PITTSBURGH - If you're a loyal American, you were probably offended by Rashard Mendenhall's Twitter posts last week.
If you're a loyal American, you should also celebrate the freedom that allows for the kind of free expression Mendenhall exercised.
You don't have to like it, you don't have to agree with him, but you should be prepared to defend his right to say dumb, unpopular things.
Isn't the stifling of debate one of things we find so distasteful in other countries?
Meanwhile, the ease of posting things via Twitter is just another headache for the people who run teams.
There's no filter. It literally takes seconds for a player to "publish" something that may reflect badly on the organization.
There's also no middleman to blame. There's no excuse on Twitter. You weren't misquoted, and your Tweet wasn't taken out of context.
Most players don't want to be bothered, and they may be the wise ones.
The dangers of instant communication to a wide audience far outweigh the benefits.
Do professional sports teams have entire departments devoted to creating bad ideas?
The Los Angeles Angels will have a wrestling mask giveaway at their game on Tuesday.
Every fan entering the park gets a free pro wrestling-styled mask decorated with the Angels logo.
They're trying to set a record for the most masked people in one venue.
Of course. Wear the mask home, too, then be sure to stop in your local convenience store.
It should get a lot of attention.
A promoter has scheduled an autograph signing with Derek Bell, the notorious former Pirate.
Bell's signature on a card is $8, and it's $12 to sign your baseball.
He'll also add inscriptions for $5 each, so you can get something like "To Peggy" or "Happy Birthday, Nick."
Here's the kicker, though:
For $10 extra, he'll sign "Operation Shutdown."
Happy Mother's Day, especially to the moms who didn't throw away the baseball cards.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.