Professional Sports

Steelers hope to stay hot up north

The Associated Press ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Receiver Antonio Brown is well aware of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ track record of successfully mounting late-season playoff pushes. When December rolls around, the Steelers traditionally heat up. “The goal is to continue to get hot,” Brown ...

Pens get big game from duo

The Associated Press TAMPA, Fla. — Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby both scored their second goals on third-period power plays, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins rally to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Saturday night. It was the first meeting between the teams since the Stanley Cup ...

Cutch not thrilled with trade talk

By Dan Scifo The Associated Press PITTSBURGH — Make no mistake, Andrew McCutchen is happy to still be a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. But the All-Star centerfielder, who spoke Saturday for the first time since the team openly tried to trade him during the recently completed winter ...

Cora happy to move up

Joey Cora wasn’t expecting it, but he’s back in the big leagues and he couldn’t be happier. Cora, who managed the Altoona Curve to a spot in the Class AA Eastern League playoffs this past season, will be coaching third base for the Pittsburgh Pirates when the 2017 season rolls ...

Defense impresses inside 20

PITTSBURGH — Once opponents get into the red zone, the Steelers take it as a challenge to keep them out of the end zone. That’s part of the reason why Pittsburgh’s defense leads the league in stops inside the 20-yard line, including four goal-line stands in the past two weeks, entering ...

Crosby, Penguins rise to the top

SUNRISE, Fla. — Sidney Crosby is tied for the NHL goal-scoring lead, and the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins are tied atop the division. They certainly impressed the struggling Florida Panthers and their new coach. Sidney Crosby got his 18th goal and added an assist to ...

Steelers strike right balance for playoff push

By Will Graves The Associated Press PITTSBURGH — Technically, the calls were different. In the Pittsburgh Steelers huddle, however, the translation was the same: Get the ball to Le’Veon Bell and get out of the way. Six straight times in the fourth quarter last Sunday against New York, ...

Crosby enjoying run

PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby can’t seem to find the right word for what’s happening. If the Pittsburgh Penguins captain is being honest, he is not really interested in finding one. He would rather just enjoy a hot streak that is bordering on absurd even by his remarkably high ...

Cockrell living up to challenge

PITTSBURGH — Mike Tomlin is not a big picture guy. The Pittsburgh Steelers coach, as he likes to say, prefers not to “paint with a broad brush.” Only when the season is over will Tomlin widen out the lens. Still, even with a month to go Tomlin acknowledged the responsibilities placed on ...

Cowboys stay on top; Steelers at No. 8

NEW YORK — The final month of the NFL’s regular season is when the playoff contenders begin to separate themselves from the also-rans. That was reflected in the AP Pro32 poll released on Tuesday. The top six spots (Dallas, New England, Oakland, Kansas City, Seattle and Denver) all remained ...

More time needed to judge Woods

NASSAU, Bahamas — A flop shot that required feel. A wedge to a back pin that he had to trust. Tiger Woods followed those two birdies with a perfect 6-iron that he wanted to be even better, urging it to move “one yard ... one yard!” The golf ball didn’t listen. Television viewers did. ...

Bjorn named Europe’s team captain for 2018

Thomas Bjorn was appointed as captain of Europe’s 2018 Ryder Cup team on Tuesday, a reward for his long and successful association with the event as a player and vice-captain as well as his commitment to the European Tour. The 45-year-old Dane became the first Scandinavian to lead the ...

Bowled over: Postseason offers some intriguing matchups

By Ralph D. Russo The Associated Press The Alabama invitational, um, College Football Playoff is set, along with 38 other bowl games big and small. From coaching intrigue to record-setting runs there should be plenty of story lines to follow. The Final Four Top-ranked Alabama and Nick ...

Defense big part of turnaround

By Will Graves The Associated Press PITTSBURGH — Lawrence Timmons leapt into the air to snag an Eli Manning pass and Pittsburgh Steelers teammate James Harrison felt like he was in the middle of a flashback. For a moment it was the 2009 Super Bowl all over again, the one where ...

Penguins can turn it on whenever it’s necessary

By Will Graves The Associated Press PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan keeps insisting there isn’t a switch his team can flip that makes two-goal deficits vanish within a matter of minutes. It just seems that way. Bryan Rust had his first career hat trick, Sidney ...

Ex-Pirates closer gets rich deal from Giants

The Associated Press OXON HILL, Md. — Albeit too late to save them this year, the San Francisco Giants got their closer. All-Star righty Mark Melancon and the Giants reached agreement on a $62 million, four-year contract Monday. As baseball’s winter meetings heated up, lefty Rich Hill ...

Steelers put an end to Giants’ win streak

By Will Graves The Associated Press PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers have dished the flash of September for a decidedly more pragmatic approach in December. Heavy doses of Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. A dash of tight end Ladarius Green. A defense that looks competent and ...

Pittsburgh fans should mark their calendars

Commentary PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers started Sunday with a two-game winning streak and plenty of doubters. Sure, they’d won back-to-back games, but who did they beat? The woeful Cleveland Browns and an Indianapolis Colts team playing without starting quarterback Andrew ...

Giants’ defense unable to slow down star RB

By John Mehno For the Mirror PITTSBURGH — Sleep probably came easily for Le’Veon Bell Sunday night. He produced 182 yards of total offense in the Steelers’ 24-14 victory over the New York Giants at Heinz Field. Bell ran 29 times for 118 yards, and caught six passes for 64 more ...

Big Ben vs. draft-mate one more time

The Associated Press PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning are inextricably linked. Taken 11 picks apart in the 2004 NFL draft, the two quarterbacks have spent the last dozen years watching each other from afar, using the other’s success as a measuring stick of their own ...