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

Oct 10, 2013

This week, Tracee Hamilton discusses all the sports news.

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What did you think the Game 4 home run for the Tigers? Fan interference or not?

The angles I saw, the ball didn't look catchable. But I admit I didn't study it and have all the views the umpires did. At least there was a way to review it. And yes, I was happy about the result, so probably biased.

And good morning. Managed to get my flu shot in under the wire so let's go!

Hi Tracee, Have you seen this? It's pretty entertaining, though a little mean about Kansas. And I want Cilizza to read up on PA.

Well, I think that's fair, although Kentucky wouldn't be Kentucky without Adolph Rupp (KU grad) and Carolina wouldn't be Carolina without Dean Smith (KU grad). So ... Rock Chalk indeed!

1. O-line is now Obamacare-line. 2. Tackling taken off table. 3. RGII returns I to bank. 4. Cooley holds pottery fundraiser. 5. Riggo voted in as Speaker. 6. Snyder raises team debt ceiling. 7. Roger Goodell calls for bipartisan name negotiations.

D.C.'s David Letterman!

Tracee; Somewhere in the afterlife, Shirley Povich is looking down and likely thinking, "The more things change, the more they remain the same". The Danny's defense of the team's nickname has become somewhat akin to me to George Preston Marshall's desire to keep the team a whites-only country club...except for one issue, and I'm surprised this hasn't been broached by now. Given that this is The Danny we're talking about...my assumption in this affair is that all this talking and defense of the nickname is Danny setting the price for changing the name of the team, and I can take this one step further. If Goodell and the NFL offices get behind the move to change the name...Snyder's asking price is hosting a Super Bowl at FedEx. Would this be a bad idea??!? Unequivocably. If we look at how badly Jerry Jones butchered Super 45 at Starship Cowboy, and consider how potentially bad this upcoming Super Bowl is going to be at Hoffa Memorial Field II (What with it being New York and the weather potential the first week in Feburary), The Danny getting a Super Bowl could be even worse. Between the Beltway being snarled worse than usual Super Bowl Week, the hotel rates going off the cap in the whole of the DMV, and how suspect the field condition might be--look, the field contributed to RG3's injury in the Seattle game; but Danny still rents out the field 24 hours before the team plays a home game??!?--not to mention what happens if DC gets snowfall that weekend...and to top it all off, Snyder hosting this??!? Some people are going to be initially shocked at this--but who are we talking about here??!? IT'S HIS HISTORY, FOLKS. Danny WILL eventually do a name change--but only when it financially benefits him.

I can't imagine a Super Bowl here just because the access to the stadium is so bad, and the hotel room situation wouldn't be great either. They'd have to bus bus bus. And the "fan experience" stuff -- where would that be? I don't see the team getting a Super Bowl, no matter what the name. But I think you're right; Snyder will change the name if he sees a benefit to him. (Beyond what is obvious, and that's selling more stuff.)

Thanks for a thought-provoking column. I'm in basic agreement with your analysis of the testosterone-drenched Michael Jordan rant (after all, he tossed his *high school coach* under the bus in his HOF speech), but I'm absolutely not with you on "arguing what can't be proven".

I remember, when I was a young teenager in the late '60's/early '70's, someone in New York radio sponsored a "Dream World Series" of the best baseball teams of all time, with simulated play-by-play broadcasts of each game -- Sandy Koufax facing off against Honus Wagner, etc. Listening, I learned a huge amount about baseball history over about 16 "games".

I was not old enough and cynical enough to realize that the final - 1927 Yankees vs. 1961 Yankees - was a foregone conclusion for a broadcast in the New York City market back then - but for a broadcast in the early '70s, it was actually a plausible argument (who the ^%*$% were the 1929-30 Athletics, anyway?).

If a similar entertainment were proposed today, if , say, they said Bill James and Thomas Boswell were in charge of running it, I'd be all over it. Hey, *how good* were the Homestead Grays? I personally think the Grays (1937-1942) would have given the late 1990's Yankees a run for the money. Even if they didn't', I'd have loved to have seen 5 years of Josh Gibson hitting in Yankee Stadium.

They now have great simulation software - hire Vin Scully and Jon Miller to broadcast those "games". Folks would say the results (whatever they were) would be absurd. Great! Let's argue about it, and redo it 20 years from now.

Tie game, 9th inning, bases loaded, 2 outs, game 7, Babe Ruth vs. Mariano Rivera - you don't like that? Hey, you can argue it, but you can't prove it. (my personal opinion is that Rivera gets a strikeout on a Ruthian home run swing).

Incidentally, SABR, the stat geeks, are running a "Retroactive All Star Game Project" and fan voting is now open for the 1917 All-Star teams (details at Federal Baseball, including the 1916 results:

Section 405

When I wrote that column, I knew 405 would completely disagree and he makes great points. You'll be able to find plenty of people who DO like to do this, so you'll be fine.

How shocked are you that the Chiefs have done so well? Any guess on what their record will be at the end of the season? As a lifetime Kansas Citian, I'm scared to get too excited...

I'm pretty shocked although they have played three NFC East teams. They have some tougher games coming up, including within the division, but they do have the next three at home. I think the worst they'll be is 10-6 and they could be better. However, they'll need to be because they can't get in the playoffs by winning the division. I mean, they can, obviously, but they won't, because of those pesky Broncos. Unless Manning's arm falls off.

Come out to Belle Grove Plantation for the United States Border Collie Handlers Association National Sheepdog Finals. The event runs through Sunday. Semifinals will be held Saturday and the finals on Sunday with the top 20 Border Collies. Currently they are running the preliminaries. These Border Collies put the top athletes in the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS to shame with their athletic skills and intelligence. Best of all they work for a pat on the head and dinner.  These are the smartest athletes on the planet. Name me one NFL player who can run out 400 yards and move 4 sheep through a course in under 15 minutes. They cant. Even Usain Bolt can't do it.

Okay.

Hi Tracee -- first, great recommendation re Steamboat Arabia in KC. Visited there while in town for my son's wedding last weekend, and it is wonderful (as was the wedding). This weekend it's back to football. So a question: if my Sooners are successful in driving the last nail into Mack Brown's coaching coffin (not that any OU fan ever wants Mack to leave UT), is there enough money in the state of Texas to entice Nick Saban away from Alabama? Please tell me there isn't. OUMom

Okay, I'll tell you there isn't. Texas has pretty much anything a coach could want, but I think Saban has a sweet deal where he is. I will be eager to see what happens with Deloss Dodds' job. That's a big one. Congrats on the wedding and glad you saw the Arabia. I need to get a commission from them.

You mean like arguing about whether it's a good idea to argue about things that can't be proven?

That's why we're not arguing. At least I'm not.

While the sports media is getting all worked up about Jadeveon Clowney deciding whether to play or not (and dragging the Old Ball Coach through the muck), I think we have a perfect example of what the NCAA has become, a minor league stop for future stars of the NFL. Sure, there are thousands of real students (DII, DIII, and some percentage of DI) playing college football and using scholarships (DI) to underwrite their degrees. But the NCAA, ESPN, and the Schools/Coaches should just admit the obvious. If the NFL won't draft high school players and the players don't want to pursue an education, then this is just the University "money grab" business balanced by the player's (Clowney) rational decision to protect his future earning potential. Don't make Clowney profess his love of South Carolina or question whether he will play hurt in the pros. He is simply protecting his investment (as most would do, if they were staring at a multi-million dollar contract).

I agree, and I think Spurrier did the right thing in changing his tune. And in an interesting way, bringing up the amount of money Clowney has made for SC.

O goddess of the Plains and Knower of ALL things Great and small Enough already ! We get it ! We understand ! Team name ? NO! The Pink washing of NFL football games. We all understand the seriousness of breast cancer because we have friends, spouses, moms co-workers who have lived through it and some who didn't. But when the NFL "pinks" everything from shoes and shoe laces to mouth guards to the lanyards of officials' whistles , all that happens is it becomes pink wall paper. During one game last Sunday I counted 17 different "Pinks" , even the Electronic first down line on TV . This trivializing of breast cancer awareness is stupid. How long will we have to put up with this ? ALL of October ? Better the NFL donate all of the money spent on these items --pink penalty flags included -- to breast cancer research, no ?

I thought I was the only one. The breast cancer lobby is powerful and I'm all for raising money to stop any form of cancer. The pink penalty flags, however, left me speechless. There should be limits, and that should be one of those limits. Penalty flags are yellow! But of course it's hard to discuss without sounding pro-breast cancer. But if they'd pick a few things, make them pink for one home game for each team, then auction them off for cancer research -- fine.

Mr. Tony did a hilarious Style column on this. It's in one of his books. ("Mike Tyson versus Robert Reich." "That's ridiculous. Tyson of course." "Except -- Reich has a gun." "Hmmm.") The point was guys like to do this, maybe precisely because it's a pointless waste of time.

I wonder if it is a guy thing. What do you guys and gals think? TK's column must pre-date my arrival (well, it would have to, since he wasn't in Style when I arrived). I'll have to find it.

Why are they so bad this year? Running, catching, blocking. It all seems so simple.

They really are very bad. I can't explain why but they are bad all over the place. Great for Washington, though.

After seeing the first 3 games of the Capitals' season, any guesses as to which team they will lose game 7 at home to in the first round of the playoffs? We know the result, we just don't know who it will be against, right?

Yeah, and it's too soon to tell. But they need to worry about getting there first. I don't know... Eager to see how they look tonight.

I saw, in Boz's interesting column about Ripken as potential manager, that Dusty Baker has contacted the Nats and asked to be considered for the managerial opening. I really hope that Rizzo and the Lerners do not choose him; it'd be like the second coming of Riggleman. He finished the job Riggleman started of ruining Kerry Wood and Mark Prior with the Cubs. He's on record that he doesn't like players who walk a lot because they "clog the bases" unless they can run.. There's no way he's a better choice than Randy Knorr or Cal Ripken.

Section 405

I think the Nats are looking for someone younger than Dusty, although they are playing it close to the vest. Still, I don't think it's going to be Dusty Baker.

Tracee, the PBS documentary did a great job of highlighting the challenge the NFL now faces in dealing with concussions and head trauma, now that they know how dangerous and deadly it they can be. But what about the media? How will this affect their coverage of the sport? We've moved past the days where ESPN can create a (sponsored) segment about players getting "jacked up." But how aggressive will you and your Post colleagues be in tracking instances where players suffer a concussion? For example, the media around here have spent months talking daily about RGIII's knee injury, whether he was handled properly by the coach and the team doctor, whether he skimped on the rehab process to get back on the field, and whether that jeopardizes his long-term prospects. But, how much coverage would have taken place if he had "only" suffered a concussion?

Well, bad example, because it's RGIII, so it would still have gotten mega-coverage. But your point is valid. I was surprised London Fletcher's remarks about his concussions didn't have more traction. I am kicking myself for missing that documentary. If anyone sees a repeat on the horizon, let me know.

At least the World Cup involves more than one country (Blue Jays don't count, do they?). But, soccer bores me, so an important question: I'm hoping for a Dodgers-Tigers World Series, since I was born and raised in L.A., and my parents were from Detroit and I still have relatives there. I fear, though, it will be Red Sox-Cards. Will I be disappointed?

I can't answer that, you know that, because I will jinx one of those teams you like that I happen to like, too. One that plays tonight. Not that I'm nervous. But I am the Jonah of sports predictions -- don't ask.

I agree with your criticism that they're overdoing it. And without seeming to be callous or trivializing the effort, hasn't it now been confirmed that pink doesn't go with ANY of the team uniforms? I'm not fashion conscious enough to explain that but clearly pink does not work with football unis.

I don't even like the fad of making team jerseys in pink to appeal to girls so I'm the wrong one to ask. But no, pink doesn't really work. Maybe the Raiders -- black, gray, white and pink isn't terrible. Pink, burgundy and gold -- awful. Pink, maroon and black -- funny.

...when I look for the Post stories on the baseball playoffs and (so far at least) all I see is Associated Press. (Then I turn to the New York Times, which the Post is still sometimes compared to, and I see a bylined story for every game.) The Post's lack of correspondents in situations like this reminds me of what I once read in a history of the Post from when Eugene Meyer (father of Kay) was running it on a shoestring in the 1930s, and foreign affairs writer Ferdinand Kuhn remarked, "The Post will cover any international conference, as long as it is within the first taxi zone." I know Mr. Bezos isn't coming in to throw money around, but one hopes he can remedy situations like this.

No one would be happier than we would to have a budget that again would allow us to staff the playoffs. When I came here, we staffed every game. But the paper's stated goal is local local local, and it's hard to argue that Tigers-A's is local. That, plus travel budgets that have been slashed, have been the death knell for playoff coverage.

 

Why don't the Redskins just change their logo to a caricature of a "redskin" peanut decked out in football gear? This takes away the Indian issue and we still have a team named the Redskins!!!

You're not the first to suggest this one, but it makes me smile every time.

Seriously, what was Bob Melvin doing in Game 4? Why did he pull Dan Otero after 5 pitches? Why did he put in Ryan Cook, who has been terrible the last month of the season? Why didn't he pinch hit with Alberto Callaspo before there were two outs -- Callaspo is among the leaders in putting balls in play and all they needed was a sac fly to tie at that point. Why did he bring in Brett Anderson, who has been hurt and/or ineffective all season, in such a high leverage situation? Anderson is on the roster for one reason -- mop-up work if one game got out of hand and you didn't want to kill the bullpen. The A's should have won Game 4 and they blew it.

Yeah, that was a real shame. :) Sorry, I'm loving Bob Melvin right now.

Give the ball to Romo on the goal line on every down. Redskins are sure to score!

That was a pretty good performance against the Broncos, but I would draw the line at Jerry Jones calling it a moral victory. We used to have a lot of moral victories when I was in college, and they were stupid then. In pro sports, there's no such thing.

I'd like to weigh in on the Navy-Air Force game if I may. I realize this was addressed last week but I wasn't able to participate. I disagree with you because I hate using "the little people" as political symbols and that's all canceling the game would have been. Kids who play college sports, especially sports like football, have a limited window of opportunity to play. For the ones who play at the service academies this is especially true, I think, and in light of the fact that when they graduate they'll be serving in the military I think canceling the game would have been terrible. If cost had been an actual issue I think the players would have understood but to tell the seniors that they had to miss their last chance to play against a rival academy because it might "look bad" would be horrible. Thanks.

I'm not sure who the "little people" are in this scenario, but since the game could and would have been rescheduled, I'm not sure it would be depriving these kids of anything. But we did has this out pretty thoroughly so we'll agree to disagree and move on.

In the interest of fairness and objectivity, the Post really has to find a representative of the pro-breast cancer lobby to counter all of its anti-breast cancer coverage. I can't believe the ombudsman hasn't been on this already.

I'm very ashamed for my part in this.

could we be looking at another 7-9 Champion? 6-10?!?!

In a word? Yes.

In the playoffs only look at the top 3 starters for each team. Best pitching wins. If there is no clear winner in the pitching match up ... go with the better offense. Detroit has close to the best top 3 pitching and clearly the best lineup. Let's Go Royals! (Of course if the As win tonight I retain the right to submit a new theory next week)

I would expect nothing less, LGR.

As long as we are mentioning the non-mainstream sports, it should be noted that long time Naval Academy water polo coach, Mike Schofield, has resigned, mid season. He won more games, in any sport, than any Naval Academy coach in history and his is also in the water polo hall of fame. Want to know where Navy Seals come from? Well Scofield's players were prime candidates.

Interesting, thanks for that.

Oh, good. Another thing to argue about at the bar. Personally, I don't understand why college hockey wasn't considered for my native Massachusetts. Bean Pot, national championships, etc. North Dakota can have ice fishing.

When I read that no sport can be given to more than one state, I was out. That makes no sense. But my level of caring is also not great. It makes a cute online graphic. Beyond that? Meh.

Let me shed a few tears for my beloved Pirates (if it couldn't be the Nationals, I wish it had been the Bucs!). I don't know whether to root for the guy with the most gorgeous thighs in baseball (Justin Verlander, if you haven't noticed--Kate Upton, you're a fool!) or Kurt Suzuki and a guy who's named after cereal. On a completely different note, what do you think of the position reviews and the best & worst scenario articles? Do you agree or disagree? And who do you think will be back next year?

Sorry, I'm unable to process your question because I'm distracted by your mention of Verlander's thighs. I must admit I never noticed and now, of course, I will have to look.

I was really bummed, but not all that surprised, when the Cardinals eliminated the Pirates last night. Adding insult to injury, the outstanding play of the game was made by Pete "8 strikes and you're out" Kozma! Actually, one of the best fielding plays of the year, by the only player I stand up and boo when he comes to the plate.

That was a great play. And I was sorry for the Pirates too. The Cardinals have had their chances and will have them again. Ah, well.

Looks like you can watch it online. It was fascinating. I hope the NHL leadership was watching it.

Right you are. Thanks.

Pete Rose vs. Alex Rodriguez vs. Chicago Black Sox.

:)

Hey, that's SILVER, not gray!

I'm Jim Zorn! And I should know better. Sorry.

If you can get MPT2, they are showing it tonight. If you have Cox Cable in Virginia, that's channel 812. You might be able to watch it on Frontline's Web site, too.

Thanks. Not sure I get MPT2 but I'll check.

what about Utah? lol

I didn't have time to read all of them. I hate to think ...

I am fine with the over the top Pink Storm ... Anything that gets more money focused on basic research to find cures to disease is fine with me. Here is a secret ...promise not to tell. Basic breast cancer research is also cancer research, auto-immue research, and numerous other types of research that don't get funded. (AIDS ribbons have the same effect.) Science is good ... even if funding it requires pink puke every where. Let's Go Royals

No one said cancer research -- breast or otherwise -- was a bad thing. I just don't think seeing pink shoes makes me write a check any faster.

Do you really want the Redskin peanut fans fighting with the Redskin potato fans? That's one goober we shouldn't crack.

That's right! It was Redskin potatoes. I don't know -- peanuts vs. potatoes. Might be kinda fun.

I don't know if it's a guy thing or not, but the people who do it like citing all kinds of obscure facts/statistics in support of their arguments. It's just a way to show off.

Well, nothing wrong with having knowledge. I just don't see how you can put people in different eras and then compare them. I'm sure the SABR folks have formulas to correct for them -- and no, I don't want to know what they are -- but it just bores me. But that's just me. And you, apparently.

"Well I think that's fair." Really? Other than KU basketball, the state is an athletic wasteland?? For starters, how about K-State basketball - Tex Winter, Jack Hartman, Lon Kruger, Bob Boozer, etc. Wichita State has some pretty decent hoops history as well. And - how can we ignore the last 20 years of K-State football? And - for a KU grad - what about the great track and field history in the state - 4 world record milers from KU!! Gee, if you weren't such a nice person, I'd consider taking this personally! :) -K-Stater

Sorry, no, I was looking at the label "men's college basketball." Then I read the blurb and it was pretty stupid but again, I don't take this stuff really seriously. K-State and Wichita State do have good basketball history -- but not like KU's. Yes, there are the milers, and the women's track team is the national champion. But dominant in track? Not for a long time. If they had to pick one thing about the state in terms of sports, I'd say that TO AN OUTSIDER, KU's basketball team is it. Look at the SI cover this week. That doesn't mean I agree with it. Just a gimmick. Come on, we've never fallen out over a lot of victories and defeats; let's not go there over a stupid map! :)

Now I'm going to sign off before I annoy any more of my favorite chatters! Hope you all have a nice weekend! I plan to chat next Thursday but may also have to head to New York very suddenly so don't be surprised if the plug is pulled. Later!

In This Chat
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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