John Mehno

Cole, Liriano failed Bucs in rotation

PITTSBURGH - Let's not overcook this (a phrase on loan from the Clint Hurdle Collection).Here's why the Pirates are going home instead of to the playoffs:n Their No. 1 and 2 starting pitchers failed, and two of their middle of the order hitters did likewise.You can point fingers in a lot of ...

Much can change in pro football in one week

PITTSBURGH - "We stunk. We all stunk."There you have it. Pro football is a complex game, but Ben Roethlisberger needed only five words to sum up what happened to the Steelers in Philadelphia on Sunday.No sense in trying to fluff it up. Anyone who saw the game knew the Steelers were equally ...

Keeping Nova unlikely for Bucs

PITTSBURGH - Here's the dilemma: The Pirates need a veteran pitcher to anchor a 2017 rotation that will probably be short on experience.Ivan Nova, who might be the prize of the limited free agent market this winter, is already here.Reports say he's looking for a five-year deal worth $70 ...

Showing frustration part of Brown

PITTSBURGH - Things were pretty ducky for the Steelers on a rainy Sunday.They beat the Cincinnati Bengals despite not playing their best game, and they came away from the game with a non-existent injury report.Of course, there's always something, and this time it was Antonio Brown's ...

Tomlin pleased as depth shines

PITTSBURGH - If there were any punches thrown at Heinz Field on Sunday afternoon, they were confined to the stands and the parking lots.The Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals gave peace a chance, playing an incident-free game that was in marked contrast to the almost out of control playoff game ...

Pro wrestling or NFL today? We’ll find out

PITTSBURGH - So what do we get at 1 o'clock this afternoon, NFL or WWE?It's the first showdown of the season between the Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals and, just as the TV announcers always say, these are two teams that just don't like each other very much.The last time they shared a field was ...

Redskins make things a little easier

PITTSBURGH - The opener couldn't have gone much better for the Steelers, and this Sunday's home game against Cincinnati is a must-see matchup.But here's the mystery: Everyone in the stadium, including the janitors, knew the Steelers' best hope for success was Ben Roethlisberger throwing to ...

Steelers lucky to have QB like Big Ben

PITTSBURGH - This is the time of year when a lot of NFL teams are selecting their starting QB.For the Minnesota Vikings, it's a last-second decision brought on by a freak non-contact practice injury to Teddy Bridgewater. The Los Angeles Rams have chosen someone named Case Keenum ahead of ...

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 ...