Sports Columns

Pfahler will be remembered for great state tourney

I was shocked and in disbelief on Thursday night when I saw a Facebook status that former Chestnut Ridge wrestler Gary Pfahler had died. It couldn’t be true, I thought. He was so young. In 2008, I had covered him as he shocked so many by beating Burrell’s returning state champion, ...

Cole needs to pitch like a No. 1 guy

Commentary PITTSBURGH — You can slice and dice the Pirates’ 2017 outlook countless ways, but it all comes down to this: they need a rebound season from Gerrit Cole. More than anything else, that will determine whether they recover from the 20-game decline they experienced last ...

Brown, Bell are secure, so fix the ‘D’

Commentary PITTSBURGH — Before they made Antonio Brown the highest paid player in the NFL, you have to believe the Steelers made some demands of their own. To sum it up simply, they probably made it clear they don’t want any more knuckleheaded behavior. No webcasts from the locker ...

Verdict still out NASCAR changes

Some racing observations from the Super Bowl of stock-car racing as the new NASCAR season roared into high gear at the Daytona 500. n It’s going to take a while for announcers and the racing world to feel like the “Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series” rolls off the tongue. It was the ...

Giger: Krimmel has Red Flash on rise by finding, luring more quality players

LORETTO — The Saint Francis men’s basketball program has almost always, even during its leanest years, had one or two really good players. The problem, though, is that there usually was a significant dropoff in the team’s talent after those one or two guys. The Red Flash lost a lot of ...

Baseball should adopt new slogan

PITTSBURGH — They’re trying to speed up baseball, the only major sport not regulated by a clock. The first step is the implementation of the automatic intentional walk. No longer will a batter stand in the box with the bat on his shoulder, watching four pitches deliberately lobbed out of ...

Mehno: MLB should shorten spring training

PITTSBURGH — Exhibition baseball starts this weekend with the Pirates playing the first of their 30 games. That’s about 10 more than they need. Spring training is too long, and has been for a while. There was a time when six weeks of spring training was necessary. Players needed that ...

Goodman Shaffer: Nature and nurture of dynasties

Women’s college basketball was atop the national news last week as the University of Connecticut surpassed the 100 consecutive win mark, an incredible feat by a modern sports dynasty. But after that century-mark victory, UConn had to overcome a tough road test to reach 101. With one leader ...

Mehno: ‘The Animal’ was good man and character

PITTSBURGH — Jim Myers died the other day. George “The Animal” Steele did, too. Even though they were the same person, Myers was just short of his 80th birthday, while Steele had just turned 50. It was all part of a fascinating and profitable double life that ended for one of pro ...

Orr a staple around Curve

BRADENTON, Fla. — Friday was one of the nicest days I’ve spent at Pirate City in a long time. It was a beautiful morning, the Pirates’ entire squad was on hand for the first time, and I had an enjoyable conversation with good friend David Orr. If you’re an Altoona Curve fan, you ...

Skipping White House trip not bad

Commentary PITTSBURGH — There are some members of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots who will treat their invitation to the White House as junk mail. That’s their right. There is some mild outrage that at least a handful of Patriots players have announced they have no ...

Movement in outfield mostly positive

PITTSBURGH — On the first weekend without football since September, the focus shifts to baseball. The Pirates welcome pitchers and catchers to workouts tomorrow after a sleepy offseason. They’re counting on plenty of in-house improvement, and they’ll try to jump-start that process ...

Pitchers and catchers reporting this week; Prince optimistic

BRADENTON, FL. — Baseball is on the horizon. Pirate pitchers and catchers report Monday and Tuesday and the full squad won’t be far behind, signing in Friday. Grapefruit League action begins the end of the month, and a few Pirates already are getting in some early workouts at Pirate City ...

New England simply the best right now

PITTSBURGH — Are the New England Patriots the best ever? Who knows? That’s a barstool argument that has no real answer. Pro football is always changing and evolving, so comparisons to the past are hard, if not impossible. Are they the best now? Absolutely. Coach Bill Belichick and ...

Super Bowl remains great spectacle

In spite of Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow, the days are getting longer and it’s actually starting to feel like spring is on the way. Some general observations as the seasons change: n According to Nielsen’s TV ratings, Sunday’s big game, televised by Fox, drew 111.3 million ...

Florida is place to be this time of year

BRADENTON, Fla. — People often ask me: Why do you go to Florida? Don’t you miss your kids? Don’t you miss your granddaughters and watching their soccer and basketball teams compete? Don’t you miss the camaraderie of the Thursday morning breakfasts? Don’t you miss the high school ...

Replacing Big Ben will be hard to do

PITTSBURGH — Steelers chairman Art Rooney II allowed last week that maybe it’s time to start looking for a quarterback who could eventually replace Ben Roethlisberger. That’s prudent. It’s also frightening. It was either Einstein or Lombardi who first postulated one of the basic ...

Preliminary approval given to semi-automatic hunting rifles

Last week, the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners gave preliminary approval to several measures that could change the way many of us hunt in Pennsylvania. The most dramatic of those is a proposal to permit the use of semi-automatic rifles for hunting big game, small game and furbearers ...

There’s a new age of turkey calling competition now in the air

Across the state right now, many turkey calling contests are being staged. Some of these are strictly for fun and local entertainment, but most are deadly serious events. Called “sanctioned” contests, they are approved and often sponsored by the National Wild Turkey Federation, the ...

US men’s soccer team in must-win situation

The USA Men’s National Soccer Team is on the hot seat. The team’s path to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia will go through San Jose, Calif., after U.S. Soccer announced Sunday that Avaya Stadium will host the men’s national team’s pivotal World Cup qualifying clash against Honduras ...