Steelers make no moves at deadline

Commentary

PITTSBURGH — Good news. The NFL trading deadline passed Tuesday afternoon, and that ended all the crackpot Le’Veon Bell trade rumors.

He’ll either play for the Steelers, or he’ll stay home and lose in excess of $800,000 every time his erstwhile teammates play a game.

The Steelers did nothing at the deadline, which is exactly what they were expected to do. They can still sign players who have been cut loose by other teams, of course. That’s usually a matter of necessity rather than choice, though.

There were a couple of notable notes from Mike Tomlin’s weekly briefing. He said the left hand injury Ben Roethlisberger sustained in Sunday’s game against Cleveland is actually a fractured index finger.

That’s not as significant as an injury to his right hand would be, but it bears watching. The injury, and whatever gear he has to wear to protect it, will make it more difficult to handle the ball.

Tomlin also freely admitted why former first-round draft pick Artie Burns didn’t get on the field Sunday apart from special teams duty.

Burns was late for Saturday’s walk-through and Tomlin penalized him by keeping him on the bench.

Burns’ playing time has diminished so much through this season that his absence was barely noticed.

Still, it’s a disturbing development. The Steelers obviously expected big things from Burns when they chose him first in 2016. He did OK as a rookie, seemed to regress last year and can’t seem to keep his spot this season.

It’s looking like he’s following the bad career path of Jarvis Jones, another No. 1 pick who wound up disappointing.

Burns is only 23, and he has a lot of ability, so it’s hard to give up on him. But this is fundamental: If you’re having a rotten season, at least show up for work on time.

Surprise star

Steve Pearce was the Most Valuable Player of the 2018 World Series. You could have won some serious money betting on that underdog.

Pearce spent his first major league years with the Pirates between 2007-11. He had power potential, but posted so-so numbers and was allowed to leave as a free agent.

The Minnesota Twins signed him and then released him at the end of spring training. Pearce has been with seven organizations since he left the Pirates. The Baltimore Orioles had him three different times.

Pearce got hot at the right time and was pretty much a clear-cut choice in the short series. It happens in baseball.

Gene Tenace was the MVP of the 1972 World Series for the Oakland Athletics. He’d had a lousy regular season as a part-time player, batting .225 and hitting five home runs in 227 at-bats.

He was worse in the American League Championship Series, managing one hit in 17 at-bats for a .059 average.

But when the World Series started, he became Babe Ruth…or at least the Babe’s cousin. Tenace batted .348 and hit four home runs in 23 at-bats.

So he won the trophy and the car and had a memorable moment in a career that didn’t have a lot of them.

And now history will note Steve Pearce has won an award that’s named for Willie Mays.

Crazy game.

Happy Halloween

It’s the day celebrated by ghosts, sugar-crazed kids and dentists.

Mehno can be reached at johnmehnocolumn@gmail.com.

COMMENTS