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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…

A.J.

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.

Catcher
2012: Rod Barajas
After pa

02/02/2012 - 16:57
Joe Giardina
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Bob Prince was best known as the voice of the PIttsburgh Pirates for 28 years, but it was not the only job he had over his Hall of Fame career. “The Gunner” also called Steelers and Penguins games at different times during his career and was part of the NBC broadcast team for the 1965 All-Star Game.
Feature OneNorth Shore Notes
When the Penguins hired Jim Rutherford as their general manager in 2014, it seemed like a temporary move. The former Carolina Hurricanes GM would spend his two years in Pittsburgh, and then hand the keys to Jason Botterill; the man whom several people thought deserved the job in the first place.
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Aaron Gray is a familiar name for most Pittsburgh basketball fans. The 7’0”, 270-pound center led the '07 Panthers to an NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance and was one of the most prolific big men to play for coach Jamie Dixon.
Feature ThreePitt BasketballSports Bites
Jeanne Marie Laskas is the New York Times best-selling author of Concussion and the 2009 GQ article “Game Brain,” which inspired the Golden Globe-nominated movie, Concussion, starring Will Smith and Alec Baldwin.
Feature FourPure SteelSports Bites
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The college basketball season is underway as local teams finish their non-conference games this month. Will Kevin Stallings re-ignite the Pitt program? Can Jim Ferry recover from losing three seniors at Duquesne? Will Penn State's freshmen class finally produce competitive basketball in State College?
Custom 1DuquesnePenn StatePitt BasketballRobert MorrisWVU
Exactly four months after the Pittsburgh Penguins raised the Stanley Cup in San Jose, the new NHL season got underway. While the Penguins will look to become the first team in nearly 20 years to repeat as champions, the season will be sure to deliver plenty of twists and surprises during the regular season.
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As much as 80 percent of the Pirates starting rotation could be different next season. Only Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon are locks to return from the 2015 crew. With three spots potentially open, the Pirates could look to add veterans through waivers, free agency and trades. Here are some potential in-house solutions.
Custom 3North Shore Notes
For years, the accomplishments of the Penn State men’s basketball team have been few and far between. Head coach Patrick Chambers has posted a 23-67 overall conference record in his five seasons, one of the worst marks among Power 5 schools. Only TCU, Boston College, Texas Tech and Virginia Tech have a lower in-conference winning percentage than Penn State's .256 mark during that span.
Custom 4Penn State