John Mehno

Mehno: Meadows a big hit so far for Pirates

PITTSBURGH — Austin Meadows has become an instantly popular Pirates player, and that makes sense. What’s not to like? He went 5-for-11 (.455) in his first three major league games. He hit a home run, stole a base, and it wasn’t his fault that the Pirates lost three of four at home to ...

Hard to tell if Pirates are for real

PITTSBURGH — So how good are the Pirates? Just past the quarter pole of the season, they’re good enough to hang with the four-team cluster at or near the top of the standings in the National League Central. Yes, they’ve fattened up on bad teams. They’re a combined 14-3 against ...

Mehno: Bet on it: Sports betting will be huge

PITTSBURGH — This is going to be huge. No, let’s revise that. Legalized sports betting is going to be bigger than huge. People love sports. They love to gamble. Put the two together, and there are going to be billions of dollars wagered on sports. It’s up to individual states to set ...

Mehno: McCutchen’s return goes smoothly

PITTSBURGH — Thanks, Cutch. That was the theme of Andrew McCutchen’s return to PNC Park Friday night, and the unofficial Cutch Night went off without a hitch. There were the requisite video tributes, extended standing ovations and a lopsided Pirates’ victory. McCutchen hit a double ...

Lack of depth, urgency among Penguins’ woes

PITTSBURGH — It’s over. No Stanley Cup, no parade, no special T-shirts. The Penguins were bounced from the playoffs in the second round after two consecutive championship seasons. And, no, this is not similar to what happened in 1993, when the Penguins were eliminated by the New York ...

Capitals’ Wilson earned his suspension

PITTSBURGH — Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals still has one game remaining on his well-deserved suspension from the NHL. He earned it with a vicious hit that broke Zach Aston-Reese’s jaw. The video doesn’t lie. When Wilson aimed his shoulder at Aston-Reese’s head and collided ...

Pirates pay attention to pitch counts

PITTSBURGH — That hit down the third base line on Sunday probably saved Clint Hurdle from hundreds of hateful e-mails. The single by Paul DeJong came with two outs in the seventh inning and provided the St. Louis Cardinals with their first base runner of the game against the Pirates’ Nick ...

Wait and see if you like Steelers’ draft

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers got rid of a problem, and the Pirates may have reacquired one. Here’s some commentary to go with the headlines: n The NFL holds its draft, and the Steelers make a trade. You want a letter grade on the Steelers’ draft? It’s W, which stands for wait and ...

Are Capitals due for one this time?

PITTSBURGH — They meet again. The Penguins open the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs in Washington on Thursday evening, starting what has become an almost annual series between the rivals. The only thing more predictable than Penguins-Capitals is the outcome. There ...

Mehno: Flyer fans love to hate Crosby

PITTSBURGH — If you root, root, root for the home team, does that mean you have to hate the guys on the other team? That question is relevant as the Penguins’ Stanley Cup playoff series against the Flyers returns to Philadelphia this afternoon for a sixth game. They don’t think much ...

Wrestling fans adored one of the Steel City’s biggest stars

PITTSBURGH — He was one of those one-name performers. Bruno. One name suffices. Roberto. Franco. Mario. Bruno. Back in the day, there was a wrestling show every month at the Civic Arena. On those Friday nights, the phones in the Post-Gazette sports department would ring constantly from ...

Being up 3-1 will be huge for Pens

PITTSBURGH — The Penguins can’t clinch their playoff series tonight, but they can essentially put away the Philadelphia Flyers. Winning tonight would give the Penguins a 3-1 edge in games, and the Flyers won’t be able to come back from that. So while winning tonight’s game won’t ...

Bucs’ Hurdle walking a fine line

PITTSBURGH — Clint Hurdle has gray hair, two artificial hips and a fondness for 1970s rock anthems like Grand Funk’s “We’re An American Band.” But he never seemed older than he did the other day when he invoked the unwritten “respect for the game” statute against the Chicago ...

Mehno: Path to Cup not easy for Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — The 82-game, 185-day play-in round is finally over. The Stanley Cup playoffs begin tonight with the Pittsburgh Penguins facing the Philadelphia Flyers at PPG Paints Arena. Some thoughts on the match-up: n The Penguins swept the four games in the season series, but that ...

Tomlin knows what battles to fight

PITTSBURGH — You know how angry you get when the Pittsburgh Steelers have those silly pre-planned touchdown celebrations? Turns out Mike Tomlin shares your feelings. That must have come as a shock to those who figured that Tomlin was on board with the high-stepping, preening and booty ...

Trust Hurdle on no-hitter debates

PITTSBURGH — “But he had a no-hitter.” There was a lot of social media consternation Sunday afternoon when Pirates starter Trevor Williams was removed from his start in Detroit after six innings. Williams hadn’t allowed a hit. Clint Hurdle thought the pitch count (85) was more ...

Mehno: MLB teams at mercy of nature

PITTSBURGH — It’s a cruel April Fool joke that’s being played on the Pirates. They get extra time in Detroit. Two of their first three scheduled games had to be postponed because of weather, including the Thursday opener and Saturday’s matinee. So at 6:10 p.m. this evening — about ...

Capel hiring checks off many of Panthers’ boxes

PITTSBURGH — It took a while for Pitt to find a new basketball coach, but it looks like a solid hire for a program that needs a lot of help. Duke assistant Jeff Capel is expected to be introduced at a news conference today. Then he has to get busy —hire a staff, establish a recruiting ...

Pirates good? Just watch the pitchers

PITTSBURGH — You can slice and dice baseball statistics many ways, but this holds up as a basic truth: a team’s success will be determined in large part by the quality of its starting pitching. The Pirates enter the 2018 season with a lot of promise in their rotation, but not a lot of ...

Mehno: Another new league has promise

PITTSBURGH — We are one week and one day from the start of a new baseball season. That’s practically a holiday for hardcore baseball fans. People wax poetic about how the first pitch brings an official end to winter, never mind the snow you cleared from the sidewalk this morning. The ...