Wizards draft picks and more: Sports talk with Tracee Hamilton

May 19, 2011

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

I live in Annapolis. On Tues. my husband and I took our kids out of school to se the Pirates/Nats 1 p.m. game. Before we left, we checked weather.com. It said chance of rain 10% at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., increasing to 20% at 4 p.m., 40% at 5 p.m. and 50% later in the evening. Unfortunately we did not check the Nats' web site, and were stunned to discover when we arrived at the stadium that the came had been postponed. So we went to the Zoo instead, where we enjoyed a partly sunny,, rain-free afternoon. But, really. We ealize rainouts are a part of the game, but shouldn't there at least be a sprinkle before a game is called?

Starting here because yes, this was just nuts. I couldn't believe how early the email from the Nats landed, and then later looked outside and thought, what a beautiful day for an afternoon game. Oops! I understand after living here for nearly 18 years why snow forecasts shut down the city -- no one knows what they're doing -- but rain? RAIN? I am sorry for your ruined outing but the zoo is a nice alternative.

And good morning, everyone. Let's get going.

 

The Redskins should spend the big bucks to get him. Unless they need another quarterback?

Well, let's see, John Beck is allegedly the current No. 1 quarterback. So some will argue that they do need another quarterback. The crazy thing about the Skins' offseason is that I think it would be this nuts even if there WASN'T a lockout.

I've been to about 10 games this year at Nats Park, and already I've seen one of the classic baseball tropes being played out - good luck/bad luck pitching.

I saw games where Livo should'a/could'a/would'a won, but they couldn't get a frikken run or two across.

Meanwhile, John Lannan pitches like horse excrement, but our crazy bats work for him, and either we win, or at least not lose on his watch.

I love to watch Livo pitch (his "fastball" is slower than Strasburg's curve, and I keep waiting for the gun to rate *his* slow pitch at 59).. I sure hope that when we get good next year or in '13, that Livo's still here as 4th or 5th starter, so he has at least one more great postseason moment with us.

On another note, we've had lots of rain this year (more even than '09) but.... I contend they were total wusses to call Tuesday's day game at 9:40 AM. The weather when they would have played was gorgeous.. 

We're not in it this year, so why not bring up Jesus Flores and then trade Pudge to some idiot contender and maybe get something good back.

Section 405

You've nicely summed up the craziness that has been this season. I agree about Livo; something about that guy I just like.

I've got an opposite viewpoint on Pudge here somewhere; let me find it.

(Oh, 405, were you the one who asked me about the Kodachrome Kansas story that day at Fado? Kansas magazine did a story about it; if you want a copy, email me your snail mail and I'll send it to you. Unless you can find it online.)

Nice article by Kilgore on Pudge - who I'd really like to see stick around and become the Nats' first Mr. 3000. A point I'd like to make about Jorge Posada, though. I read an article the other day about him and it seems his son is going to have his eighth surgery - eighth - for some kind of growth defect affecting his brain and skull. Posada hasn't offered it as an excuse, hasn't even mentioned it in public. As a father, I can't even imagine having to go through that once, let alone eight times, so I'm willing to cut him a little slack if he had something else on his mind and blew his cool, especially since he has since apologized to any and everybody about it. He may be making tens of millions of dollars to play a game, but he's still a man and a father.

Here's the vote for Pudge.

As for Posada, I hadn't heart that, and that's terrible. I think he's indicative of a larger problem starting up with the Yankees. It's going to be interesting because the cracks are showing.

Hello, TH! So, why did Yankees manager Joe Girardi (former catcher, BTW) not allow Bartolo Colon to complete his eight-inning, 87-pitch game the other night? He followed convention, and brought in Mariano Rivera to pitch the ninth, even though Colon was cruising with eight shutout innings, only 87 pitches to that point. Two one-out singles and a Vladimir Guerrero sacrifice fly, and the Yankees lose, tttthhhhhhheeeeeee Yankees Lose! said John Starling. I blame the nonsense of the knee-jerk "closer" mentality. Every time a new pitcher enters a game, even Mariano, there's a little uncertainty about what he brings with him that day. If you've got a starter who is cruising along, much better to let him start the ninth. But they won't -- everyone is terrified about having a high-paid "closer" enter a game with runners on base in a truly pressure-packed situation, like Gossage, Rollie Fingers, and the other relief greats did time after time. What pressure is there in starting an inning clean, with no one on base? Save stats for modern-day, ninth inning, one-inning-only relief pitchers shouldn't be compared to the relievers of prior years who came into games with runners on base, and the game truly on the line. Two or three-inning saves were not at all uncommon, and worth much more than today's antiseptic, carefully orchestrated one-inning saves. End of rant.

Exhibit B, cracks in Yankees. I agree, 87 pitches is nothing, so why not let him finish? Maybe the idea that Rivera is getting huge money and therefore must be used?

Hi, Tracee and friends! I should be, you know, actually working at 11 a.m. so I'm submitting this ahead of time. Didja see where Drew Storen visited the MLB Fan Cave in NYC the other day? I suppose there will be a related segment on TWIB this weekend, as they've been featuring the cave every week. imho, the MLB pro visits are what saves the segment from being, well, lame. Also, how come there are no gals in the Fan Cave? After all, some of us *do* have our own basement sports lairs. Anyway, hope that you'll be all over this intriguing turn of events and possibly compare cave notes with Drew after he's back in town. I'm sure that's way more compelling to readership than golf, playoffs, and stuff (riiiight). Sure do miss having the daily chats with you.

I will quiz Drew about the fan cave although I don't want to have to go to NY to experience it.

How classless can you get? If anyone has a right to complain, it's the Wizards, who have dropped 11 of the 15 years they have been in the lottery. But it's nice to see that Cleveland's sports luck may be changing.

Amazing. I was amazed. Widows and sick kids  used to be off-limits, back in the good old days. And yes, Cleveland deserved some luck -- although the Indians have helped ease the pain, too.

Hello, Tracee: A tip of the curly-W cap to Boz for today's column comparing the young Harmon Killebrew to Bryce Harper...very thought-provoking. The Nats need to let this kid learn how to play the game right while down on the farm and away from the microscope of the big leagues....let him stay down there, and hit .360 for a year or so, and learn how to field his position (whatever that turns out to be), and how to NOT to run the bases like his pants are on fire. He also needs to grow up a bit, which is no sin for an 18-year-old. Good work by Boz to explain how the old bonus baby system worked (mostly against) the young pheenoms of the fifties and early sixties. Wish we could see more column-inches from you, TH - let the Poobahs know you're in demand. There's a pint of the good stuff for you at Fado's any time you'd care to collect.

See tomorrow's paper (or today's website) for more on the Harper subject, because I agree with you.

Really? Is that going to be you holding that chat later on the Preakness? Sounds like a name used for a big frat party.

God know. But that's what it is. They have a poster and everything and they sell the infield experience as a giant drunken party. Sounds fun, doesn't it? The poster is amazing. I wouldn't want to be on the roads anywhere near the track on Saturday.

The entire weekly schedule of live Q&As used to be right on the front page of washingtonpost.com. That made it easy to read any of the previous chats you were interested in. Now it is quite a struggle to find the weekly schedule. And when you do find it, it still is difficult to get to the week's earlier chats. I suggest your tech staff keep working to get this right--i.e., the way it used to be!

I agree; it's hard for me to find, too.

Ok. Who is this Clinton Yates and why does he rate a DAILY chat/conversation and you, oh one who is knowledgable about all things sports/beverages/Seinfeld/cats/Kansas, only get a WEEKLY chat/conversation? Whats up with that?

I assume Clinton's numbers are way  higher than mine. (Nice guy, by the way.) I have no way of knowing, of course, but I assume so. :)

Nice article on Tiger the other day. I really want him to come back because I love watching excellence like that which he displayed in what may well turn out to have been his prime. To me he's like Michael Jordan. I don't really care for the NBA, but when MJ was on TV I had it on. Same effect with Tiger. I think what he did to his wife was crappy, but I can't be too judgmental since I have to be honest and say I don't know what I'd do if I had gorgeous women throwing themselves at me night after night after night. I'd like to think I'd resist (and so would my wife) but who knows? In any event, my opinion of him personally has no bearing on my opinion of him as a golfer. JMO. Thoughts?

I think he makes any tournament more interesting and I want him to be able to come back and challenge, but I'm just not optimistic. I'm not thrilled about his off-course behavior, either, but he's paid the price. Enjoying his game is not endorsing promiscuity, in my opinion. But others don't agree, and that's fine for them.

Tracy - love the chats! When Sally is writing a column about the NFL lockout, can you hear her whistling "Look for the Union Label"?

If she weren't in New York, I probably could. Sally,  hope you see this because I know it will make you cackle.

I noticed Sally told Steinberg she worries she's attacking the owners too much, or words to that effect. It's something a good columnist takes her temperature on -- balance. And Sally is a good columnist. According to her peers in our business, in fact, she's the best. No argument here!

Tracee, I am in complete agreement with Sally Jenkins on this one. The owners are just living in La La Land. I do have a question about the lockout, though. Maybe I simply don't understand it all (highly likely), but I just don't understand the logic of preventing players from working out and especially practicing. It seems counterproductive. Suppose the lockout goes on until September or October. By not letting players practice you've basically ensured that the teams are going to look like a Division 1-A college team. Or worse - have you SEEN the Pro Bowl? What am I missing?

Oh, there are a million reasons. They can't pay them. They won't work out without pay. Insurance. Facilities. Blah blah blah. You just can't have it both ways. And yes, if they settle this late, we could see some really awful play at the start of the season. Or we could see that it doesn't matter and make the players' point that there's too many OTAs, mini-camps, camps and preseason games.

Shortly Plaxico Burress will be released from incarceration Jun 6 to be exact. Could/should the Skins think about signing him?

I see no reason why a number of teams won't want a look at Plaxico. Of course, no one can sign him, but I'm guessing a group of players will invite him to their workouts and see how he's doing. I think he can come back and play, he served his time ... in that regard he's like Michael Vick. Why not?

TBHitW, posting early--'cuz this made me think of you: Kansas City Bottom 9th - Jeff Francoeur walked. Runner on first with none out and Billy Butler due up. - Jarrod Dyson is pinch-running for Jeff Francoeur at first. - Jarrod Dyson picked off at first. None on with one out and Billy Butler at the plate. - Billy Butler walked. Runner on first with one out and Wilson Betemit due up. - Mike Aviles is pinch-running for Billy Butler at first. - Mike Aviles picked off at first. None on with two outs and Wilson Betemit at the plate. - Wilson Betemit struck out looking to end the inning.

Yes, grim futility often reminds people of me! :) They are the Royals; they have some "issues."

Should the Wizards try to package the 6th and 24th pick to move up in the draft or do they have so many needs that they are better off staying put and getting multiple first round talent for this team?

I would keep the two picks because this draft just isn't deep enough and there just isn't enough difference among the top, say, 20 players to justify moving up to get one and giving up a pick.

Tracee You can take the farm girl out of the farm , but you can't take farm out of the girl. The Nick Gilbert story is indeed heart warming and he is a courageous young man with probably far more testicular fortitude than anyone his Dad will draft, but that doesn't change the situation of the NBA having one of the least transparent "lottery" draft procedures in sports. It is second only to the IOC's selection of Olympic sites. You can't possibly believe that this wasn't David Stern's consolation prize to Cleveland . Can you ?

Well, I'd like it to be more transparent and see no reason it can't. Am I positive it's rigged? No. Is it possible? Yes. TK said yesterday he doesn't care if it is rigged if that's how the NBA needs to do it to take care of its inequities. Not sure I'd go that far, but if nothing else, just let the teams go in draft order. What's wrong with that?

Tracee, I know it's old news that you're not chatting every day but I still miss it terribly. When are we having the next get-together? I missed the last one and don't want to again.

I'm debating summer vs. fall because of vacations, including my own. But we will have one in Virginia and one in Maryland, no question.

You want your quarterbacks to have confidence, but really, really? Can you just designate yourself the starter and assume everyone else will fall in line? Unless you're Al Haig, of course.

I think he's making the smart play, frankly. He rose in my estimation just by being all authoritarian and stuff. :)

Any chance you can get your pal Adam to put the Nats' score in the first paragraph of his articles?

Probably not. That straight news lede approach died at a while back and I don't see it returning since most people know the result by the time they read the gamer. Or so the theory goes. (I know all the theories.) My old boss George used to automatically move the score up in everyone's story. Drove him nuts. Say, are you my old boss George?

I heard a story about a group of friends and relatives of a Pirates player who rented a bus, I think in NC, to come to Washington to see the Tues. game. While the so-called rainout gave them additonal time to visit with him, they could not believe the game had been called. Then last night they play the entire game in a driving rain. It's enough to make me stick to indoor sports.

Absolutely nuts. In Boston, they played in pea soup fog. This has been a crazy season for rainouts.

Hello, TH: Still sad about Killebrew's passing. I never met him, but I can't think of another player in any major sport who was so talented, but so unassuming and seemed to modest about his accomplishments. He was an honest, hard-working ballplayer, and a terrific power hitter. He hit some moon shots against the Red Sox, that's for sure. Those mid-1960s Twins were a good team; I think people forget that. Good bye, Harmon - you were good to the game, and played hard. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord; And let perpetual light shine upon him.

Amen.

I agree with your point that Kahn picked the wrong time/place to complain about the draft, but count me among the unsurprised if it turns out the lottery system is rigged.

Noted.

The chat schedule says you will be discussing the Wizrads draft picks. So, who are they?

It does? Why does it say that, I wonder? Oh, it says "Wizards draft picks and more." Thank Goodness. I'm going to go with Marcus Morris at No. 6 and Markief Morris at No. 18.

Seriously, the mock drafts I've seen all have the Wizards taking Jan Vesely from the Czech Republic at No. 6.  I think trying to figure out the 18th pick is futile, given this bunch. And I don't think Jordan  Williams will be available by the Wiz's third pick.

So, who do you think the Wiz will take? I've seen a foreign big man and defensive stopper listed as likely choices with their two first round picks. Wonder if Jordan Williams will be there in Round 2 when the Wiz pick again. Perhaps they should draft a PG out of Syracuse named McNabb, he may be available this year.

Sorry, I answered your Jordan Williams question in the previous post. I'm apparently losing it.

Sorry, but I hate it. Should be based completely on record, IMO. And I don't say that because the Wizards have been hosed - I don't care for either the NBA or the Wizards - I just think the whole idea is silly, What's the rationale for it?

I think part of it is to try to keep teams from tanking at the end of the season or trading away all their talent to get that top pick. This way does prevent that because there are no guarantees. But it's always left the NBA open to these accusations.

If I had to pick the first of the Nats, Skins, or Wiz to become competitive. I'd pick the Nats - your choice? The Wiz have 7 participants under contract for about $38M. Wall, Crawford, and probably Booker seem to be keepers. Two are in the Qualifying Offer category (I'd start Nick at one year at $3.7M to judge offers, and drop Yi.) Two first round draft picks would make 10, they have a second round pick, which leves 4 to 6 slots open. The past 3 year have garnered 19, 26, and 23 wins, What's the over/under on 30? How many years to 40?

Today, I'd agree with you re Nats. The Wiz are further away, which is scary if you think about it. The Skins are the wild card -- it's hard to tell what's going on with them at any given point.

I'm not sure they can win 30 next year, but I think so. I've said the rebuilding will take three more seasons, and by that I mean contending for a playoff spot.

That the Preakness must induce the young folks to attend with beer. Couldn't they have used Sno Cones instead?

It IS shocking, isn't it? What's wrong with sack races and pie eating contests, I say!

Hi, Trac. I am feeling kinda grab-baggy today. (a) I am irritated with national media and the disparities between coverage of NBA and NHL semifinals. I get that the NBA is more popular, but it appears that it's 96% NBA and 4% NHL. I guess this is what you get when your sport doesn't sign a contract with the Worldwide Leader. (b) The NFL lockout seems utterly pointless to me. Don't get me wrong, I still think the players are right and the owners wrong (that rule of thumb always works) but this stoppage seems more idiotic than most. (c) The column archive link in "About The Host" under your photo doesn't show any columns later than March. (d) I never much cared for MLB interleague play and now it seems utterly ridiculous. Yes, there is one thing less meaningful than a Pirates-Astros game: a Blue Jays-Astros game. (And for that matter a Pirates-Tigers game.) (e) Actually, now that I look at it, I don't sound grab-baggy so much as irritated. And not even entertainingly angry, just sort of cranky, like I need a nap. You kids get off my lawn! -- Rico

You are correct about the NHL; if you don't play on the network, you barely exists.

Agree about the lockout. The archive link  ... hmmm ... maybe I'm supposed to be updating that. Oy.

You are right, Rico, you sound cranky. Have a nice lunch, maybe a little treat, and relax.

Hi Tracee, Do you think the CAPS will re-sign Brooksie? Or is going to attract other teams that will offer him more $.

I think the Caps will re-sign him. However, Ted is having a chat today at 1 on washingtoncaps.com so you might check in there as well. :)

Are. You. Kidding. Me? They canceled the game before 10 am, before the first rain drops fell, based on a FORECAST?!? How bush league can you get? I've never even seen a minor league game canceled so soon, and I've been to a lot of minor league parks. As someone who had every intention of enjoying a rare pleasure - a weekday day game in May - I was extremely disappointed, especially since I was near the ballpark for much of what would have been game time and it was gorgeous. They're talking about making it up in July, which is fine, except that 1 PM in July AIN'T 1 PM in May 'round these parts. As well as Rizzo is doing to put a good product on the field, the rest of management is doing to ruin everything surrounding it (concessions, etc). Do the Lerners have any idea how much they're pissing off the loyal fan base (i.e. people committed enough to see a Tuesday day game against the PIRATES)?

Letting people vent about this because some venting is clearly needed. It was truly ridiculous.

T: 6th pick and 17th and Aundray Blatche to the Timberwolves for the 2nd pick and the Wiz picks Williams from Arizona. What do you think?

Hmmmm. My first instinct is yes, although I can't imagine the T-Wolves agreeing, but the Wizards have SO MANY NEEDS. That's three players for one. I don't know if they can afford it. And Williams is good but is he that good? Maybe. Boy, that's a toughie. We have a couple of minutes -- anyone?

Oh how I miss Zim, Dunn, & Willingham. Pretty soon MLB will require the Nats to change their names to the "Washington Mendozas".

That team batting average is revolting (.225). That they are hovering around .500 is somewhat impressive.

Do you think if John Wall had actually worn Mrs. Polin's pearls that the Wizards draft position would have been better? I truly wish he had worn them, I might have actually watched the Draft Lottery then. Ok, no way I'd ever waste my time watching the lottery, but I would have thought about it at least...

You could have watched clips later. I don't know what went wrong with Wall -- he must have chickened out -- because he was serious when he told me all that, because I asked him to be sure. And Mrs. Pollin called me to tell me she'd lend him whatever he wanted. I did my part!

Until you get your daily chat back. Or I can send my associates Guido and Rocco from Break Your Leg Collections "Our Motto is Snap Crackle Pop We get Your Money" to talk to publisher and editor of this rag. I am sure they will all come to a mutual understanding. Your pink ring wearing classmate in Kansas City

This is worrying me, because I can think of a lot of classmates in Kansas City who could do this. Please don't. I like our publisher and editor and love our owner. And let's not boycott Clinton. It's not his fault. A guy once got promoted over me and was stunned to find I didn't hate his guts. Hey, he didn't do it, my bosses did. Why would I hate him? :)

He was joking! He said it at the time and he's reiterated it since.

Was. Not. Funny.

I think he tried to pass it off as a joke but I think the undercurrent was, the draft is fixed. Hey, he's not the only one who thinks so. I don't fault him for that, just for his unbelievably poor lack of timing and basic kindness.

Tracee, I think you need to do a Midwest tour. We'd like to meet you out here!

Well, I'll be in Kansas for two weeks. That's the best I can do. If you want to come to the middle of nowhere, I'll show you how to witch graves.

Back in 1972 my dad was able to get tickets to a Skins home game to celebrate my bday. He got 4 tickets and I took two friends. I think the whole deal coast him less then $125 for the tickets parking, souvenirs and food. Now my son will be 13yo iin Nov and if I wanted to do the same thing with similar seats at Fedex we are talking about dropping a grand give or take. And sorry with the current standards of fan behavior I really dont want to go. NFL owners need to realize they are losing a generation of fans. Kids cant afford to go to the games with their parents because of the high costs. BTW the cost for a home Cowboys game is about $2k w/o hotel and airfare. Giants is more then $1500.

Yes, I bought one ticket for my nephew last year and was amazed at the cost. I agree that the prices are terrible and with the time lost in traffic or parking it's a real investment of time AND money. My folks had to drive us eight hours to a baseball game when we were kids and there's no way it cost anywhere near that. Inflation, obviously, but that's not all.

It wasn't like Kahn shoved the Widow Pollin, then clowned on the sick kid. The Wolves were disappointed in their lottery spot, and he said so. He didn't out-and-out go after either of these protected parties; it would've been even funnier if he said something like "I'm going to show up in a full bodycast next year and see where that gets us". The elephant in the room here is that ever since the Knicks magically got Ewing, there's been a lurking suspicion that the process is rigged. While it can boil down to sour grapes by a guy who didn't get the top pick, there can still be a rational discussion about this, can there not?

And there has been. And continues to be. I said he had good reason to be disappointed. But it was a bonehead thing to say. This kid's disease is horrible, painful and disfiguring, so I don't think any comparison to a full body cast or anything similar would have been appropriate. Why not say "We're 0-for-15 -- what's up with that?" without dragging Mrs. Pollin and Nick Gilbert into it. Because I'm 100 pct sure neither of THEM rigged the draft.

The system was changed from what you propose to a draft lottery to prevent teams from tanking to get the top draft pick. Why do you want to go back?

To stop all the blather about the lottery being rigged? Listen, I don't really have a dog in this hunt, but you have to pick your poison -- tanking or the appearance of rigging. Or find a way to make the lottery completely transparent to shut up this talk once and for all. The talk has been going on a long time -- the poster who mentioned Patrick Ewing is correct -- and the league can't do anything to fix that perception? I don't buy that.

With the passing of Harmon Killebrew, I thought about one of my favorite features of the Bill James Historical Almanac. For each decade, he had a category called "Most Admirable Superstar." It is hard to think of anyone who exemplified it more than Mr. Killebrew. Superstars like him, Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn, etc. are just special. It sure is nice to think of them instead of all the knuckleheads out there.

Agreed.

Been out of the country for a couple of weeks, was wondering if there's any update on the proposed joint chat by you and Hax?

Ah, thanks for the reminder. I'm gone a couple of weeks but will try to chat with Carolyn and see what we can do.

Please point out to the exuberant Yankee hater that the Yankees won last night despite the blown save. Also note that a young pitcher in his first ever appearance Héctor Noesí pitched four superb innings, getting the win. Do you really need a reason to bring in Mariano Rivera? To quote you: "Maybe the idea that Rivera is getting huge money and therefore must be used?" How about "Maybe he is the best closer by a long shot in major league history?" Especially to close out Bartolo Colon an acquisition that was mocked at the beginning of the year by just about everyone associated with the game. Believe it or not, all Yankee fans do not expect to win the World Series every year. However, they do expect a competitive team that includes a mix of high priced free agents, smart trades and acquisitions, and farm raised talent, just like the makeup of the current team. I believe this blueprint is what both the Nationals and Orioles are trying to use.

Of course he's the best -- or top 3 at the least -- in major league history, by a long shot. I'm actually a Rivera fan. You're falling into that trap that any discussion of the Yankees (and some other teams) only includes those who are right -- and Yankee haters. I don't hate the Yankees. I am not sure I hate any MLB team. Hmmmm.... no, I don't. There are Yankee haters out there, but not every criticial remark about the Yankees denotes hatred. I can't imagine wasting that much emotional energy hating a sports team. The only thing I can think of that I truly hate is Alex Trebek.

The Royals aren't very good, but they are entertaining. Last night, their closer gives up a run, then their star call-up jacks a first-pitch fastball off the Rangers closer. They proceed to get multiple runners on base in the 9th, 10th and 11th and still have a decent shot at winning up through the last called strike. Oh, and then there's poor Vin Mazzaro. In the old days, the Royals were bad and boring. Now they're bad and interesting...with nine rookies on the roster. Sounds fun to me.

I was going to write something about Mazzaro the other day and changed my mind. I will get to see two straight weeks of Royals games so I'm really psyched. ;)

Terp basketball is tops in my book and Gary Williams is one of the all time great coaches, but I find it hard to comprehend the inability of Maryland to land some of the top area recruits. We've been told that Gary avoided the AAU circuit or wouldn't play that game. Why? Are the demands of AAU coaches any different than what high school coaches expect? How? The insinuation is that running a clean program and avoiding NCAA sanctions requires caution when dealing with the summer leagues. You can't read Gary's mind, but what have you heard in the rumor mill. tks

The AAU circuit is pretty dirty, and Gary ran a clean program. But other guys are running clean programs and finding a way to deal with it. Turgeon's biggest hurdle will be local recruiting, because that was always the knock on Gary. Delonte Hill should help; K-State had more Maryland/DC talent than Maryland did. Heck, KU has Thomas Robinson. Trust me, if Hill can get them to go to Manhattan, Kansas ... (that's a little shoutout to K-Stater).

Why can't kids today have fun like we did: Rolling drunkenly (or otherwise inebriated) in the mud with people we don't know while being bombarded by music that's too distorted to hear? Sounds like a good time to my (much) younger self. Might make the horses wonder who should be riding whom, though.

Speak for yourself. I was a good girl.

Let's not forget that NBA teams HAVE tanked to get the number one pick before the draft was instituted. NBA team owners make NFL team owners look like dragons of purity.

Yup, no one is arguing that point. The question is, which is the lesser of two evils?

Dontcha know - after 5 years on the waiting list, we finally got our Bears season tix (yay!). Of course, this will be the lockout year. <sigh> - Hawks/Bears Fan

Well, congrats. You'll have to hang on for one tumultuous year and then you're set! Great place to see football.

Both sides yesterday said that there was some level of progress in the negotiations and the NFL reiterated that the best way to for the lockout to come to a conclusion is through face to face talks. Why then, are they not meeting again for nearly 3 weeks?

I'll tell you honestly -- I've never understood labor/management negotiations. Get in a room, close the door and fix it. But I know there are reasons that won't work. I just don't get it. Just work it out. Both sides want the other to blink and they clearly don't care they're driving their fan base nuts.

How much do chats cost the Post? It's just digits. It isn't as if they take up valuable ink in the actual paper. If you wanted to chat 3 x a day, 7 days a week, why does the Post care?

They cost the time of a producer and as near as I can tell, that's it. That's why I'm "producing" my own now. Why do they want to get rid of them? Truthfully, I don't know.

The NBA playoffs made me wonder which is better: a 4th quarter that is basically the same as the other 3 quarters, or a 4th quarter that is nothing like the rest of the game. Would you prefer a tight 4th quarter after a tight game paired with a blow out 4th and blow out game; or a blow out after a tight game and a tense 4th comeback from an earlier blow out. I think I like the 4th quarter to be the same as the rest of the game. What about you?

I would prefer the fourth quarter to be like the other three, just as I would prefer regular season hockey to be like playoff hockey, but then I'm old fashioned. You damn kids get off my lawn!

Okay, I've got to finish up my work here and go for a shoulder checkup -- should be my last one. Yay!

Next week's chat will be hosted by Dave Sheinin; June 2 will bring you Dan Steinberg. I'll be back June 9. If anyone's going to be passing through Salina, Kansas, in the next week weeks, fire me an email and let me know. Otherwise, we'll chat in a couple of weeks!

What about a certain state that borders Kansas to the east?

Good point.

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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.

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