PITTSBURGH - Midweek news and commentary:
n The Pittsburgh Steelers release kicker Jeff Reed.
He missed a 26-yard field goal try Sunday night, then complained about the Heinz Field turf and fans.
It truly was a cumulative effect, but this move wouldn't have been made if Reed had been kicking better.
He cost the Steelers a game last season and had missed seven field goals this season.
He's always been a loose cannon, but most of his off-the-field stuff has been relatively minor. He embarrassed the Steelers, but he didn't seriously run afoul of the law.
His comments about his contract dispute during the summer were ill-advised and turned some people against him.
But that's not the reason the Steelers cut him.
If you're going to be a pain in the neck and miss 26-yard field goals, you don't have much a future.
This was likely Reed's final season in Pittsburgh anyway, so the Steelers got the jump on looking for a replacement.
Is there a risk? Certainly. But if the new guy can make a 26-yarder, he's an immediate upgrade.
It's an unwritten rule with the Steelers: If you're going to be high maintenance, you'd better be high performance, too.
n San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey wins the National League Rookie of the Year award.
No argument with that choice. Posey did a great job when he was called up to the major leagues.
The controversy concerns the ballot from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Dejan Kovacevic, who had Pirates Neil Walker and Jose Tabata as his No. 2 and 3 choices.
He excluded Atlanta's Jason Heyward, who performed well and played with the pressure of a pennant race for the full season.
This has led to charges of hometown favoritism.
You can debate the merits of the players involved, but this point is indisputable:
Journalists have no business voting on awards for athletes.
It's a conflict of interest, plain and simple.
Papers don't let their writers serve as official scorers for baseball games because they don't want to be part of the story.
Take that to its logical conclusion, and the same papers should lift ballots from writers when it comes to vote for awards.
This is the perfect example.
Mehno can be reached at: email@example.com. His web log is at altoonamirror.com.