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April 3, 2014
by Dejan Kovacevic


395 comments so far - add yours!

Penguins 4, Jets 2

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to faceoff …

Game: Penguins (48-23-5) vs. Winnipeg Jets (34-33-10)

Time: 8:08 p.m.

Site: MTS Centre

TV, radio: Root Sports, TSN Jets (Manitoba/Saskatchewan), 105.9 the X

Here’s the official live summary.

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

Josh Yohe is covering for the Trib.

April 3, 2014
by Dejan Kovacevic


667 comments so far - add yours!

Cubs 3, Pirates 2

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (2-0) vs. Chicago Cubs (0-2)

Time: 12:35 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, Radio: Root Sports, MLB Network (national), 93.7 The Fan

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. And here’s our Bucco Blog with all the pitching matchups, lineups, etc. Rob Biertempfel, Travis Sawchik and Joe Starkey are on the scene for the Trib.

April 2, 2014
by Dejan Kovacevic


489 comments so far - add yours!

Pirates 4, Cubs 3, 16 innings

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (1-0) vs. Chicago Cubs (0-1)

Time: 7:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, Radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. And here’s our Bucco Blog with all the pitching matchups, lineups, etc. Rob Biertempfel, Travis Sawchik and Joe Starkey are on the scene for the Trib.

April 1, 2014
by Dejan Kovacevic


454 comments so far - add yours!

Morning Java: Call him Bob

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Wednesday column checks in with Bob Nutting about the Pirates’ offseason, why he didn’t push for a first baseman, the payroll, other huge deals around baseball and more.

As an addendum here: I have a line in there comparing Nutting’s accessibility to that of Art Rooney II and Mario Lemieux, and chances are excellent I actually understated it. I see the latter two a lot, say hello, and they’re always cordial. But the specific reference here is to availability to be interviewed, and no one comes within a Wheeling mile of Nutting in that regard. He’s also never, ever balked at a question I’ve asked or responded unprofessionally to my harsher criticisms of his work. Or even the harshest. For all the grief the Pirates’ owner has taken — and still takes — there’s something to be said for that.

Andrew McCutchen wants more, by Karen Price.

Francisco Liriano’s left arm might as well be dangling, by Travis Sawchik.

Here’s my TribLIVE Radio visit yesterday with cyber-Ken Laird and Guy Junker, talking ball …

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page and our Bucco Blog.

Here’s Cubs news from the Chicago Tribune.

Here are official game highlights on MLB.com.

>> The Penguins didn’t bother to show for the Carolina game. Rob Rossi reports from Consol on one of the most blah efforts of the season, exempting the occasional Sidney Crosby going after Jay Harrison, as our Chaz Palla captures above.

Kris Letang for Masterton, by Rossi.

Dan Bylsma’s many pauses, by Rossi.

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

Here’s Hurricanes news from the Raleigh News & Observer.

Here’s Jets news from the Winnipeg Free Press.

Here are official game highlights on NHL.com.

>> The Steelers pick up depth corner Brice McClain, by Alan Robinson.

A makeover for the secondary, by Robinson.

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

>> Here’s our WPXI-TV Subway Final Word panel talking about the unionization of college athletes …

>> Thank you, as always, for reading. I’m off to the magnificent city below for the next couple days.

April 1, 2014
by Dejan Kovacevic


165 comments so far - add yours!

Hurricanes 4, Penguins 1

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to faceoff …

Game: Penguins (48-22-5) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (32-32-10)

Time: 7:08 p.m.

Site: Consol Energy Center

TV, radio: Root Sports, Fox Sports Carolina, 105.9 the X

Here’s the official live summary.

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

Rob Rossi and Chris Adamski are on the scene for the Trib.

March 31, 2014
by Dejan Kovacevic


496 comments so far - add yours!

Morning Java: Rebonding redux

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Tuesday column from the Pirates’ 128th opener attempts to sum up a truly ‘special’ day.

Here’s Andrew McCutchen afterward …

And a collection of some of the pregame fare …

Neil Walker’s walkoff wins it, by Travis Sawchik.

Even the replay rulings went the Pirates’ way, by Karen Price.

Barry Bonds tried to make nice, by Rob Biertempfel.

Game notebook, by Biertempfel.

Random blogginess from the scene: No question Francisco Liriano had a terrific opener, with six scoreless innings and 10 Ks.  Especially coming off a late-spring injury, that’s above and beyond. At the same time, 104 pitches and only four groundouts run counter to what Liriano himself cites as his main goal: Be more efficient. … Let the record show that Travis Ishikawa not only went 2 for 3 but also looked a lot like the player we’d seen this spring. Professional-looking at-bats. We’ll see. … Clint Hurdle always balks at using the term platoon, even when it’s wholly merited, but it sure sounds like that’s exactly what we’ll see in first base and right field. Credit to the manager for bypassing whatever glamor sometimes accompanies an opening-day start. Just win the game. … Replays happened. Calls were overturned. Big whoop. Welcome to the 21st century, baseball, where the other three major sports had been living for a decade-plus. What next, a salary cap? … There was a broad disparity in the accounts of whether or not Bonds was booed, cheered or both. My view, tweeted out almost immediately, was that he was heavily booed. Because he was. Where I was listening. For that matter, most writers seemed to see it that way, while most TV/radio guys seemed to see it the other way. Simple explanation? The press box is right behind the sections filled with displaced season-ticket holders from Three Rivers Stadium. Total diehards. That’s where we writers were. The broadcast guys were down on the field. … That was quite an atmosphere in there. I’m fascinated by how the rest of the homestand will shape up in that regard.

Here’s our opening-day photo gallery featuring the work of Chris Horner, Chaz Palla and Steve Adams, including this gem from Palla:

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Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page and our Bucco Blog.

Here’s Cubs news from the Chicago Tribune.

Here are official game highlights on MLB.com. Among those, of course, you’ll find this …

>> Highly encouraging news for the Penguins: Paul Martin back at practice. Chris Adamski reports from Consol.

Brooks Orpik won’t be punished for a perfectly clean hit. Imagine.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins page, including setup for tonight’s game against visiting Carolina.

Here’s Hurricanes news from the Raleigh News & Observer.

Here are official game highlights on NHL.com.

>> Former Pitt man Orlando Antigua, already owner of an incredible backstory, is the new head coach at South Florida, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Here’s our WPXI-TV Subway Final Word panel talking about the Steelers’ offseason …

>> Thank you, as always, for reading. I’ll have another baseball column for tomorrow, and then it’s off to Winnipeg.

March 31, 2014
by Dejan Kovacevic


408 comments so far - add yours!

On location: Pirates 1, Cubs 0, 10 innings, 128th season opener

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs, 128th season opener

Time: 1:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, Radio: Root Sports, ESPN (national), 93.7 The Fan

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. And here’s our Bucco Blog with all the pitching matchups, lineups, etc. Rob Biertempfel, Travis Sawchik and I are on the scene for the Trib.

The Sunday column looked toward a new generation for the Pirates.

Today’s column was about the starting pitching.

And here’s an aerial shot taken just now during the national anthem …

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March 31, 2014
by Dejan Kovacevic


243 comments so far - add yours!

Morning Java: It all starts here

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Monday column sets up the Pirates’ start with a look at their starters … and whether or not they can finish. I’ll cover the game today, as well, for an extra Tuesday column.

I’ll also join TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m. as part of an all-day setup for the opener on our station that also includes Frank Coonelly at 9:30 a.m. and Neal Huntington at 10:05 a.m. Ken Laird and Guy Junker are the hosts.

Gaby Sanchez is on the hot seat, by beat man Rob Biertempfel.

Andrew McCutchen keeps raising his profile, by Travis Sawchik. Here’s the actual ESPN commercial if you’re interested.

I’ll also call attention to our 2014 Baseball Preview section that ran yesterday, including the Sunday column on the Pirates’ new generation.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page and our Bucco Blog.

Here’s Cubs news from the Chicago Tribune.

Here are official game highlights on MLB.com.

>> The Penguins let it all hang out to beat the Blackhawks, as reported by Rob Rossi at Consol.

Here are both of the first-period goals, both really pretty:

Here’s a bit of what Brooks Orpik had to say afterward:

Random bloggery from the scene: I try to be open-minded. I really do. But anyone even remotely critical of Orpik’s hit on Jonathan Toews last night is either willfully ignorant or unwillingly ignorant. Either way, same result. Let’s hope Toews is OK. One of the game’s top five players, in this view. But let’s also not deliberately distort what is and isn’t a clean hit. … So, if all Robert Bortuzzo does is drive other teams to the point of distraction and draw hatred away from the Penguins’ stars and play at least decent defense … nah, never mind. Scratch him when playoffs start. … Mike Milbury’s an idiot. … That’s as good an all-around hockey game as James Neal has played in a spell. Jussi Jokinen, too. Skated with purpose. … Funny, but Sidney Crosby didn’t exactly have his best overall game, and none of that mattered when he buried that wrister on the two-on-one late. The great players always have that escape hatch. … I asked Dan Bylsma about the Penguins’ uptick in physical play the past two-plus games: Bylsma: “I thought this was one of our most physical games of the year, one of our most hard-fought.” … Orpik, with a possible explanation: “There’s been a lot of negativity about us outside the locker room. We just try to stick together no matter what anyone says about us.” … Marc-Andre Fleury is playing so, so much better than most seem to realize right now. And yeah, I know why. … See this picture below? That’s photographer’s gold right there. Our Chaz Palla just happened to be in the right corner at the right moment — there’s an assigned rotation — for the big hit. Chaz, who had the best view of anyone anywhere, told me he couldn’t believe Toews wasn’t reacting and that Toews never did until actual contact. Amazing for a player so highly skilled, as they’re generally super-aware of their surroundings. Anyway, give it up for our guy for nailing the shot.

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Brandon Saad comes home to the place where he should have been drafted, by Josh Yohe.

Olli Maatta appreciated his game off, by Yohe.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins page.

Here’s Blackhawks news from the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus, a fellow Sochi survivor.

Here’s Hurricanes news from the Raleigh News & Observer.

Here are official game highlights on NHL.com.

>> The NFL’s expanded replay draws mixed reviews, by Alan Robinson.

>> Our panel on WPXI-TV’s Subway Final Word last night tackled — with no small amount of gusto — the Pirates’ opener, Barry Bonds’ participation, the Penguins’ big W, the Steelers’ signings and the unionization of college football.

>> Thank you, as always, for reading. See you at the yard.

March 30, 2014
by Dejan Kovacevic


136 comments so far - add yours!

On location: Penguins 4, Blackhawks 1

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to faceoff …

Game: Penguins (47-22-5) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (42-18-15)

Time: 7:38 p.m.

Site: Consol Energy Center

TV, radio: NBC Sports Network (national), 105.9 The X

Here’s the official live summary.

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

Rob Rossi, Josh Yohe and I are on the scene for the Trib.

March 30, 2014
by Dejan Kovacevic


4 comments so far - add yours!

‘Final Word’ will tackle Pirates opener, Bonds, Pens-Hawks

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

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The joint venture between WPXI-TV and Trib Total Media continues Sunday night 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 Rob Biertempfel, the Trib’s baseball beat man, and Mark Madden, top-rated radio host of 105.9 the X. The host will be WPXI-TV’s Bill Philllips.

>> What we’re talking about: The Pirates open Monday with mixed expectations. Barry Bonds, you might have heard, will be part of it. We’ll also talk Penguins-Blackhawks (which is why we’re going live, to wait for the game to end), and the Steelers’ recent signings.

>> How to participate: Each week, we also take comments that viewers submit 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 live online stream for Pittsburgh’s many out-of-town sports fans, as well as video podcasts available on both outlets’ Web sites.

Here’s last week’s full episode.

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

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