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Twins 6, Pirates 5, exhibition

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates vs. Minnesota Twins, 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. 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. Dom says:

    Just two more days till DK is back!

  2. Don’t tell Dali and the kids.

  3. I would like, at this time, to remember Dr. Frank Jobe, the surgeon who pioneered the surgery known as Tommy John surgery, which is said to have benefited some 500 athletes the world over. May he rest in peace.

  4. JohninOshkosh says:

    Second this, James.

    Not to open up a tiresome debate about HOF meritocracy, but at least two non players belong in the HOF: Dr. Jobe and Marvin Miller.

    Jobe and Yocum both gone now.

  5. Jandy says:

    88 years old. RIP

  6. tdb1977 says:

    Bucs opened it up a little bit in the first inning, hitting around the order and scoring 3 runs. Snider with RBI’s 5 and 6 and Lambo with RBI 1. Andrew brought his spring average up to .667 with a double. Pedro drew a walk.

    On defensive side, Presley reached first on a single and then gunned down while attempting to steal 2nd. The starting pitching has now gone 11 spring training innings without giving up a run.

  7. 21sthebest says:

    Jobe? I can’t get there with him. Obviously a Medicine Hall of Fame.

  8. Jim S. says:

    Good stuff, tdb.

  9. Jim S. says:

    Call me a skeptic, but I always found it a little more than a coincidence that Tommy John had Tommy John surgery and Lou Gehrig died of Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Hmm?

  10. Jandy says:

    Homer for Cutch

  11. Jandy says:

    Suspicious mind(s).

    Cue 21…

  12. tdb1977 says:

    I’m only getting pieces from gameday :(. Sure wish I was there to see some of these games.

  13. Jandy says:

    same here TDB

  14. 21sthebest says:


    The Mendoza line. Or that other one I always forget.

    Oh yeah! Alzheimer’s Disease!

  15. 21sthebest says:

    The guys on The Fan interviewed him this morning. No word on whether or not their drool buckets caught everything.

  16. Jandy says:

    Funny, I have Sometimer’s ;)

  17. Jandy says:

    LOL! ewwww…

  18. NMR says:

    Wandy came out clean?

  19. Dom says:

    That’s why some people on this blog call him the greatest pirate of all time.

  20. Thundercrack says:

    Of course they had to ask him about his marriage proposal on Ellen.

  21. 21sthebest says:

    His line is 2 innings, no hits, no walks, 2 K’s. Assuming Gameday is accurate but I’m finding out that it’s spring training for them too.

  22. 21sthebest says:

    Okay, maybe the drool bucket comment has merit. 2-2, bomb, double.

  23. Dom says:

    Wandy is ‘da Man!

  24. Jandy says:

    Ok OK it has merit :)

  25. 21sthebest says:

    Yeah but predictably, Giannotti started it off by saying that he himself got engaged.

  26. Jandy says:

    Another single for Cutch

  27. I can’t get Gameday to work at all here at the office. Have use the 4-letter one and it stinks.

    10 hits through less than 4 innings. Mercy. Save some for April.

  28. Jandy says:


  29. DJ says:

    Is there such a thing as a team option on an entire multi-year deal?

    If so, would love the Bucs to re-up with Cutch.

  30. They don’t have it either and can’t get FOX to work at all. Insanity.

  31. Jim S. says:

    Milo said he got the impression from Neveritt and Brown that the Bucs might be headed for 153-9 this year. That was 3 or 4 days ago. They might be up to 156-6 by now.

  32. Jim S. says:

    If he stays healthy and is his old self, what a great boost that could be to this team, Dom.

  33. Jim S. says:

    Yes, because that is all we care about.

  34. JohninOshkosh says:

    Patient: Doctor it hurts when I move my arm up and down like this.

    Doctor: Then don’t move your arm up and down like that.

  35. Jandy says:

    wow. Bucs have 11 hits and it’s only the 6th inning.

  36. NMR says:

    We need Hurdle to predict 105 wins on the FAN.

  37. Jim S. says:


  38. JohninOshkosh says:

    So, wait, Hurdle is one of the coaches we are going to keep in this town ?

  39. 21sthebest says:

    My money is on Bowser, April 15th.

  40. 21sthebest says:

    Extend Branson!

  41. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pirates are built for the regular season. Not the playoffs. Hurdle can’t adjust in the playoffs. Witness the Cardinals series. Should have sent AJB to the hill for Game 5. Fire Hurdle!

    There you go. March 7. :)

  42. 21sthebest says:

    Glad I only bet one beer.

  43. JohninOshkosh says:

    Boring Friday afternoon.

    Everybody in this office is doing a lot of clock watching.

  44. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    It’s now March 7th….When does GM Neal Huntington show up for work?

  45. Brandie says:

    What can you do to liven things up John Juan?

    BTW…Things are more open in the Big Ten.ladies tournament now that the mighty Penn State women struck out against the Buckeyes!

  46. Nate83 says:

    He didn’t pass on many difference makers. Sometimes the best move is no move. Money is still there to be spent. I’m confident it will be even if it isn’t until the trade deadline.

    Wandy looking good so far is a good sign that not overextending to get a starting pitcher may have been the right move. It definitely gives them more flexibility going forward then spending 13-16 million on AJ.

  47. Brandie says:

    You sure this is a baseball thread? Sounds like hockey comments to me.

  48. Dom says:

    Happy Birthday to Bryan Cranston. The actor turns 58 years young today.

  49. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    In other words….Money won’t be spent till the trading deadline IF they are in contention.
    If they are not…..That money remains banked….Which is always the bottom line with the Nutting Regime.

  50. Dom says:

    What if they use the money to extend Pedro?

  51. JohninOshkosh says:

    I gotta believe if, God forbid, the Pirates are tanking at the trade deadline, then Martin gets shipped to a contender.

    There’s some more money.

  52. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hello, my Huckleberry friend.

  53. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    That would be fine, but I don’t think that will ever happen.

  54. Jim S. says:

    So, his entire job is signing players and making trades in the off-season? You may not like how the Pirates allocate their money. I don’t like it, either. I think they should be spending more money on payroll than they appear to be on their way to doing this season. I’m not sure that is Huntington’s call.

    But, I’m pretty sure the organization is in a whole lot better shape since Huntington showed up. In fact, it was probably in the bottom 3 in all of MLB in terms of talent and development when he showed up. There is now a pretty broad consensus outside of Pittsburgh that the Pirates have the most talent, or close to it, in all of MLB in their system. There are also a lot of people outside of Pittsburgh who seem to think the Pirates are doing a lot of things right these days in developing the talent they have. They also won 94 games last year. They seem to be doing a lot right.

    Criticizing them for not making some moves you may have wanted this off-season is fair. But, acting like they are not working or have no idea what they are doing is silly.

  55. JohninOshkosh says:

    Uh oh!

  56. Jim S. says:

    Ain’t happening, Dom. Not with Boras. Not the Bucs.

  57. Florida Steeler says:

    I was fortunate to have been a patient of Dr. Jobe’s many years ago for a ruptured achilles. He was a kind, soft spoken, gentleman. RIP and God bless you.

  58. Nate83 says:

    Obviously I’m on the same side of the argument as you on this one Jim. I understand the frustration from others. I myself am frustrated more money wasn’t spent this off season but I also understand the constraints put on NH.

    You can logically look at all the moves made/not made this off season and figure out about what the Pirates had available to spend (not a number NH has much say in). If everything fell in a little different order I think they would have reached for Loney a little more and offered either another year or more money. I really think he was kind of their Russell Martin this year and they did want him. Unfortunately they didn’t know the AJ situation and because of that they had to have a plan B which was Volquez. They also had to take AJ at his word and think he would come back to them and hold some money aside for him.

    Was money left on the table? I have to imagine it was. Is it too late to find ways to spend it? I personally don’t think so. Can any player the Pirates miss on be considered a instant difference maker? Maybe AJ but I don’t think 16 million with a 2nd year option made sense for the Pirates.

  59. Arriba Wilver says:

    Heisenberg could teach the Steelers a thing or two about managing the Cap.

  60. Thundercrack says:

    Viva La Regime!!

  61. Arriba Wilver says:

    NH has a lot of say in how the money is allocated. Your narrative is extremely one-sided.

  62. Arriba Wilver says:


  63. Jim S. says:

    Good post, Nate.

    I’m not even saying he didn’t make mistakes this off-season. He tried to sign Josh Johnson, and didn’t get it done. Was it his fault Johnson signed a lesser deal for personal (geographical) reasons? I don’t know. But, we wanted him and didn’t get him. Looks like we ended up with Volquez instead. I don’t like the tradeoff.

    He tried to sign Loney. He had a limit, and the ask for from Loney exceeded it in terms of years. I think we can also tell from Loney’s comments that it was going to be hard to pry him away from Tampa unless the offer far exceeded what they offered. I don’t fault the Bucs for passing on that.

    They didn’t resign Burnett. Was that Huntington’s fault? We don’t know because we don’t even know if AJ was considering the Pirates.

    I would have liked for them to trade for a lefty-hitting 1b. I think they have looked into it. Maybe teams are asking too much in return. Maybe he and Hurdle really believe in Lambo enough that the available alternatives are not good enough given the cost. Maybe they are still going to make a deal. We don’t know.

    Each of these things can be debated, and if you want to blame him for not getting any of them done, that’s fine. But, every GM has a ton of decisions to make all the time. None of them get even close to all of them right. The bottom line for me, and I’d be glad to debate anyone on this, is what I said earlier. He inherited a disaster. It is far from a disaster now. The Pirates could be doing a lot worse at the GM position right now. In fact, I’d say the chances are 80% or so that they would be doing worse with another current GM.

    There’s still plenty wrong with the Pirates, but I think the GM is the least of their worries as we sit today.

    Just my opinion.

  64. JohninOshkosh says:

    I was watching some of the Brewers preseason game in my office (told you it was a boring Friday). Maybe it’s just their announcers pulling a Brown, but I don’t think the Brewers are going to pull a disappearing act again this season.

    Outfield is solid with Davis, Gomez and Braun. Ramirez is aging, certainly, but still capable of putting up numbers. More than solid at short and catching with Segura and Lucroy, respectively. Top 3 in rotation with Gallardo, Garza and Lohse is not too shabby. Question marks are bottom of rotation, right side of infield and bullpen.

    I don’t know. I guess I’m starting to think they won’t be a doormat. I’m heading out onto the ledge again.

  65. NMR says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see them push .500…if they stay healthy. Look out for Wily Peralta.

  66. Jim S. says:

    MLB Radio did their camp preview last night, Osh. I don’t know if you caught any of that. Casey Stearn and Jim Bowden both think they will be much better than last year.

    Bowden said: 1) Cards; 2) Reds; 3) Brewers/Bucs battle; 5) Cubs.

    Casey said: 1) Cards; 2) Reds/Brewers battle; 4) Bucs; 5) Cubs.

    I don’t see them being a doormat this season at all.

  67. Nate83 says:

    You don’t think that Connelly along with Nutting sets the budget. I’m sure NH offers insight and a wish list but has very little say on what the actual budget is. I could be wrong but who knows.

  68. Jim S. says:

    So, Taillon didn’t pitch well, it would appear. 0.2, with 3 runs (1 earned). Hughes got lit up to the tune of 4 hits and 2 runs in 1.0. Manfred Mann and the Earth Band came in to give up the deciding run in the 9th.

    Before that, 2.0, 0 runs, 2 hits and 2 K’s for Wandy.

    1.0, 0 runs and 1 K for Grilli.

    3.0, with 0 runs, 1 hit and 2 K’s for Gomez.

    2 hits for Russell, 3 (including a bomb-ba-bomb-ba-bomb-bomb-bomb) by Cutch, 2 hits by Lunch Box and Jordy.

    1 hit each for Dickerson, Alvarez, Walker and Maggi.

    Decker and Marte wore the collar.

  69. Thundercrack says:

    I saw Casey Stern’s scouting report on the Brewers too. I think they’ll be improved.
    But hopefully they won’t just beat the Bucs….and they’ll get some wins versus the Reds & Cards too.

  70. JD says:

    He was great in Howard Stern this week.

  71. Jim S. says:

    +++ for spelling “Wily” correctly.

  72. JohninOshkosh says:

    Seems like a lot of the talking heads are not down with the NL Central this year. Not much respect for a division that put three teams into the playoffs.

    I remember last year not many were picking the Cardinals. All love was for the Reds.

  73. Jim S. says:

    I think both of those guys undervalue the Pirates. Just like most prognosticators did last year, and will do again this year. We’ll see.

  74. Jim S. says:

    He’s merely great in everything. Seinfeld, Malcolm, King of Queens, etc.

    Notice I put Malcolm in middle. ;-)

  75. Jim S. says:

    Nice post, FL Steeler.

  76. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nate, I’m talking about AFTER the budget is set.

  77. NMR says:

    Wow, yeah, I have a really hard time putting the Brewers at the Pirates level. Not within 10 games.

  78. Arriba Wilver says:

    Right, and if memory serves, at the beginning of the year it was considered by the talking heads as the weakest Division in the NL.

  79. NMR says:

    Same thing, year after year.

  80. NMR says:

    Defense killed JT.

  81. Thundercrack says:

    Listening to Lambo on MLB Radio. I’m impressed with that kid and am rooting for him

    He credits Tom Prince for setting him straight a few years ago

  82. Arriba Wilver says:

    Well played.

  83. Andrew says:

    By team WAR the NL East is by far the weakest, not the soundest method but better than some talking heads throwing darts.

  84. Arriba Wilver says:

    You’re such a softy. ;-)

  85. Thundercrack says:

    Well at least until he lets a ball go through his legs or goes 0-8.

  86. Nate83 says:

    Sorry I misread your post. I agree with that. I think he miscalculated the AJ situation and left money on the table. I think we agree more on this then we realize. I just don’t think he sleepwalked through the off season and I don’t think he missed out on any huge difference makers. If Wandy pitches well and often and Lambo plays well at the end of the day the best moves may have been no move until later when injuries and/or bad play from our shortstop show different needs. Is that more luck then knowledge by NH? Yes it probably is but I believe the right moves will be made going forward.

  87. Nate83 says:

    I think they are willing to see which first base option start to become cheaper as other rosters start to work themselves out and some teams have no room for a player like Davis, Carp or Smoak. In the meantime they can run Lambo out there and maybe find out they don’t need to make the move.

  88. JohninOshkosh says:

    Love the avi, Andrew. That became the enduring image for Bucco fans until, I guess, Cutch’s Michael Jordan jump onto home plate.

  89. Jim S. says:

    Heard that. Good interview.

  90. Jim S. says:

    So, my daughter said.

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