Ron Cook


 The Pirates' Jordy Mercer is mobbed after hitting a game winning single against the Rockies in the 11th inning at PNC Park on Saturday.

Ron Cook: Shortstop Jordy Mercer cannot be overlooked in contributing to the Pirates’ recent resurgence

After Andrew McCutchen, Mercer has been the team’s most consistent player for nearly two months

2 days ago


 Pirates closer Mark Melancon has been lights-out since being promoted to the role after the struggles of Jason Grilli.

Ron Cook: Mark Melancon firmly belongs as Pirates closer

There's no need for the Pirates to trade for a big-name closer; they already have one who is plenty capable in Mark Melancon.

3 days ago


 Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez dives for a ground ball.

Ron Cook: Steve Blass has utmost hope for Pedro Alvarez

Of all people, Pirates broadcaster and former star pitcher Steve Blass can relate to Pedro Alvarez's throwing woes at third base.

4 days ago


 Pirates Francisco Liriano long tosses during workouts at PNC Park after the All-Star break as the Pirates prepare to resume their season Friday.

Ron Cook: NL Central is there for the taking

There’s reason for optimism entering the second half of the season, as the Pirates still have a legitimate chance to win the division.

6 days ago


 LeBron James, center, with Chris Bosh, left, and Dwyane Wade, right, broke Cleveland's heart with 'The Decision' several years ago ... will it happen again?

Ron Cook: Some towns deserve better, even Cleveland

The redux of “The Decision” for NBA superstar LeBron James presents the possibility of even more sports heartache for poor Cleveland.

1 week ago


 Pirates general manager Neal Huntington

Ron Cook: Huntington keeps focus in right place

Fans might like blockbuster deals, but Pirates GM Neal Huntington is doing the right thing by keeping focus on the present and the future.

2 weeks ago


 Pittsburgh Pirates Josh Harrison slides safely past the tag of Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp at PNC Park.

Ron Cook: Josh Harrison in heyday as All-Star utilityman

Ron Cook: Josh Harrison has done it all for the Pirates this season, and now he is rewarded with a spot on the All-Star team.

2 weeks ago


 Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle looks to his bullpen in the 7th inning March 5 against the Blue Jays at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Fla.

Ron Cook: Clint Hurdle's ship not derailed by bad hip

The Pirates have capable replacements if Clint Hurdle's bum hip forces him away from the game, but he sure is fighting off that scenario.

2 weeks ago


 Pittsburgh Pirates starter Gerrit Cole delivers against the Phillies Friday at PNC Park.

Ron Cook: Gerrit Cole makes early exit in a pitch for caution

Gerrit Cole leaves game early because of back soreness, but his departure only meant the Pirates were erring on the side of caution.

2 weeks ago


 Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen singles, scoring left fielder Starling Marte in the 8th inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at PNC Park.

Ron Cook: Watching top of Pirates order easy as 1-2-3

Hurdle knows he's lucky to get to pencil in Polanco, Marte and McCutchen in his lineup. The fans are lucky to watch them, writes Ron Cook.

3 weeks ago


 Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford talks about the team signing free agents Christian Ehrhoff, Blake Comeau and Thomas Greiss on July 01, 2014.

Ron Cook: Penguins general manager deals with salary-cap mess

It’s not new GM Jim Rutherford’s fault, but the Penguins are not as good a team now as they were when he took over.

3 weeks ago


 Josh Harrison celebrates after driving in the winning run for the Pirates Friday night to beat the Mets.

Ron Cook: Pirates' Harrison plan good, minus involving Alvarez

It‘‍s a good move for the Pirates to get Josh Harrison in the lineup as much as possible, but not at the expense of Pedro Alvarez.

3 weeks ago


 Pittsburgh Penguins James Neal celebrates in front of Rangers Marc Staal after goal by Jussi Jokinen the Rangers at Madison Square Garden May 7 in New York.

Ron Cook: James Neal's talent, not character, will be a loss

It should be easy to say goodbye to Neal and his character issues after he was traded Friday, but it's hard to see his skills leave,

3 weeks ago


 Pirates' Gregory Polanco is greeted at home plate after hitting a three-run homer in the 5th against the Mets at PNC Park.

Ron Cook: Polanco crashes party in high style

With Gregory Polanco showing why he was considered such a valuable commodity, the remainder of the summer has a chance to be pretty fun.

3 weeks ago


 Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole throws during the first inning of a game against the Brewers, Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in Milwaukee. Cole is expected to come off of the disabled list this week.

Ron Cook: Depth question good problem for Pirates

With second baseman Neil Walker and pitcher Gerrit Cole returning from the DL this week, Pirates face some tough decisions.

1 month ago



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