Sports Columns

Mehno: Another new league has promise

PITTSBURGH — We are one week and one day from the start of a new baseball season. That’s practically a holiday for hardcore baseball fans. People wax poetic about how the first pitch brings an official end to winter, never mind the snow you cleared from the sidewalk this morning. The ...

PSU wrestlers highlight March events

As we prepare for a mid-month roar from the proverbial lion that doesn’t want to go quietly, the overlapping winter and spring sports seasons are as crazy as the month of March itself. n What a thrill to watch the NCAA wrestling finals over the weekend. Bo Nickal’s amazing move from his ...

Mehno: Walker deserves share of blame

PITTSBURGH — Baseball players are funny. That’s not just by the “give him a hot foot” or “whap the star of the game with a shaving cream pie while he’s being interviewed on TV” definition of funny, either. Major league players get to the major leagues in part with a ...

Mehno: Walker victim of new MLB economics

PITTSBURGH — Some non-Tournament thoughts as you wrestle with your brackets: After an agonizing four and a half months on the free agent market, Neil Walker has a job. The former Pirate signed with the New York Yankees for one season and a deal that’s reported at a maximum of $4.5 ...

Be a ‘Friend’ and help out at a state park

This year is a special year for Pennsylvania outdoor lovers. This year marks the 125th anniversary of the formation of the commonwealth’s first state park, as well as the law that led to the creation of the state forest system. At a recent regional retreat hosted by the 501-c3 ...

Tough part begins now for Pitt

PITTSBURGH — Heather Lyke’s first major decision as Pitt’s athletic director turned out to be easy. Kevin Stallings had to go. He was fired as basketball coach not long after his team concluded an unprecedented 0-19 season in the ACC. The ineptitude spoke for itself, but was there a ...

Lane spring training diary: Bradley among Steelers visiting Pirates in camp

BRADENTON, Fla. — Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is a yearly visitor to Pirates spring training camp, where he speaks to the players and trades coaching philosophies and techniques with manager Clint Hurdle. Tomlin was here earlier this week and exchanged small talk with several Pirates while ...

Boytim: Time for Pitt to cut ties with Stallings

During the first half of Pittsburgh’s season-ending 67-64 loss to Notre Dame on Tuesday in the first round of the ACC Tournament, the ESPN2 announcers poked fun at Panthers coach Kevin Stallings, suggesting all he had to look forward to was his buyout check. It’s certainly easy to make ...

Report: Steelers, star are millions apart on deal

PITTSBURGH — Le’Veon Bell has an unconventional running style. He’s equally quirky when it comes to contract negotiations. The Steelers made it official on Tuesday when they again designated Bell as their franchise player. They retain the rights to keep him for $14.5 million, should ...

College softball teams enjoying their spring training

Walking into the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex is a lot like walking into the Pirates training camp in Bradenton, Florida. Meticulously-manicured softball diamonds, eight in all, are buzzing with activity, as ninety Division II and D-III teams converge on the Diamond Dreams ...

Pens’ trade might not be enough

PITTSBURGH — The NHL trading deadline has passed, so now we know what the Penguins will look like in the playoffs. What we don’t know is whether they can win the playoffs for a third straight season. General manager Jim Rutherford made his big deal well in advance of the deadline, ...

Lessons learned from US curling gold

It was 1:30 when my alarm clock went off Saturday morning. I wasn’t getting up for a trip to the airport or even the hospital, but rather for the ultimate date with my favorite Winter Olympic sport. Curling. For years (every four years to be exact) I’ve watched this relatively obscure ...

Pens, Bucs GMs help their teams

PITTSBURGH — The Pirates and Penguins both made trades to plug significant holes in their lineups. Jim Rutherford mercifully ended six months of talk show blather by landing a third center, while Neal Huntington called an end to open auditions for the Pirates’ left field vacancy. The ...

Freese appears to be on his way out

PITTSBURGH — Buster Olney, who reports for ESPN and knows his stuff, says the New York Yankees have an interest in David Freese. The Pirates might well have an interest in having Freese in pinstripes. Freese opened spring training with a calculated rant against the organization and ...

Olympic spirit surpasses medals

Some of my favorite stories of the Winter Olympics have nothing to do with gold, silver or bronze, but rather courage, friendship and sportsmanship; and many of them find us rooting for athletes not necessarily wearing red, white and blue. n Pita Taufatofua of Tonga carried his country’s ...

United States flopping at Olympics

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — It was, perhaps, the defining moment for the U.S. team at this Olympics. Not Shaun White blitzing the halfpipe in a final run to win gold, a win that came with some baggage by itself. Or Chloe Kim delighting fans from two countries when she won her halfpipe, ...

Frees extremely critical of Pirates manager

PITTSBURGH — It should have been easy to find manager Clint Hurdle at Pirates spring training camp on Friday. He was under the bus, right where David Freese threw him in an unexpected camp-opening rant. Freese unloaded on the Pirates over a number of topics. Some were valid, and some made ...

Enthusiam lacking in Pirate City

BRADENTON, Fla. — Who are these guys? That’s been one of the prevailing questions this week as the Pirates launched their 50th spring training season in this Florida city. No Cutch. No Gerrit Cole. No Tony Watson, either. Instead, there’s Kyle Crick and Joe Musgrove and Colin Moran. ...

Giger: Bubble rap: Starting tonight, Lions have chance to bolster NCAA hopes

We’ve cleared Valentine’s Day, and Penn State basketball is still relevant this season. That, if you’re a college hoops fan in these parts, is a thing of beauty. The Nittany Lions bring a three-game winning streak into tonight’s huge home game against No. 8 Ohio State at the Bryce ...

Mehno: Pitt hoops has some serious problems

PITTSBURGH — Pitt’s basketball program has fallen on hard times. That much is indisputable. The Panthers don’t win very much, and their home court is three-quarters empty for some games. The issue here is how can the university fix the program and make Pitt basketball a hot ticket ...