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Morning Java: The human touch

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The TribLIVE Radio show today — 2-3 p.m. — will open with your calls, and the topics, as always, are up to you. Call me at 412-320-7925. Feel free to email if you can’t call. But I’d rather hear from you.

At 2:30, I’ll be joined by Mark Kaboly, the Trib’s NFL beat writer, to talk minicamp.

And at 2:45, we’ll have more wit and wisdom from our @SuckMeter.

To listen, just click the link up top. If you’re mobile, try the iPhone version or the Android version of the TribLIVE Radio app. Both are free and insultingly easy to use.

>> Chuck Noll is laid to rest. Beat man Alan Robinson covers the news from St. Paul Cathedral.

No one will cover this event’s emotion with the heart shown by columnist Joe Starkey this morning. I dare say, this is required reading.

Over on the South Side, minicamp opened with a Troy Polamalu sighting. Kaboly reports.

Joey Porter tutoring Jarvis Jones? Yeah, sounds right. Kaboly has that, too.

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

>> Jason Grilli blows another one, by beat man Rob Biertempfel at PNC Park.

For all the complaining and conspiracy-weaving that’s gone on all summer, the one player most singularly responsible for the Pirates being below .500 right now is one that few have mentioned until recently. And now, after this game, I’m sure that’ll grow.

Grilli’s been lousy all season. This isn’t new. You can say it’s 2 mph lost off his fastball. I don’t see that as any kind of backbreaker. The bottom line either way: It’s time for Clint Hurdle to reduce his role. On this night, in fairness, Hurdle put Grilli out there in a tie game. Tony Watson wasn’t available, but maybe that’s how it’ll play out going forward, where Grilli is more the bridge guy. Or middle innings. The change has to be concrete, and it’s got to happen now. Factor Mark Melancon into that, too.

There’s a lot that I’ve seen in Grilli that I haven’t liked for a long while, but I can’t honestly say I thought it would play out on the field as it clearly has. It’s an immense disappointment to a lot of people, inside and outside that clubhouse. And no, I’m not isolating on the writing of a book. Other people write books. Other people promote books. It’s just a general change, and a sweeping one at that.

Neil Walker is regaining strength, by Karen Price.

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

Here’s Reds news from the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Here are official game highlights on

>> Ulf Samuelsson and several others are on the Penguins’ list of coaching candidates. Some outstanding reporting here by beat man Rob Rossi.

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

>> Jamie Dixon found his new assistant. Pitt basketball beat man Kevin Gorman interviews Marlon ‘Smoke’ Williamson.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pitt page and our Pitt Locker Room blog.

>> Here’s the official World Cup 2014 page and the U.S. Soccer page.

>> Hope to hear from you on the show today. 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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