who gave up the 1st 2 runs and likely also won’t be on the final 25 man. They both followed someone named Jay Jackson, who also won’t be on the final 25 man.

    And, the Pens apparently have Thomas Vanek, no more Sutter and no draft picks until 2017. They can officially cut several scouts.

  28. Baywatch says:

    Jim, 2 runs in the first came on Gaby hitting into a double play (first), then Snider had an RBI single (second run).

  29. Jandy says:

    Where’d you get that on Vanek??

  30. theplanisworking says:


  31. Jim S. says:

    Thank you very much! Accepting the award for me is Mr. D.C. Space – that’s Dead Cap Space for those of you at home.

  32. Bizrow says:

    ESPN is reporting they got Goc for two draft choices

  33. theplanisworking says:

    I have checked 5 websites, no mention of this at all………

  34. Bizrow says:

    The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired center Marcel Goc in a trade Wednesday with the Florida Panthers, a source told’s Pierre LeBrun.

    The Panthers will receive two draft picks in exchange for Goc, according to the source.

    Goc, 30, should provide the high-powered Penguins with versatility and depth up front.

    A nine-year veteran, Goc has 11 goals and 12 assists in 62 games this season.

  35. Jandy says:

    yea a 2015 3rd round pick and a 2014 5th round pick

  36. Jim S. says:

    Pierre LeBrun. David Todd retweeted.

    Sutter and this year’s #1.

  37. Jandy says:

    crap. I don’t like Vanek

  38. Jim S. says:

    I think it is a joke. Sorry, folks. I just read ‘em.

  39. Jandy says:

    LOL a bad one at that!

  40. theplanisworking says:

    Still don’t see anything on LeBrun’s links.
    I will take your word for it.

    If this deal is true, I don’t like it at all.

  41. Jim S. says:

    I mean it’s a fake. Duped. No Vanek, apparently.

  42. Jim S. says:

    I believe it was faked, plan. David Todd retweeted, but I am reading now that it did not happen.

    Put away the sharp objects.

  43. Bizrow says:

    There is your center if they do move Sutter

  44. theplanisworking says:

    Jim, I have pitchforks, torches, and lots of fuel.
    Did you forget that?

  45. Jim S. says:

    Were they able to get some extra letters thrown in to finish his name, Biz?

  46. Jim S. says:

    Sometimes I think I’m the only one who likes Sutter. He’s not perfect, but I think he does some good things.

  47. Jim S. says:

    Sorry, plan. I’ll stick to baseball.

    Pirates have not gotten Carp yet.

  48. Bizrow says:

    Not sure about that ;-)

  49. Jandy says:

    I appreciate Sutter. he’s had a whirlwind of wingers…and the ones he played best with are back in WBS.

  50. Jandy says:

    16 minutes left! Oh my!!!

  51. theplanisworking says:

    Oh no, its ok.

    I was just looking for any excuse to break out the torches. ;)

  52. theplanisworking says:

    Keep Calm, and Let the Deadline Pass. :)

  53. Jim S. says:

    He gets some big goals. Could he play with Sid? I know he’s a center …. the orange traffic cones they are trying on that wing are not producing enough.

  54. Jim S. says:

    I would think torch sales are brisk right about now.

  55. Jandy says:

    If Gibbons is successful on Sid’s wing (and he is) why couldn’t Sutter be al well?

  56. Jim S. says:

    @EngellandsEye, one of the funniest twitter follows anywhere, btw, just tweeted that he’s afraid to say anything. He doesn’t trust any twitter accounts now. Lots of stuff flying out there, unsubstantiated.

  57. Sweet Jimmie,

    Jim S.
    March 3, 2014 at 5:05 PM
    ESPNU – Sweet!
    Does it say more about the ACC or Pitt that they will likely be 23-7 / 11-6 after this one?
    I think I know the answer.

    March 3, 2014 at 5:30 PM
    I will take…Don’t count Your Chickens (on the win) for $1000 Alex!

    March 3, 2014 at 5:44 PM
    Sweet Jimmie,
    TJ Warren could make you eat those words!


    Sweet Jimmie, do you prefer mustard or ketchup?

  58. Baywatch says:

    Nice talk from Walk about his first Spring Training Days. Said his first uni at spring training as a minor leaguer was an old No. 7 Bobby Wine uniform! Then he talked about renting a trailer at a trailer park with one of my old favorites, Ozzie Virgil Jr.!

  59. theplanisworking says:

    CHA-CHING !! $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Then I have to re-stock for Pirate season……… ;)

  60. Jim S. says:

    Snider esta en fuego. I think he knows it is put up or shut up time. He will be showcasing himself until El Coffee arrives.

  61. Thundercrack says:

    I thought this was the thread for the Pirate game.

    I’m not sure what is worse, all this hockey trade talk on here or the daily posts of “Hi”, “Good Morning”, “How are you?”, “Hello”

    Yes, someone p**d in my wheaties today.

  62. Bizrow says:

    Multiple reports out there, Kessler is coming to the Burgh

  63. Jandy says:

    hey, TC!!





  64. Jim S. says:

    Oh yeah, Pirates season. Please set aside a commemmorative “Andrew Lambo hitting .203 with 1 HR through May” model just in case he doesn’t get off to a great start.

    I’ll pick that up when I come to get “Troy Polamalu signed through 2020″ model.

  65. Jandy says:

    :fingers crossed:

  66. theplanisworking says:

    Awesome, Jim !!!

    Subarus for everyone !!

  67. Bizrow says:

    Sorry, TC ;-)

  68. Baywatch says:

    (He got the “peedies” for his “Wheaties!”) I look forward to saying “Hello” myself, TC. But honestly I was getting a little miffed myself with all the hockey talk. Especially since there’s a separate “hockey draft” or something to that effect going on right now. Then again, I’m sure it works reverse for the hockey-Steelers people. I know a few months ago I was THRILLED when participants wanted to talk Pirates instead of the hockey-Steelers game from the day before.

  69. Jim S. says:

    Lunch Box is having a big day. Does that make you feel at least a little better, TC?

  70. Jandy says:

    I’m not :P

  71. Jim S. says:

    I said “likely” Groat? I assumed they could at least beat NCSU at home after dusting them on Tobacco Road. But, alas, I should never project Pitt hoops these days.

    Wait, there is one projection I can make for them. I project they will be selected by the NIT.

  72. theplanisworking says:








  73. Chase d’Arnaud up right now . . . even though Milo thinks he stinks, I have always liked him. More natural ability than Jordy Mercer———just injury and focus problems. Make the great plays, throw away the 2-hopper.

    He just doubled down the line! Save a # for him in Pittsburgh!!

  74. Jandy says:


  75. Jandy says:


  76. Jim S. says:

    I wouldn’t diss Troy, either. He’s been a huge part of 2 Super Bowl winners, right? One of their all-time greats.

  77. Jim S. says:

    I’m with Milo on that one, Groat. Chase never hit above A+ ball. He looks the part, but …

  78. Jim S. says:

    I just read that he didn’t get traded to anyone. Who knows what to believe?

  79. d’Arnaud just scored from 3rd on a wild pitch that barely made it out of dirt. Walk says no one on Pirates but Marte would have scored on that short bounce-away.

    I’d love for Chase to get his head totally on game. He’s got ‘STUFF’!

  80. Baywatch says:

    Maybe this will be D’Arnaud’s year at Indy, Groat. Gotta love that speed.

  81. theplanisworking says:

    If he can stay healthy.

  82. Brandie says:

    Speed kills. I hope the Pirates can do something with Chase D’Arnaud as he has the tools, but not the consistency. Please get this guy to someplace where he can play consistently.

    HELLO EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  83. Jim S. says:

    You never can tell who makes it and who doesn’t. Remember that little SS for the Angels and Cardinals? Looked like Opie from the Andy Griffith show, only smaller? He stuck around about 10 years, and won at least 1 WS. I cannot come up with his name. I want to say David something or other.

  84. 21sthebest says:

    I went to two NBA exhibition games at the Civic Arena in 1984 (I’m pretty sure that’s the year). Lakers v. Jazz and the Bulls v. Nets. I can still hear the guy sitting behind me saying, “That little white guard from Utah will never make the team.”

    And you’re referring to David Eckstein. Always liked him and my son and I had a real nice chat with him before a game several years ago.

  85. cmat0829 says:

    Eckstein. Chase is a AAA player, nothing more. Thank you.

  86. Brandie says:

    Eckstein TGI Mc Jimster.

  87. I am NOT giving up on Chase d’Arnaud!!!

    I’m also still rooting for Brad Eldred and Chad Hermansen. Don’t forget Ron Wright!

  88. Jim S. says:

    Jeff Clement feels conspicuously left out.

  89. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, everybody, for the David Eckstein confirmations. He was not blessed with size or a whole lot of natural ability. But, I’ll be d*mned if he didn’t carve out a nice little Patek-like career, only better!

  90. theplanisworking says:

    So does Ronnie Paulino…………..

  91. Brandie says:

    He is the kid to get picked last on every team. Even the potted plants get picked before he does.

  92. Brandie says:

    Talk about your Epic Fail.

  93. 21sthebest says:

    What about J.R House and Walter Young?

  94. Jim S. says:

    Is House still thinking he is going to make the NFL?

  95. Jim S. says:

    “Let me see. Looks like no one is left, but we need to even out the teams.”

    “Oooh, ooh, pick me. Pick me.”

    “I’ll take that jagger bush over there next to the bike rack.”

  96. Jim S. says:

    Feel free to save a couple of these W’s for the regular season, Buccos!

  97. 21sthebest says:

    He could probably be a backup quarterback right now if you look at the quality of that group.

  98. Baywatch says:

    We got 20 years of losing-team rosters to go back and pick from if you’re looking for guys that didn’t make it! I remember the first time I went to a game at Three Rivers, in 1996, after we moved up to Bedford from North Carolina. Big MARK JOHNSON was the first baseman! I just KNEW he was going to be the big boomer to carry us to the Promised Land! He stiffed out before the season was over!

  99. Some idiot GM called him “untouchable” Bay. I think he lasted about another year after that.

  100. Brandie says:

    Ronnie Paulino…The Little Engine That Failed. :(

  101. Baywatch says:

    I think Kevin Young was my favorite through all those losing years.

  102. Jim S. says:

    Parlayed that one really good year into a “set for life” contract.

  103. Jim S. says:

    Yep, and no other team would touch him.

  104. Yeah, I liked Young, but he didn’t really do anything much to deserve my fandom. He had some power at times, but brought little else to the table. Butcher at first if I remember right.

  105. Jim S. says:

    He’s no Bruce Gradkowski, my friend.

  106. theplanisworking says:

    I personally liked Al Martin.

    Didn’t score from 3rd on a ball hit to the outfield,
    had that 2nd wife thing going on also.

    Yeah, good times……..

  107. 21sthebest says:

    And he ended up in the Mitchell Report.

  108. Jim S. says:

    Let’s never forget Derek “Operation shutdown” Bell.

    Coming soon to a houseboat near you.

  109. Brandie says:

    Two Words…

    Raul Mondesi.

  110. Randy Steele says:

    Gotta say, for the first time in a long time, I wish these spring wins and losses counted for real.

  111. Brandie says:

    I agree. This team is hot. One can only hope to build from there and quiet all of the naysayers.

    Greetings Randy Steele. Hope you have fun with us denizens on this here blog.

  112. DJ says:

    I really like Sutter. He’s got excellent skills and hockey sense. That said, and like I’ve mentioned before, I would like to see him dedicate himself and transform himself physically.

    One solid summer at the Gary Roberts School of Offseason Conditioning instead of weekly cookouts and pitching horseshoes with the extended Sutter clan in Western Canada.

  113. Brandie says:

    Sounds like you want to get Sutter to use his physicality to dictate what happens in his assigned space. I could really get behind that.

  114. Clement was only a Pirate hope in Neal Huntington’s mind!

  115. Brandie says:

    Wishing things to be does not make them so. If thatcwas the case I would have wished the Pirates were world series champs every year for the past 21 years.

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