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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

On location: Pirates 8, Twins 4, exhibition

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates vs. Minnesota Twins, exhibition

Time: 1:05 p.m.

Site: Hammond Stadium

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, photographer Chris Horner and I 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. Between DK and Milo, we ought to get good reports on this one. Maybe our long-lost Drewmiester is hanging out down there somewhere.

  2. Jandy says:

    The new Three Stooges???

  3. I can tell you which would be Larry.


  4. Jandy says:


  5. Brandie says:

    Have a great day you two. I am going into my interview shortly. I will, hopefully, report great tidings.

  6. Jandy says:

    :sending good vibes:

  7. Fine Girl,

    Be yourself! You’re a Winner!

  8. I really, really enjoy to absorb Dejan’s writing.

    Looking forward to some soothing words about my Buccos.

  9. Jandy says:

    *OUR* Buccos ;)

  10. theplanisworking says:

    Thinking of Spring Training games, in the warm Florida sun sure is a better thought than the reality of the 10 degree weather that will be here tonight.

    Milo getting chased by Coooonelly.
    Drew getting chased by his wife.

    Yeah, sounds like a lot of fun.
    But I am no “expert”.

    Go Bucs!

  11. Jandy says:

    whole lotta chasin’ goin’ on!!!

  12. theplanisworking says:

    I am gonna chase on out of here.
    Hold down the Fort, Jandy.

    Wait, he doesn’t play for the Bucs anymore……………… nevermind.

  13. Good tidings of great joy to all people.

  14. Arriba Wilver says:

    Chase is still with the Bucs.

  15. Jandy says:

    so far…but Fort is gone, gone, gone…

  16. Arriba Wilver says:

    Ahh, that’s true.

  17. Baywatch says:

    Baydro say “How about that PEDRO!”

  18. bpn8pitt says:

    I know they were minor moves but how have Neal’s other acquistions played in the Spring?

    Decker, Mcguiness, Stewart, Dickerson etc?

  19. Stewart has no hits yet, but he wasn’t signed for his bat. The others have been good to fair, especially against AAA pitching.

  20. Jim S. says:

    Here is what I have gleaned, bpn:

    * Decker is struggling with the bat, but Clint says he likes his versatility and OBP possibilities. He’s shrimpy for a 1b if they want to try him there if Lambo struggles.

    * McGuiness has shown a decent bat, but no power to speak of yet. Some say he’s AAAA material.

    * As Lucky said, Stewart is not known for his hitting. He is known for his pitch-framing and other defensive capabilities.

    * Dickerson seems to be playing pretty well. I wondered if they thought of him as a 1b. He hits lefty, runs like the wind, and carries a decent career OBP. And, he’s not a shrimp.

  21. Bizrow says:

    Saw we added a lunatic from Lakeland, FL last night, did I miss anyone else?

  22. Jim S. says:

    As we speak, yes.

  23. bpn8pitt says:

    For all the talk about 1b and RF, it would be nice if they got something off the bench occasionally too. Id like to see one of these guys come up at some point and be useful.

    Thanks, fellas.

  24. Jim S. says:

    Stink, Jr. with a shutout 8th. Looks like he put a couple on, though.

  25. Nate83 says:

    Stink Sr. was wearing a Pirates pull over jacket while filling in and hosting Mike and Mike yesterday. I unfortunately was home sick and nothing else was on.

  26. Jim S. says:

    Couple baserunners, I mean. Not pounds.

  27. Thundercrack says:

    Stewart = scholarship.

    :-) sorry I couldn’t resist

  28. The MLB season will begin officially on 3/22 in Sidney, Australia with the Dodgers vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks, and it will exclusively be on the MLB Network at 4 and 10 pm.

  29. Jim S. says:

    I saw that.

  30. Nate83 says:

    Jim any update on Greinke and his status for those games…….just kidding. I think we unfairly double or triple teamed you on that one.

  31. Well, anyhow, AJ won his first game as a Phillie when the Phil’s beat the Orioles today 6-3, as the Pirates were beating the Twins 8-5.

  32. Nate83 says:

    I hope AJ pitches well this year because I’ve always liked him. Not well enough to make the Pirates look silly for letting him go but well enough to be a solid number 3 on a good team which isn’t worth 16 million on a team like the Pirates.

  33. Jim S. says:

    It’s ok, Nate. Brought it on myself.

    BTW, his status for those games is he has a “sore calf” that will not keep him from pitching as soon as the Dodgers return.

  34. cmat0829 says:

    MLB having teams fly to Australia, play TWO REGULAR SEASON GAMES, then fly back to Arizona and PLAY SPRING TRAINING GAMES is quite possibly the WORST FRICKING IDEA ever.

    I get it…Australia is far…can’t have that travel within the season. So, wouldn’t it be better to, I don’t know:

    Schedule the Australia games for the Friday/Saturday before the season starts (March 28/29)… and then give the DBacks and Dodgers a full week off and they resume their schedules with the following Friday when all teams will begin their 2nd series of the year?

    You can have your international money grab, give the teams ample recovery time, and not have them play games that count, then games that don’t count, then games that count again. And if pitching rotation concerns abound (as in too long a layoff), the teams can keep their 3/4 starters Stateside, pitch in other Spring Training games to keep their rotation/workload) and get to carry 2 extra relievers for the DownUnder games.

  35. Nate83 says:

    No you didn’t bring it on yourself. It was a perfectly legitimate response that I’m sure a lot of people would agree with. I honestly would have been right with you 15 years ago. My opinion of athletes has changed a lot over the last 5-10 years. It’s an elite group of people that make it to that level and their careers are very short. If you are a top 50 baseball player in the world it’s no different in my opinion then being the CEO of one of the top 50 financial advisor companies in the country. I’m sure those guys make just as much and have longer careers.

    It’s also one of the few jobs that you don’t get to pick your employer but then fans are upset when you leave when you finally do get to pick as a free agent. I’m not saying it’s a tough job but it doesn’t just happen without hard work and sacrifice and it also doesn’t come without its drawbacks such as post career injuries and being away from your family during the most important years of your children’s life.

  36. Jim S. says:

    All good points, Nate. I’m sure he worked hard to get what he has – just as hard as a lot of guys who were not blessed with his ability.

    I’ll just say I don’t like an entitlement mentality wherever it exists.

  37. NMR says:

    You clearly have an “entitled personality”, cmat. Shame on you.

  38. chethejet1 says:

    Nutting is a owner like some owners who just won’t spend to win. the Pirates are fine for a number of years and will compete with solid pitching speed, defense and five tool guys. Unfortunately, the days of players who can park it staying here are gone. Start drafting some bats Neal.

  39. JAL says:

    Final was 8-4, not 8-5 like the headline says

  40. JAL says:

    Ah, now changed to 8-4

  41. Arriba Wilver says:

    Hopefully, one of the teams will win,

  42. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m always a little perplexed about posts like this that base their view on whether the Pirates FO looks good or not.

    They make the right moves or they don’t.

    I mean, I hope they’re right, but if they aren’t, f’em.

  43. NMR says:

    Is that really a comment on the Front Office?

    My wife said the same thing and she wouldn’t know Neal Huntington from Arriba Wilver.

  44. Nate83 says:

    OK I’ll clarify. I think it is the right move regardless because 2 years for 33 million was to much even if he becomes a Cy Young this year. I was talking about the general public perception of the move. It does change based on results. You don’t have to look any further then Liriano and Martin last year to realize that. They just as easily could have become Bajaras and Correia 2.0 and nobody would have been surprised.

  45. Rich Peverley doesn’t know if he’ll play hockey again. All he knows, naturally, is that his season is over. And we can only hope and pray that he’ll get well soon and they can find out what caused his Monday night collapse and treat it.

  46. Brandie says:

    His teammate Alex Chiasson is having problems dealing with the whole situation and had to be hospitalized as well. Prayers and thoughts to them both.

  47. Milo Hamilton says:

    Well, we were afraid it would happen. And today, I saw it first hand. The horror that is – the Tigers bullpen. Today in Tampa the Tigers blew a 6-0 lead against the Yankees and thanks largely to their much discussed relief corps (that’s pronounced “core”) skated to an exciting 7-7 tie at Steinbrenner Field.

    Oh, the horror. The Bombers, yeah right maybe some of the guys that were in by then might someday get to buy a ticket to Yankee Stadium, exploded for 2 in the 8th & 3 in the 9th. Zoilo Almonte tied it with a 3 run homer in the 9th. The two teams played a scoreless 10th. I didn’t stick around for the shootout.

    Young Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said after the game he was happy to get the point on the road but he couldn’t hide his disappointment in the performances of some guy named Krol (actually a prospect, acquired in the Scherzer trade) and some guy named Ortega (heir to the taco shell fortune). He left muttering something about rebounding. Oh, wrong post. That’s for the Pitt game tomorrow. Actually he says his pen will be fine despite the protestations of some stupid bloggers in Pittsburgh.

    Oh, like DK said from Ft. Myers, it turned out to be a beautiful day.

  48. JohninOshkosh says:

    Really enjoyable post, Milo.

  49. JohninOshkosh says:

    Oh, and just for y’all down in F-L-A.

    Currently 16 degrees with temperatures falling to zero in my backyard. :)

  50. Excellent, Milo. One question only. Is Zoilo Almonte any relation to Zoilo Versailles?

  51. Brandie says:

    Dang Mi-loe! Witty and colorful. I really enjoyed the post.

  52. NMR says:


  53. Stuart says:

    Brandie, any news?


  54. Jandy says:

    He needs surgery to correct the atrial fibrillation.

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