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Plenty of news in Pittsburgh these days

June 12, 2013
By John Mehno (johnmehnocolumn@gmail.com) , The Altoona Mirror

PITTSBURGH - Views on the news:

n Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson gets a five-year extension.

Pederson has his critics who are undoubtedly disappointed at this development. He made a debacle of the football coaching situation before settling on Paul Chryst, no question.

But Pederson has been strong on bigger issues, like getting Pitt a spot in the ACC after the Big East imploded. That situation could have turned out much worse.

Some of the darts aimed at Pederson are misguided, like complaining that he took football games off campus. Pitt Stadium was a wreck that had to go, and why is it a negative to play games in an NFL stadium? Doesn't that have some appeal to TV-influenced recruits?

If you've been on the Pitt campus lately, you may have noticed there aren't 100 spare yards for a football field.

Navigating the landscape of big-time collegiate sports is a significant task these days. Pitt is in good hands with Pederson. (See B4 for story)

n The Penguins are still out of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

A lot of people still can't get over this, because they apparently never considered the possibility the Penguins could lose.

The Penguins had a good team. So did Boston. The Bruins played better. The last two games were each decided by one shot.

You don't get that deep into the playoffs on a fluke. The Bruins played well, and they played with passion. They deserved to win.

The Penguins face a lot of big decisions. It's going to be a significant offseason. They're getting an earlier start than they expected.

That's because of what the Bruins did, not what the Penguins didn't do.

n The Steelers hold mini-camp.

Oh, how quiet it's been. That's probably a product of the Penguins' extended stay in the postseason and the malaise that comes from a 8-8 Steelers season that doesn't include the playoffs.

But some interesting things are happening. The Steelers are dealing with significant personnel losses, some new assistant coaches are getting acquainted with their responsibilities, and there's a new blocking scheme designed to revive a running game that's vanished in the last two seasons.

n Gerrit Cole makes his major league debut.

The Pirates are probably rushing him a little, but there's a need.

Take a look at the number of starting pitchers who have been on the disabled list already this season. Then remember that Francisco Liriano and Charlie Morton are coming off surgeries.

As much as the Pirates' offense needs a boost, this rotation is going to need help, too.

Maybe Cole can provide that. If not, they'll be looking for a trade again. Whoever first said you can never have enough pitching was correct.

Mehno can be reached at johnmehnocolumn@gmail.com

 
 
 

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