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Morning Java: To win this series …

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …


>> The Friday column logs a lot of what the Penguins must do to beat the Rangers, but the bigger issue is the when rather than the how.

Here’s some of what Tanner Glass told me about the grind New York’s guys will face with six games in nine days:

The Penguins have a healthy history against the Rangers, by Josh Yohe.

Breaking down the series through advanced stats, by Jesse Marshall.

Sidney Crosby, formally named a Hart Trophy finalist, by Rob Rossi.

Robert Bortuzzo has been an early hit, by Jason Mackey.

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

Here’s Rangers news from the New York Daily News.

Here are highlights from the NHL’s YouTube channel.

>> Want some idea of the kind of press the series might be getting in the big-city tabloids? Wait till you read the opening sentence of this Donald Sterling story in the New York Post. Seriously, click.

>> The Pirates actually played some ball. Rob Biertempfel covered all nine-plus hours of double-defeat in Baltimore.

And yeah, I stayed up to watch all 18 innings, too, and it’s pretty clear that there are some real problems with this team. It’s not offensive clutch, if only because I can’t bring myself to have that trait — which I believe exists without being dominant — supersede the fact that 27 baserunners stranded in these games still means they put those 27 guys on. I do see a general lack of pop in the lineup. I see Travis Snider being just terrible at everything, including two defensive flubs to go with his four Ks in the nightcap. And I see a pitching staff that still isn’t matching up to last year, no matter how many in the public are letting that fly under the radar while simplifying the argument to Gregory Polanco or bust.

I’d honestly rather wait until the Pirates are home and I can spend some time with them before going much further. In the interim, sorry, I still don’t think this team is bad, much less this bad. But I’m certainly — and always — open to being mistaken.

This much is for sure: They’d better get the shovels working this weekend against the Jays.

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

Here’s Orioles news from the Baltimore Sun.

Here are official game highlights on

>> Our daily NFL draft preview today looks at a deep QB class, by Alan Robinson. And Pitt’s Tom Savage is one of those, by Jerry DiPaola.

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

>> 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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