Sports Columns

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 ...

Camp perfect for this summer

Summer is finally here, and for many young people that means going to camp. That four-letter word means different things to different people: sports camp, day camp, band camp, church camp, scout camp, hunting camp, or state park camp(site.) Whatever the type, these experiences should be ...

What you should know in buying a fishing kayak

If it ever stops raining, we might be able to go fishing again. Trout fishing has been great for the past several weeks, at least for those few days when the streams have been down to a manageable level. With the generally high water levels, I haven’t encountered much dry-fly action on the ...

It’s time to debunk myths about rattlesnakes

As I write this on the first official day of summer and the rain is falling, it seems as if the summer rain is running a longevity contest with the winter snow that didn’t end until the end of April. The undergrowth in the woods is like an Amazon rainforest in places. The weeds in my yard ...

Is baseball’s style of play killing its attendance?

USA Today posted a story this week projecting that we will see more strikeouts than base hits in the 2018 Major League Baseball season. That’s never happened over the course of a full MLB campaign before. I asked Pirates manager Clint Hurdle if he ever thought he’d see this ...

Mickelson’s actions should not be dismissed

Embarrassing, awkward, unfortunate are all words that could be used to describe Phil Mickelson’s actions at last week’s U.S. Open. Every golf fan knows the story by now. During Saturday’s third round, Mickelson putted his ball on the 13th hole, and after sliding past the cup, the ...

Bucs sellers or buyers? Not clear yet

PITTSBURGH — Will the Pirates be buyers or sellers at the MLB non-waiver trade deadline? Easy question. It’s too soon to tell. The deadline doesn’t arrive until July 31 and there’s a lot of baseball to be played between now and then. The Pirates could win 10 of 12 and find ...

Father’s Day memories made at PNC

It was the second inning of Saturday’s Pirates game at PNC Park. The Reds’ Eugenio Suarez fouled off an Ivan Nova pitch. On the game broadcast, you see Suarez look up into the stands as the crowd erupts in a cheer. “Somebody made a fabulous catch, first row of the club level,” the ...

Whiners go home early at Shinnecock

SOUTHAMPTON — The whiners went home early, beaten down by Shinnecock Hills and the USGA’s clumsy efforts to turn the venerable golf course into something it was never meant to be. Brooks Koepka stood tall, holding a U.S. Open trophy high for the second straight year because he knew what ...