PITTSBURGH -Midweek commentary on the news:
n The Pittsburgh Pirates draft a pitcher on the first round.
But they need hitters!
Yes, they do, but the rule is to draft the best player who's available. That was Stanford pitcher Mark Appel.
Now they'll have to find out if they can sign Appel under MLB's restrictive new policies, but there's little question he's a talent.
Unlike the NFL draft, MLB teams don't (and can't) draft for a current need. In a best-case scenario, the best amateur players are two years away from the major leagues. The 2012 draft doesn't have anything to do with the 2012 season.
Besides, it's never a mistake to stockpile quality pitching. It's always in demand and it only takes an injury or two to turn a supposed surplus into a shortage.
Taking Appel was the right move.
n Former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Michel Therrien signs on to coach Montreal.
Good for Therrien, who deserves another chance in the NHL.
He simply reached his expiration date with the Penguins in 2009. His hard-driving style had worn thin on the players, and they tuned him out.
Making the change to the radically-different Dan Bylsma paid off with a Stanley Cup.
Therrien did a good job for the Penguins, restoring order after things had fallen apart under Eddie Olczyk.
The Canadiens have been disappointing, so they're anxious for Therrien's structure.
He may not last long in the job, but that's the nature of the NHL.
n Nate McLouth signs with the Baltimore Orioles.
It's a no-risk deal for the Orioles, but it's hard to see what the payoff might be.
McLouth has been awful for almost three seasons now and looked helpless in his time with the Pirates this season.
n The Los Angeles Kings close in on their first Stanley Cup
The Kings have had an incredible playoff run, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in all four of their series.
The Kings are reinforcing a lesson that should be remembered every time the postseason rolls around in the NHL: It's not necessarily who's the best team, it's which team is playing its best at playoff time.
n Pitt is feuding with the Big East.
Divorce can be so messy.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org