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March 10, 2011

11
A.M.

Sports talk with Tracee Hamilton

Total Responses: 72

About the hosts

About the host

Host: Tracee Hamilton

Tracee Hamilton

Tracee Hamilton has worked at the Post since 1993, toiling in office obscurity as an editor before someone said, "Hey, you've got a lot of opinions and can write a little. Why don't you become a columnist?"

Her interests range from genealogy to Nordic combined to Kansas basketball. If ever there were a Jayhawk who once flew off a ski jump, she'd know where he was buried.

Her list of pet peeves is considerably longer, but includes Missouri basketball and poor Metro etiquette. She welcomes dissenting opinions -- in the way Great Whites welcome open-water swimmers.

First Things First Archive
Tracee Hamilton Column Archive
Host: Adam Kilgore

Adam Kilgore

Adam Kilgore covers the Nationals for The Washington Post. He previously covered the Red Sox and Patriots for the Boston Globe and the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech and the Orioles during a first stint with The Post. He was also part of The Post's Pulitzer Prize-winning team that covered the mass slayings at Virginia Tech in 2007.

About the topic

Tracee Hamilton goes weekly with her chat about sports, life and everything else.
Q.

Tracee Hamilton :

It's seems like seven days since we've chatted -- because it has been, I guess. Sigh. I am hoping that everything is working correctly today. To answer some of the complaints from last week -- no one was able to post questions after about 10:40, so nearly everything Eric and I answered were questions posted earlier. And they never did get it fixed in time for the show.

But it's a new day today. Because of his Nats duties, Kilgore won't be here till around 11:30, but he can stay past 12, too. 

Also, here's my column from today on Tressel, in case you missed. it.

Okay, let's get going. And at some point I'll try to figure out how to post a photo on here, so you can see me in my Baby Jay outfit. How hard can it be?

Q.

Dwayne Wade's sarcasm

Dwayne Wade says "The world is better now because the Heat are losing." and you take him seriously? You take this as proof that he is completely self absorbed? Ever heard of sarcasm? I agree that there are plenty of self absorbed boneheads in the NBA but guys like Kobe and Dwayne are probably as well read as you. (Please just take this as constructive criticism, as we love the chats, and don't take enough time to compliment you on all the things we like about the column.)
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I've never heard of sarcasm. Please, tell me more.

Seriously, of course he's being sarcastic, but the Heat have been making these ridiculous remarks since their first loss. Remember that? "Oh, now we can't go 82-0" is a close paraphrase. It's their belief that we are all hanging on their every win and loss I find ridiculous -- and I actually root for the Heat sometimes, because of Mario Chalmers. I'm no Heat hater.

ESPN gets some blame for this. The coverage, since "The Decision," has just been over the top.

– March 10, 2011 11:04 AM
Q.

Ohio State

I loved your column on Ohio State. Tressel and OSU have held themselves up as 'holier than thou' for his entire tenure. I know the Post doesn't print college lines, but what are the odds the NCAA will actually do something? P.S. There's a Fado in Austin for the 2011 Farewell to FTF tour.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Thank you, and good one about the lines. I am really eager to see where the NCAA comes down on this. On the one hand, they've been pretty soft lately. On the other hand, if they don't come down hard on this program, they are basically confirming that the Auburns, the USCs and the Ohio States are more important than the NCAA. Which we already know they are, because of the BCS. I'd love to see the coach get the punishment the players got ... but I'm not holding my breath.

– March 10, 2011 11:05 AM
Q.

MLB Network

Since higher-ups read your chat, I just wanted to thank the Post for starting to include MLB Network baseball games in the "on the air" segment. Don't know why this wasn't done sooner as they have included NBA and NFL listings for some time. Better late than never. Thanks!
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

The TV listings are always under debate. Do we include channels not everyone gets, for instance? I can remember the Saturdays when we started to include games on ESPNU. Lot of time spent explaining what it was to angry fans. But I'm glad we did something to make someone happy! Thanks for letting me know!

– March 10, 2011 11:07 AM
Q.

Pittsburgh Wife

Hi, Tracee. I missed you a lot. Much is happening. How about those Caps! What a total meltdown for Villanova! Georgetown, too! Pitt & Kansas rock! And the Nats are playing well in Florida, too. Now if only we don't get swept away by the flood waters. . .
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

The creek behind my house was on the rise this morning. Happily, it's never approached the house and I doubt it will.

Wow, breaking news: the three refs who blew the call yesterday in the Rutgers-SJ game just pulled out of the tournament.

– March 10, 2011 11:09 AM
Q.

Heat Article

LOVE your article on the Miami Heat and crying. It's written so perfectly. I would have told you that today (Wednesday), but, alas, you'll get this on Thursday. Hope you are well.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Thank you. It's appreciated no matter what the day. :)

– March 10, 2011 11:09 AM
Q.

Georgetown

Are they really that bad without just 1 player?-ashburn fan
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Well, they aren't good. It's too bad; they are deeper than they were but without Wright they just don't work right on the court. They just look off.

– March 10, 2011 11:11 AM
Q.

College football scandals

Tracee, I used to think that ol' coach sweater vest was above reproach, but when the story broke in December and now with this latest twist, I guess I can cross him off of my "honorable guys in college football list." That list is getting a lot shorter. I still have both Turner Gill and Bo Pelini on it, though. And don't tell me "but he yelled at the refs!" about Pelini...yelling at the refs isn't near the same level of transgression as not running a clean program, and people in Nebraska were upset about his antics. Compare the actions of the Nebraska chancellor after the Texas A&M game (publicly reprimanding Pelini and asking for an apology) with the actions of Ohio State's President (basically saying "Thanks for keeping me on, Jim...I put your dry cleaning where you like it!"). - RHG
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

The comments from Gee and Smith were so disturbing. I mean, actually disturbing. And say a lot about the current state of affairs. What a shame.

Now, I'm okay with Turner Gill on your list for now, I guess, but I have to tell you, he did my friend Don Fambrough wrong and he's going to have to make up for that, in my opinion. I won't bore everyone else with the story but RHG will know what I mean, I think.

– March 10, 2011 11:12 AM
Q.

Caps Moves

Hi Tracee, I tried posting this question last week however, for some reason It would not go through. Anyways I'll aske it again. What are your thoughts on the moves that the Caps made before the deadline? IMHO I think that Jason Arnott is a great locker room leader and a general on the ice. Last week he was quoted saying " they brought me in here for leadership and I will speak up even though some of the guys might not like it". When I read that I was really happy to have a guy like that in our locker room. The Caps WILL benefit from him a lot! Your thoughts? Alex
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Sorry about last week. I think the moves were pretty good. Happy to see Arnott score. Joe B. and Craig were doing some iso on Wideman the other night and saying good things about him. Given their current streak, it sure didn't seem to disrupt the locker room. So I'd have to say that so far, these moves seem successful. But again, I'll repeat: We won't really know anything until April.

And how about the Caps having not two but THREE strong baby goalies?

– March 10, 2011 11:14 AM
Q.

THE Ohio State University

I hope it doesn't hurt Ohio State too much to be missing their head coach and a few players against the perennial powerhouses of Akron and Toledo! I suppose instead of winning 73-0, they will only eek out a 50-0 victory. I want to see the NCAA get involved on this. If the "gear for tattoos" thing was going on before last season, wouldn't that make the players ineligible, therefore stripping THE Ohio State University's wins from the 2010 season?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Well, it should. They were violating NCAA rules, and they played all season.

I also really wonder how Tressel could stay mum about his players having a relationship with a guy being investigated for drug trafficking. If I'm a parent of one of those players, I'm pretty damn upset right now.

– March 10, 2011 11:16 AM
Q.

Six Nations Rugby

Ireland-Wales. O'Connell's in Old Town. Saturday. 12:00. Be there!
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Can't make it. My folks are coming to town and my mom's a mean drunk.

(Boy, am I going to pay for that remark.)

– March 10, 2011 11:16 AM
Q.

Time Mgmt

So, TH, what have you been doing with all the extra time you have now that you don't 'chat' every weekday morn for an hour or so? Miss us? So, what do you think, did Wade Boggs really drink 64 Miller Lites on a coast to coast trip when playing for the Yanks? Geesh, if that is even possible he must have spent the majority of the time drinking them in the lavatory unless he has the bladder the size of an inflated beach ball!
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Ha! Well, I've been writing columns every morning, and truthfully, that takes a lot longer than the chats. In fact, when this chat is over, I've got to finish the one I was writing or maybe do another one.

I do miss the daily chats. No joke.

I'm not sure I believe a word Wade Boggs says. Nothing personal, just a giant grain of salt.

– March 10, 2011 11:18 AM
Q.

Kilgore, kindly disclose the following crushes

T-Ham provided this info, so now, with your kind permission, it's YOUR turn: Firstly, other than the person to whom you're married or dating, what lady do you find most alluring? Secondly, who do you have a mancrush on? Thanks!
A.
Adam Kilgore :

There's no way in hell I'm answering that.

Tracee and her chatters, thanks for having me. I don't want to make Tracee jealous off the bat here, but the reason I'm joining late is because I was chatting with Drew Storen.  Looking forward to getting going.

– March 10, 2011 11:18 AM
Q.

Re: Don Fambrough

Anyone who dislikes Mizzou as much as Don does is alright in my book. Did Turner not let him speak to the players before the game this year...was that the controversy? - RHG
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Yes, it was. And Turner told people it was because of Don's health, but he was fine. I had lunch with him in January and he is just really cut up about it. No explanation. Don wasn't the best football coach in KU history, but NO ONE loves KU more, and I include myself on that list. And I love that man to pieces.

– March 10, 2011 11:20 AM
Q.

Capitals

Is it me or do the Caps look like LEGITIMATE contenders and are playing great at the right time? A month or so ago I couldnt say that. But boy have those three vets REALLY helped.. BTW love your articles.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Yes, this is, I believe, what they were hoping the Caps would be come playoff time. Defense and goal tending is still strong, and now -- offense! The division lead, a nice winning streak -- if they do well on this upcoming six games from home they are in good position I think.

 

– March 10, 2011 11:22 AM
Q.

Caps Leadership

The sad thing is that they shouldn't have HAD to bring in a "leader." Ovechkin is the marquee player and widely regarded as one of the best talents in the league. They made him a captain and he should have stepped up and taken charge. I understand that some people just aren't suited for leadership and maybe he's one. But if he had it in him, he would have been a natural leader that could have lead by example. Your thoughts?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I agree; I think Ovie is a lot of fun and a dream to watch play hockey but I don't think leadership is his strength. And that's not a knock; not everyone has that personality, or WANTS that job.

– March 10, 2011 11:23 AM
Q.

Ian Desmond

Adam--thoughts on whether Desmond will ever turn his error trend around? Rizzo has to know he can move Espinosa to SS and use Hairston, et all at 2B for this year since we have a few other 2B's in the minors. To me, Desmond is a good trade piece with Marquis
A.
Adam Kilgore :

I think Desmond's errors will decrease this year, but I also think he's a player who will always  make plenty. One, that's what his minor league track record suggests.  Two, and more happily for the Nats, he's going to make a lot of errors because his range allows him to get to so many balls. For him, errors are part of the deal. He'll give a team great value with his range, but his error total will detract somewhat. In the end, I think the good will outweigh the bad enough that he'll be at least an average major league defensive shortstop. If that doesn't sound like a compliment, it actually is.

I'd be stunned if the Nats traded Desmond. They see him as their shortstop for the next decade. Marquis, though, makes sense as a trade chip. If he can prove he's healthy and effective, the Nats have the depth -- and would have the incentive, since Marquis's contract ($7.5 million this year) is up at the end of 2011 -- to move him around the all-star break.

– March 10, 2011 11:23 AM
Q.

64 Miller Lites

Perfectly plausable. I've imbibed five Guinnesses at one sitting and that's really the equivalent of 64 Miller Lites, no?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I believe I could drink five Guinnesses. I could not drink five regular beers. No idea why. The first time I had a Guinness, it was like "where have you been all my life?" Gotta be the Irish genes.

– March 10, 2011 11:24 AM
Q.

Reporting From Viera

I think it was a sportswriter named Thomas Boswell (Maybe you've heard of him?) who observed that one of the things which make baseball so great is that no matter how many games you've attended, something is very likely to happen at the next game which you've never seen before. And in more than half a century of playing and watching baseball games -- I am the RETIRED journalist, remember, so I've been around long enough that I actually saw Bob Uecker play -- never before have I seen a team score nine runs without making an out as the Nationals did Monday afternoon against the Astros. Your colleague Dave Sheinin was right that this was a sloppily played and, especially, pitched contest. But it was still exhilarating to see player after player circle the bases. It should be noted that it was that eighth inning of that March 6th spring training game when the first "Let's go Nats" chant of 2011 was begun in the stands by the fans, after the Brian Bixler double that tied the game. The little three-game winning streak Monday's come from behind victory seems to have sparked brings a smile as well. It would be a bigger grin if the games counted, of course. The report that Jayson Werth didn't travel with the Nats on Wednesday because of "general soreness" may partly explain why Werth was looking a bit awkward at the plate earlier this week. He hasn't been swinging the bat in the way that tortured Nats fans when Werth wore a Phillies uniform. Final observation is that Nyjer Morgan may be hearing footsteps. Bernadina is having an excellent spring and from this small sample of at-bats and time in the outfield, it would be no surprise to find the initials RB on the knob of the leadoff hitter's bat March 31, not NM. Now that he's back in town, would you like me to pass a note from the stands up to the unresponsive Kilgore in the press box? I think a sheet of paper torn from a reporter's notebook with your previously suggested quote "Tracee says to watch your back" might get a response. Don't you? (It's OK -- "tee hee" is a perfectly acceptable reaction to the mental image you just had.) No question this time out, but I would like to offer my sympathy to the Postie family after the passing of David Broder. I don't think it would diminish either man to say Broder was the Shirley Povich of political reporting in DC. --The Retired Journalist--
Q.

my mom's a mean drunk

Sounds like your mom and my dear, departed mom would have gotten along like gangbusters. :-)
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I shouldn't have said that. I don't think I've ever seen my mom drunk. But you can't watch sporting events with her. And I'm not kidding about that. Yeesh.

– March 10, 2011 11:25 AM
Q.

Speaking of clean programs

Jason Reid had an article today how Gary Williams can't win because he runs a clean program.

A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I meant to mention this one, for those Terps fans who are entering March Madness without a lot of hope.

– March 10, 2011 11:26 AM
Q.

Strasburg Article

I'm posting early because last week it seemed as if you weren't taking any live questions. So we won't know if His arm will be back to pre-surgery form until he gets out there for a while. To ensure that he will be better than ever, can you please predict that he will fail utterly and never throw another strike in the MLB again? Thanks!
A.
Adam Kilgore :

I might be too optimistic when it comes to Strasburg's recovery. My personal thought is that his work ethic will give him the best possible chance to succeed. And history shows that odds favor a full recovery. Those two together, I think, gives him a good chance. Plenty of people, smart people, too, can probably give you logical reasons why he won't come back anywhere near what he was. We'll see.

– March 10, 2011 11:27 AM
Q.

Adam, are you frightened, in any way, of Tracee?

Adam, it's widely believed that you have a healthy respect of Tracee-- a respect that borders on fear. Is this the case? Additionally, has she ever come up to you, and simply said, "Adam, just know this: you would not like me when I'm angry. Also, wherever you go, whatever you do, I know your every move. Now have a pleasant day."?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

Um, no. No, that has not happened.

– March 10, 2011 11:28 AM
Q.

"...I actually root for the Heat sometimes, because of Mario Chalmers."

Does that mean I'm supposed to root for the evil Celtics just because of Ray Allen? Or the sorry Pistons, because of Rip Hamilton? Or any of the other 10-15 teams populated by Huskies? No can do.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

You don't have to. You know I'm a live and let live gal. I root for Mario to do well -- and, I might add, the night of the famous glossy eyes Mario was doing well, when they let him play. Heat vs. Celtics? I'm rooting for the Celtics.

And I don't think you ought to equate Rip Hamilton with the Pistons. :) Never was a guy less on a team while still wearing the uniform than that guy! Hate to see the Pistons come to this. More dysfunction than the Wiz!

– March 10, 2011 11:29 AM
Q.

Why can't a toddler solve the whole NFL labor thing?

Guys, seriously, why can't they just stroll a toddler out during these grotesquely- mind-numbing NFL meetings? I would have no hesitation in bettting the mortgage money that your average 3-year old would have this thing wrapped up inside of 20 minutes, and then everyone would be happy with juice boxes in their hands. Who's with me?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Maybe that baby from the e-Trade commercials. He seems smart. :)

– March 10, 2011 11:30 AM
Q.

A little bit of T-Ham, I verily declare, goes a long way!

A pleasant good morning to you, T-Ham, and to you, A-Kil! So, what do YOU guys think of the whole "Strassy might have bad mechanics thing?" Do you think that "inverted U or W"-- whatever letter is it-- is something legitimate to be concerned about, or the stuff of urban legend? Also, A-Kil, T-Ham once went "all country" in the press room at a Nebraska game. Have YOU ever gone "all street," a la Wilbon, on someone?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

My thought, and I think it came through in today's story, is that there really is no definitive right answer. I've spoken to experts who say don't worry, and I've spoken to others who say he's an injury waiting to happen. I don't know. Pitching is an inherently risky, unnatural activity for a human arm. It's impossible to make a blanket statement that applies to all pitchers about what is most dangerous. Plenty have theories, and Strasburg's motion violates some of those theories. But I don't think you can assign one as the consensus.

– March 10, 2011 11:32 AM
Q.

Too many questions, not enough days...

1). Is 10 games enough for Trevor Gillies? 2). I was on Northwestern University's website this weekend on an non-sports related matter. I was surprised to find two ex-WaPo sports writers on their Board of Trustees. As an experienced editor and writer, can you tell us what qualities sports writers have that make them candidates for such positions? Who among the current staff is Trustee/Regent material? I'm assuming you'd have to live in Kansas to run the place since it's a state school.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I'd have put Gillies out for the rest of the season.

Who are the two? Well, I think Wilbon is one, but who is the other? What I know about the qualifications of those jobs is not much. I'm guessing they are looking for smart and prominent alumni and journalists fill that bill.

– March 10, 2011 11:32 AM
Q.

Nationals

Last year we started 0-11 in Spring Training. Didnt amount to a good beginning of the year. This time around we are looking pretty good? You think it will mean a good start to the season?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

Spring results really don't have much correlation to the real thing. That being said, obviously, any team would rather take the 7-3 than the 0-11. The Nats have played with a crispness this year that was lacking last year, so that bodes well. But it's not like the other 29 teams aren't preaching to their players to play hard, take the extra base, etc.

– March 10, 2011 11:33 AM
Q.

Montgomery Village, MD

Tracee Great column this morning ! I admit I am not a fan of THE Ohio State University and am far too familiar with their arrogance which belies purported "Midwest values", but come on ! If Jim "my necktie is laced up too tight" Tressel didn't know who to take the April information to, he should be fired for terminal stupidity. If he and his "underling" AD and University president expect us to believe this and we except it , then WE ought to be charged with terminal gulibility. What is the appropriate punishment ? Forfeit last season's games --big whoop! The games were played and of course, the money is in the bank.No penalty there . How about this? Tressel gets the same punishment as the dumb players who KNEW what they were doing was wrong: 5 games for each player. Twenty -five games for Tressel seems about right--oh yes, and the resignation of at least the AD.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Universities have entire legal departments, yet he admits he never consulted them. Also, one of the things I learned in management is "never let your boss be surprised by bad news." Boy, he made a lot of mistakes. It's a coverup, plain and simple. Your punishments are harsh, but they are certainly more sensible than what he got.

– March 10, 2011 11:35 AM
Q.

Ohio State

OSU's president E Gorden Gee used to be the head of the university that I attended. It was always academics first and sports done right. His statement that basically Tressel is above him is just mind boggling. That Tressel knowingly played ineligible players for an entire year is without a doubt the worst thing I have heard of. How OSU didn't immediately fire him is beyond me. He should have resigned. The 2010-2011 games have to be vacated and Tressel has to be out for several years. My question to you, do you think the NCAA realizes that we are at the tipping point for college sports. Given Pearl and all the other stuff, shouldn't they look at all of this together to the punishment correct for the various players and coaches? Btw, why isn't ESPN covering this?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

That's why I used that Gee quote -- he used to be one of the good ones. I don't know if the NCAA realizes how bad this all looks. Until it hits the wallet, probably not. ESPN is in bed with the BCS, which is why that relationship is suspect and their coverage of issues that affect the BCS, including this one, is, to me, suspect as well. Don't get me wrong, they do some very good college football reporting. But the TV deal hurts their credibility.

– March 10, 2011 11:37 AM
Q.

Three Weeks Until Opening Day!

That's the best antidote for a rainy day that I can think of. The NFL is flirting with self immolation, the Caps are streaky and the Wizards are ... essentially the Nats of 2008 and 2009 with a heaping bonus of meltdown and arrogance. Meanwhile the Nats have the best record in MLB in ST so far, in Philly Werth's heir apparent is hurt and Utley's knee is bothering him, the Mets are in financial meltdown and the Nats actually beat the Marlins. I know it doesn't count, but it's hard not to be at least cautiously optimistic. Although I know the Nationals aren't going to hit .302 as a team this year, it is much more encouraging that the projected starters are pitching well and Espinsosa doesn't seem affected by his recent hamate bone surgery. My question, I guess, is what you think the chances are that the Nationals become the antidote for what has been a long-suffering sports town and flirt with .500 on the fringes of wild card contention?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

The Nationals should be better this year. Their roster is a little improved from last year, when their record should have been a couple games better based on runs scored. Right now, I would predict 77 wins.

The one thing the Nationals have lacked since 2005 is even the scent of contention. Last year, Ryan Zimmerman played the most relevant-to-the-standings game of his career in May, when the Nats were 25-21 and a game out. It's not that hard to be .500 in mid-June and at least trick yourselves into thinking you're contending. Maybe that's where the Nationals get to this year. It's feasible. Seriously contending is another story, I'm willing to guess.

– March 10, 2011 11:38 AM
Q.

Oppo Boppo?

I see this all over the Nats blogosphere these days. What is the origin of this term?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

Last year at Bryce Harper's introductory press conference, someone asked him about the oppostied-field home runs he had hit during batting practice at Nats Park that afernoon. Harper replied that he had an affinity for "oppo boppos."

Since, Harper has added "rinky dinks" and "hitterish" to the lexicon.

– March 10, 2011 11:39 AM
Q.

Boston, MA

Since we only have you once a week now, I imagine you get a lot of questions and I certainly don't want to monopolize your time. A simple equation for you: Matt Bomer + Season Finale = Wow! I don't care if the man is gay. Realistically, I have as much of a chance with him if he wasn't.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

This has always been my theory. So what if he's gay? If he were straight, I'd have a shot? Just enjoy because that's a fun show and he's a lot of fun to watch.

– March 10, 2011 11:39 AM
Q.

STRASBURG's ELBOW

I am remembering correctly that Strasburg thought his elbow problems had been building up a little? If he did think that, there could have a problem since the Nats seem convinced it was just one pitch and therefore an isolated incident. Thanks for offering a counterpoint to the Verducci story by the way. I'm still going to be on a ledge until I see Strasburg on walking off the mound in triumph during the playoffs though.
A.
Adam Kilgore :

I don't recall him saying anything like that. He's said a lot of stuff, but I think I would have remembered that one well. Doesn't mean I somehow missed it. I do recall him talking about how great he felt that game in Philly when his ligament went, which wouldn't lend credence to your memory. I'll see if I can't track that down.

I like your term, "counterpoint." It wasn't meant to be a rebuttal or an argument, just another addition to the discussion.

– March 10, 2011 11:42 AM
Q.

"he's going to make a lot of errors because his range allows him to get to so many balls."

Good point. There's really not much difference at the ML level between an infield error and a base hit. If anything, keeping the ball in the infield (assuming you don't throw it into the stands) holds the runners back a base.
Q.

Spring Training Fun With Beverage Tip

T-Ham, I'm sorry those mean old editors didn't authorize your reporting trip to cover the Nationals' at spring training. Or are you going secretly and this was a way to lull Kilgore into a false sense of security? But when you do get there, I'd like to make a local beverage suggestion for you and any other dark malt beverage (like Guinness) enjoyers who visit Viera this spring. There's a place near Space Coast Stadium with about 40 beers on tap, one of which is OBP TCP. The "TCP" is short for Toasted Coconut Porter and it is really, REALLY good. We attended a couple of Grapefruit League games earlier this week and I'd have to tell those who have never been to baseball's spring training that they're missing a very fun baseball experience. Watching the Nationals play the Marlins, they did appear to be improved over the last couple of seasons. Is that what you're hearing from your sources?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Does the coconut porter taste like coconut? Because that's a deal breaker.

My sources on the Nats are your sources. So Boz thinks they're great, Kilgore's too busy working to have an opinion, and Sheinin ... well, I hope to see him one of these days and ask him.

Oh, a reminder: Sheinin's piece on Bryce Harper is in this Sunday's Post Magazine. Should be online Friday or Saturday.

– March 10, 2011 11:42 AM
Q.

Tracee, the way you feel about Guiness is kind of the way I feel about Count Chocula

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I hope I'm among friends in this admission. LIke you, when I tried the chocolately cereal, composed of nutritional antimatter, I thought, at the age of 7, "where have you been all my life?" And it's no different at age 42. Ought I to be ashamed?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Naw, but don't spread it around, either.

– March 10, 2011 11:43 AM
Q.

Most awkward and uncomfortable

What is more awkward, a Mike Shanahan press conference, or the video of Tom Brady dancing the samba at Carnival?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Shanny.

– March 10, 2011 11:43 AM
Q.

Comments

Adam and Tracee, what are your opinions about anonymous comments? Adam, do you follow the back and forth with a certain commentator on NJ? Are you from the "don't feed the trolls" school? What does one have to do to be banned? Signed, Anonymous
A.
Adam Kilgore :

I understand and know what you're talking about. We are actually working on a new comments system that should help seperate productive, civil disscussion from the problematic commenters. Not sure when it'll hit, but hopefully it helps readers' experience.

– March 10, 2011 11:44 AM
Q.

College trustees/regents

I think the main qualification is the ability to attract donations (or, if wealthy, to give from their own funds). Wilbon may not be superrich, but his prestige and efforts may bring in lots of money to Northwestern.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

It's hard to underestimate Michael's celebrity in Chicago. Having recently been in Chicago with him, I was reminded of that.

– March 10, 2011 11:44 AM
Q.

Mason best hope for a long tourney run

Boy how times have changed in this area went it comes to College Hoops. Gary needs to bite his lip and get in that AAU "circle" We have too many players in this area for UMD not to recruit a couple ones. I dont even think we have hit the bottom yet. I hope we can allow local players to stay with local colleges sooner than later
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Yes, Gary has plenty of talent to recruit. He may just literally be sick of doing it. I don't know Gary well enough to answer that.

– March 10, 2011 11:45 AM
Q.

n Reid had an article today how Gary Williams can't win because he runs a clean program

Didn't Bobby Knight's son say essentially the same thing when just fired from Texas Tech for not winning enough games? More importantly, do you think it's true in either case?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I think it's tough to run a clean program when there are temptations for these kids everywhere and boosters with more money than sense. I don't think it's impossible. I also don't think Pat Knight is nearly the coach his dad was.

– March 10, 2011 11:47 AM
Q.

Morgan

How long is Nyjer Morgan's leash? We're seeing really good things from Bernadina and Morse. Nyjer, not so much. I know he's a Rizzo favorite, but is there any chance he gets Elija'd/Milledge'd?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

You can't rule it out totally, but it would still be a surprise.  I don't think the Nationals are going to make the evaluation based solely on spring training. They believe Morgan is somewhere between the player he was at the end of 2009 and for most of 2010 -- an excellent defender who hits about .280 and gets on base at about a .340-.350 clip. They've certainly stood behind him thus far.

My biggest issue with Morgan as a player is that even if you get the best full-season version of him -- say .290/.345/.380 -- you're still getting a player who will hit zero (0) or one (1) homers in 600 at-bats. It's not his job to hit homers, certaintly, but the complete dearth of power still means something.

– March 10, 2011 11:48 AM
Q.

Rockville, MD

Williams' wins may equal Wooden but the latter not only won championships but graduated players. Bobby Knight with all his faults won many games, was successful in tournaments and graduated players. Why can't Williams at least raise the graduation rate?

A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Oh dear, Bobby Knight is working the KU game today. Hmmmm.

Grad rates at Maryland are not good. They aren't good at a lot of places, so I'm not trying to single them out. The formula isn't always fair but that's not the major problem.

– March 10, 2011 11:49 AM
Q.

Nats-

Hey Adam, Any idea who is gonna be that 5th starter? Maya did say he will win 20 games LOL. I love the fact that we have "options" pitching wise. Zimmy is looking real good and I think Detweiller is going to have a great year if he stays healthy. his new mechanics seem to be working better for him.
A.
Adam Kilgore :

It looks like Gorzelanny will  have the job to start the season -- Riggleman basically said as much this morning. But we probably overrate the opening day rotation. At some point this year, for some reason or another, we'll see Detwiler, Maya and others make their way into the rotation. How they perform will determine how it goes during the year.

– March 10, 2011 11:50 AM
Q.

Germantown MD

Hi Tracee! Now that the Skins have signed a safety, it seems they need to work on the lines and linebackers - esp. across from Orakpo. So far I am pleased to hear that Snyder is staying out of the way, but in the back of my mind, I keep wondering when the beast will explode and the current management/coaching staff is gone. It is like walking on eggshells in my mind wondering about Snyder. Any suggestions other than tread lightly?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Easy for me to say, but don't worry about things you can't control. I also don't think this is imminent -- one season is not enough time. Let's see what happens with the draft. And if there's a season! Yeesh, that's hard to type.

– March 10, 2011 11:50 AM
Q.

Thanks Adam

Your reporting from Viera has been outstanding. Every year I say I'm going to go to ST and haven't yet made it down. Next year for sure! But in the meantime, I'm getting several daily updates and live blogging from the games. I just want to saw how much I appreciate your hard work to keep the fans at home in the loop.
A.
Adam Kilgore :

Thanks very much. Glad you like it.

– March 10, 2011 11:50 AM
Q.

Did you know...

That on the "ask now/submit your question" page here, that the right hand side column under "Live Q&A's" for today has you giving a session on "Sprots"? What the heck is a "Sprot"? Is that like a combination of a can of Sprite and a Brussel Sprout? Wow, I can't even imagine how awful those two things would taste together...I might have to try it now that I mention it!
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

God, sprouts and sprite -- that's disgusting. I don't know what Sprots is but we've mentioned it so I guess we can check that off our list!

– March 10, 2011 11:51 AM
Q.

Raising Hope

Did you see the Ovechkin cutout wearing a crown in this week's episode of Raising Hope? Hilarious!
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Yes, I emailed Dan but of course he was all over it. And Burt was wearing a Skins T-shirt. I absolutely love that show.

– March 10, 2011 11:52 AM
Q.

Can storen close

A-Kil, how does Drew Storen (Tracee's idol) look in Spring Training, thus far? Can he close games, or do the Nats see him more as a set up dude?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

Storen's results haven't been great, but part of that owes to his team-recommened approach. He's throwing almost only fastballs because the Nats want him to improve his command. Down the road, the Nats see him as the closer. For this year, it depends on how things unfold in the bullpen. Storen told me today he's not worried about it, he just wants to be a big part of the bullpen one way or another.

– March 10, 2011 11:52 AM
Q.

MIAMI WEEP

Nice piece on the Heat the other day, but I was wondering what you had in mind when you said you'd like to give them something to really cry about.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I don't know, it's that vague thing parents always say. Or maybe they don't anymore because of lawsuits, but I used to occasionally here "I've give you something to cry about" and I took it seriously. :)

– March 10, 2011 11:53 AM
Q.

Espinosa Hamate

We all saw Zim's power drop when he had his hamate removed, but since Espi switch-hits, will his power only be affected when he bats lefty?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

Espinosa has been adamant that it won't be an issue. He had the surgery on his right hand, and he says the grip strength is already stronger in his  right hand than his left.

– March 10, 2011 11:53 AM
Q.

Kilgore's punishment

Hi Tracee!. How did you handle Mr. Kilgore's punishment during his return to Washington?. Spanking, grounding, or the dreaded "I'm very disappointed in you"?.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Kilgore was always easy.  The stink eye works on him. I came in one morning this week and there he was. I crept up behind him and got him to chat before he knew what was happening.

– March 10, 2011 11:54 AM
Q.

d.c.

If Mr. Kilgore joins us, can he let me know how he thinks Bryce Harper is fitting in? I see he is doing pretty well, but does he get along with the guys? go along with the program? I love how cocky he is, but I imagine it might rub some the wrong way.
A.
Adam Kilgore :

If you took "Harper" off his back, you'd never guess he was an 18-year-old or different in any significant way from the other players in camp. He is cocky, no question, but to me, it comes off more as a fun, naive arrogance than anything malicious or off-putting. Don't know if that description makes sense or not.

– March 10, 2011 11:55 AM
Q.

NCAA Violations

Tracy, I read your comments on the latest round of NCAA violations and Ohio State' s "gentle" reprimand of their head football coach and I fully agree with your take on this specific episode and the wider issue of the NCAA self imposed impotence in dealing quickly and strongly with overt rules violators. Is there a NCAA enforcement double standard between the marquee and the "average Joe" schools? It seems to me that there is.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I think we are seeing evidence that this is so. I hate to make all of life's evils revolve around the BCS, but suspended Ohio State for a year -- just as an example -- would not make the BCS happy. And the BCS's happiness is paramount. I'm no conspiracy theory nut but it's hard not to see some strings.

– March 10, 2011 11:55 AM
Q.

Pat Knight

Have you ever seen someone get fired with such class? He's adopted, right? -K-Stater
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Ha! Very funny, K-Stater. Looks like it's possible we'll be clashing tomorrow. Got to try to find a place to watch that game, assuming we both get through.

– March 10, 2011 11:56 AM
Q.

Nats Trade Winds

Adam, it seems to me that the Nats have surplus talent in a number of areas: back of the rotation starting pitchers, bullpen arms, catcher, LF/CF. Does that add up to a trade, maybe even a multi-player deal, before, say, the end of May?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

The depth means there are trades to be made if they want to. Catcher is an area where they've got depth. It's too hard to predict if they'll pull anything off. It just kind of depends on how they match up and what comes along. It's certainly something to monitor.

– March 10, 2011 11:56 AM
Q.

DMV Prospects

Did you see Mike Wise's bit about the prospects of area teams in the NCAAs? Yet another Georgetown apologist who gives short shrift to to GMU. Though Mason let themselves down against VCU I just don't see how anyone could seed Georgetown higher than George Mason. . .and yet, I'm sure it will happen. This bias toward the big conferences and teams with longer pedigrees is bad for the sport but I doubt the NCAA appreciates this. Your thoughts?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

We were talking about Georgetown in this week's polls -- someone voted them something like 12th. That's crazy. Absolutely reputation is a part of it, but still, that's crazy.

I really do urge GMU fans, though, to enjoy coming from outside. Be careful what you wish for. I told a K-State friend that this year when the Wildcats started the season No. 3 in the country -- you'll see just how fun that really is. That's the beauty of the tournament, as opposed to the bowl mess -- it's decided on the court.

– March 10, 2011 11:58 AM
Q.

Nats golfers

Last night on MLB Network there were segments featuring a quartet of Bravos and former Bravos golfing together (Adam LaRoche among them). John Smoltz, as I've always suspected, seems to be a real card (and I mean that in a good way). Anyway, have you (Adam) any golfing anecdotes regarding feats of strength or other events to share from Viera this spring? Who really kicks butt on the links among the Nats players?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

Livo is an incredible golfer. Mark Lerner played with him before and says he hits 350-yard drives. Clippard and Stammen are among the team's better golfers, too. Tim Foli, a coach last year who's no longer with the Nats, was also an excellent golfer.

– March 10, 2011 11:58 AM
Q.

"Weekly Sports Brunch" With Tracee

Just a thought. I'm dining at my desk today to be able to enjoy this. TBHitW
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I like that. I've GOT to come up with a better name. Not sure what I'm waiting for.

 

 

– March 10, 2011 11:59 AM
Q.

Washington has a baseball team

And it ain't the Orioles. I understand why the Post covered the O's during the Dark Time, when the national pastime wasn't played in the nation's capital, but those days are over. Let the Sun cover the O's. I admit my opinion is colored by a) the fact that Peter Angelos did everything he could to block the Expos' relocation to DC and b) as a veteran I HATE HATE HATE that thing they do at Camden during the National Anthem. Yelling "OOHH!" during the Anthem isn't clever, it's disrespectuful and obnoxious. Whew! Thanks!
Q.

Pat Knight - Have you ever seen someone get fired with such class? He's adopted, right?

Maybe he inherited it from his mother.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Possible!

– March 10, 2011 11:59 AM
Q.

GO NATS GO!

Hi Tracee & Adam, thanks for taking my question. I been following the ST games for NATS & can't wait for OD in 21 days! My question is when will be the next round of cuts for the NATS squad especially regarding pitching? Thanks again!
A.
Adam Kilgore :

They're going to make cuts Saturday, it looks. Could also be the day Bryce Harper bids adieu to the major league side, for now.

– March 10, 2011 11:59 AM
Q.

Riggins

What do you think of John Riggins making noises about a comeback, thinking if Tiki Barber can do it, why can't he? Is he just loony, or just loony enough to do it?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

No. Way. It's that simple.

– March 10, 2011 12:00 PM
Q.

Janine Garafalo is to T-Ham, as ____________ is to A-Kil?

In other words, A-Kil, who's playing you in the inevitable WAPO movie?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

I've been told I look a little like Jason Statham. He's bald, anyway, so that works well enough.

And with that, I'll have to get going. It's raining here and it looks like the game won't start until sometime around 2. When that comes, look for the live blog on Nats Journal.

Thanks for the great questions and thanks, Tracee, for letting me jump in.

– March 10, 2011 12:02 PM
Q.

image

Don't see it on this end. Maybe ask the tech person to replace your chat photo with it?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Epic fail. I don't have a producer so this will have to wait till next week. Sorry. I will try to delete that so it doesn't drive people nuts.

Adam had to leave us, but I sure do thank him for joining in and for answering his emails!

– March 10, 2011 12:09 PM
Q.

Germantown MD: Riggo and Tiki

Sounds like Riggo is just picking on Tiki...
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

That's gotta be it, right? Riggo can be out there but he's not dumb.

– March 10, 2011 12:10 PM
Q.

DVR heaven

This is the greatest technology for the greatest week of the year--since I have my NCAA BB down to 55 remote-punching minutes, I can catch up on three or four games in an evening...as long as TBWitW doesn't mind me cleaning out a bunch of House Hunters to make space in the woefully undermemoried Comcast DVR.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Proceed with caution.

– March 10, 2011 12:11 PM
Q.

College Basketball

Apparently there is some gargantuan thing called a "Big East" that swallows all discussion about college basketball for two weeks a year. Big news is that ODU wins the CAA tournament (as well they should!), thereby likely depriving the CAA the chance to send 3! teams to the Big Dance this year. Mason is a lock to go, but you think VCU has any shot to slip in?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I don't think the CAA will get three teams. Prisbell apparently agrees, looking at his most recent 68.

– March 10, 2011 12:14 PM
Q.

UConn UConn UConn

Not U-Conn. No hyphen, no period at the end. How many more times do the Huskies have to beat Georgetown before the Post learns how to spell UConn?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Yeah, I'd like to help you, but we have something called a "stylebook," and it's the Bible. The stylebook says U-Conn. is our style. So that's what we have to do. (Every newspaper has them, byt he way, and every newspaper has these weird quirks. This is one of ours, I guess.)

– March 10, 2011 12:15 PM
Q.

Section 405

According to an email I got from the Nats, my tickets should be arriving today. I'm psyched!

I started looking at comments to your columns to see if they'd act as some kind of replacement for my daily dose of Hamiltime, and --- gosh! They're horrible - insulting, ill-(or non-)reasoned, and I can understand why writers don't bother participating there. 

Can't we come up with someting better than "Sports Talk"? How about "Sports/Kansas/Cat/Guiness Talk"? Or how about "HamilTime"? 

I appeal to the collective knowledge of all chattees: can someone direct me to a fillable March Madness bracket template online? I have to email my three charts to the person running the pool, and I don't want to type in 68 teams 3 times... Oh, to explain - I'm submitting one bracket where I try to reason it out; a second where Cinderellas triumph, and a third totally whacko one where teams with feline or bird mascots always win (and the Jayhawks go all the way).

Is there *anything* we can do to get you back daily?

A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Apparently we are soon coming out with a better comment section that will eliminate the trolls. I'll believe it when I see it. Until then, I refuse to read them. What a waste of time. And what a shame because I'm sure there are reasonable people who go there and think, "good god!"

Try this site for printable brackets. Email if that doesn't work.

Oh, and if you know of another show in Springfield, let me know. I missed last weekend's. Thanks! And I hope you have Nats tickets in your mail today.

– March 10, 2011 12:19 PM
Q.

Redskins! Love the NFL!

So, since the Skins beat both the GB Packers & the Chicago Bears last season....we have to be up there as a favorite for next year's Super Bowl ..no??
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

No. Bless your heart, though.

– March 10, 2011 12:20 PM
Q.

Hey, Pittsburgh Wife!

Do me a favor and put your hubby in front of the tube right now. Pitt doesn't need the win for a 1 seed, and I can watch UConn (NOT "U-Conn.") through the weekend.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I don't think Pitt Wife is going to help you out (but if Pitt Hubby can jinx K-State, feel free).

Now I've got to put the KU game on and try to finish my column. Thanks so much to Adam for joining us; I guess I'll have to let him off the hook. Nuts. Let's talk next week!

– March 10, 2011 12:20 PM
Q.

 

A.
Host: