PITTSBURGH - There's still a long way to go in the baseball playoffs.
But, if the World Series matches teams other than the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies, it will be a surprise.
Those two appear to be a notch everyone else in the postseason field.
For teams that don't reach the postseason, the week after the regular season ends is usually reserved for cleaning house.
Following the Boston Red Sox's stunning collapse, manager Terry Francona departed by mutual consent.
Boston is a tough place to manage, the Red Sox are a difficult team with big egos and abrasive personalities.
Francona's stay in Boston generated two World Series titles, the Red Sox first success after 86 years.
But it also took a toll on his health. The stress of managing in Boston clearly affected Francona, to the point that friends worried about his well-being.
A fresh start will probably benefit him more than it will the Red Sox.
Opposing defensive coordinators are watching tape of the Steelers and frantically designing pass rushing schemes to exploit the Steelers' weakness on the offensive line.
Forget about Flozell Adams and Max Starks. There's nobody coming to rescue quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. There's no room under the salary cap for a major addition without a corresponding subtraction.
The Steelers have to make do with who they have, which is a scary proposition.
New Pitt coach Todd Graham has so far shown tendencies to take credit for success while shifting the blame for failure.
Even after the finest moment in Graham's first season - Thursday's 44-17 blowout of South Florida - there seemed to be a need to put some coaching fingerprints on what happened.
Ray Graham ran for 226 yards and two touchdowns, which prompted coach Graham to note, "He continues to be a student learning and studying, and he's corrected a lot of the things we wanted him to correct."
Last year Ray Graham rushed for 922 yards on 146 carries, an average of 6.2 yards. That included a long run of 79 yards and eight touchdowns.
He accomplished all of that without the current coaching staff.
Did you ever notice?
Andy Rooney retires tonight from CBS' "60 Minutes."
This small brotherhood of Sunday curmudgeons has one less member.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.