PITTSBURGH - Mid-week commentary on the news.
n The Pittsburgh Steelers open the season in Baltimore.
The only question here is why the NFL is burning off a marquee game in the first week and not playing in prime time.
Steelers-Ravens is as good as any rivalry in the NFL, with plenty of animosity and big personalities on both sides.
Hard to believe the NFL didn't make this one more of a showcase.
n Pitt wins its opener against Buffalo.
It took a while for the Panthers' high octane offense to get cranked up.
Maybe coach Todd Graham oversold his team a bit.
They won handily over an inferior opponent, but Pitt didn't look smooth against Buffalo.
They have another easy mark this week with Maine visiting. That should give the new staff a chance to work out the flaws in the offense.
Meanwhile, the bigger question is whether the Panthers will be able to stop anyone.
The defense wasn't impressive, and tougher opponents are coming as soon as the Sept. 17 game at Iowa.
n Baseball doesn't have many pennant races.
Blame it on the wild card.
The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are having what should be a fierce battle for the title in the American League East.
But they're both virtually guaranteed postseason spots, which means they're fighting only for seeding.
One will go in as the wild card and the other will win the division.
That means something, but it's not nearly as profound as a race that would send the loser home.
The worst part of this is MLB seems to be intent on adding another wild card entry.
n Wade Belak becomes the latest hockey "enforcer" to die young.
Belak took his own life, a tragically early end for another former NHL player who specialized in fighting.
Researchers are trying to discover if there's a link in the premature deaths.
It could be that accumulated brain damage from the toll of bare-knuckled fighting. It could just be a tragic coincidence.
The NHL has shown no inclination to bar fighting, so the series of casualties probably won't be a factor.
n Reports say the New York Mets may take their payroll under $100 million in 2012.
The poor dears.
Mehno can be reached at email@example.com.