Sports Columns

Mehno: Harrison merely stated the obvious

PITTSBURGH — Wait a minute ... James Harrison said Bill Belichick is a better coach than Mike Tomlin? That’s not exactly breaking news, not even by the TV standards, which apply that tag to a flat tire at rush hour. Belichick’s teams have won five Super Bowls. Tomlin’s Steelers have ...

Strong field lined up for Park Hills tourney

The area’s largest and most historic tournament begins play today in Altoona. The 2018 Reliance Bank Classic at Park Hills will host 224 golfers competing in a match-format through the end of competition on Sunday afternoon. The Park Hills Classic has a storied history, which dates back ...

Tiger’s comeback yet to hit overdrive

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — Some clouds came in and the wind started blowing — if just a bit — as Tiger Woods played the early holes Thursday, making what had been a warm, sunny day seem a little more like a British Open. As if on cue, Woods’ game started looking a little more familiar, ...

No reason to be angry at Bell

PITTSBURGH — Don’t be mad at Le’Veon Bell. Yes, he’s turned down more money than most of us will ever see. He’s doing that in the hope of breaking the bank as a free agent next summer, which is a risky strategy. But he’s willing to assume that risk, and how can you fault him for ...

Sadly, no help on its way for Curve ’pen

It had disaster written all over it once again, for the third straight day. But this time, the Curve found a way to avoid yet another costly ninth-inning collapse Wednesday afternoon. The good news is that Tate Scioneaux got out of trouble against Bowie and recorded a much-needed save from ...

Observations about some celebrations

Some general observations and celebrations while wondering why summer seems to fly by after the fourth of July. Back-to-school items are already appearing on store shelves, while beach towels and barbecue items are moving to clearance aisles. Football will be here before you know it. n ...

Sid not really a kid anymore

PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby turns 31 in a few weeks. In a lot of ways, he’s still Sid the Kid, the 18-year-old phenom who came to town in 2005 — he’s driven to succeed, consumed by hockey and one of the NHL’s elite players. But he’s different, too. He owns a mansion instead of ...

Harrison, other Pirates vets soon may be gone

Notes and observations from a recent trip to Pittsburgh’s PNC Park. PITTSBURGH — The writing is on the wall for the Pittsburgh Pirates. More specifically, for some of the Pirates’ veteran players. With the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline fast approaching, Pirates general manager ...

Mehno: Baseball has some big-time problems

PITTSBURGH — Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe woke up from a baseball-induced nap the other day and came to a conclusion: Baseball is in trouble. It’s become, he wrote, “a sanctuary of senior citizens.” As someone who looks forward to claiming every old guy discount available, ...

Remembering the smile of Waltman

Tom Waltman made a memorable first impression with his huge smile; a smile that he shared generously; a smile that made you feel like you were instantly his friend. But there are few smiles in Everett or Bedford County this week among those who knew the vibrant coach and physical education ...

Ott’s run filled with sports drama

Altoona native Dan Ott’s second consecutive long run in the World Series of Poker’s Main Event came to an end late Saturday night. While Ott didn’t earn any money this time around (in fact, he lost the $10,000 entry fee despite outlasting more than 6,500 competitors), his performance ...

Big league struggles could cost Curve

As the Pirates’ freefall toward what may become a dreadful season continues, there’s a good chance it will have a negative impact on what otherwise could be another run at an Eastern League championship for the Curve. The Bucs (40-48) are now eight games under .500 with three weeks left ...

For starters, Bucs have problems

PITTSBURGH — If the Pirates had to win one game to save the city, what pitcher would you start? Exactly. That’s the biggest problem on a team that has many. There is no No. 1 starter. There really isn’t a genuine No. 2, and there might not be a legitimate No. 3, either. The current ...

Stultz will be missed among local golf enthusiasts

Central Pennsylvania’s golfing community lost one of its pillars earlier this week with the passing of Scott Stultz. The Hollidaysburg-native was a standout on the Penn State golf team for legendary golf coach Joe Boyle before graduating in 1959. According to Bob McGregor, Stultz was the ...

A 17-1 loss counts like any other loss

PITTSBURGH — Monday night’s final score was 17-1, not that you were likely around to see that become official. Los Angeles Dodgers 17, Pirates 1. It was that ugly, too, as the pitching staff got beat up. Somehow, the Pirates got through the ordeal without having to use a position player ...

Making some summer sports observations

Some general summertime sports observations, while lamenting over how quickly the season seems to fly by after July 4. We think of the Independence Day holiday, and what comes to mind is the ultimate in Americana: baseball, hot dogs, apple pie … fireworks. Certainly, many baseball fans will ...

Pens to make risky free agent move

PITTSBURGH — Barring a last-minute hitch, the Penguins will sign defenseman Jack Johnson today when NHL free agency officially opens. That would mean their biggest offseason acquisition is a player who was a healthy scratch in the playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets. That doesn’t ...

Ex-Braves LHP Smoltz pitching golf career

The U.S. Senior Open is being held this week at the Boadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and among the many interesting storylines is the participation of baseball hall of famer John Smoltz, who is competing in his first USGA event. The 51-year-old Smoltz took up golf as a young man ...

Pirates fans may be losing focus

By Mike Fitzpatrick The Associated Press NEW YORK — Wilmer Flores singled home the winning run in the 10th inning and the New York Mets stopped their seven-game losing streak Tuesday night, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-3, hours after general manager Sandy Alderson stepped down ...

Inconsistent Curve have plenty of potential

The Curve reached the midway point of the season Monday with their 70th game, and the bad news is the very talented team really hasn’t come close to playing up to its potential. The good news is the club has shown glimpses of doing just that recently. Furthermore, it survived the first-half ...