John Mehno

Bucs’ GM can only do so much

Commentary PITTSBURGH — MLB’s non-waiver trade deadline passed on Monday, and the Pirates mostly passed on it, too. They sent Tony Watson to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a couple of prospects, one of whom might wind up with the Curve next season. Watson’s departure was not unexpected. ...

Time to take Big Ben seriously

PITTSBURGH — When last season ended and Ben Roethlisberger said he might not be back, people rolled their eyes. Conventional wisdom said this just more false drama from Ben. Roethlisberger has revisited that theme as the Steelers opened training camp, saying that he won’t commit beyond ...

Media, players can struggle to get along

PITTSBURGH — The uncomfortable dance between athletes and media has been going on since some guy sat down and etched criticism in a stone tablet about a gladiator. It’s an even more unusual dynamic when the media people cover a team as a traveling beat, spending even more time with the ...

It takes little time for Bucs to return

PITTSBURGH — The Pirates went into the All-Star break on a good note and came back from vacation instantly going 95 miles per hour. They finally got hot and put together a sustained stretch that got them back in the division race. It was so abrupt that some people are wearing neck collars ...

Marte buzz fills PNC Park

PITTSBURGH — There was a buzz at PNC Park on Tuesday, and it little to do with the Pirates playing the first-place Milwaukee Brewers. This was all about Starling Marte and his return from the 80-game suspension MLB gave him for failing a steroids test. The time for talking in any language ...

Bucs not as likely to deal hot prospects

PITTSBURGH — The Chicago Cubs pulled the trigger on a deal a lot of people wished the Pirates had made. The struggling Cubs acquired left-handed pitcher Jose Quintana from the White Sox for four prospects, including players considered the two best minor leaguers in the Cubs’ system. So ...

HR Derby good for the game

Commentary PITTSBURGH — The All-Star home run hitting contest was full of hokum, and that’s good. It’s a made-for-TV show that lends itself to that sort of over-the-top presentation. The contestants came out like gladiators and climbed steps atop a platform that looked like a giant ...

Bucs need partner for any trades

PITTSBURGH — Buyers or sellers? That’s the question facing the Pirates as the non-waiver trade deadline arrives at the end of the month. The truth is it’s not entirely up to them. As much as fans might want to “get rid of” Tony Watson, what’s the market for a reliever who ...

Cole becoming must-see TV

Commentary PITTSBURGH — Gerrit Cole is scheduled to pitch for the Pirates tonight in Philadelphia, and the TV broadcast will have all the usual stats. Another category should probably be included. Call it a temper scale. Despite his tenure with the Pirates — he made his major league ...

Mehno: Bad division keeping Bucs’ hopes alive

PITTSBURGH — The second half of the Pirates season starts today and raises the question: Is this team a contender? The answer is maybe. The division has been very forgiving to this point, allowing a team with a sub-.500 record to think it has a chance to finish first. It wouldn’t be ...

McCutchen move sign of the times

PITTSBURGH — Somewhere this morning, some old-timer is ready to explode. That will happen shortly after he finds out that Andrew McCutchen returned to the No. 3 spot in the Pirates’ batting order because he told Clint Hurdle he was ready to make the move. A player dictating the lineup? ...

It was time for Fleury, Pens to part ways

PITTSBURGH — That’s it. Marc-Andre Fleury plays for another team now. He was a wonderful guy, a very good goalie and a universally-liked teammate. He served the Penguins well through 13 seasons and leaves town as the busiest and winningest goalie in franchise history. He departs as a ...

Consider wisely before trading McCutchen

PITTSBURGH — The debate rages on about whether the Pirates should trade Andrew McCutchen. It’s all too early. McCutchen has finally been hitting at a hot clip. Maybe it’s a coincidence that he finally started hitting when he moved to the No. 6 spot in the batting order. Maybe not. The ...

NHL nearby to help Pens enjoy the Cup

Commentary PITTSBURGH — Over the next several months, you’ll read a lot of stories about the Stanley Cup. The Penguins have possession of it, and it will be touring more than Metallica this summer. Every player gets a day with the Cup, and so do many staff members. A lot of the visits ...

Penguins riding high

PITTSBURGH—The Penguins are five-time Stanley Cup champions. If you’re of a certain age, that’s like hearing that Gomer Pyle is running the Marines. Five championships in 25 seasons is better than just about everybody else, and the Penguins are firmly established as one of the NHL’s ...

Some type of history awaits Pens

PITTSBURGH — The Penguins have three options tonight: make history, defer history for three more days or avoid history. They’re this close to wrapping up their second straight Stanley Cup championship, becoming the first team in almost 20 years to repeat. This playoff journey shows why ...

Goalie turns series tide for Nashville

PITTSBURGH — Now it’s a series. Some hockey thoughts as the Penguins and Nashville Predators have made the NHL season a best-of-3: n As bad as Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne was in the first two games, he was that good in the next two games. Yes, the Penguins are running on fumes and ...

Star treatment not happening in hockey

PITTSBURGH — One of the constants of the Penguins’ run through the playoffs has been non-stop complaining about NHL officiating. This continues a tradition that first started when Stanley was just a sippy cup. There have been some egregious miscalls, as there always are. How did Ottawa ...

Pittsburgh should feel fortunate

Commentary PITTSBURGH — If you’re going to learn a lesson, it’s always good to turn a profit while doing it. That’s exactly what happened to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Monday’s Stanley Cup Final opener against Nashville. They played poorly for long stretches, and didn’t have an ...

Penguins nearing end of long grind

PITTSBURGH — June arrives this week, and an NHL season that started with September training camps is still at least four games away from ending. To say it’s a grind would be inadequate. This has become an endurance contest, as it often does. If Pittsburgh wins, this won’t be the best ...