Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Vacation thread: Wednesday, July 9

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

I’m on vacation until July 21 but, because the blog never rests, one of these threads will go up every morning to provide a discussion forum. All the regularly scheduled game threads also will go up, three hours before the start.

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

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

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

Here’s our Riverhounds page.

Here’s our Pitt page.

Here’s how to listen to TribLIVE Radio with one click.

Here’s our partner WPXI-TV’s Subway Final Word page.

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. Mizery says:

    Tough loss.

    I feel like I’m in a blog all by myself.

  2. Baywatch says:

    Mizery, I know how you love company! :-(

  3. Mizery says:

    Post of the day Baywatch.

    My loneliness has just dissipated, and the Pirates loss doesn’t seem so bad.

  4. Ghost says:

    That truly was a great quip.

  5. Ghost says:

    In answer to DK’s column, yes, Cutch only shares the top of the mountain with Mike Trout. This weekend, Cutch had the chance to hit for the cycle if he could just hit a home run. Damn near did. Over a year ago, Trout came up to bat needing to do the same thing and he closed the deal. Was riveting to watch. Amazing how young Trout still is. On the other hand, will Trout be able to play relatively injury-free as Cutch has done? Trout already missed a little time this season. Playing hard and at a high level and not being felled by injury is a very rare “skill.” Cutch has it. (Unless I just jinxed him!)

  6. Radio wave says:

    Was your country favored before the World Cup began? Is Germany a surprise team?

  7. Tom P. says:

    The Pirates have just played their 90th game, which completes the 5th 18 game segment of the season. To get to 90 wins, the Pirates have to average a record of 10-8 in each of those 18 game segments. So far this year, they have gone 8-10, 8-10, 9-9, 10-8, and 12-6.

    If they were averaging a record of 10-8 for each 18 games, their record would be 50-40. They are currently 47-43, three wins short of that target.

  8. Wild Bill says:

    P-G reports Crosby will soon undergo wrist surgery after therapy attempts were ineffective. He wasn’t healthy in the playoffs after all.

    So far, Cards bullpen > Pirates bullpen.

  9. JAL says:

    JAL’s Believe It or Not Morning Links

    Theme from Greatest American Hero sung by Joey Scarbury is the only TV theme song to peak at number 2.


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    4 Pirates Prospects

    2014 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Can the Pirates Farm System Stay Healthy in the Second Half?

    Prospect Watch: Five Home Runs in Five Games For JaCoby Jones

    Top 10 Pitchers: A Group of Lefties at the Top of the Pitching Ranks Last Week

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates let Ernesto Frieri give up walk-off homer for some reason

    The Matt Morris Report: 7/8/14

    7 Rumbunter

    Great Scot: Episode 20 – Do the Pirates Need to Make a Trade?

    8 Green Weenie

    This Is Getting Old: Cards Walk Off With Another Win, 5-4



    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Cardinals 5, Pirates 4

  10. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Kearney Hub

    Former Husker Watson not taking All-Star selection for granted

    12 KDKA

    Colin Dunlap: How In The Heck Have The Pirates Done This?

    13 CBS Sports

    Pirates vs Cards Game Preview

    14 Chicago Sun Times

    Cubs won’t pin skid on their admitted post-trade blues

    15 Pirates Site

    Pirates fall victim to walk-off win once more

    Liriano will return to rotation for series vs. Reds

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Hamilton’s walk-off puts cap on Reds’ doubleheader sweep

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Offensive reawakening not enough as Wily Peralta melts down

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Another walk-off wallop for Cardinals

    Strauss: Cards must see if Taveras is up to the task

    19 Fangraphs

    How Did Clayton Kershaw Get Bombed?

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    Eight Second-Half Decline Candidates

  11. Nastynate82 says:

    He doesn’t share it with Trout. Trout is up there alone as he had two seasons where his performance has basically been unequaled to start his career. Cutch, while great, isn’t on that level. Put another way, right now Trout is Willie Mays, and Cutch is Duke Snider. Nothing wrong with being the duke.

  12. Steve B. says:

    Contestant: “Professional Sports Personalities for $1000, Alex.”

    Alex Trebek: “Kolten Wong”

    Contestant: “Who is a Chinese NASCAR driver, Alex?”

    Alex Trebek: “Wong”

  13. Jandy says:


  14. I love Hurdle, but shades of Chad Qualls and JMac. Putting Frieri in in a situation like that was on that level. We have more capable relievers at Indy now. No excuse for that nonsense.

  15. Deb says:

    So, the other paper in town is reporting that Sid had or will have wrist surgery. That explains the drop in scoring. 87 never looked the same after the Olympics.

  16. Jandy says:

    And it wasn’t the first time.

  17. NMR says:

    Awe shucks, did Ernesto Frieri get unlucky again?

  18. DJ says:

    Did Bob McKenzie get the scoop again?

    Mentioned several months back he looked to be favoring his hand/wrist. During some stoppages of play was looking at his glove. Just never confirmed it to the press.

  19. Personally, I could probably justify the Justin Wilson move the other night to some extent, but Frieri has shown nothing all season. He needs to find the CL or some other mode out of town or they can just treat him like a Rule 5, but he doesn’t need to smell the field again for a while unless we’re up about 7 runs.

    There are borderline managerial moves and there are obvious blunders and this falls in the latter category.

  20. DJ says:

    Out of the Frieri pan and into the fire once again.

    Gotta end.

  21. Steve B. says:

    Pirates have nothing close to the Hanrahan or Grilli of the past two or three seasons anymore. Can’t go much further in the season with a bullpen so questionable at best and no real closer. Thoughts on Papelbon? He’s got a 1.35 ERA and 2.39 FIP and hasn’t allowed a HR in 36 games this season and has stranded over 87 percent of runners.

    He’s owed $13 million and the Phillies would no doubt eat a good portion of that if a decent enough package was offered. The Phillies are lacking enough all over the roster that it might not be one great “unmovable” prospect they would be willing to take but perhaps a couple decent prospects, unless the Pirates would be willing to take on most or all of of his contract, which we know that won’t happen.

    Regardless; the Pirates need someone they can hand the ball to in the 9th without making everyone queasy with anxiety.

  22. scapper says:

    Figured I’d handle the Tuesday chat this week. If you have a question, just browse the list below and you’ll find an apt answer:

    *No, I don’t root for the home teams.

    *Because NFL Network and ESPN suck.

    *Ramon Foster is funny.

    *He’s, like…Rick Nash bad, but not quite Pirate Charities bad.

    *The Riverhounds’ problem is…eh, no one cares.

    *They need to draft some wingers.

    *[Snarky comment about Beau Bennett’s injury issues]

    *Because baseball’s economics stink.

    *No, I’m not picking on the Pirates!

    *No, I’m not a shill for the Pirates!

    *There’s one in Greentree, a bunch of them downtown, several at Heathrow but not a single one at the %&#@ Pittsburgh International Airport!

    *Still a few credits shy of my degree. And yes, I feel so inadequate and professionally unfulfilled because of it.

    *I wrote about that just recently. For the love of god, here’s the link. Is this chat all that you read of my work?

    *I never wrote/said that. Check the column/blog/twitter/video.

    *Winnipeg, of course. [Pitter patter of heart]

    *Pittsburgh, of courser. [Mighty thump thump thump of heart]

    See you next week. Time for some caffeine!

  23. Steve B. says:

    Why have the surgery now, why not wait until a couple days before the season opener? Note: sarcasm.

    Should have had the surgery two months ago if it was indeed bad enough to effect his play to the extent they would like us to think it did.

  24. DJ says:

    Because Jackets and Rangers would have targeted his wrist instead of his head.

    Looking back on how his teammates reacted (zero), Sid might have taken that swap.

  25. DJ says:

    Nice, scaps.

  26. DormontGeorge says:

    Scapper…I know you were trying to be cute, but some of those are just kinda mean. One could say the snark level was a bit over the top. It isn’t easy being DK. Not sure he would chuckle at all of those…

  27. DJ says:

    An element of fondness/respect for DK in every one of them.

    Matter of perspective, I guess.

  28. Steve B. says:

    Sorry, I my “2 months” may have been a little exaggerated. What I meant was, sometime shortly after the season was over which was May 13th, almost 2 months ago.

  29. Steve B. says:

    LOL, meaning you don’t think Papelbon is an adequate closer anymore, or you don’t think the Pirates could/would be able to get him?

  30. DJ says:

    And ruin his look at the NHL Awards?

    Not sure he’d looked as dapper with a cast.

  31. The Gunner says:

    Looks like the Bucs blew another opportunity to gain a game on the Brewers.

  32. Steve B. says:

    Don’t know if that was meant to be a tribute, or a headstone epitaph. ;)

  33. The answers are “yes” and “no.” This was a traditional team (far from its peak, but also far from being at its lowest) losing being humilliated at home to another traditional team. Think the Patriots losing a Super Bowl at home to the Steelers in, say, 2009, by a score of 49-7.

  34. DJ says:

    My computer or blog postings on the fritz?

  35. Jandy says:

    LOL @ scapper

  36. Tom P. says:

    DJ, looks like blog postings to me.

  37. Thundercrack says:

    I thought Sydney Crosby was fine physically and wasn’t playing well because he might have been having troubles with his girlfriend. :-)

  38. DJ says:

    Thx, Tom P. Looks like Reply buttons all disappeared.

    Somebody should notify the Trib’s tech geek with DK not minding the store.

  39. Wild Bill says:

    Interesting article on today about the remaking of the Pens. The author seems to favor what’s been done so far, without referencing the coaching much. It’s mostly about the personnel decisions based on puck possession data.

  40. Thundercrack says:

    I didn’t see the end of the game last night. But I did hear Hurdle say that he was saving Melancon for the next inning – where he would have been facing the meat of their order. Imagine how many home runs Frieri would have given up if he pitched the 10th.

  41. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nice, scapper. :-)

  42. Jandy says:

    TC, no, that’s Claude Giroux that is having problems with his girlfriend…after grabbing that cops butt ;)

  43. Arriba Wilver says:

    Colin Dunlap has a nice article at JAL’S link #12. EYE didn’t know about Clint’s hip problem, but he hasn’t seemed as jovial this year.

  44. The Gunner says:

    I think there must be a technical issue with the blog. There’s no link for “Reply” when I use my iPhone.

  45. Jandy says:

    Gunner, there sure is….it’s broke! It’s all scapper’s fault for making fun of Dejan ;)

  46. JohninOshkosh says:

    “First, they came for the Reply Buttons and I did not speak out because I am not a Computer Technician…”

  47. DJ says:

    I blame that new, freaky-looking cat for infiltrating our blog.

    Or Pedro.

  48. Arriba Wilver says:

    NSA must have hacked in.

  49. The Gunner says:

    The blog really hasn’t worked correctly since they fooled around with changing the format a couple weeks ago.

  50. DJ says:


    With no Reply buttons, this should make everyone feel good.

  51. Jandy says:

    LOL @ DJ and the freaky cat comment

  52. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yep, It’s the cat.

  53. JohninOshkosh says:

    It’s all old school up in here. Remember the days when there wasn’t any reply function on the blog, and one had to respond down the timeline by referencing the post number. Eg, @144. Lol.

  54. Milo Hamilton says:

    Well, they finally listened. This is exactly how I wanted it. ;)

  55. Sarcastic Sword says:

    So Crosby couldn’t even come clean after the Rangers series – he’s a different breed for sure.

    Regarding the Trout/Cutch discussion, Bucs took Sanchez at #4 in the 2009 draft – Trout went #25 to the Angels.

  56. DJ says:

    I’m now squarely placing all blame on our Brazilian friend, Alexandre. Never seen cross-outs before.

    My invoice is in the mail.

  57. Thundercrack says:

    While we’re at it – – the mobile version ain’t great either.

  58. Milo Hamilton says:

    The emoticons still work so Drew won’t be back. :(

  59. Baywatch says:

    I mean, seriously, the track record isn’t very good for guys like Frieri that go out and stink it up real often … and I’m thinking often is usually no more than THREE times in a row? Then DFAVille?

  60. JohninOshkosh says:

    I heard on BBC Radio this morning that the humiliation Brazil took yesterday may affect elections in Brazil.

    I thought this was pretty extreme until I remember political scientists saying that John Kerry referring to Lambeau Field as “Lambeau Stadium” cost him votes here !

  61. pattonbb says:

    OK Milo, are you happy now? Somebody must have decided to go back to the 2009 blog version.

  62. The Gunner says:

    Looks like when you click on the links for the “recent comments”, the blog takes you directly to that comment liked it used to.

  63. Thundercrack says:

    I wonder if Jared Hughes’ arm is going to fall off before the all star break.

    No need to respond….oh wait you can’t

  64. DJ says:

    Always said you cannot trust a Brazilian computer.

    And the way they played against Germany maybe Snowden gets the assist.

  65. Jandy says:

    Dayum, DJ is on a roll!! :D

  66. DJ says:

    Where’s that CineSport ad when you need it?

    Someone call that guy from Barracuda Networks.

  67. Maz in Iowa says:


  68. Maz in Iowa says:

    See it works. :)

  69. DJ says:

    Jandhi @ 10:00 a.m.: Nice. Always had a thing for Nancy Wilson.

  70. Milo Hamilton says:

    Everything is so orderly, no scrolling up and down. Up and down, back and forth. This is great. As the blog was meant to be. I’m as happy as Kolten Wong seeing Guy Frieri coming in to pitch the 9th.

  71. Maz in Iowa says:

    Might need to call 1-800-DEJAN

  72. The Gunner says:

    @ Milo

    Looks like Guy Frieri stinks

  73. DJ says:

    Everyone needs to check their online bank accounts.

    For some unknown reason, I’m now down to $1.23.

  74. Jandy says:

    DJ, glad you enjoy the link….lol on the bank accounts

  75. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yeah Gunner, apparently even more than Kolten Wong. Beaten twice by that little jabrone.

  76. Maz in Iowa says:

    Just ordered Frieri toilet paper.I am gonna absolutely love using/flushing it…especially using it!!

  77. Jandy says:

    Oh My! Maz is outta control lol

  78. Johnny Styles says:

    Hey! Why is everyone blaming me for the blog problems? Grumpy Cat has nothing to do them. Nope. Nothing. *whistles innocently*

  79. DJ says:

    Sensing a diabolic plot between freaky-looking cat and Alexandre.

    May we see your passports, please?

  80. Milo Hamilton says:

    I just saw where Tropical Depression Fausto has moved into the Central Pacific. Judging from what I saw Friday, Fausto has already caused varying rates of depression in Philadelphia.

  81. Johnny Styles says:

    These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

  82. Maz in Iowa says:

    What are the odds of another 9th inning meltdown by HR?Just channeling my inner Carl Sagan

  83. DJ says:

    An infiltrator with a Star Wars sense of humor, I see.

    Cuff that cat.

  84. Maz in Iowa says:

    Jobu is still on rum intravenously.

  85. Milo Hamilton says:

    So did I see somewhere that LeBron James is a free agent ?

  86. JohnS says:

    Ernesto Frieri the star of Drive Ins, diners and dumpster dives.


  87. JohnS says:


  88. Milo Hamilton says:

    We appreciate the effort John.

  89. NMR says:

    Hey guys, ease up on Frieri. His xFIP is 14.09 runs below his ERA, which means he’s clearly been unlucky.


  90. Milo Hamilton says:

    Unfortunately NMR, Pirate blogger logic too often mirrors Pirate front office logic. My early opinion on the guy ? Stinks.

  91. Maz in Iowa says:

    Anyone know Frieri’s cell number?I gotta selfie I’d love to send him.bwahahaha

  92. Robert says:

    Time to bring up Andy Oliver. Moved to closer in Indy, 11K/9ip, 1.09 WHIP, walks down significantly from time as a starter. 3 lefties in one bullpen might be taboo but he’s better than Frieri and could be the 6 or 7th inning bridge to the back end guys without giving up prospects.

  93. Maz in Iowa says:

    A french fry would be better than Frieri

  94. The Gunner says:

    @ NMR

    Glad to see Pedro connect with a HR last night – hopefully there are more HRs in his pipeline.

  95. Johnny Styles says:

    I have a feeling that Frieri is headed to Indy or the disabled list before long.

  96. Milo Hamilton says:

    I know you’re new here Grumpy, in cases like these we call it the Convenience List.

  97. Johnny Styles says:

    Milo – I’ll remember that going forward.

  98. Thundercrack says:

    Someone mentioned the other day that Frieri doesn’t have minor league options left. Ray will fix him.

    To me, part of the bullpen problem is that they have 2 ‘long men’ in there: Gomez and Stolmy
    Another part of the problem is that Frieri has stunk.

  99. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not sure we have what we need in Indy for the BP. Have to bring in 2 from outside. IMO

  100. JohninOshkosh says:

    I actually have a magnet on my fridge with Grumpy Cat on it.

    It says, “I had fun once. It was awful.”

    It’s right next to my Honey Badger magnet. More colorful language used on that one, though.

  101. Maz in Iowa says:

    Let’s see now;torch ready…..pitchfork ready…..infuriated townsfolk ready.OK ready for the 9th inning.

  102. 21sthebest says:

    Can we go back to talking about Seinfeld?

  103. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Cavs have traded Jarrett jack & Sergei Karasev to Brooklyn & Tyler Zeller to Boston. They have cleared the required cap space. For what, I don’t know but they’ve cleared it. :)

  104. Arriba Wilver says:

    Let me get this straight—each new post now is listed after the previous post. But we now can go directly to the most recent post when we click on “New Comments?” Do I have that right?

    (Before I get bold-reamed, I get that they are just trying to fix it) :-)

  105. chethejet1 says:

    Sid budda bing Crosby in for surgery on his right wrist. Maybe he did have some issues that affected his playoffs. Man glad Pens management has addressed the fact this was the Charmin Penguins last year. Now trade two defense men who have limited time here. Free up cap and bring in one more winger and a RH defense men who can send the correct message around MAF.

  106. Maz in Iowa says:

    REPLY challenged blog

  107. Thundercrack says:

    In last night’s game, I understand that Neil Walker may have gotten back to third base before the tag. It looked that way to me.

    But that dude should have never been in that position. Stay alert. Remember who the catcher is.

  108. Johnny Styles says:

    John – I have a Grumpy Cat calendar in my cubicle at the office. It always brings a frown to my face.

  109. bpn8pitt says:

    Even if the Cavs get Lebron back, I still don’t think its good enough to beat the team that gets out of the West…maybe if they got Kevin Love too?

  110. Arriba Wilver says:

    My thoughts exactly, TC. Walker should have never been in that position. He can complain about the call all he wants, but it was on him.

  111. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m inviting all the excited Cavs fans to give me a call & I’ll tell you about Jagr Watch.

  112. JohninOshkosh says:

    How will the Bucks respond to their Central Division foes likely getting LeBron ?

    They already made the weirdest move in NBA history by going completely off the radar and trading for a crummy coach with a terrible PR history in Kidd.

    Is Walton available ? Or, is he too busy buying all those fabulous new brownies in Washington State ?

    (Hey, the NBA is fair game. Fearless Leader is sawing wood on his couch).

  113. 21sthebest says:

    PRMB pointed out that PRNW used some expletives after he was picked off.


  114. Thundercrack says:

    Who is PRMB ?

  115. NMR says:

    @Milo – I feel like there has to be a breakdown in communication right now between Front Office and Hurdle regarding Frieri.

    Yeah, it was a fine trade. And yeah, guys with big differences between xFIP and ERA are certainly good bets. But they most certainly are NOT “unlucky” for giving up the homeruns that have gotten them in this position, as a few hilarious Pirate Bloggers have written.

    Melancon, Burnett, and Liriano all made legitimate changes to their game in order to bring the homeruns down. Nothing “lucky” about it. Frieri is supposedly on this track as well, so why in the hell does Hurdle continue using him in high leverage situations?

  116. 21sthebest says:

    PRMB = My wife

  117. NMR says:

    My gut tells me Hurdle loves that “proven closer” tag associated with Frieri.

  118. Milo Hamilton says:


    There was a situation similar to last night in Miami after they had blown a lead & Gomez pitched 3 or 4 scoreless innings before Polanco’s first homerun. That’s where I thought he’d go. I don’t know what he was thinking. Just like not bunting Morton the other night. Pain meds must be clouding his judgement, I don’t know.

  119. Johnny Styles says:

    I don’t understand the desire to put Frieri out there in high pressure situations. He should be out there when the Pirates are either ahead or behind by a lot, not when the game is tied or close.

  120. Karen22 says:

    Thanks for the chuckles today, folks. Takes the sting out of the last two nights. I think I’ll go to bed early tonight, though. Geeeeeeeeeeez!

    Blog today reminds me of a Beatles’ song…♫♪No Reply♫♪

  121. Milo Hamilton says:

    A cynic would say that Hurdle has been against the whole Frieri experiment since the beginning & he’s just going about proving to management that he was right all along.

    A cynic would say that, Lord knows I wouldn’t.

  122. Anonymous says:

    Might be me BUT….is it a bad thing when you have a reliever with an ERA of 18..not 1.80….I mean 18.00?

  123. JohninOshkosh says:

    Dejan’s Honey Do list today:

    1. Dust off bobbleheads. Arrange in alphabetical order by sport. Football in front. Hockey in second row and baseball pushed back against wall to correspond with popularity of the respective sports in the city.

    2. Get autographed picture of Evander Kane framed.

    3. Recycle discarded Starbucks cups lying behind couch.

    4. Write a glowing column about how great soccer is to have in the column bank.

    5. Practice guitar licks in “Holiday in Cambodia.”

  124. Johnny Styles says:

    Karen – Thanks to you, now I have “No Reply At All” by Genesis running through my head. :)

  125. Milo Hamilton says:

    Sure that’s not Phil Collins solo ? :)

  126. Johnny Styles says:

    Milo – I’m pretty sure. ;)

  127. bpn8pitt says:

    I don’t think a bullpen is an easy thing to fix in season. The WC era keeps a lot more teams alive, that are hesitant to move pieces, at least until August waiver deadline.

    By then, it could be too late.

  128. JohninOshkosh says:

    Oh, heads up.

    The Pirates/Cardinals game is the ESPN game tonight at 8:00 ET.

  129. Thundercrack says:

    I don’t see that there is any kind of rift. Clint wants to win every game especially one against the Cardinals. I think on the road he wanted to save Melancon for if they got he lead. (Even though that’s not what he said after the game). And maybe Gomez & Stolmy were being saved if they felt it was going to go a lot of extra innings

Other blogs
Sports: Rob Rossi | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | iPreps | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports
News: This Just In | Trib List | ICycle | Flow Back | Stories Behind Trib Stories  

» Top Sports
» Top News
» Top Breaking News