John Mehno

No reason to be angry at Bell

PITTSBURGH — Don’t be mad at Le’Veon Bell. Yes, he’s turned down more money than most of us will ever see. He’s doing that in the hope of breaking the bank as a free agent next summer, which is a risky strategy. But he’s willing to assume that risk, and how can you fault him for ...

Sid not really a kid anymore

PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby turns 31 in a few weeks. In a lot of ways, he’s still Sid the Kid, the 18-year-old phenom who came to town in 2005 — he’s driven to succeed, consumed by hockey and one of the NHL’s elite players. But he’s different, too. He owns a mansion instead of ...

Mehno: Baseball has some big-time problems

PITTSBURGH — Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe woke up from a baseball-induced nap the other day and came to a conclusion: Baseball is in trouble. It’s become, he wrote, “a sanctuary of senior citizens.” As someone who looks forward to claiming every old guy discount available, ...

For starters, Bucs have problems

PITTSBURGH — If the Pirates had to win one game to save the city, what pitcher would you start? Exactly. That’s the biggest problem on a team that has many. There is no No. 1 starter. There really isn’t a genuine No. 2, and there might not be a legitimate No. 3, either. The current ...

A 17-1 loss counts like any other loss

PITTSBURGH — Monday night’s final score was 17-1, not that you were likely around to see that become official. Los Angeles Dodgers 17, Pirates 1. It was that ugly, too, as the pitching staff got beat up. Somehow, the Pirates got through the ordeal without having to use a position player ...

Pens to make risky free agent move

PITTSBURGH — Barring a last-minute hitch, the Penguins will sign defenseman Jack Johnson today when NHL free agency officially opens. That would mean their biggest offseason acquisition is a player who was a healthy scratch in the playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets. That doesn’t ...

Pirates fans may be losing focus

By Mike Fitzpatrick The Associated Press NEW YORK — Wilmer Flores singled home the winning run in the 10th inning and the New York Mets stopped their seven-game losing streak Tuesday night, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-3, hours after general manager Sandy Alderson stepped down ...

Bucs sellers or buyers? Not clear yet

PITTSBURGH — Will the Pirates be buyers or sellers at the MLB non-waiver trade deadline? Easy question. It’s too soon to tell. The deadline doesn’t arrive until July 31 and there’s a lot of baseball to be played between now and then. The Pirates could win 10 of 12 and find ...

Pitcher’s act shouldn’t get high praise

PITTSBURGH — It’s a lonely feeling, being one of the few people in America not emotionally moved by the video of the high school pitcher rushing to embrace the batter he just struck out. It was all over TV last week. In a Minnesota high school game, the pitcher struck out the batter to ...

Proving your point costly for Pirates

PITTSBURGH — The Pirates made a point. They stuck up for themselves. They served notice. They also helped themselves lose another ball game. If you weren’t watching Monday night’s series opener in Phoenix, Diamondbacks pitcher Braden Shipley didn’t have the best control. He threw a ...

Penguins fans starting to feel the pain

PITTSBURGH — It’s a double whammy spring for Penguins fans. Not only did they deal with the disappointment of their team’s second-round playoff exit, they had to watch Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals skating with the Stanley Cup. Ouch, that hurts. The last hope for ...

We don’t need sports teams in the White House

PITTSBURGH — The Philadelphia Eagles did not visit the White House on Tuesday. This great republic is still standing. A trite photo opportunity turned into a political football when the Super Bowl champion Eagles had their White House invitation rescinded. According to reports, they ...

Bucs’ Kison was fierce competitor

PITTSBURGH — When you think of a fierce Pittsburgh sports competitor, the image that probably comes to mind is Jack Lambert. The snarl revealed missing teeth and a clue to his disposition. Woe to those who had to spend a Sunday afternoon trying to neutralize his hostility. On the other ...

Mehno: MLB too hush-hush with replay

PITTSBURGH — Here’s the mystery of the Major League Baseball replay system: Why is there so much mystery about the process? Here’s how it works. Two umpiring crews are assigned to staff the replay headquarters somewhere in New York. We’re told the replay headquarters is downtown in ...

Meadows should stay while he’s hot

PITTSBURGH — Look at it this way: Last year the Pirates had trouble coming up with three starting outfielders. This season they’re trying to wedge four outfielders into three spots. That has to be progress, right? They made the sensible decision Saturday when they kept Austin Meadows ...

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 ...