PITTSBURGH - Mid-week commentary on the news:
n Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Chris Hoke has season-ending neck surgery.
There's a good chance this will also mark the end of Hoke's career with the Steelers.
While that's sad, it's been a great ride.
Hoke's had 10 years in the NFL after being bypassed in the draft. He's been grateful for every day he's spent on the roster.
He's been a team-first guy who has also done a lot of work in the community and used his celebrity to aid good causes.
He gave the Steelers some great service when starting nose tackle Casey Hampton was sidelined by injuries.
This year, though, Hoke has been supplanted by rookie Steve McLendon, who will probably have the reserve spot next year.
The Steelers lost another great veteran earlier this year when defensive end Aaron Smith's season was also ended by a neck injury.
Smith was the better player, but he and Hoke were outstanding people and great Steelers.
n Ron Santo makes baseball's Hall of Fame.
Santo's enshrinement by the Veterans Committee came almost a year to the day that he died at age 70.
Santo coped with diabetes for much of his life. That led to heart issues and the amputation of both of his legs.
Yet through all that adversity, Santo battled, he smiled and enjoyed rooting for the Chicago Cubs as a broadcaster.
Santo's credentials for the Hall are borderline. He never got more than 43.1 percent of the standard vote over 15 years on the ballot.
There's no doubt sentimentality was a factor in this choice. That's a first for the revamped Veterans Committee, which takes its mission more seriously than the previous body.
If you're going to bend the standards on that basis, then Santo is a worthy choice.
It's just a shame he won't be there to feel that admiration and respect at the induction ceremony.
n The NHL realigns.
The Pittsburgh Penguins come out of this just fine.
They basically keep their present division, while adding Washington and Carolina.
It makes for a tough schedule, but there are going to be plenty of compelling games.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org