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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

‘Subway Final Word live tonight

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media


The joint venture between WPXI-TV and Trib Total Media continues tonight at 11:35 p.m. — right after the Channel 11 News — with a live edition of The Subway Final Word.

>> Who’s on the panel: I’ll join Alan Robinson, the Trib’s Steelers beat man, and Mark Madden, top-rated radio host of 105.9 the X. The host will be WPXI-TV’s Alby Oxenreiter.

>> What we’re talking about: Pirates, Penguins, Steelers, you name it.

>> How to participate: Each week, we also take comments that viewers submit to The Final Word’s Facebook page and Twitter account.

>> Where to watch: In addition to the broadcast on WPXI-TV (811 on Comcast), we have WPXI’s online stream for Pittsburgh’s many out-of-town sports fans.

Here’s last week’s full episode.

Really hope to have you along, not only watching but also joining in!

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. Maz in Iowa says:

    So many things wrong last night and the season as a whole.Hurdle leaving Cumpton in too long.Mental errors.Fundamentals like not advancing runners.How a team can go from one of the better defensive/starting pitching teams to near the bottom in one season is hard to figure.Baserunning and the inability to lay a decent bunt down have been a season long head scratcher.Marte seems to have a lack of concentration at times and Cutch gets very little help from clean up hitters.Starting pitchers have trouble going 5 innings and have already hit 100 pitches by then and so they burn up the pen.Whew had to get that out of my system.Sorry about the rant.Gotta go to decaf.

  2. Brandie says:

    Or switch to coffee with a lower octane rating. Have to agree that the Pirates are a mystery wrapped in an enigma served in a warm tortilla.

  3. Maz in Iowa says:

    BTW the stupid challenge early by Hurdle and allowing Cumpton to stay after allowing 6 runs in 3 innings is like waving a white flag and quitting.I know the thing about “taking one for team” but they had just won 7 of 10….just sayin’

  4. JoeyBats says:

    Final Steven Adams update for this season:

    OKC was eliminated last night by the Spurs in game # 6, 112-107. Adams played 12 minutes, 0 points, 2 rebounds, 1 turnover.

    Congrats to the PITT product on his rookie season in the NBA ; he was projected by some after being selected @ #12 in the draft to be spending a year in the NBA developmental league. He played in 81 games during the regular season…averaged 3.3 PPG, 4.3 RBS and .7 Blocks in almost 15 mins of game action.

    He was a more active contributor during the playoff run. Best of luck on your NBA future, Steve!


  5. Baywatch says:

    LOL, Maz! I was ’bout ready to tho’ in the towel after reading your summary but … IT’S JUNE, BABY! HERE’S WHERE WE MAKE OUR RUN! Neither me nor the Pirates like to sweep, but series victory here.we.come!

  6. Thomas says:

    I really enjoy The Final Word, but I don’t watch it when Mark Madden is a guest. I understand what he does is schtick and I used to be a “MF’er (Madden Follower) but now I avoid him in all forms of media.

    It should be an interesting week for our teams. Should have a GM in place for the Penguins. If it is Pierre McGuire, I’m going to have a hard time believing that the Pens return to being Cup contenders. Which Buccos team will show up the rest of this week? Hoping for a rebound from last night’s butt whooping. If that happens, three out of four in Chavez Ravine is not too shabby. Let’s go Bucs!

  7. bpn8pitt says:

    Was in a bar yesterday, Madden came in for a drink. Watched a few innings, talked some ball with a few people. Really polite, knowledgeable guy. I don’t always agree with him, but I think he’s misunderstood at times.

  8. bpn8pitt says:

    one of the Trib hockey guys on the radio yesterday with Pompeani said the Pens are picking Mcguires brain on Asst Gms around the league. Saying he knows some of them well, because that’s where he gets his insider info sometimes. Makes sense from that angle IMO.

  9. Thomas says:

    I’ve met Mark as well and he was very cordial and even charismatic. I don’t misunderstand him at all. He is the “heel” or bad guy of Pittsburgh sports talk. As I’ve gotten older, his act has worn thin on me. I don’t care for the name-calling and belittling of people although I admit I used to love that stuff. I prefer straight talk like what Stan Savran gives and what Dejan does on his Trib Live show. That’s just me, though. Mark is very good at what he does and I’m guessing he still gets very good ratings.

  10. bpn8pitt says:

    That’s fair, man. I admit, I don’t know a whole lot about hockey. But he’s one of the places I go for Pens info. Seems to know pucks well.

  11. JRay3 says:

    Just found out that Bryan Morris has been traded to the Florida Marlins.

    Should make a few of the Bucs fans happy. I however without knowing return hate to see him go. He was a really good guy and a very good teammate who was not afraid to stick up for his teammates when needed and appropriate.

    Headed to SD in morning to catch final leg of Bucs road trip, glad to see team shaking off a bit of their malaise and playing a little better ball.

  12. bpn8pitt says:

    Good to see you sir. Enjoy the SD weather. Been a nice wknd in the Burgh.

  13. Thundercrack says:

    Jerry Sands was called up from the minors and will be The Rays DH tonight. Remember last year when we wanted him to make our team and replace Josh Harrison.

  14. Bizrow says:

    Traded for their comp pick, no 39 overall

  15. Bizrow says:

    The Marlins announced that they have acquired right-hander Bryan Morris from the Pirates in exchange for the No. 39 overall pick in the 2014 draft. The No. 39 pick is Miami’s Competitive Balance Round A selection and is worth roughly $1.58MM.

    “We feel this trade will have a positive impact on our organization in the short, moderate and long term,” said Bucs GM Neal Huntington in Pittsburgh’s press release. “In the short term, this trade will add a quality prospect to our system that will enhance our ability to make additional prospect for major league player type deals while helping us to better sustain crucial prospect depth. Additionally, we feel we have made this move from a position of strength as we have kept our core bullpen intact. In the moderate and long term, we add an additional first-round talent that we project to play a significant role on future Pirates’ teams.”

    Morris, 27, has pitched to a 3.46 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 over the last three seasons with the Pirates. In late March, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reported that the PIrates were open to dealing Morris and Jeanmar Gomez, though they were a little more reluctant to part with the latter since he can also start. Morris is out of options this year and the Bucs have had a logjam in the bullpen this season. In short, the Pirates are dealing from a surplus to add a promising talent to their farm system.

    Of course, the Marlins still have choice picks at the top of the draft. They own the No. 2 overall pick, the No. 36 pick in the Competitive Balance Round A portion after they were unable to sign Oregon pitcher Matt Krook last year, and the No. 43 pick, the second pick of the second round. For the Pirates, the deal gives them a pick to think about in between their No. 24 and No. 64 selections.

  16. Lad 9 says:

    JRay! Great to see you. Thanks for he info on Morris, who I also liked despite his performance this season. Hope to see you around.

  17. 21sthebest says:

    Strikes me as being a trade NH had to make.

  18. 21sthebest says:

    He’s at .259/.352/.474.

  19. Thundercrack says:

    I will refrain from predicting that Morris will eventually become the closer for the Marlins

  20. 21sthebest says:

    Make that .268 for his BA.

  21. Lad 9 says:

    Thanks Biz. Good stuff. The Pirate’s own website doesn’t have it, but the blog does. Awesome!

  22. JRay3 says:

    No problem, actually got the news around 1 am last night so he must have been told after the game.

    Good to see you too!

  23. Thomas says:

    What does it mean that the pick is worth 1.58 million dollars? I have no context for that number.

  24. Thundercrack says:

    Pipers Pub?

  25. radio wave says:

    Pirates have traded Bryan Morris to Miami for 39th pick in draft. Roster spot open.

  26. Brandie says:

    Thank you for the update JRay Tre! Hope the San Diego games bear fruit and you have a great time.

  27. Thundercrack says:

    I didn’t see the game but I did hear Hurdle’s post game interview.
    His explanation for leaving Cumpton in the game seemed to make sense…even though if I had seen the game I may have understood it more. And I don’t mind him trying to save the pen

  28. JRay3 says:

    No problem. Also squeezing a trip to the San Diego zoo in with the kiddos. Just looking forward to escaping the AZ heat for a few days. But a series win would certainly be icing on the cake.

    Hope all is well with you!

  29. Sarah says:

    I have heard the same about MM. His obnoxiousness on radio is all schtick for ratings.
    In fact he’s quite shy and very nice in person.
    And very knowledgable re hockey….by all accounts an excellent coach himself, very involved in dek.

    Really quite a dichotomy between the on-air and actual personality…..

  30. Sarah says:

    I hope the ONLY thing they could consider McGuire for might be running the scouting…..he’s encyclopedic and analytical and could fit there.
    GM…..not so much.

  31. Sarah says:

    I hope they look at Brisbois for GM and Boucher for HC….but that is just MO…..

    The hanging DB this long makes me think they want to keep him…..which would be mind-boggling….

  32. Bizrow says:

    Picks are slotted, that is the price the PBC gets to spend on that draft choice, although they can go higher or lower, depending. Each club has a draft allotment, that they can spend as they choose

  33. Sarah says:

    There will be playoff hockey as it’s meant to played tonight in Chicago.

    It’ll be great stuff no matter the result.

  34. Nastynate82 says:

    The picks are slotted amounts and that’s what the pick is worth. Based on where teams finish and free agency, teams get a set amount to spend in the draft.

  35. Sarah says:

    Oh – and here’s an interesting stat:

    The Hawk’s 1-2 Punch, Toewes/Kane have EIGHT GWGs in this POs.

    Wanna guess how many Crosby/Malkin have?
    Since 2010.

    Says it all re bringing (or not) when it counts.

    And FTR I am NOT hanging anything on Sid or Malkin…..way more going on than something as simple as Joe Starkey would have us believe.

  36. bpn8pitt says:

    Tilted Kilt.

  37. Thomas says:

    Thanks guys. I wasn’t thinking about the slot amounts, but was aware of them.

  38. bpn8pitt says:

    I actually think that’s a decent trade for the Pirates. A top 40 draft pick for a 27 year old reliever. A lottery ticket for sure, but I like stacking up picks that high.

  39. Bizrow says:

    Anyone hear who is taking Morris’s place on the 25 man?

  40. JohninOshkosh says:

    Sharapova/Stosur match going on right now at French Open is a dandy.

    Maria in danger of exiting.

  41. Andrew says:

    The Pirates have turned something valueless into something of value, excellent trade.

  42. rvfcprez says:

    I just saw on Twitter that the Pirates are bringing up Casey Sadler to replace Morris.

  43. rvfcprez says:

    Reported by Buster Olney and Rob Biertempfel.

  44. Bizrow says:


  45. Andrew says:

    Toews took the penalty that lead to the power play to put the Kings up 3-2. He scored one goal in the first 20 games of last year’s Stanley Cup run, and three through 23 games. Kane had no goals in series until game 6.

    Odd things can happen in a small sequence of games, especially when players have the depth around them to make up for scoring droughts.

  46. Andrew says:

    Encyclopedic sounds correct, McGuire certainty has a wealth of trivial knowledge. I don’t know about analytical, I have heard him bumbled on about “character guys” enough that I believe he thinks that is some meaningful attribute.

    I really hope these rumbling are just to stroke his ego.

  47. radio wave says:

    I like Sadler.

  48. bpn8pitt says:

    Damn. Altidore should have been given that goal.

  49. bpn8pitt says:

    Lol. Lot of people liked Cumpton before 5pm yesterday.

  50. radio wave says:

    I guess Phil Steele is releasing his 2014 ratings. Hawkeyes #32. Wisconsin?

  51. Andrew says:

    From what I’ve read about Brisbois he sounds like a good hire.

  52. bpn8pitt says:

    Andrew, looks like you were right about this USA D.

  53. Andrew says:

    That might have been Natesboro, who first brought it up, but yeah they don’t look good right now, back four is dropping off leaving a big gap between the midfield.

  54. bpn8pitt says:


    I believe that we will win ! I believe that we will win

  55. Arriba Wilver says:


  56. Arriba Wilver says:

    Good to “see” you, JRay, and looking forward to your reports from SD.

  57. Arriba Wilver says:

    Was that on the radio, TC?

  58. Sarah says:

    What’s your point?
    That Toewes/Kane are not in fact as clutch as Crosby and Malkin?
    Cos that was the point I was making.

  59. Sarah says:

    Unfortunately, Stosur for all her physical gifts which generally exceed Maria’s…..has nothing much between the ears.
    From a set up and 4-4 she lost 8 straight games.

    That is not coincidence, or Sharapova.

    That’s Sam.

  60. +++++++++++++

    Now, if we could hear from Bob Hasis, Playoffs more often and a couple others, things would feel like “normal” around here.

  61. Like Milo always said about him.


  62. Sarah says:

    No doubt he has an enormous ego.
    The story re his departure from Hartford was scary.
    Do not w at him anywhere near a GM spot.

  63. Patrick(ri) says:

    Of note to folks up here, Brock Holt is tearing things up, both defensively and with the bat (2 hits and a HR last night, 3 for 3, today). Batting well over 300 and playing great 3rd base. Coincidental to Red Sox 6 game streak? He will go to the bench, or back to Pawtucket when the over-hyped, and overpaid Drew is ready. Do you know of any similar siuations?

  64. Lad 9 says:

    +1 Lucky, although normal would not be an adjective I would use to describe our little asylum here. :)

  65. Nastynate82 says:

    I took it to mean the hawks can win even if those 2 don’t score. Not so with the pens

  66. Arriba Wilver says:

    Andrew–I think the point you were making was the same one TC makes about baseball talk—snapshots.

  67. Arriba Wilver says:

    I wish him well. Trade still works for me.

  68. Maz in Iowa says:

    Polanco(.352) 2-4/2 SB(14) at leadoff.Locke(4.14) 5 IP/5 ER/10 H.Mel Rojas 2-4

  69. Patrick(ri) says:

    Me, too, but I thought at the time, why make him the “throw in”?

  70. Maz in Iowa says:

    I love Pirates Prospects but those mock drafts starting are getting to me.Do they really know that much?smh

  71. Arriba Wilver says:

    It was reported the Sox demanded him. But what do EYE know? ;-)

  72. Maz in Iowa says:

    Not too good at proofreading as u may have surmised

  73. Patrick(ri) says:

    I can see why. Today: led off first with double to “deep” lf, led off the third with a gd rle double, hit a rbi double to deep left again in the fifth. They walked him in the seventh & he stole second & scored. I don’ t think he wants to get back on the bus trips!

    Saw him play two weeks ago and he hit a triple & a single over in Pawtucket. He has surprising power. Same sort of attitude as J Hay. Fun to watch.

  74. Cmat0829 says:

    Morris had to go. Hope he turns it around and does great for the Fish. As for us we get a decent pick and the money to use in the draft. Me likey. Good for Sadler to get a chance.

  75. bpn8pitt says:

    …wasnt Cumpton pitching well in Indy too. Beware of AAA stats….

  76. Andrew says:

    I just view game winning goals like walk off hits or 2 out RBIs, they are more a product of circumstance than ability or talent. And the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup last year with Toews producing points at worse rate than Crosby did during this year’s playoffs.

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