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Morning Java: Antonio, bats, Columbus, draft … like A-B-C-D

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Morning, Lunatics …

>> No Monday column this week because, oh, you know, those pesky Stanley Cup playoffs keep picking apart our schedule. I’ll be at Nationwide Arena this morning and tonight working toward a Tuesday column from Game 6.

In the interim, here again is the Sunday column from Game 5.

>> Antonio Brown lit up Ryan Clark in an exclusive interview with our Alan Robinson, and his remarks — plus Clark’s mostly peculiar comeback on Twitter — lit up social media.

All I’ll add is that, mostly independent of this little spat, the Steelers would benefit from Brown taking a real leadership role with the wide receivers in 2014. Jerricho Cotchery is gone. So is Emmanuel Sanders. Lance Moore will be a newcomer. The rest figure to be children. Brown’s one of those rare players Mike Tomlin goes out of his way to praise for work ethic, and it’s deserved. Speaking his mind could count just as much as setting the example.

Our NFL draft position-by-position preview gets underway this morning with a wonderful display in the print product:

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 10.59.02 PM

And it comes with a Robinson examination of the NFL’s growing impatience with young quarterbacks. I really enjoyed this piece.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Steelers page and our Steel Mill blog.

>> The Penguins’ defense is suddenly in clampdown mode, by Josh Yohe.

Evgeni Malkin as the new Pascal Dupuis? Rob Rossi takes a shift.

The Blue Jackets still sound confident, by Jason Mackey.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins page, our Chipped Ice blog and our photo gallery.

Here’s Blue Jackets news from the team’s official site. You’ll find on there that the team is giving out white T-shirts to all fans for Game 6 tonight, which makes that promotional idea about as original as every other that’s stolen Winnipeg’s original White Out.

Honestly, people, there’s a color in your team name. Try that one.

>> This is hardly unexpected, but Ron Francis is about to become the Hurricanes’ GM, per the Raleigh News & Observer. There aren’t 10 better humans on the planet, let alone sports.

>> Edinson Volquez pitched a good bit better than his line, Rob Biertempfel reports from St. Louis, but it didn’t really matter because the bats fell flat again.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page, our Bucco Blog and our photo gallery.

Here’s Cardinals news from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Here’s Orioles news from the Baltimore Sun.

Here are official game highlights on

>> Pittsburgh’s unbreakable sports records? Columnist Joe Starkey takes inventory.

>> The Riverhounds didn’t score Saturday, but Justin Evans feels it might have been their best performance. Matt Grubba reports from Highmark Stadium. Ask me, and any zero put up by that leaky back line was going to be a welcome sight.

>> Here’s last night’s Subway Final Word that aired on WPXI-TV with Robinson, Travis Sawchik, Chris Adamski and Alby Oxenreiter.

>> I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m.

>> Thank you, as always, for reading.

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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.

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