John Mehno

Getting harder to defend Cutch

Commentary PITTSBURGH — Batting third for the Pirates ... Andrew McCutchen. But for how much longer? How long can manager Clint Hurdle continue to use a prime lineup spot on a player who is struggling to keep his batting average above .200? The Pirates are undoubtedly hoping for a ...

Murray has always been Sullivan’s guy

PITTSBURGH — Penguins coach Mike Sullivan called his goaltender choice for Game 4 an incredibly difficult decision. Was it really? Sullivan believes in Matt Murray. He stuck with him in the playoffs last season long after Marc-Andre Fleury was available. He installed him as the No. 1 ...

Steigerwald out as Pens’ broadcaster

PITTSBURGH — If Paul Steigerwald had any bitterness about losing his television play-by-play job for Penguins games, he worked it out in private. Root Sports announced on Tuesday that Steigerwald was out and Steve Mears will be the new TV voice of the team. At the same time, the Penguins ...

Hurdle challenged just putting lineup together

PITTSBURGH — There’s a TV cooking show that gives chefs an assortment of ingredients and challenges them to make a meal of the random mix. They might get chicken thighs, artichokes, peanut butter, bananas and bamboo shoots. The impossible task is to take those items and create a meal that ...

Daunting task awaits Penguins

Commentary PITTSBURGH — This has become a best-of-one series, the deciding game to be played tonight. Make sure your pizza order arrives by 7:30 because this will require your full attention. Despite having leads of 2-0 and 3-1 in the series against the Washington Capitals, the Penguins ...

Fenway trouble could be alcohol related

Commentary PITTSBURGH — There was a problem last week in Fenway Park with someone yelling racial slurs at Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones. But maybe it’s part of a bigger problem, which is the over-consumption of alcohol at sports venues. Even though tickets are already ...

NHL shows inconsistency with its calls

PITTSBURGH — Matt Niskanen will play for the Washington Capitals tonight, and he should probably be grateful for that. The NHL could have suspended him for the cross check that dealt Sidney Crosby a concussion in Game Three of their Stanley Cup series against the Penguins on ...

Connor drafted because he can contribute

PITTSBURGH — Many decades ago the Steelers would have drafted a player from Pitt with the idea of appeasing the fans, getting some publicity and ultimately selling some tickets. Those days are long gone. Theirs is not an organization that leans on sentiment or panders heavily to ticket ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Message to new Pitt athletic director: Sell, sell, sell

Commentary PITTSBURGH — New Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke has a complex job, but a simple mission: Sell tickets. She will take on the challenge that has baffled so many of her predecessors. She needs to get people to fill Heinz Field for Pitt games the way they do for Steelers ...

Candy Man not always a sweet guy

Commentary PITTSBURGH — Every year the Pirates invite players from their past to serve as guest instructors at spring training. It’s a great PR move. Fans enjoy seeing past pros like Bill Mazeroski and Bill Virdon in uniform again. The instructional aspect is sometimes dubious since a ...

Lawsuit against NFL should be interesting

PITTSBURGH — The phrase keeps recurring: “They handed them out like candy.” That’s what a lot of former NFL players have said about the way teams would distribute pain-killing medication. Prescription-strength pills were abundant and given out freely. Injections were available, ...