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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Pirates 2, Twins 1, exhibition

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates vs. Minnesota Twins, exhibition

Time: 1:05 p.m.

Site: Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers, 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 is 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. Baywatch says:

    So, Jon Heyman reporting that Marte has signed a 6-year extension worth $31 million.

  2. Jim S. says:

    Yep, nice work by the Bucs. And congrats to Marte, newest member of the millionaire club.

  3. Baywatch says:

    It does say “pending physical” – but the guy’s built like a brick outside restroom! I think he’ll pass!

  4. Stuart says:

    Good news Bay, I’m getting a little nervous as final rosters approach. ‘m OK with Travis at 1st until Lambo gets his act together. If 1st base doesn’t improve before the draft, I’d be willing to talk Morales after the draft when he wouldn’t require compensation.

    I saw someone suggest that if they get Didi, they could put he or Mercer at second and move Walker to first. I think I might be OK with that to. PRNW needs to step it up right-handed, or he’s likely to become a platoon player.


  5. JAL says:

    have to wait and see, I have read reports that contract also has two club option years. Might go into 2021 or longer.

  6. Baywatch says:

    Yeah, this could get real interesting before too long. And, honestly, I know things have got to constantly improve, but given last year’s performance by the team … I’m willing to be less anxious.

    And this crazy game of baseball … watch Ishiskawa go out and win the Triple Crown! :-)

  7. Brandie says:

    Good deal for Marte and Buccos! Good morning Bay Searage!

  8. Brandie says:

    Also…Pirates are new at this winning thing!

  9. Bizrow says:

    I think you are right, JAL, options are one reason clubs make these deals

  10. Patrick(RI) says:

    There is no way to view this signing, in context, that is not great. Wonderful news!

  11. cosmo says:

    I think Didi would go to SS, and Mercer would be super utility guy use at 2B, SS, and 3B. I see him spelling Walker a lot against lefties. JHay would be odd man out.

  12. theplanisworking says:

    Well, on road trips this year, Starling will be responsible for picking up more tabs.

    After all, with this newfound loot, it truly will be………. A MARTE PARTAY !!!


  13. Patrick(RI) says:

    I think the outfield is one of the best, already. If Marte improves and Polanco lives up to the hype, the pitchers throw underhanded.

  14. Patrick(RI) says:

    . . . can throw . . .

  15. Stuart says:


  16. JRay3 says:

    Excited to hear about the Marte signing, another “core” player locked up long term. The thoughts of the Bucs having the best OF in baseball when Polanco arrives for the foreseeable future is a nice one.

    Glad Marte gets the financial security, glad the Pirates front office seems diligent in locking in their guys to deals that are win-wins for both sides.

  17. Milo Hamilton says:

    According Tom Singer (take it for what it’s worth), Liriano pronounces himself “good to go” after 55 pitch simulated game.

  18. Jandy says:

    “brick outside restroom”


  19. JRay3 says:

    Turning into a great news day for the Pirates, if this holds true.

  20. Thundercrack says:

    I saw someone report on twitter that Liriano and Volquez had alternated innings during the simulated game.

  21. Arriba Wilver says:

    So, one good, one bad, one good, one bad . . . ;-)

  22. theplanisworking says:

    Maybe Liriano beaned Volquez, then muttered, “you are making almost as much as me” , before he kicked a dog………… ;)

  23. Baywatch says:

    Glad someone liked that one! :-)

  24. Baywatch says:

    Now Bay Searage is gonna make me forget ALL about Baydro! And that’s saying something … I can see it in LIGHTS … BAY SEARAGE! Yessir!

  25. cosmo says:

    whose dog was it? It wouldn’t be nice to kick the bosses dog.

  26. Bizrow says:

    Have they announced the 40 man move when they picked up Worley?

  27. cosmo says:

    who’s dog was it?

  28. theplanisworking says:


    Morton’s? ;)

  29. cosmo says:

    they still have add Ishakawa

  30. cosmo says:

    yea didn’t he get a big raise this year!

  31. Bizrow says:

    Projected high in lower 60’s for Opening Day ;-)

    I’m still shivering from last year….

  32. cmat0829 says:

    no need i don’t think is there? can’t he be in AAA and not on 40 man?

  33. Arriba Wilver says:

    Do they have to add him to the 40 man since he cleared waivers?

  34. cmat0829 says:

    phew. big exhale. now, why do I get this feeling they will ‘convenience list’ Volquez and start with Cumpton as the #5? is that just indigestion or do I get that gut feeling?

  35. Jandy says:

    Hope it makes it! 60’s is very enjoyable :)

  36. cmat0829 says:

    Heyman or Rosenthal?

  37. Jandy says:

    Depends on what you ate ;)

  38. Arriba Wilver says:

    I just checked, and Chase isn’t on there, but he’s still with us after clearing waivers, so I don’t think Worley does.

  39. Excellent, Brandex.

  40. Jim S. says:

    I also think he will pass said physical just fine, Bay.

  41. Brandie says:

    I think you can be both!

  42. Glad for that terminology, Bay of Fundy.

  43. Bizrow says:

    You might be right, but I’m not sure as Worley was dealt while Chase was not??

  44. Jim S. says:

    That definitely brings more flexibility, Stuart. NW definitely needs to step it up or sit vs. LHP. Just the oppo with Jordy. He needs to hit RHP better. That makes Didi a perfect platoon partner. But, I also think AZ knows what they have there. He wouldn’t come cheap.

  45. NMR says:

    So whaddya yinz know abaht this Vorley guy?

  46. Jim S. says:

    That’s great news #2 for today.

    Still waiting on the Volquez extension announcement, though.

  47. Jim S. says:

    POTD material right there, AW.

  48. TJA says:

    Marte in Left….Cutch in Center….Polanco in Right. I am slobbering like Pavlov’s Dog!

    Also, thanks to all who replied to my question(s) earlier this morning. Great points and great conversation by all, as always.

  49. Brandie says:

    Give me one high end Marte-ni!

  50. Jim S. says:


  51. Brandie says:

    He is a Double D? That must make it hard to pitch!

  52. Nate83 says:

    I saw somewhere he does not need to be on the 40 man because he cleared waivers. Right now I would think Oliver would be the next to be removed from the 40 man but trades could still happen before the season begins to open up a spot for him to stay.

  53. cosmo says:

    I think they are waiting until Tuesday for that announcement.

  54. They’ll announce that when the Steelers announce the Harrison re-signing. Both are about as likely, Jim.

  55. cosmo says:

    Angels released Joe Blanton today, How long til someone signs him?

  56. Nate83 says:

    It would be a dumpster dive…….so all 29 of the other teams are in the running.

  57. Jim S. says:


  58. Jandy says:


  59. cmat0829 says:

    I live here in Phoenix and Kevin Towers (as predicted) has worn out his welcome here. He peddled the #3 overall pick for the coveted Didi (Trevor Bauer….and oh, by the way, I recall some asylumites who were lamenting that perhaps we drafted the wrong pitching Bruin and were lamenting how quickly Bauer was pitching in the bigs while we were slow-walking Cole…. um, crow sammiches, two for a dollar, get yers now, but I digress)….. and now is ready to deal him away for a starting pitcher….this after he overdealt prospect pitchers to pick up Trumbo (who the local media is already down on, his defense is atrocious) and others…… so I dunno that Towers will be exacting a ransom for Didi… I think he is like a drunk fantasy owner who itches to make deals just to say he made them.

  60. Jim S. says:

    Yes, in a move pioneered by the forward thinking Pirates way back in 2013.

  61. Brandie says:

    I must be slipping. I thought that would merit at least a :guffaw:.

  62. theplanisworking says:

    His Designated Driver has to pitch for him also?

    HI FRANK !!

  63. Jandy says:

    Oh no, not at all, the snicker is MUCH better ;)

  64. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, the Bucs of the future are more likely to re-sign their Harrison.

  65. Jandy says:

    LOL two good spins on the DD

  66. theplanisworking says:


    There goes TJA drooling again………

  67. Bizrow says:

    Ok, thanks, I didn’t realize that Worley had cleared waivers

  68. Baywatch says:

    “It’s a WINNIN’ thing … What a terrible thing to lose. It’s a GIVIN’ thing … ” What’s that? Oh, not sung to the ELO hit. Gotcha!

  69. Jim S. says:

    I hated that Trumbo deal for AZ. He makes Holliday look like Barry Bonds in LF to me, cmat.

  70. Thundercrack says:

    I heard on MLB XM that the Angels are going to pay Blanton and V. Wells $27 million not to play for them on 2014.

    Holy. Crap.

  71. TJA says:

    LOL! That is something to drool over, Plan. When this all occurs….the comparisons to Bonds, Bonilla and Van Slyke and other Pirate outfields will sure be fun to debate. Good hearing from you, too. Didn’t get a chance to respond back to you this morning.

  72. TJA says:

    When Disney is the Boss….well…they may take it away from Mickey’s salary.

  73. Jim S. says:

    And, I’m licking my chops like a butcher’s dog. :-)

  74. Jim S. says:

    Man, they could do something crazy … like live on a yacht or something.

  75. Brandie says:

    Joe Planton? I like the sound of that.

    Those Pirates did make a playoff run out of a Delorean!

  76. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    DK I know he does it for ratings, but please let your boy Mark Madden have it for saying Marte would never sign an extension

  77. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    ….because he wants to play for a winner

  78. Bizrow says:

    AW, when you get a chance, check your e-mail ;-)

  79. Brandie says:

    You pull Double Duty to make the big change Plan!

  80. Jandy says:


    maybe they could throw some of that extra $$ my way???

  81. TJA says:

    Good Mike Lange line, Jim.

  82. theplanisworking says:

    We can always tell when a regular is MIA.
    Pop in more often………

  83. Jim S. says:

    Anything new to report on the Chris Stewart front, JRay? Still a few weeks out?

  84. Brandie says:

    Mmmm Snickers!

  85. TJA says:

    Joggin George…

  86. theplanisworking says:

    My name shall be famous across the oceans by the time you get done with me, B-Sizzle.


  87. Brandie says:

    Mark Madden the underwear model?

  88. TJA says:

    Thanks, Plan. Appreciate it. Had a death in the family and lots on the plate. All is good now. Thanks.

  89. theplanisworking says:

    Disney doesn’t own them anymore.
    Its Arte Moreno.

    Man, $27 million to NOT play?
    Glad it isn’t my money………

  90. TJA says:

    I knew that, but, had forgotten. Amazing none the less….

  91. theplanisworking says:

    Sad thing is, that isn’t even Kershaw’s salary for a single year……

  92. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think he meant Mark McFadden. ;-)

  93. Jim S. says:

    I was thinking Derek Bell.

  94. Jim S. says:

    I’m a fan of the occasional chortle. ;-)

  95. theplanisworking says:

    I prefer Milky Ways, myself. :)

  96. Brandie says:

    Who areJeromy Burnitz and Raul Mondesi?

    I will take past sucky Pirate players for 27 million Alex!

  97. Jandy says:

    Condolences, TJA

  98. Brandie says:

    Heigh Ho Wilver!

  99. Jandy says:

    THIS is why I come here :D
    Yinz are ALL nuts…and that’s a compliment!

  100. theplanisworking says:

    Sorry for your loss. :(

  101. theplanisworking says:

    I know Madden is a low-hanging fruit to many, but I do have to give him credit for one thing……….. the man has lost 100 pounds. It probably saved his life.

    But he is hard to root for sometimes on the radio……

  102. Arriba Wilver says:

    Got it and responded.

    You can ignore the thing at the bottom about how great the Volquez signing was. That’s attached to all my outgoing e-mails. ;-)

  103. Jandy says:

    Hey Biz, Biz, Biz, Biz! What day is it??? huh? C’mon, what day is it????

  104. Jim S. says:

    I didn’t think he knew. Loving life these days, I think.

  105. Jim S. says:

    Nicely played on the correct spelling of Jeromy, btw.

  106. Jim S. says:

    Sometimes we feel like a nut …

  107. Milo Hamilton says:

    Greg Brown just mentioned how surprised he was to hear that the Pirates had the 19th highest payroll in major league baseball. That would surprise me too if it was anywhere close to being true.

  108. Wild Bill says:

    So the Pirates have agreed to pay Marte 31 mil over 6 years.

    What I want to know is if Marte agreed to stop chasing the down and away slider.

  109. theplanisworking says:

    I really do not look forward to that part of the upcoming Pirate season.
    Mr. Brown is a clown. Wonder where he got those figures from? 1992?

  110. Wild Bill says:

    I missed something – where is all the Didi Gregorius talk coming from?

  111. Baywatch says:

    That might be true. Aren’t there only 20 teams?

  112. Baywatch says:

    You got me, Wild Bill. If a guy can’t hit, he doesn’t belong in The Lumber Company … from this day forward!

  113. Arriba Wilver says:

    Frank (the TV contract guy) will come up with an explanation.

  114. Baywatch says:

    “Willlllllllver!” Oh, I’m thinking of Fred Flintstone’s “Willlllllma!” :-)

  115. Wild Bill says:

    Howdy Bay, sorry I didn’t respond to you yesterday. Sweet 16 tomorrow night, baby!

  116. Baywatch says:

    I second that emotion, Jim!

  117. Baywatch says:

    I think Gene Autry is rolling over in his grave!

  118. theplanisworking says:

    Hey Mr. Hasselhoff!

    yep, Bucs are 19th out of 20. ;)

  119. Baywatch says:

    (AND singing “Happy Trails To Yinz!”)

  120. cmat0829 says:

    Rosenthal or Heyman or someone who has the Pirates scoop frequently tweeted a few days ago that the Pirates and DBacks have discussed a trade involving Didi.

    Not sure it went any farther than that and not sure which one initiated the discussion …..

  121. Baywatch says:

    Up here, Bill!

  122. Wild Bill says:

    Thanks, cma.

  123. Baywatch says:

    I LIKE you!

  124. Where are all those hits and runs from yesterday?

  125. Bizrow says:

    Hey, I actually got up before 10 today…..

  126. cmat0829 says:

    Jerry DiPoto, likely the WORST GM in all of baseball, made these and other ridiculous moves (like giving Pujols 10 years)…. not sure what the updated GM rankings are, but DiPoto has to be on the bottom… I’d put Kevin Towers pretty low also…and the guy from Toronto who hasn’t done jack squat up there with the owner’s investments….. and Jack Z has been a butcher of a GM in Seattle… the Cano signing (and not anyone else to go with it) will be an awful signing in a year or two..and Jack Z will be an assistant GM somewhere this time next year.

  127. Wild Bill says:

    My bad, cmat.

  128. Jandy says:

    Oh My! 10? I already had 4 hours of work in LOL

  129. Jandy says:

    that’s why I asked him ;)

  130. The Gunner says:

    They’ll announce the Volquez extension after his 1st start of the season

  131. Thundercrack says:

    I like Greg Brown a lot. I think he is a very good broadcaster

  132. Baywatch says:

    Yesterday was just a statement from the team that they didn’t need Lambo.

  133. theplanisworking says:

    In the fine print in Marte’s contract.

  134. The Gunner says:

    Brownie must have had a few beverages with Frank before he shared that bit of information

  135. Wild Bill says:

    A football aside. The Dolphins new GM is trying to unload Mike Wallace. Anybody still upset with the Steelers over that personnel decision??

  136. theplanisworking says:

    Was anybody upset in the first place?

    I am glad he got his money, but I wasn’t upset to see him go……….

  137. Arriba Wilver says:

    WB—really don’t remember that being controversial. He basically dogged it his last year here.

  138. Wild Bill says:

    I seem to recall some grousing, at least until we all heard what he signed for.

  139. Wild Bill says:

    That’s true, AW.

  140. The Gunner says:


    “Happy Trails To Yinz!” was Roy Rogers theme song. Autry’s song was “Back in the Saddle Again”.

  141. Nate83 says:

    Which really is a weird thing to do for a player about to become a free agent. Says a lot about his character and also why the Steelers didn’t commit to him long term. I’m so happy they chose Brown over Wallace.

  142. cmat0829 says:

    Teams should NEVER overpay for RBs or WRs…..there are only 2 of 3 worthy of that (Calvin Johnson for example….Adrian Peterson)….. Mike Wallace never and will never rise to a level close to that. Which is why the Eagles are gonna part ways with DeSean.

  143. theplanisworking says:

    That’s Ok, TC.

    I just prefer facts to hyperbole on the broadcasts.
    No harm, no foul I guess………

  144. Baywatch says:

    Just testing you, Gunner! LOL! NOT! “Who cares about the clouds if we’re together … “

  145. TJA says:

    Thanks, Jandy.

  146. TJA says:

    Thanks, Plan.

  147. Arriba Wilver says:

    He is, TC, but when he goes off into this FO love stuff it’s embarrassing. I have no problem with a homer for the home team, like Bob Prince was, but this FO love is ridiculous. They aren’t the home team. They’re caretakers. It’s personal. And it isn’t broadcasting.

  148. TJA says:

    Of course…

  149. Arriba Wilver says:

    Says something about talent, too. The Dolphins paid for the talent.

  150. theplanisworking says:

    Wow !!

    This needs to be printed, and placed on the broadcasting booth walls!

    Excellently said!

    HI FRANK !!

  151. Jandy says:

    Not from me. I didn’t like his attitude…there is no I in team.

  152. Milo Hamilton says:

    Beanballs in Ft. Myers. Both benches warned. Twins pitcher barking at Pirates bench after a play at 1st base. Testy.

  153. Thundercrack says:

    I didn’t hear what he said exactly.

    Milo wrote that Brown said the he was surprised to hear that the Bucs had the 19th highest payroll.

    I am surprised too. Maybe Brown, just like me, doesn’t believe it.

    When I was listening to the game today Brown was reading a bunch of news & notes from around MLB
    I don’t know if Brown had his FO pom-poems out when he read that note.

  154. Nate83 says:

    I don’t know if there is any truth to the rumor but I heard they where mad we took Worley from them. One mans dumpster dive is another mans treasure.

  155. TJA says:

    Maybe the Twinnies don’t want the Bucs to put 22 on the board vs. them.

  156. Arriba Wilver says:

    That year was a little controversial. I know I wondered if they were going for the cheaper guy in Brown, but no question Wallace’s last season here it was the right move.

  157. Arriba Wilver says:

    I didn’t, either. I’m still ticked at his slobbery defense of Neal in the latter parts of the 2012 season. And he lost all credibility with me where they are concerned. But calling the games? He’s fine.

  158. buggee says:

    To Hades with all that beiseball nonsense; the Badminton World Federation is conducting their 2014 French International Challenge tournament in Orleans from march 27-30.

    Nuttin(g?) like watching a bunch of smoking hot chickas wearing flannel chasing around after fluttering shuttlecocks. Some actually grunt, which only enhances the action.

    Sadly there’s not much teevee coverage.

  159. Nate83 says:

    That’s why I usually like to have things play out before I judge decisions like that. Those coaches watched those guys in practice everyday for two years and understood better then any of us their skill set and work ethic. The Steelers have fairly come under a lot of scrutiny over the last year of personal moves but that is one that hey definitely got right.

  160. Jandy says:


  161. Jandy says:


  162. Nate83 says:

    I can’t see any box scores but I see the score is 0-0 in the 7th. Cumpton must have pitched fairly well. It’s nice to have him and a few other plan B’s for when our dumpster dive pitchers inevitable fail.

  163. buggee says:

    now he only has 900 ell-bees left to lose

  164. NMR says:


  165. Arriba Wilver says:


  166. Arriba Wilver says:


  167. Brandie says:

    Giving you my condolensces and as many good vibes as I can.

  168. Brandie says:

    More on the Lone Ranger Wavelength but I like the Fred Flintstone vibe too.

  169. Raise the Jolly Spring Training Meaningless Shuttlecock!

    2-1 is just as good a win as 22-5. Wind must have been blowing in.

  170. FlBucco says:

    Better than Worley

  171. Jandy says:


  172. FlBucco says:

    Prince was a different kind of homer – more of a fan – he could be brutal on players he thought were not trying – or were bums.

  173. FlBucco says:

    We only have Barmes for a year – they need to find a younger SS who plays good defense and can’t hit his weight.

    Huntington loves bottom feeding so it would be a natural fit.

  174. Arriba Wilver says:

    Copy Lambo on that. ;-)

  175. I cc’d him. He didn’t reply. Something about the e-mail being out in the minor league complex.

  176. cosmo says:

    Toronto GM must of had a meeting with NH yesterday. JA Happ to the DL after the shellacking he took.

  177. Esmil Rogers is probably next. He was much worse than Happ.

  178. Thundercrack says:

    The Twins are angry because Joanne Worley is still in their starting rotation.

    They are not good.

  179. cosmo says:

    Don’t they also have Ruth Buzzi in the pen?

  180. theplanisworking says:

    If I see Charles Nelson Reilly as manager, I give up….

  181. NMR says:

    Worst 2B in baseball, no catcher, two starting pitchers worth their weight in peanuts, and a $120m payroll.

    Good thing they kept Adam Lind!

    I’d say the bloom has definitely worn off Alex Anthopolous’s rose.

  182. buggee says:


  183. buggee says:

    Excellent shuttlecock reference Sir Kentucky-fried-taco-bell

    gas, like wind, can go either way. Each direction will make the feathers of a shuttlcock flutter, which is like watching poetry in motion or Jimmy Anderson and Zach Duke throw a two-seamer with his customary upward planed delivery.

  184. You’ve all likely heard, by now, that the regional NLRB head has ruled that Northwestern football players count as employees and can thus unionize, while Northwestern, naturally, plans to appeal to the Supreme Court if necessary. Also, this ruling only applies to private colleges since the NLRB has no authority over state supported colleges and universities.

  185. NMR says:

    If I had a Northwestern education, I’d quit losing brain cells playing a game and go make real money.

  186. Arriba Wilver says:


  187. And now, let’s see what the NFL owners will do besides approve an experiment lengthening extra point kicks during the exhibition season in August.

  188. Thundercrack says:

    The Mariners still aren’t sure who their #3,4 & 5 starters are going to be. I hope Robinson Cano is really good.

    Clayton Kershaw injured his back and had an MRI. He’s going to miss his next start. He pitches for the team with the highest payroll in MLB.

    I wonder if those teams would be interested in Vance Worley. Or EV!

  189. JohninOshkosh says:

    The 215 million dollar MRI.

  190. theplanisworking says:


  191. cmat0829 says:

    bottom feeding? I mean you are entitled to the dumpster dive narrative, which is tired beyond reason, but Didi Gregorius in no way — and I mean no way — would be a dumpster dive. He was a coveted prospect, one of the top prospects in the Dbacks organization even today, and he is young with upside.

  192. cmat0829 says:

    what did he ever do to have a bloom on the rose in the first place? most overrated GM in baseball, and it isn’t even close. he has done NOTHING with the ownership investment, NOTHING.

  193. cmat0829 says:

    Not a legal eagle and I don’t have a side in this debate, but really stretches the use of the term ‘employee’ to call unpaid football players employee.

    Also not clear what unionizing gets the players? I think in loose terms, unions collectively bargain for wages/benefits, etc. for employees. … since players don’t get paid, I guess they can bargain for practice hours/conditions? Uniform options? Meals on the charter?

  194. cmat0829 says:

    How does Jack Z still have a job? Poor Lloyd Mclendon….good man, getting his chance again, and it is with another losing team. Memo to Mariners…fire Jack now, get someone with a brain in there, and build something Lloyd can work with….

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