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Sunday November 29 2015
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Columnist Joe Giardina

Francisco Liriano is the Pirates’ Opening Day starter this year, but he is not an Ace. Gerrit Cole will start game 2 of 162, but, despite the expectations that surround the former first-overall pick, he is not an Ace, either.

Not yet, at least.

04/01/2015 - 20:39
Joe Giardina
Moments after the Game 4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park on Monday afternoon, the second-guessers flocked to the parking garages, the local bars and the radio waves.

Why were the Pirates so afraid of Carlos Beltran (as if his post-season numbers weren’t enough of a reason)?

10/08/2013 - 11:45
Joe Giardina
The selection process for election into the National Baseball Hall of Fame is simple: a player, five-years removed from last wearing a uniform, is elected once his name appears on at least 75 percent of the ballots turned in by the voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

The player remains on the ballot for 15 years, assuming he never receives less than five percent of the votes in any given year, at which point he would be removed.

01/30/2013 - 09:17
Joe Giardina
Forgive us if we’ve been down this road before, even if, over the past two decades, it’s been the road less taken. Last year, riding a wave of excellent pitching, timely hitting and unlikely heroes, the Pirates jumped out to a 47-43 record, entering the All-Star break above .500 for the first time since 1992.

On July 19 they were 51-44 and in sole possession of first place in the N.L. Central – the latest in the season they had been atop the division since 1997.

07/12/2012 - 16:24
Joe Giardina
Ray Searage became the Pirates pitching coach late in the 2010 season, after the team let Joe Kerrigan go. PSR’s Joe Giardina talked with Searage during Spring Training about the Bucs’ pitching staff.

Searage was a relief pitcher for the New York Mets (1981), Milwaukee Brewers (1984–1986), Chicago White Sox (

04/15/2012 - 13:39
Joe Giardina
For the first four months of the 2011 season, the Pirates were relevant again. They entered the All-Star break above .500 for the first time since 1992. They had three All-Stars for the first time since 1990.

On July 18 they were in first place in the NL Central – the latest in the season they were atop the division since 1997. But the final two months weren’t as kind.  They lost 47 of the

04/02/2012 - 22:37
Joe Giardina
When Albert Pujols signed a 10-year, $254-million contract with the Angels in December, the baseball world was shocked, as no one envisioned him leaving St. Louis.

Six weeks later, after Prince Fielder inked a nine-year, $214-million contract with the Tigers, shock turned to disbelief, as the years and dollar amount were well above even the most optimistic pr

04/01/2012 - 16:38
Joe Giardina
PSR's Joe Giardina caught up with Buster Olney of ESPN to get his assessment of the Pirates, the National League Central, and why Pedro Alvarez is the most important player in a Pirates uniform.

Joe: Do you think the departure of Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, as well as the Reds emptying their fa

03/04/2012 - 16:41
Joe Giardina
The Pirates starting rotation received a minor overhaul over the offseason, with the recent acquisition of veteran A.J. Burnett from the Yankees, and the earlier signing of lefty Erik Bedard. Gone are Ross Ohlendorf, who never lived up to his workhorse reputation, and Paul Maholm, who started more games than any lefty in the National League over the past five years.

Here’s a look at the rest of the staff, in no particular order…


02/20/2012 - 14:02
Joe Giardina
With pitchers and catchers just a few short weeks away from reporting to Bradenton, the core of the Pirates 2012 roster is pretty much set. PSR's Joe Giardina takes a close look at how the team breaks down, position-by-position, for the upcoming season as well as the long-term.

2012: Rod Barajas
After pa

02/02/2012 - 16:57
Joe Giardina
Neil Walker’s contract expires after the 2016 season. The Pirates second baseman is due for a big raise in arbitration this offseason—likely to $10 million—and signing him to a long-term extension will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $12-$15 million annually.
Editor's DeskFeature OneNorth Shore Notes
Belle Vernon junior wrestler Jarod Verkleeren has quietly become one of the most decorated athletes in the state.
Feature TwoHigh School
And then there was one. Fall 2015 marked the first chapter for Armstrong High School. The new school is the merger of Ford City and Kittanning high schools, which were only five miles away from each other.
Feature ThreeHSCOGOS2014
While the recruiting season is usually a time for top schools to scratch and claw for high school seniors, the 2015-16 Pitt Panthers have taken an alternate route.
Feature FourPitt Basketball
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The McConnell family name casts a lofty shadow in Pittsburgh basketball circles.
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