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January 10, 2013

11:02
A.M.

Tracee Hamilton discusses local and national sports -- and whatever else you want to talk about.

Total Responses: 66

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.

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About the topic

This week, Tracee Hamilton discusses all the sports news.

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Q.

Everyone take a step back and relax

While I'm sure RGIII will be on the front page of the Post from now through next Christmas, there won't be any way to evaluate his rehab for 3 or 4 months at the earliest Just wish him well, pray, send healing thoughts his way or whatever and then forget about it for awhile until there is actually some news on the topic.

A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I'm nearly where you are. One more column and I'm done for awhile, I hope. But there seems to be a tremendous readership for it.

And good morning, all. Let's get started.

– January 10, 2013 11:03 AM
Q.

RGIII and Stras - 405

Don't the Nats look so much better about the Strasburg shutdown after the Redskin's botch of RGIII's condition? Section 405
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Short answer: yes. But then, I thought they were right at the time so they don't really look "better" to me; they look the same.

– January 10, 2013 11:05 AM
Q.

Adam LaRoche

Given his amazing year, including a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, why do you think that some AL team didn't grab LaRoche like a hot biscuit dripping with butter? I can understand why the NL didn't, but couldn't the Red Sox or Orioles have used him? I'm extremely glad he's back with us, but I feel bad for him.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I think it was the length of the deal. I, too, am happy he's back.

– January 10, 2013 11:07 AM
Q.

NHL lockout perfect timing

This NHL lockout has been great timing for fans of both the Redskins and Capitals. Maybe the NHL could consider going to a flexible start schedule for the season based on when the Redskins are eliminated from playoff contention. Some years that could be January. During the lean years, they could start the NHL season in October. (Yes, Capitals militants, I'm just trying to be funny.)
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

It certainly worked out well this year. (And yes, I'm kidding too.) The Backstrom injury, however -- not so good. Are all the local teams destined to have one headline-hogging injury? Ugh.

– January 10, 2013 11:08 AM
Q.

Not even sure where to start

So much to say. Think you'll get a lot of questions/comments about the Skins. Can I just say that I have been "medium" on Shanahan since he got here, but Sunday put me over the edge. EVERYONE in the stadium knew that RGIII was hurt and effective, but he let RGIII, a 22 year old rookie, make the call about whether or not he should stay in. The man sitting in front of me at the game was livid by the beginning of the third quarter that he was still playing - and we had probably 5% of the information that Shanny did. I just don't get it for two reasons: 1) you could hurt RGIII more (which happened) and 2) more importantly, he was completely ineffective in the office. 6.7% QB rating? I think Cousins gave us a better chance to win - if only to keep the offense on the field a bit longer since the defense played 75% of the game. And yes, they gave up 24 unanswered points, but they really played well, and didn't let Seattle take the lead until halfway thru the 4th (and kept the fumble on the 1 to a FG). In other news, I am kinda mad at the NHL and unsure how I would feel when it started back up. Then I saw the picture of Ovie at Dulles and it immediately put a smile on my face. Man, I love hockey! GO ATLANTA! :)
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I think if Cousins had had time to find his footing (no pun intended), he might have pulled it out. Of course a healthy Griffin gives you a better chance of winning, but an unhealthy Griffin is just a hobbling quarterback. We'll never know.

– January 10, 2013 11:09 AM
Q.

A more curmudgeonly group

Has there ever been a more curmudgeonly goup in sports than the baseball writers association of America? I get Bonds and Clemens, but when you don't vote for the best offensive catcher in history (Piazza), one of the best first basemen in history (Bagwell) and one of the best all around players in the last 30 years (Biggio) then you've got some issues to work out. I always feel like the BBWAA have somehow classified the last 20 years of the game as lesser than the years that came before it and treat it with disdain. I understand that we are in or have just left the "steroid era" but at some point you have to acknowledge that these players were great not only for their time but for all time- the players of the 90's and 2000's are the equals of Bench, Yaz, Mantle, Pee Wee, and Gibson that the BBWAA gush about all the time...
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Well, I would have voted in Biggio, but I think the BBWAA wants to make "first ballot" a rare thing, and that's why he didn't get it. I think Glavine is up next year. (I may have the wrong Braves pitcher.) Now I'd make him first ballot, too, but we'll see. Surely he will be.

– January 10, 2013 11:11 AM
Q.

Boring Bowls

I don't listen to the commentary when watching sports (except Joe B and Laucher)--I listen to music--so I missed the whole Brent Musburger thing. But I did notice that there seemed to be a lot of time spent scanning the stands for young women. Colin Klein's wife got a lot of airtime during that dreadful game, though I get that her story is kinda interesting (daughter of K-State and K.C. football royalty, basketball player, etc.). Perhaps if the bowl games themselves were better, the folks commenting wouldn't be forced into so much freestyle. There were very few bowl games worth fifteen minutes of my time, much less four hours. At some point, people will start tuning out. Right?

A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I am writing about this for Sunday, but you're right -- the cameramen are finding these people and the producer decides to put them on the air. What is Musburger supposed to say about her? Once you've identified her, you can move on ... unless the camera doesn't. Then he has dead air. I don't get the fuss, either, but I'm old. Shirley Povich used to hang onto my shoulder and call me "dear" when he came into the office, but I never thought it was creepy, although by today's human resources courses in sexual harassment, I should have called human resources. Oy.

– January 10, 2013 11:14 AM
Q.

The State of Kansas

Three for three in the AP Basketball Poll this week!
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Like to see that!

– January 10, 2013 11:15 AM
Q.

Hall of Fame

Hi, Trac! I thought the BBWAA vote was an interesting straw poll on public opinion about a lot of issues. Bonds' and Clemens' totals show that the he-was-great-before-he-doped mentality has a large but minority following. I'm a huge Raines supporter, and I think the mixed results for him, Smith, and Morris show that opinion about the best indicators of performance is still changing; the sabremetricians have not yet completed their takeover. Above all, the vote shows that it is much harder to get in to the Hall than it has been in the past, which does a disservice to the players of this generation. What do you think? Or are you not a HOFnik? Rico
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Rico: I'm not much of a HOFnik because of course we don't vote. I think some of the guys from the steroids era will get in eventually but they'll first be made to wait. The guys who did steroids ... I don't think so. I hope not.

– January 10, 2013 11:15 AM
Q.

KneeGate

Only questions/comments about Kneegate are permitted until pitchers and catchers report....Sports reporters must be rejoicing, a gimmee column topic every day!
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Not really; kind of already tired of it, but it is the gift that keeps on giving. :) One reason I'll be glad for Caps action.

– January 10, 2013 11:17 AM
Q.

Shanahan

Hi Tracee, first time on your chat. I can't help but note the irony in the Shanahan/RG3 fiasco. Last week sports journalists were universally praising Shanahan for his astute approach to re-building the team with a clever blend of free agent signings and draft choices, as well as designing a brilliant offensive scheme to best utilize the available talent. This week he is universally criticized and denounced for callously risking RG3's career and the organization's future in order to win a playoff game. From hero to goat in one day. Fame is truly fleeting.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Very true. And he has done a good job, with Allen, of building the roster. He'll really have to be a miracle worker now. And he did screw up with RGIII. One of these days, he'll be a genius again, I suppose, but the RGIII thing will always be on his resume.

– January 10, 2013 11:17 AM
Q.

Shanahan and RGIII

Tracee did you know that RG III's surgeon James Andrews was the SEC indoor and outdoor pole vault champion in the 1960s, when he went to LSU? I saw this on his Pensacola Center's web site, looking for more info on RG III's road ahead. I thought your piece on process was very fair, and Boswell's piece this morning tough but still very reasonable. But I hope we are close to a moratorium on obsessing over Shanahan's culpability. He made a big mistake that he must regret deeply, grievously, given the obvious respect and fondness he feels toward RG III. But he is not evil or stupid, as some other commentators seem to claim. And this experience could lead to an even closer relationship between coach and quarterback. Godspeed to RG III.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I did not know that; nice little fact! And I agree re Shanahan. I think he has genuine affection for RGIII and probably has had some sleepless nights. I think RGIII has tremendous affection for both Shanahans, too. I certainly don't think he was being deliberately evil. But boy, did things go sideways in a hurry.

– January 10, 2013 11:19 AM
Q.

Not that I'm superstitious

But Wheel of Fortune gives $5000 at the end of each show to a viewer whose Spin ID matches that flashed on the screen. The ID is your initials plus 7 numbers, so yours would be TH#######. Not once but twice last week the Spin ID started RG3! Once was amazing and twice just blew us away. Not that anyone ever wins, and we're sure he doesn't have one, but we still thought it was a good omen. Now we're hoping it leads to a speedy recovery.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Eerie! That's like Lincoln's secretary being named Kennedy, and Kennedy's being named Lincoln.

– January 10, 2013 11:20 AM
Q.

YoUDee

Oh, Woman of Wisdom, is YoUDee, the University of Delaware mascot, male or female? I submit that it is a "Fighting Blue Hen", and hens are female. An alum counters that a Blue Hen is a chicken breed, and it is more like a "Fighting Gamecock" rooster, hence male.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Well, you know what, I never thought about it, despite having lived in Delaware, but my chicken knowledge is limited to Kansas chickens. From what I found on the interwebs, the  Blue Hen is absolutely male.

– January 10, 2013 11:20 AM
Q.

Robert McCartney column on Fedex Field fan behavior

I used to try to go to a couple of Redskins games a year. I considered a good game experience to be one in which I only had beer spilled on me. Gave it up forever when fans would throw up all over the seats and still not get tossed from the stadium. Dan needs to handle Fedex Field like a bar, with ex-football players as bouncers. Most of the ushers are too afraid of the drunks to do anything. (Here is the column.)

A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I heard from a guy who was sucker punched at the Dallas game. I know that of all the places I don't want to be, a night NFL game ranks pretty high on my list. FedEx just gets more awful because of the extra long commute. The ushers are pretty much powerless to do anything; they certainly aren't hired for their size or demeanor. It's a real shame. I've said before, I'd be nervous taking a small kid to a game, although people certainly do.

– January 10, 2013 11:21 AM
Q.

Montgomery Village, MD

O goddess of the Plains and Knower of ALL things GREAT and small Posting while a certain QB is under the knife. From listening to noted surgeons and former players who have had the same or similar surgeries and thus actually QUALIFIED to render facts and analysis about what the surgery and rehab will produce for said QB, should we now begin to refer to "RGIII" as perhaps "RGI.V "or "RGII " ? MAYBE he will be able to start the 2014 season. Will Shanny the egotistical coach who was trying to burnish his "hopeful" Hall of Fame career with a win without Elway, still be the Coach then ?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

You were posting instead of praying? What is WRONG with you? I am sure RGIII will acquire a variety of clever pun nicknames in the next 6 to 12 months. So, too, will Shanahan. As for the latter, I am not sure. That contract extension hasn't been done, though. :)

– January 10, 2013 11:22 AM
Q.

Fed Ex Field playing condition

If that field met NFL standards, those standards need to be reevaluated. I can see if there was a major weather event in the week prior to the game, but that was not the case here. My kids neighborhood field is in much better shape and it pretty much takes care of itself.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I wrote this, but I'll repeat myself and agree with you. Ridiculous. And it didn't suddenly go to pot last week. It hasn't looked good for awhile. I predict that is something that will get fixed.

– January 10, 2013 11:22 AM
Q.

Cubs curse - Section 405

Could the Cubs' curse, dating back to 1909, be the result of the unfair way they won the 1908 NL pennant, the last time they won the Series? In a late September game, with the Cubs and Giants tied for first with 6 left to play, and the score 1-1 in the 9th, the 19-year old rookie Fred Merkle got to first on a single with two outs, advancing the winning run to third. The next batter hit a clean single, the guy on third scored, and the fans poured out of the stands to celebrate and go home (the normal exit was through the field to an outfield gate. Merkle, on first, peeled off to the clubhouse without touching second, which was already engulfed by fans. This was normal, accepted procedure in walk-off situations a hundred years ago. The Cubs second baseman, Johnny Evers, called for an appeal play. With hundreds of fans on the field, he was tossed the alleged ball in play, stepped on second, and the ump gave him the call - and the run was not counted. With the insanity happening on the field, there was no way the tied game could continue, so they called the game on account of darkness. The New York Times game story blamed the game result on "Censurable stupidity on the part of player Merkle". For the rest of his life, Merkle was known as Fred "Bonehead" Merkle, and he stayed away from baseball for years after his career ended, embittered by the unfair criticism and cruel nickname. I'm sure it was in the first paragraph of his obituary when he died in 1956. At the end of the season, the Cubs and Giants were tied, so they had a playoff game, which the Cubs won. They won the Series that year, and haven't won one since. Is this a payback for the unfair denigration of a fairly impressive ballplayer?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Could be. Merkle is one of my favorite ballplayers. Poor guy. Just shows how one mistake can haunt you forever.

– January 10, 2013 11:25 AM
Q.

Fed Ex Experience

Robert McCartney is simply wrong when he says the Fed Ex experience is typical of other NFL venues. I moved here from Cleveland, with its notorious Dawg Pound, but that was only one section of the stadium and the Browns have taken steps to bring it under control. I've taken my children, now 15, 14 and 12, to two Super Bowls and games around the country, including the Meadowlands and Phillie, with few if any problems. We enjoy a couple Ravens games a year, but I won't let them within a mile of Fed Ex Field on game days. Some day a drop-dead drunk driver is going to kill someone on the way home from a game and if the cops can show he was served alcohol at the stadium, the Redskins are going to be in a heap of trouble.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I think night games are pretty much the same around the league, perhaps without so much violence but the same amount of drunkenness. Day games, you may be right. I certainly have seen and heard a lot of bad stories out of FedEx. However, I think not everyone would share you view of the Philly experience. Weren't they one of the first teams to put a jail in the stadium? Maybe not. But I love that it's a plot point in "Silver Linings Playbook." As for kids, I agree completely.

– January 10, 2013 11:26 AM
Q.

How long does it take for toe nails to grow out?

I allowed my daughters to paint mine burgundy and gold - and while they sure did a great job - well, I am a male, and it's not funny anymore, what with the season being over and all.....anyone?

A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Nail polish remover. If your daughters have nail polish, they'll have remover.

– January 10, 2013 11:26 AM
Q.

Emily Latella - What's all this I hear about RGKNEE?

I thought it was RGIII? Oy, what a mess, any chance that the management is rethinking the contract extensions? Real question - what would other Head Coaches have done? Gibbs? or any of them - what's the known data suggest? Was Shanahan caught up in the moment or riding the wave, or just trying to protect his j-o-b?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

RGKnee -- there we go.

I don't think there is "known data" to answer your question. And I'm not sure I would like to guess. All NFL coaches want to win, and are under tremendous pressure to win. And they all like guys who say "rub some dirt on it and put me back in." The problem, to me, is that Griffin stopped giving them a chance to win with that first injury in the game. At least, that's what I saw. We can all see what we want at times.

– January 10, 2013 11:27 AM
Q.

The Tracee Curse

See?!?! You even HINT about a game, and the curse works. Sheesh. -K-Stater
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I know, I am the WORST.

– January 10, 2013 11:28 AM
Q.

NFL this weekend

Which game do expect to be the best this weekend? Do the Texans have a chance? And more importantly Chopt, Chipotle, or Greek for lunch?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

See above.

– January 10, 2013 11:29 AM
Q.

Weekend choices

Hi Tracee, Want to share your picks for the 4 playoff games over the weekend?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

See two above.

– January 10, 2013 11:30 AM
Q.

DC

I grew up a Tigers fan. So, when Griffin went down, you know who I thought of: Mark Fidrych. That one magical season was incredible, but even though he came back after hurting his knee hopping a fence, he was never the same. Ah, The Bird.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Wish I had been in Detroit then, just to see him. Let's hope there are no parallels because without Griffin, this franchise is in a world of trouble.

– January 10, 2013 11:33 AM
Q.

LaRoche deal

I'm of course very sorry about RGIII but don't really follow football. But the Nats are going to be awesome! I predict they will be competing with the Skins for front page WaPo coverage through November. Go Nats!
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I hope so; it's more fun, even for media folk, when that happens!

– January 10, 2013 11:33 AM
Q.

why did they draft Kirk Cousins?

Why did the Redskins draft Kirk Cousins if they think he is worse than a one legged quarterback?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Fair question. It's not like he hadn't gotten any experience this season.

– January 10, 2013 11:34 AM
Q.

Injury Recovery

Is the timeline given for RGIII's recovery a standard timeline, or specific to his age and conditon as an elite athelete?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

You mean Andrews' timeline? I think that's specific to him. Andrews knows his work ethic and recovery ability. The other timelines given by doctors who know the injury but not the player are not as optimistic -- but they don't know the man. So you have to decide who to believe.

– January 10, 2013 11:34 AM
Q.

HOF Voting

I know the Post writers do not vote - but what is your thought - maybe tweak Boz - on the ohfer voting? Frankly I have no issues with it, but I do wonder about Biggio and the other guy from Houston, and even Morris (who I was never too fond of). There fellows are not from the PED group. On a related note, when the first KNOWN PED user gets in - will the floodgates open - and if they do (I believe this is how it will go), will there be some annotation? What about all those players who were amped up on various ampetimines and caffine - in the 50s 60s 70s? They are in with no 'issues' attached.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I am not bothered by no one getting in. I think that's preferable to the Halls that induct a dozen people every year. I would have been happy with Biggio but I'm not outraged he didn't make it; I believe he will. I am not outraged about Morris and we'll just leave that at that. I wonder if that core PED group will ever get in.

Here is what two people I respect said:

“I’m kind of glad that nobody got in this year,” former Detroit Tigers outfielder Al Kaline said. “I feel honored to be in the Hall of Fame. And I would’ve felt a little uneasy sitting up there on the stage, listening to some of these new guys talk about how great they were.”

Gossage:

“I think the steroids guys that are under suspicion got too many votes,” he said. “I don’t know why they’re making this such a question and why there’s so much debate. To me, they cheated. Are we going to reward these guys?”

– January 10, 2013 11:34 AM
Q.

B'More Cat and Chat Lover

Nothing much to say. Just checking in. How ya doin?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Eh. My cat world is not very good. We should talk off-chat. Email me sometime. I know you've been having trouble as well and I know not everyone wants to hear my woes. And neither do I!

– January 10, 2013 11:35 AM
Q.

Odd Man out at Nats Park

So you have LaRoche back at first, Harper in one corner, Werth in the other, Span in center, where does the leave Mike Morse?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Traded.

– January 10, 2013 11:37 AM
Q.

On NPR this morning

On NPR this morning, someone who was interviewed re the baseball writers who voted so resoundingly against selecting Bonds, Sosa et al. to the Hall of Fame said essentially that those anti-performance enhancement-drug writers are just a bunch of old fuddy-duddies, and that during the 15 years that those candidates will be eligible for induction into the HOF, the composition of the baseball writers will change in favor of those who don't think that players taking performance enhancement drugs is a disqualifying factor. Considering the baseball writers' overwhelming enmity against inducting Pete Rose for gambling and lying, I'm not so sure the commenter is correct in his prediction. What do you think?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Frankly, that would surprise me. Most baseball writers have a great reverence for the game -- some might say too much. And I think the younger ones inherit that from the old dogs. But again, I could be proven wrong. I think it would be a shame.

– January 10, 2013 11:37 AM
Q.

Last week's comment about Skins fans

Someone last week mentioned how he could not believe how Skins fans changed their tunes so quickly (i.e. Fire Shanahan at 3-7 to he's the best at 10-6). This is not a DC thing. At all. I live in Houston - Matt Schaub and Kubiak have been skewered for YEARS. When the Texans laid an egg against the Patriots earlier this season (when they had only lost one game), my Facebook blew up with Texans fans discussing how bad Schaub was, that the defense was not good, etc. The fans also booed the team when they played Indy at home when they were winning!! So, yeah, this is not an issue unique to DC.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Thanks for that. I think it's indicative of an increasing lack of patience in our culture. We don't want to wait for anything because let's face it, we don't have to. So to be told you have to wait another year to be good, or to make the playoffs, or whatever -- we (Americans) handle that increasingly poorly. In my opinion.

– January 10, 2013 11:37 AM
Q.

Maddux is up next year

He should get in along with Biggio and maybe someone else. I'd also vote in Bonds and let McGuire and Sosa go their respective ways.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Thank you, Maddux, not Glavine. And I agree. I can't agree re Bonds. I just can't.

– January 10, 2013 11:38 AM
Q.

Bowl games?

Are there any bowl games left to play? I can't keep track anymore, it seems like there are 8 solid weeks of bowl games and I'm even too bored about it to finish writing this question....
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Dreck, I thought, almost from top to bottom. No matter how flawed the playoff system will be, it surely will be better than this. Right? Boy, I hope so.

– January 10, 2013 11:39 AM
Q.

Roll Tide

Alabama has the best college coach in the country and has the best recruiting class each year. As an alumnus, if we don't win at least six out of the next ten national championships in football, I'll look at it as a major disappointment (6 of 10 rather than 10 of 10 only due to the likelihood of injuries). Other than UCLA in basketball, when college hoops wasn't that big of a deal, has there ever been a program as dominant as Alabama? Also, i see that the Big 10 had yet another sterling bowl performance at 2-5. This is about average for them in the last 20 years. When will the NCAA realize they are no longer a serious football conference? No one outside of the midwest cares at about Big 10 football - they are strictly a basketball conference (and an overated one at that).
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I hesitate to throw this out there knowing the anti-SEC vitriol that will follow, but Alabama is absolutely dominant, no question. Winning six of 10 titles would be a remarkable feat, no question. The Big 10/12 in bowl games -- that one I can't explain. The conference isn't what it was, but I think it will rise again. I hope so.

– January 10, 2013 11:40 AM
Q.

Adam LaRoche & Michael Morse

Tracee, I am of course delighted that we have re-signed Adam LaRoche, and I'm excited to see him play this coming season. But I'm sad to think that we may end up trading Michael Morse. I can't help but wish that the NL also had the designated hitter because we could keep The Beast and use him in that capacity (even rotating it between Morse, LaRoche, and Werth if we chose). I don't understand why people don't want the DH. If we had had it, we could have kept Adam Dunn (who did have a bad year but then an outstanding one); also a pitcher who is really going strong wouldn't have to be pulled for a pinch hitter. To me it's a win-win situation.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Not even for Michael Morse can I endorse the DH.

– January 10, 2013 11:41 AM
Q.

Simple Rooting System

I don't really have any interest in the NFL any more, but I do enjoy the playoffs a bit. Without a team to support, I'm going with one goal for the playoffs: I want to see shirtless drunk guys turning blue in the snow. So I'm rooting for Packers and Patriots home games. Oh, and happy new year! TBHitW
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

That's as good a goal as any I've heard. I don't have a rooting interest. Hmmmm. Maybe I'll come up with one before this weekend.

– January 10, 2013 11:42 AM
Q.

Junior Seau

Sad, but alas not surprising that the test results from BU show that he was suffering from brain disease that likely spurred his suicide. Hard hits to the head over 20 years take a terrible toll. What is the NFL going to do about their culpability?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Not something I can answer this morning. Not something they can probably answer, either. But while not surprising, it is tragic. I'm glad the family had his brain examined. One assumes they will eventually enter one of the lawsuit classes, although they haven't yet.

– January 10, 2013 11:43 AM
Q.

Adam LaRoche

I'm definitely happy about this, though of course I'm sad to see Morse on his way out of Washington. What I really want to know is, how do we get the Nats to stop playing "Sweet Caroline" (a lame attempt to copy Boston's tradition) and replace it with "Take on Me;" a tradition that evolved organically, and would be unique in MLB? I think either you or someone on this chat mentioned having the fans continue singing it after Morse is gone, and this seems like the best way to do it. So who do we start writing letters to?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Write the Nats' community relations office, I guess, at Nats Park. You can find the address. I think it would be a great idea.

– January 10, 2013 11:45 AM
Q.

" I think Glavine is up next year. (I may have the wrong Braves pitcher.)"

Both Glavine and Maddux are up next year. I wish Smoltz were also up and the three could go in together. I agree with you on the "first ballot" issue. There are certain writers who refuse to vote for someone on the first ballot, no matter how good they were. I think that happened to Biggio this year. Maybe a bit to Piazza too, although some may still be some rumblings about possible steroid use (founded or not).
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Ah, so I was 50 percent right. That's better than my prediction average so I'll take it. I agree about Smoltz; that would be a fun induction weekend.

– January 10, 2013 11:46 AM
Q.

Lance Armstrong

According to the Daily Mail, he's about to go on Oprah and issue a mea culpa. Any thoughts?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Yes, I heard that. He's got to do it sometime, and Oprah is America's confessor. However, she's not on network television anymore. Wonder if anyone will be able to find it?

– January 10, 2013 11:47 AM
Q.

T-Ham and Hax

Back-to-back! Not quite as epic as the joint session but pretty darn close. Requisite sports question--love the re-signing of LaRoche but am sorry to see Morse go (most likely). What would you consider fair value--a starting LH bullpen guy? A prospect or two? Both? Do you think other GMs believe that Rizzo has to trade and are thus low-balling with respect to Morse?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I am sure they will try to low-ball Rizzo, sure. That's natural. I am sure the Nats are prepared for that. Lefty reliever is what I'd go for but whatever Rizzo gets will probably be a good deal.

– January 10, 2013 11:47 AM
Q.

ALR compensation

I think the first rounder that another team would have to send to the Nats was another reason ALR was unable to latch on with an AL squad. I know he wanted a no-trade clause and didn't get one but I sincerely hope Rizzo keeps him for both years of his contract
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Yes, of course, thanks. That first round draft pick is hard to give up, and no one wants the Nats to have an extra one! :)

– January 10, 2013 11:50 AM
Q.

Section 129

Tracee, I am ecstatic LaRoche is coming back but saddened it means Morse is almost certainly on the way out. I took my then-four-year-old (who you met at the last get together) to his first Nats game on Michael Morse bobblehead day (he also took me for a thing at the Build-a-Screech, complete with roller skates, but that's another issue...). Naturally, he latched onto Morse as his favorite player. So I'll have THAT to deal with this season. On a strictly non-baseball point, I will really miss belting out "Take on Me" once or twice a day. The atmosphere at the ballpark will be poorer for his absense. Yeah, we picked up a great player in Span and I'm glad to have LaRoche back, but it really serves to me to highlight how transient the game is and how each season really is unique. That clubhouse last year was awesome but it's over, what with Sean Burnett, probably Morse and others gone. Till the day I die I'll look back at the summer of '12 as magical. Sigh. When do pitchers and catchers report? And why hasn't the team announced that officially yet?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

The 2012 team was special in a lot of ways. Losing players is always hard, especially for kids. That will be a tough one.

I'm going by this countdown clock, which gives Sunday, Feb. 17 as the date. That makes sense. They usually show up on Sunday, settle in and have physicals and deal with the inevitable visa problems on Monday.

– January 10, 2013 11:52 AM
Q.

Beautiful women in the stands (tennis version)

Do you watch many international tennis events, especially Roland Garros? There are always several moments during every match when the camera (operated by French TV) focuses on some beautiful woman in the stand, but the US commentators obviously have no idea who she is, and don't know whether she is just some random woman or some French celeb. Typically, they ignore her and go on talking about tennis, completely detached from the video. It's always hysterical. At least old Brent know who he was talking about.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Okay, now I believe you have secretly read my Sunday column (which yes, I've already written). I'll just say yes, I know what you mean, and leave it at that. :)

– January 10, 2013 11:52 AM
Q.

But he is not evil or stupid?

Shanahan can decide which one, but he is one or the other. There is no third option.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Not evil if evil means he didn't care about Griffin's knee. So I'll have to go with stupid, although I don't like to name-call.

– January 10, 2013 11:53 AM
Q.

Controlling Fan Behavior

Back in the late 80s or maybe the early 90s, Philadelphia solved the problem of drunk, abusive fans by installing a magistrate court INSIDE THE STADIUM. Security called a copy, the cop made the arrest, and the fan was instantly hauled downstairs before a magistrate judge. Behavior improved almost immediately thereafter.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Yup, that's what I was remembering. Seriously, anyone who finds this topic interesting has to see "Silver Linings Playbook." Great movie (nominated for Best Picture).

– January 10, 2013 11:54 AM
Q.

Fed Ex Experience

I work for a DC law firm that has 20 Redskins tickets, good seats, not nosebleed. I love the Skins but avoid the live experience unless absolutely necessary. Whenever anyone, staff or client, uses a ticket he or she has to sign a statement that all people using the tickets must be at least 18. This policy was instituted after a partner's young grandson was urinated on at a game,. It causes a bit of grumbling but most of us are OK with it.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Oh, gross.

– January 10, 2013 11:54 AM
Q.

Clever nicknames...

I like RG 1/3. Saw it online somewhere.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Yes, saw that one. We should start a list.

– January 10, 2013 11:55 AM
Q.

"But boy, did things go sideways in a hurry."

You're talking about his knee, aren't you?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Uh, I wasn't, but I could have been, couldn't I?

– January 10, 2013 11:55 AM
Q.

AP as an example

Why is Mike Shanahan using Adrian Peterson as the model for recovery? He recovered more successfully than any NFL player ever has...I understand being optimistic but let's not set ourselves up for certain disappointment.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Also not the exact surgery. But we're picking nits! :)

– January 10, 2013 11:55 AM
Q.

Hall of Fame cap question (and steroid use)

I posed this question to my spouse last night following the release of the HOF voting results. We were looking at the "big names" up for the vote next year and discussing who will get in and who was on the boarder. For Mike Mussina, we had him as borderline. Then the question was "which cap would he wear?". This lead to a discussion about Roger Clemens. Suppose he does get elected to the HOF. Which cap does he wear? He was great for Boston for a while, started to have issues so they let him walk. He went to Toronto and revived his career, thus getting the contract with the Yankees. He pitched well for the Astros for some years and then returned to NY. If he did take steroids, at what point did he start? Was it the revival in Toronto? The time in New York? I would say that anything before the point of steroid use should be the deciding factor. Similarly, if Bonds ever makes the HOF, he should be in a Pirates cap.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

It's players choice. Bonds would choose the Giants, I think -- those fans have been forgiving. Clemens? Not sure what he'd pick. But it's up to him.

– January 10, 2013 11:55 AM
Q.

Games @ FedEx

I have had season tickets for 7 seasons now. For the last 4 seasons, I have lived out of the area and have only gone to 1-4 games for those seasons. I know that people have had horrible experiences at the games, but I can honestly say that I have not. I should say that until this season, I was WAY up in the upper deck (think last row for the first two seasons) where the people were always different. Were some people drunk? Yes. A bit obnoxious? Yes, but mainly harmless and I think they would be obnoxious sober. We had some drunk guy rip his shirt off like he was the incredible hulk after a TD one year - a bit bizarre, but harmless. I used to work at a bar, so I may have a higher tolerance for some behavior. I am not saying that it does not happen, but I can say that other than the long walk to/from the metro and the quality of the team on the field, I have never had anything happen close to what I have read (never seen anyone throw up, the few fight I have seen were dealt with immediately). And in my new awesome lower bowl section, everyone stands and is completely focused on the game.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

As with everything, there are good experiences...

– January 10, 2013 11:55 AM
Q.

LaRoche $$ Quote

"No matter how mjuch he's making, it's more than he can spend." Scott Boras, take note! Of course I realize zillionaire players go broke all tha time, tho' that seems to be primarily football and basketball. But anyone with an ounce of sense can live well the rest of his life with a few 7 or 8 figure contracts.

A.
Tracee Hamilton :

And he's one who can. He has his ranch (in Kansas) and he's a pretty simple guy.

– January 10, 2013 11:55 AM
Q.

Dr. James Andrews

The only thing that I could think when they said that Dr. Andrew was examining RGIII is "Great! He has to have Tommy John surgery on top of everything else?" I know that Dr. Andrews is a talented surgery of many body parts, but "seeing Dr. Andrews"="will be having Tommy John surgery" to many brains.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Ha! Well, of course, Andrews also has doctors working for him, so they do a little bit of everything. To me, when I hear "Tommy John," I think "Frank Jobe."

– January 10, 2013 11:56 AM
Q.

Oh, yeah, I'm one of you now

About 3 months ago, a sad-looking balding gray cat showed up howling at our back door. I didn't want to take it to the shelter (since it's not a non-kill), but we weren't looking to supplement our 99-lb Boxer. The Best Wife in the World said "He looks hungry. Just give him something to eat and he'll move on." Obviously, you know what happened next--he's still here, and he weighs about 20 lbs. My question is: do cats use hobo marks like "kind woman within"? We have more cats wandering the mini-orchard now than I've ever seen. TBHitW
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

They mark their territory with scents -- maybe there's a special scent for that. My sister got her favorite cat ever that way. Sometimes these things are meant to be.

– January 10, 2013 11:56 AM
Q.

DH

No. Never. No DH. It's not baseball.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I'm with ya!

– January 10, 2013 11:57 AM
Q.

No DH

We don't want a DH because Stras and Harden are two of the best hitting pitchers in baseball and provide a definite advantage over other NL clubs.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Good point.

– January 10, 2013 11:57 AM
Q.

Game day fan experience at FedEx

Talk about a basically negative experience! As a long time season ticket holder I have seen detioriate since the move from RFK. Parking and getting out of the stadium is aburd. Security before you go in borders on a sexual assault with the pat downs (they should take a lesson from the folks at Nationals Park), fan behavior--drunkeness, fighting etc. Makes you want to stay home and watch it on your HD tv. And don't get me going about the absence of cup holders!!!!!!!!!!!! And the field! I"ve seen better fields at elementary schools that have recess on it thoughout the day.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

... And bad.

– January 10, 2013 11:57 AM
Q.

Pittsburgh

Speaking as someone who recalls Barry Bonds from his Pirates days, the saddest part for me is that I can't help but think he'd still have had a great, possibly even Hall of Fame-caliber, career even if he hadn't bulked up on performance-enhancing drugs.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I agree with that. He was a terrific player before all the changes took place. It's a shame.

– January 10, 2013 11:58 AM
Q.

Boz:

Tracee - I heard Boz being interviewed on the radio yesterday. To my surprise, he sounded like a normal guy. I guess based on his columns and his prose, I expected him to sound like a cast member from Downton Abbey or like William F. Buckley, Jr.....
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

That's hilarious. Boz does sound normal, but he is so extraordinary. I miss him. Need to figure out a way to see him again. Baseball season would do it.

– January 10, 2013 11:59 AM
Q.

KEEPING BONDS OUT OF THE HOF

I'd keep him out just for his lousy throw to home in the 1992 NCLS (Pirates/Braves), when he couldn't throw out a gimpy Sid Bream at home when Bream started out at second base! But I'm not bitter about it.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Nope, clearly not. :)

– January 10, 2013 11:59 AM
Q.

Two things to get off my chest-not related to each other

First-for all those insufferable Alabama fans, remember that had there not been sanctions against Ohio State this year, you wouldn't have been playing for the national championship. Second-this whole thing with Strasburg and limiting his innings last season. I may be remembering something that was never said, but I swear that it was said in 2010, when Strasburg was getting ready to be called up, that they were going to set an inning limits on him for the first few seasons. This was before the injury and surgery. They wanted to ease him into the routine of pitching in the majors.

A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Yes, that is true about Strasburg and you are remembering something that's been said many times (including in Boz's column this morning, I think). In that regard, the Strasburg vs. Griffin comparison is not fair, because they were at different points in their injuries and Strasburg's limit had already been well established. Well established. Well established. I repeat that because so many people were stunned to hear it last year, but it shouldn't have been stunning.

– January 10, 2013 11:59 AM
Q.

The NFL experience

Back in the mid-80s, our family found ourselves in Denver the weekend of a Chiefs game. We'd never been able to get Arrowhead tix, but my folks found five singles in the south stands (the bleachers at old Mile High). So we all sat separately (decked in red) amongst the Denver faithful. My youngest brother was nine, I think. Anyway, the Denver fans were very nice--though it helped that Denver was up 21-0 at the end of the first quarter. No problems at all, even when we cheered for the occasional KC score. Don't know if that could happen today, but it's a nice memory.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Dammit, I hate the Broncos! Don't tell me  nice things about the Broncos. (Chiefs fan here.) I will say my nephew came and watched a Skins-Cowboys game here in his Cowboys cap, sitting by his lonesome, and had a very nice time. The Redskins fans were very nice to him (and he was neither drunk nor trash talking, so they had no reason not to be). So good times can be had by all. It just seems more rare than it used to be.

– January 10, 2013 12:00 PM
Q.

The Cousins curse

The problem with RGIII might not just be his knee, but his ego. He did not want to come out I assume because Kirk Cousins happens to be a very good quarterback and put up 38 points against the Browns and he beat the Ravens while filling in at the end of the game and in overtime. RGme has put up 38 points and 40 points too, but does he fear that Cousins could have shown him up?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Swore I wouldn't answer another Griffin question. This theory I don't believe. Griffin is very secure in his position with the team. Cousins is a terrific backup but he doesn't supplant Griffin as starter. Well, he does NOW. But no, I don't think Griffin is afraid of Cousins.

Okay, time to quit. Hopefully next week will bring new issues to chew over. Have a good weekend, everyone!

– January 10, 2013 12:00 PM
Q.

 

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