By: Mike Vukovcan

Here’s some of my thoughts on the latest sports news on Friday morning.

*I don’t know what people think it’s crazy to bring up the idea of the Steelers getting rid of Rashard Mendenhall. First, let’s don’t pretend he’s Chris Johnson or Adrian Peterson. Backs like him are a dime a dozen. Second, the Rooney’s and Kevin Colbert found a way to dump Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes without having a proven backup behind him. The following season, we found out that Antonio Brown, Mike Wallace and Emanuel Sanders were pretty good receivers. Third, Mendenhall wasn’t the most popular teammate to begin with, let’s see how these comments go over. Mendenhall is replaceable.

*Who would’ve thought that on May 6th the Pirates would have more wins (15) than the Cubs (14), Brewers (13), NY Mets (13), Arizona (14), Boston (14), Toronto (14), Minnesota (11), White Sox (11) and Seattle (14).

*If the Paul Maholm really wants to stay with the Pirates to sign him to a long-term contract, he has to start giving them more than just Ok starts. He’s the veteran of that rotation and needs to start putting up quality results. If not, don’t blame the Pirates if they look to trade him later this season. It wouldn’t be a salary dump, just good business.

*Great article today in the Post-Gazette by Dejan Kovacevic on UCLA RHP Gerritt Cole. Come June 6th, the Pirates will have a very tough decision to make. Do they draft Cole (the dominant pitcher) or Rice 3B Anthony Rendon? My opinion is going back and forth on this one. At first, I thought the decision was a no-brainer with Rendon. Now I’m thinking about a future rotation of Cole, Jameson Taillon, Luis Heredia and Stetson Allie. Wow!

*I’m not concerned yet, but, I’m wondering why Todd Graham has yet to land a single verbal commitment for the next year’s recruiting class. Last night, Upper St. Clair offensive lineman Ian Park (someone Graham was trying to land) gave a verbal commitment to Northwestern.

*It might not seem that way, but, I think the four soon to be left teams in the NHL playoffs are good for hockey. San Jose, Vancouver, Boston and Tampa Bay are good hockey markets. Those teams have a blend of great veteran players (Joe Thornton, Roberto Luongo, Danny Heatley, Vinny Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis) and current stars (Steven Stamkos, Sedin brothers). Let’s just hope that we get to see a couple long series instead of 4-game sweeps.

*It’s crazy to think that at this time last year, Pirates 2B Neil Walker wasn’t a player the Pirates front office thought was part of the future. Now, Walker is a legit candidate to play in the 2012 All-Star Game.

*Tune into the #1 Cochran Sports Showdown this Sunday night at 11:35 pm. Panelists will be Dejan Kovacevic, Bob Smizik, Jory Rand and Bob Pompeani. We’ll discuss Mendenhall, Andrew McCutchen, Clint Hurdle, Pirates Draft and more.

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