Sports Columns

Time will only tell with Art II

Commentary PITTSBURGH — Art Rooney II has been running the Steelers for a while now, so there’s no official change in leadership with the team. The difference is he can no longer walk down the hall and tap into the knowledge his father accumulated over a lifetime in the game. Dan ...

Mindless move could torpedo Bucs’ season

Notes and observations from the first month of the Major League Baseball season: Division championships are finalized in September, but the foundation for the success or failure of any given season is sometimes firmly established in April. And it’s not always done with play on the ...

Pirates hurt themselves

PITTSBURGH — Turns out the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals aren’t the Pirates’ most formidable enemy. Instead that distinction applies to the recklessness of their own players. Tuesday brought the shocking news that Starling Marte is suspended for 80 games, the second half of a ...

On the upswing: Hitters changing with the times

Baseball is changing right before our eyes, and will continue to do so, as more and more hitters begin to understand that a once-seemingly dumb idea is now the smart way to go. Hit the ball in the air. Don’t swing down or necessarily even level, as we were all taught when we first picked ...

Blue-White weekend more than football

Blue-White weekend in Happy Valley has become far more than a football game. And while more than 65,000 fans could file through the gates of Beaver Stadium for the Nittany Lions’ final spring football practice, the gridiron scrimmage is just the beginning of the offerings for Penn State ...

NFL needs to update view on Vegas

LAS VEGAS — Sometimes the bumbling bozos in charge of the NFL just can’t help themselves. Or maybe they’ve been so afraid of Las Vegas for so long that they automatically start hyperventilating every time a player buys a plane ticket to this gambling town. Blame it on their outdated ...

Dan Rooney was a humble, genuine football man

PITTSBURGH — Of all the things to remember about Dan Rooney, the one that comes to mind immediately is the hot dog line. The Steelers put out a couple of pans of hot dogs in the press room at halftime of games at Heinz Field. Because the hot dogs are free, the line is long, and Dan Rooney ...

Reid’s void anything but secondary

Some random thoughts while welcoming spring: n The loss of Penn State cornerback John Reid to a knee injury that could possibly sideline him for the entire season cannot be underestimated given that Reid was the Nittany Lions’ best pass defender last season and by far their top punt ...

It’s tough to repeat in the NHL

Commentary PITTSBURGH — The Penguins have Sidney Crosby and the Columbus Blue Jackets don’t. That should be the difference in their Stanley Cup playoff series, which begins tonight. It won’t be easy, and will probably go six games. The odds are against the Penguins repeating as ...

Checking in on new NASCAR point system

It’s a holiday weekend for the racing world as stock cars take a break from the action this Sunday, a chance for some to celebrate their strong start, and for others to make some adjustments. NASCAR’s premier series is seven races into the 2017 season, and it’s still hard to make the ...

Spaniard gets his break

AUGUSTA, Ga. — He couldn’t catch a break. Sergio Garcia said that so often at majors like the Masters you were sure it would be etched into his tombstone someday. He always had an alibi ready. Bunkers that weren’t raked until after he played out of them. Putts that curled around the ...

Bucs’ Hurdle on hot seat? Vegas says yes

PITTSBURGH — Clint Hurdle’s future as Pirates manager seems to have suddenly become a topic for conversation. Last week a Las Vegas betting site established odds on the first manager to be fired this season. It had Hurdle as the favorite. That seems to make no sense. The Pirates had one ...

Espinal overlooked, valuable

HARRISBURG — The start of any minor league baseball season includes frequent — and quite often meaningless — discussions about where so and so falls on a list of prospect rankings. Those are important, and can be a starting point to determine which players to watch for. But in a lot of ...

Sad to see this shining moment

Commentary PITTSBURGH — Big-time college athletics is one of the most corrupt businesses in America, so it seemed appropriate that North Carolina won the NCAA basketball championship. The university has been under fire for academic policies that allowed athletes to take “fake” courses ...

Can’t figure out why MLB wants to speed things up

Commentary As a new Major League Baseball season begins, the league is making an effort to speed up the game, with things like managers signaling intentional walks and clocks ticking down time between pitches and innings. But is changing the pace of America’s pastime really necessary? ...

Bucs’ success hangs on 2 scenarios

Commentary PITTSBURGH — There are two overriding questions as the Pirates open the 2017 season in Boston tomorrow: n How good will the starting pitching be? n When/how will the Jung Ho Kang situation be resolved? An unfavorable answer to either could doom the Pirates to a second ...

Feeling lucky about the Pirates?

Commentary PITTSBURGH — The baseball season is nearly upon us, so it’s time to go into the two-minute drill and launch the annual contest. Pardon the mixed sports metaphors, but time is growing short and the contest is a tradition. In the past, the contest has been confined to my blog ...

Seasons changing; history made

Some general observations while enjoying the longer, warmer days…. Driving around the region, it’s nice to see spring sports finally in full swing ... and getting to practice and compete outside. Though some days are still cool and the ball fields still somewhat soft, there’s nothing ...

Mehno: Kang’s bad decisions cost him, Pirates

PITTSBURGH — Who knows where Jung Ho Kang went or what he did on that fateful night that ended with his arrest on DUI charges. But wherever he went or whatever he did, it probably wasn’t worth $5.75 million. That’s how much money would be guaranteed under his contract with the Pirates ...

You really should learn how to fly fish this spring

What little snow we had in our region this past winter didn’t stay around long, so there will be no spring runoff to bolster stream flows. So unless we large amounts of rain in the coming weeks, most of our trout streams are likely to be low and clear for opening day. The good news is ...