John Mehno

Expect Hurdle to be staying in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH - It is highly unlikely the Pirates will make the postseason this year.It is even more unlikely they will fire Clint Hurdle.This disappointing, frustrating season has led the trigger fingers who dial sports talk radio to call for a change.The rationale varies: He doesn't motivate the ...

Heinz Field will be packed with split crowd

PITTSBURGH - Penn State plays Pitt at Heinz Field this Saturday, and it's more than the revival of a storied rivalry.It's a referendum on Pitt football.Pitt athletic director Scott Barnes hasn't been on the job that long. On Saturday he'll get a first-hand look at how the Panthers' football ...

Injury bug could hamper Steelers’ ‘O’

PITTSBURGH-The Steelers came into camp believing the offense would carry the team.Yet it seems there are valid reasons to believe the offense won't be as good as it should be.Another domino fell on Tuesday with the announcement that Ladarius Green, the projected starter at tight end, was placed ...

Cole’s elbow checkup not good this time of year

PITTSBURGH - Gerrit Cole is in California, having his right elbow examined, which means the Pirates are likely to hit September with exactly zero of their original starting pitchers in the rotation.Francisco Liriano and Jon Niese have been traded, and Jeff Locke and Juan Nicasio have been ...

Kang situation plays role in Freese signing

PITTSBURGH - The Pirates signed David Freese to a two-year extension, guaranteeing him $11 million.Good move or bad?Wishy-washy answer: It depends.It depends on what happens with Jung Ho Kang, who is currently being investigated for a sexual assault charge brought by a woman in Chicago in ...

Mehno: Too early to talk about wild-card game

PITTSBURGH - The hot question circulating last week was simple:If the Pirates reached the one-game wild-card playoff round for the fourth consecutive year, which pitcher should they start?The issue was spurred by the ongoing disappointment of Gerrit Cole's season and the corresponding rise of ...

Steelers’ LB doing the right thing

PITTSBURGH - If there was a betting line on the James Harrison situation, smart money would be on the Steelers linebacker surrendering.Harrison isn't the kind of guy to give up, but he's between the proverbial rock and a hard place as the Steelers are being held hostage.If you haven't followed ...

Steelers, Lions stage glorified scrimmage

PITTSBURGH - Did you watch the Steelers' preseason opener on Friday?Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell did. If the Steelers had a starting tight end, he probably would have watched from the sidelines, too.It wasn't the Steelers vs. Detroit Lions as much as it was Guys Who Are ...

Mehno: Lucrative end to A-Rod’s career

PITTSBURGH-Alex Rodriguez will end his long and controversial career on Friday.That second word should have been "distinguished," but Rodriguez changed the script when he used performance enhancing drugs and then lied about it.He should be a sure shot for the Hall of Fame on the first ballot, ...

Most criticisms of Tomlin unfounded

PITTSBURGH - Mike Tomlin is starting his 10th season as Steelers coach, which is something of a miracle.Had his status been put to a public referendum, he probably wouldn't have lasted 10 games.The only thing people like more than the Steelers is complaining about their head coach, even though ...

Liriano deal had to be done this way

PITTSBURGH - This is likely how things happened:In the run-up to Monday's 4 p.m. trading deadline, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington gathered his staff and asked a simple question:"Is this team a championship contender in 2016?"The answer was probably a resounding "no," confirming what ...

Time will tell if Melancon trade works

PITTSBURGH - So Mark Melancon is with the Washington Nationals, and you want to know if the Pirates made a good trade.Can you hold for about two years, please?Sorry, but that's the only valid answer for Saturday's deal that sent Melancon to Washington for set-up reliever Felipe Rivero and ...

Money helps turn Cubs into bully

PITTSBURGH - It's ironic that the Chicago Cubs acquired shutdown closer Aroldis Chapman from the New York Yankees.The Cubs are becoming the Yankees.They're a well-financed bully, and that's bad news for the Pirates, who share the National League Central with them.MLB has always had its big ...

Root sports shines with kids reactions

PITTSBURGH - It was a one in a million shot that paid huge dividends.Root Sports' compulsion to show crowd shots during Pirates broadcasts finally resulted in something worthwhile.During last Sunday's 18-inning marathon in Washington, the cameras focused on a young boy with his family. The kid ...

Getting Bell work in OF a good move

PITTSBURGH - Some more thoughts on the Pirates:n Josh Bell is going to play some outfield? Good. That could be a quicker ticket to the major leagues for him.It makes sense to get him some work there so his versatility increases. If he had been checked out on outfield play (he hasn't played ...

What can you do with Niese, Kang?

PITTSBURGH - Some quick takes on the Pirates:n General manager Neal Huntington is usually ultra-guarded in his public comments, but he had no problem expressing his buyers remorse on Jon Niese.Huntington basically said if he had the Neil Walker trade to do over, he'd take a couple of marginal ...

Pirates in dire need of pitching

PITTSBURGH - It's the All-Star break, but there's no time off for Neal Huntington.The Pirates' general manager is looking for ways to improve a team that is in the wild card race and has an outside shot to climb back in the division race.He needs pitching.In an ideal world, Huntington would be ...

Mehno: Niese on borrowed time with Bucs

PITTSBURGH - Barely halfway through the season, and it would appear the Pirates have had their fill of Jon Niese.Multiple reports suggest the Pirates are actively entertaining offers for Niese. He was acquired in the offseason for Neil Walker with the idea he could be the team's No. 3 ...

For now, Kang needs to leave Bucs

PITTSBURGH - So there you are, trying to figure out who's on the Pirates' disabled list, who's in the rotation, who's in the minor leagues doing rehab work and what all their pitch counts are.Then real life intrudes.The news broke Tuesday afternoon that police are investigating the claims of a ...

Pirates can improve in second half

PITTSBURGH-The halfway point of the season officially arrived for the Pirates with Saturday night's game.There's no question the first half has been disappointing. They're a shade under .500 and have clearly fallen short of expectations. They slogged through a sorry 9-19 June, which is usually ...