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October 27, 2011

11
A.M.

Tracee Hamilton Q&A

Total Responses: 87

About the hosts

About the host

Host: Tracee Hamilton

Tracee Hamilton

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

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

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

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

Adam Kilgore

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

About the topic

Tracee Hamilton will be joined this week by Adam Kilgore, who will field any Nats hot stove questions. Tracee will handle everything else!
Q.

Try something else

The many attempts to build the Skins piecemeal aren't working. The team needs to get a franchise quarterback, an OL to protect him, and let the rest of the dominos fall as they may.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Agreed. In fact, I think I wrote that this week. But since finding my column in in print has become a "Where's Waldo?" exercise, here are this week's links:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/dc-sports-fans-possess-a-curious-mix-of-optimism-pessimism/2011/10/23/gIQAsjkiAM_story.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/redskins/washington-redskins-finding-their-level-after-promising-start/2011/10/24/gIQA90ohCM_story.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/tony-la-russa-takes-blame-puts-questions-on-hold/2011/10/26/gIQAv54vIM_story.html

 

Now, of course, today is the day we welcome my arch-nemesis Adam Kilgore to the chat. Be sure to check out his latest posts at Nationals Journal and then fire away at either of us. Let's get started!

 

– October 27, 2011 11:00 AM
Q.

Montgomery Village, MD

O goddess of the Plains and knower of all things great and small ! Could the Cardinals bullpen mixup been a "senior moment " for the "genius Larussa" ? Perhaps using black shoe polish as hair dye for all these years has finally soaked through to his brain? You've known Midwestern men for a long time. Do they ALL use such obviously fake hair color ? At Tuesday's press conference , he looked like he was wearing a Davy Crocket cap under his Cardinals hat. Smoke signals ? HAHAHA. Tony has that mixed up with the OTHER cardinals --the ones who use smoke signals when they are picking popes.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

If we see white smoke, we know he wants Motte. No wait, Lynn. No wait.... I give up. No, not all Midwestern men wear their hair like LaRussa's. Trust me.

– October 27, 2011 11:02 AM
Q.

WVU to Big 12-2=12

Look on the bright side of losing the "Border War" match between MU & KU; now KU can play for the "John Brown - Hero or Terrorist" Trophy against West Virginia. (Disclaimer: I went to elementary school in Kansas and was taught he was a hero; it wasn't until I moved to the Commonwealth of VA that I learned there were alternative opinions!) I think that league will survive for the next 4-5 years, when there will inevitably be another shake up and by then who knows what the CFB landscape will look like. More importantly, do you think Uncle Bill Snyder can go 8-0?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

How about the Big 12 now telling West Virginia it is its safety school? A month ago the Big 12 was being picked over for parts! What a mess. I think Uncle Billy can do whatever he wants. I will say this, at the risk of angering my K-State chatters. I was not impressed Saturday when KU basically incurred a 65-yard penalty, putting us at our own 11, and Snyder argued for us to be moved back even more. The penalty was deserved, but good God. I have argued since Day 1 that KU should stick with K-State  through this realignment crap but Snyder is testing my attempt to be forthright, gracious and magnanimous.

– October 27, 2011 11:06 AM
Q.

missing the most important fact of the story

I know you don't want to publish constructive criticism of colleagues, but why why why would Mr. Sheinin write a long article about MLB cancelling the World Series game last night many hours before the scheduled start and not answer the most important question. That is, did it rain a lot last night or not? It is like he had a 6pm deadline. MLB has to know that they can fundamentally change a series based on pitcher rotation and to just cancel a game because it might rain is amazing.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I think Sheinin would have subbed the story or added to it if it DIDN'T rain. In fact, I'm sure he would have, given what happened in the ALCS. The fact that they canceled the game and it did rain is not as newsy, I think. The fact that they are routinely canceling games based on weather forecasting IS amazing, as I wrote, I think yesterday.

– October 27, 2011 11:08 AM
Q.

RZimm?

What is the status of Ryan's contract extension?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

Hello, all! Looking forward to chatting with you all and avoiding Tracee as much as possible, since she's taken to calling me her "arch nemesis."

This a  good question to get us going, because I've as been harping on since spring training (http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/ryan-zimmerman-wants-to-keep-calling-washington-home-but-the-nationals-will-have-to-make-it-happen/2011/03/25/AFIQQmeB_story.html) and through the season (http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/ryan-zimmerman-returns-to-form-looking-for-a-deal/2011/08/29/gIQA6E7KoJ_story.html), this is one of the more overlooked-yet-important issues for the Nationals. The economics of baseball all but demand that the Nats lock up Zimmerman soon, preferably this season, and not allow him to get to free agency. If they wait beyond this offseason, as tough as this might be to digest, the Nats may actually have to consider weighing the option of trading their franchise player before he leaves in free agency. If Zimmerman gets through the 2012 season without a deal, he'll 99.9-percent test the free agent market.

The good news: My sense is there's a good chance the deal gets done this winter. The Nats and Zimmerman's camp share a good relationship and have already hammered out  one deal, and while Kasten and Bowden were in charge then (in the days just before the 2008 season), Rizzo and Zimmerman's have a good relationship. The sides have been in frequent communication regarding a deal. Zimmerman's injury this year complicated things and delayed the discussions from getting more serious.  My sense is that Zimmerman's side has been more willing to start substantive conversations, but that the Nats will be more ready to get things going now that it's the offseason.

It's not time to panic now. If there's  no deal by the end of spring training, I would worry then.

– October 27, 2011 11:09 AM
Q.

Lay off Bos

By my count, he answered 43 questions on Monday, 17 about the Redskins and 4 others general NFL. So some of his answers run on a bit. You can skim those if you want, but some of us baseball geeks love his long responses.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I can't think of a person (me) or a group (this one) that spends more time praising anyone than we do Boz. Boz sometimes answers 9 questions and sometimes 90. I take a backseat to no one in my deep admiration and affection for Boz. So you lay off!

– October 27, 2011 11:09 AM
Q.

Jerry Hairston, Jr. - Section 405

Hi - You asked me to resubmit this for this week, so:

I wish you still had FTF, because this is something I wanted to ask since last weekend. I watched Jerry Hairston play third base every day for about two months when R-Zim went down in April, and he did a wonderful job, with rock-steady reliability, and I was sad when the Nats traded him. How did he turn into Bozo the Clown for the last two games of the NLCS? 

Was this a case like Bill Buckner, or Fred "Bonehead" Merkle who, despite a fine career that ran from 1907 thru 1926, is remembered today for a baserunning error that cost the NY Giants the pennant in 1908?

Section 405

A.
Adam Kilgore :

I think it's just one of those you-never-know kind of deals. Although Hairston was always consistent about this -- he can play any position on the field, but he thought third base was the toughest because of how quickly the ball gets on you. He played it great when Zimmerman went down, but damn if third base and the ball getting on you quick didn't strike at the worst moment for Hairston. 

Boz wrote a wonderful column about how one moment can soil a career like Hairston's: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/brewers-jerry-hairston-falls-victim-to-cruel-twists-of-playoff-baseball-in-nlcs-game-5/2011/10/14/gIQA5jbJlL_story.html

– October 27, 2011 11:12 AM
Q.

Has anything really changed?

Much has been said by the Skins coaching staff and veteran players about how much different this team is than in season's past. London Fletcher called this a 'special team' among other character based praise. After beating the sorry Cardinals many players gushed about how 'Skins teams from previous years would have lost this game' After seeing the team regress with each game, is their any reason to believe this team and season will turn out any different than most of recent memory because so far it appears to be the Same Old Redskins despite the big talk...

A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I do think this team is different than a year ago, and I do think it's better. It has not appreciably improved at the QB position, among other places. And I think they might have lost to the Cards last year. Saying this team is better, remember, isn't really raising the bar that high, considering the mess of two years ago and again last year. I don't think it was hyperbole. And Fletcher is not one to gush. He's usually pretty blunt. Of course, he's seeing the team from a different angle than you and me.

– October 27, 2011 11:13 AM
Q.

Maryland meetup? - Section 405

We kinda lost track of the proposed Maryland meetup, so I'm reminding you. Any thoughts? Section 405
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I just got released from PT yesterday, freeing up my schedule a bit, so I promise by next week I'll have something figured out.

– October 27, 2011 11:17 AM
Q.

Morse

Dynamic Duo (Adam and Tracee), We talk about this crowded 1st base thing a lot. LET'S KEEP IT GOING! Morse had a sensational all around year in 2011. No doubt. Good defense/great hitting. Marrero did well but still is still a ? and really so is LaRoche with all the time he missed/age. Morse obviously has more trade value than any of the 3 (as well as he should). Why are we not talking about dealing him? At worst we would have "Werth 2011 production" from a LaRoche/Marrero platoon right? If you get a CF/leadoff for Morse then you can scrap LaRoche, bench Marrero and have Rendon play first!...? We can't keep having out-of-position players in the outfield at this point. What do you say?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

As much as  like the idea of selling high with Morse, finding a late-blooming, 30-home-run favorite hidden gem who turns into a fan favorite* and then immediately trading that player is not the way to build a winning team. They made a smart trade to acquire a player with Morse's upside, and they got lucky that he fulfilled that upside. Trading him now would be giving some other team all that good fortune.  And going into the season counting on only LaRoche coming off surgery and Marrero in his first full season does not seem all that appealing. The Nats need a leadoff/centerfield type, no question. But trading Morse just adds another hole and removes the kind of power bat they absolutely need. 

*Morse seems like a fan favorite to me. Am I right about that?

– October 27, 2011 11:18 AM
Q.

Great Post Coverage

I have appreciated The Post's coverage of the World Series. It's been great having two reporters on scene--Scheinin for the game reports and Boz for background and perspective. But what happened with Sunday's paper? Not only was there no Series coverage but no reports on the evening college football games.

A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Something happened in here or at the press room Saturday night. Basically, the final edition never printed. I can't remember the last time this happened. It was produced by the sports department, of course, but I don't know if it was a system failure in the newsroom or a production failure at the plant. I know everyone in here was very discouraged.

– October 27, 2011 11:19 AM
Q.

KILGORE!!!

Kilgore.. you better be nice to Miss Tracee... we have her back!
A.
Adam Kilgore :

I'm more teriffied of Tracee than I ever will be  of her chatters.

– October 27, 2011 11:19 AM
Q.

Odd Mixtures

Tracee: Beck and the Skins remind me of the sandwich I had in Syracuse last weekend (great victory by the Orange over WVa, 49-23 - it was glorius!!): toasted turkey breast with roasted peppers, spinach and Russian dressing; seemingly an odd combination that can work, if you let it. People need to stop over-analyzing Beck and expecting him to be Aaron Rodgers or Joe Montana, and just appreciate someone playing his heart out to finally succeed after years of being a back-up. It's a great human interest story. And the sandwich was superb (no cheese, no fries; just sandwich and a Guiness). Yum. Deli-Man
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

You had me at Guinness. Listen, Beck is not a great quarterback. He's also had exactly 1 start for the Skins. This is what they have, this guy and the interception guy. I think he'll do better this week than last week. He will never be Joe Montana.

– October 27, 2011 11:20 AM
Q.

Farewell to Cooley?

Tracee, I'm a Chris Cooley fan. I wore his jersey to the Eagles' game on October 16th and will wear it again at the 49ers game on November 6th. But I believe he's played his final game in burgundy and gold. It just doesn't make sense for the Redskins to bring him back. He is aging and has been slowed by injuries, going on the injured reserve two of the last three years. And Fred Davis has clearly succeeded him as the Redskins' premiere pass-catching tight end. The only reason I can see for bringing him back is that he's a fan favorite. While that might make me happy it probably isn't in the best interest of the team for salary cap reasons. Do you think Cooley will return to the Redskins next year?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

It seems unlikely, doesn't it?

– October 27, 2011 11:21 AM
Q.

NBA labor talks

Wake me when it's over.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

It may be this weekend, which is stunning, but true.

By the way, Kilgore is in my office with me as we chat. You could cut the tension with a knife.

– October 27, 2011 11:21 AM
Q.

Tracee and her chatters

Tracee is our Sauron and we are but her Orcs.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

This should horrify me but makes me oddly happy. I will now torture Kilgore with my lidless eye.

– October 27, 2011 11:22 AM
Q.

Bourbonrich

After last weekend's college b'ball can't come soon enough for our Alma Maters. How do things look for KU and Bill Self? On the beverage front, brought home a barrel aged chocolate stout that I am saving for the first really cold Illinois Day.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Self called this year's club "thin." Not the greatest sign. We won't be great this year, let's put it that way. And that's okay.

– October 27, 2011 11:23 AM
Q.

Center Field

Are we looking at Werth in Center? Or are we looking at Span or Upton in a trade?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

As of midseason, the Nats' scouts and front office was split on Upton. The Rays are likely to non-tender Upton, who closed the season on a tear and will be expensive for them to sign in arbitration, especially considering they've got a perfect replacement for him in Desmond Jennings.  So, the Nats might not need to trade anything for Upton; if they're patient and confident another team wont' swoop in and trade for him before the Rays can non-tender him, they'll be able to sign him as a free agent. (This must frustrate the Rays -- other teams fully expect them to non-tender Upton, which hurts his trade value.)

Span will be available, but the Twins will have a hard time getting full value from any team because of concerns with how Span's concussion will affect him. (The  issue has derailed several players, including Twins 1B Justin Morneau.)

In a perfect world, Mike Rizzo said yesterday, they would acquire an everyday center fielder who can hit leadoff and Werth would play right. The Nationals don't view Upton as a leadoff hitter (and OBP of .322 the past three years says he's not), but he could still be a dynamic offensive addition. He hit 23 homers and stole 36 bases this year, and he won't be 28 until next August. He has his faults, but he also some tremendous strengths.

– October 27, 2011 11:26 AM
Q.

Manager: Davey?

When are they announcing Davey is officially the manager?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

The announcement will come after the World Series.  And it's going to be Davey.

– October 27, 2011 11:27 AM
Q.

LaRussa

Any angle you want to tackle, T-Ham, the floor is yours. Time passed him by (Grandpa Simpson effect)? Drunk in the dugout (Red Sox effect)? No idea how to dial a rotary phone (Shalom Harlow in "In and Out" effect)? Combination of all of the above? Nevertheless, go Cards! ~Pats Fan
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Well, see the links above. I took my shot. And I'm still rooting for the Cards, for Cousin Packy.

– October 27, 2011 11:30 AM
Q.

Possible Changes to Nats SP?

So what do you think are the viable options for the starting rotation next year? Who do you think Rizzo goes after in the FA Market? Is Darvish an Option?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

Darvish is certainly an option. Last year, the Nationals talked to just about every available free agent on the market, at least to kick the tires. They'll be similarly aggressive this offseason, I assume. As far as pitching, C.J. Wilson is the top free agent available.

It will cost more, between the posting fee and contract, for a team to sign Darvish than Wilson. But signing Wilson would cost the Nats their first-round pick (16 overall) to the Rangers if they sign Wilson because it is not protected. (Last year, they lost only a second round pick when they signed Type A FA Jayson Werth because their No. 6 overall pick was protected; the top 15 picks are.)

It'll be fascinating to see how their offseason plays out in regard to the rotation. Between Strasburg, Zimmermann, Wang (who is a near lock to sign), Lannan, Detwiler, Peacock and even Milone, the Nats don't NEED to sign anyone. They'll have five capable starters from that group, some of them elite. But if they can add one more elite starter, they would really announce themselves as a contender.

– October 27, 2011 11:31 AM
Q.

Can you stop the madness?

WVU and Louisville in the Big 12? Mizzou not(maybe)? Can we have a one year moratorium on conference changes so I can get caught up on who's where?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Boise to the Big East? I'm so confused. I would love a moratorium. Eventually, it'll have to stop because everyone will have moved. We're not there yet.

– October 27, 2011 11:32 AM
Q.

MASN TV

Any word on what is going on with Bob Carpenter? Are they waiting until after the World Series is over to address this issue?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

Haven't heard anything. I don't think the World Series has anything to do with their timing.  Tracee thinks they should bring him back:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/masn-nationals-broadcasts-bob-carpenter---fp-santangelo-team-improved-in-2011/2011/09/29/gIQA6XBM7K_story.html

– October 27, 2011 11:33 AM
Q.

Matt Bomer--Tomorrow!

His new movie In Time will be in theaters tomorrow. It also stars Amanda Seyfried (Letters to Juliet), Cillian Murphy (the Scarecrow/evil psychiatrist in Batman Begins, Red Eye), Justin Timberlake (Social Network), & Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men). I'll be there Saturday!
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Yay! I'm a Seyfried fan from Veronica Mars, an underrated little show if ever there was one.

– October 27, 2011 11:33 AM
Q.

Redskins defense

Isn't the Redskins defense a more pressing problem than the quarterback situation?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

It looked that way last week. I'd still go with the quarterback, though, although the secondary ....

– October 27, 2011 11:33 AM
Q.

The Airless Cubicle Ponders the Haka

Tracee, I took time out from watching Cam Newton destroy the Redskins to watch the Rugby World Cup finals. I think that the French reaction to the All-Blacks' haka should have been philosophical existential indifference -- they are French, n'est ce pas? The French played well. Perhaps the Redskins should scout even more ruggers -- Helu's father played for Tonga's team, after all, and American football and rugby are both beloved in the South Pacific islands. And if Beck is going to start for Washington, maybe he should consider abandoning the forward pass!

A.
Tracee Hamilton :

TAC, all your apostrophes and dashes came in as garble and I was so worried about getting them changed to the correct punctuation that I completely lost track of what we were discussing. So I'll just agree with you completely.

– October 27, 2011 11:35 AM
Q.

Nats shopping list

Adam, the Nats have great young starting pitching and a set of young infielders ranging from pretty good to great. The biggest vacancy seems to be someone who can play center field and be an offensive force. There was noise in the media that Werth might be moved to CF, but it seems to me that the Nats might be better off pursuing a good-hitting CF through trade or free agency (Ellsbury? Kemp?). Rizzo likes to keep his cards close to his chest, so he's not going to say anything, but do you get any sense that the organization sees CF as an organizational soft spot?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

The Nats have actually been quite open, even since the trade deadline, that they feel they need to upgrade in center field. In a perfect world, they would acquire an everyday center fielder (although it's hard to fathom the Red Sox or Dodgers making Ellsbury or Kemp available). But they feel like Werth played well in center in September and they think that is a comfortable fallback option.  But I also know that Rizzo is weary of the physical strain playing every day in center field places on a player as big as Werth. (I'm skeptical that center is really THAT much tougher physically than right, but I'll yield to him on this one.)

– October 27, 2011 11:36 AM
Q.

Franchise QB

How many first round picks would Snyder be willing to give up for the rights to draft Luck? 3? 5? 7?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

More than he has, I'm sure.

– October 27, 2011 11:36 AM
Q.

Bryce

So, how's Bryce doing in the fall league? What do guys like Morse and Zim do during the offseason?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

Harper started slowly but has recently been hitting the cover off the ball; I'm going to write up a Nats Journal post on him and Derek Norris, who is making some strides out there, too.

Morse is actually playing with a group of major leaguers in Taiwan for a series of exhibition games next week against the Taiwanese national. (Chien-Ming Wang will play for Taiwan, and Ross Detwiler and Collin Balester will also play for the MLB side).

Zimmerman likes to take a month or so off before getting into his offseason workout regime. In my mind, he comes to spring training in as good of shape as any Nats player. I'd put Espinosa and Desmond in that camp, too.

– October 27, 2011 11:39 AM
Q.

Dan Wheldon

Remember Tracee When sex was safe and racing dangerous? i do. I started watching motorsports in about 1965 when i was 6yo. always made sure I watched the Wde World of Sports. No Speed Channel or ESPN back then. My dad took me along to Malboro road course in early 60's when Roger Penske actually drove cars not owned them. from the mid 60's to the mid 80's auto racing was very dangerous. Not that unuusual from the 1965 to 1980 to lose a name driver or two in open wheel and Formula 1 racing a month. Today we can go a year or more with out fatality at the top level. I can remember may and June's where you would have 4 to 5 drivers killed in open wheel, drag racing , sportcars and NASCAR. I ahve raced cars , crwed and been a crew chief at races were a driver(s) have died. Hemingway said there are only two real sports auto racing and bull fighting. I add one more sport big wave surfing. All the in car cameras and views made Dan Wheldon's death more spectualr then it really was. Racing should always be dangerous. When you minimize the risk drivers will take more chances.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I do remember when sex was safe. I guess I don't remember the days when racing was that dangerous, or maybe I just wasn't following it. It wasn't until I moved to Detroit that I paid much attention, truthfully. Racing will always be dangerous, I agree, but I still think we ought to do what we can to minimize the chances of seeing a person die during a sporting event. Just like we should be wearing a condom. I'm sure Hemingway never did, but I'll be honest, I don't want to base my life decisions on his.

– October 27, 2011 11:39 AM
Q.

Hamilton & Hax

T-Gal, when are you and Carolyn Hax ever going to do that combined hockey-advice online chat? Some of are still waiting with bated breath!
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I have been putting too many things off. Good reminder.

– October 27, 2011 11:40 AM
Q.

Congratulations...

...on completing your course of Physical Therapy! I underwent a few months' worth for a rotator cuff injury three years ago, which saved me from having to have surgery (yay!). And while it was certainly worth, it sure was hard, and painful as well. I hope you're as pleased with your results as I (still) am with mine.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I'm glad you got results! I just quit, to be honest. I'll see the ortho after the new year. It'll take many strong men to capture me and get me in an MRI machine again, I can tell you that. I swore no more shoulder surgery and I meant it.

– October 27, 2011 11:42 AM
Q.

La Russa

One of my friends ran into Tony La Russa at "Moneyball" movie last night. I wonder how much grumbling he did during it.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Ha!

– October 27, 2011 11:42 AM
Q.

LaRussa = Rigglesman? - Section 405

Hi, Posted *prior* to Game Six. For the Series, I've got a mild rooting interest for the Cards.

I'm watching Tony La Russa in this series, and he's making all these moves, and it seemed familiar. Then I realized that I was seeing a competent Rigglesman (well, competent when the phone works, at least). I find it interesting that the soon-to-be-second-winningest manager of all time (he'll pass McGraw sometime around the next all-star break) shares many of the same in-game characteristics with the guy who has a strong case as the worst manager of all time with more than 500 games under their belt.

Section 405

A.
Adam Kilgore :

In a tactical sense, Jim Riggleman is really close to LaRussa. In terms of the quality of players they managed, LaRussa has had some awesome, awesome teams. When Riggleman had Sammy Sosa in his prime and Kerry Wood in his, he made the playoffs. When he had the '10 Nats, he lost 93 games. You can't manage that good or that bad. In baseball, it's the players. LaRussa has lasted because of his innovation and because he's able to have the clubhouse rally around him. Riggleman is a great in-game manager, in my mind, and he adds discipline to a clubhouse. Do players want to run through a wall for him? No, he's not that kind of manager. In this generation, you need to have that. It's why Ron Washington and Terry Francona succeed. And, as the beer-and-chicken escapades in Boston showed, even that style of manager can wear out his welcome.

– October 27, 2011 11:42 AM
Q.

"let the rest of the dominos fall as they may."

That person was talking about the starters for the Redskins, right? I know that hockey players get injuries and are banged up near the end of the season. Similar with baseball players. But, my gosh! The Redskins are dropping like flies! Do we need to wrap them in bubble wrap? (I can't believe I'm submitting a football question. Where's my baseball hat and hockey stick?)
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I don't think he meant he actually wanted them to fall. I think he just meant the biggest needs were QB and OL, which I happen to agree with. And yes, they are dropping like flies all of a sudden. Feel particularly bad for Hightower.

– October 27, 2011 11:42 AM
Q.

Baseball's over, Skins are BORING.

How 'bout those Caps? Moving Ovie from point on the power play: WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Like I said, I put a lot of things on the back burner. Oh, you mean Boudreau.

– October 27, 2011 11:43 AM
Q.

Rexy / Becksy

Has anybody pointed out the irony that, had Rex not thrown four picks and gotten benched, Beck probably would have started last week's game anyway since Rex is down with pneumonia? I wonder how the tenor of all these conversations would be different if things had happened in that order.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

That is absolutely correct. I can't believe Rex even traveled with pneumonia. That's a bitch. Had it once and don't ever want to tangle with that stuff again. I give him toughness points. I could hardly leave the house for three weeks.

– October 27, 2011 11:44 AM
Q.

ESPN

what is going on with ESPN? Televising a T.O. workout? I hardly say that's newsworthy. I know they got a lot of criticism for airing the "Decision" but at least that was with a relevant player who people thought would change the fortunes of a Franchise, but people are hardly following TO the way they were following Lebron. What was ESPN thinking?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

There were more interviewers there (Rachel and Jerry Rice) than team officials (none).

– October 27, 2011 11:46 AM
Q.

Being There Live

How often do columnists/writers write about sporting events that they do not attend live? Is it personal preference or strictly an editors decision?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

We never write live off events and try to make it seem like we were there. Is there something particular you had in mind?

– October 27, 2011 11:47 AM
Q.

Nats' Salaries

For Kilgore: According to the November 2010 Washingtonian Magazine, Wizards Gilbert Arenas ($17,700,000) and John Wall ($5,100,000) are paid multiple times as much as Nationals Ian Desmond ($400,000), Roger Bernadina ($400,000), Tyler Clippard ($401,000--his agent must have worked hard for that extra $1000!), John Lannan ($458,000), Livan Hernandez ($900,000). Even the face of the franchise, Ryan Zimmerman, gets $6,350,000, which is less than half as much as Arenas and not much more than rookie Wall. Pudge Rodriguez earns $3,000,000 after all those years. This is not right. Even Redskin Chris Cooley makes only $720,000. NBA salaries are out of control and baseball players, on the whole, are underpaid. Is Arenas worth 40 Clippards? I think not.
A.
Adam Kilgore :

You have to consider the salary structures of each sport. In baseball, players with 0-3 years of service make the league minimu, period, unless their team negotiates a contract exentions -- which invariably would cut into their arbitration-eligible or free agency years.  On the open market, if a player is able to get his six years of service time in, free agents in baseball clean up. As one GM says, "For the first part of their career, we get to [bleep] the players. And then they get to [bleep] us."

If that's fair, who's to say? But it's what has been collectively bargained. If you'll notice, NBA labor negotiations are a near apocolypse. Baseball's labor structure has led to peace between players and management and a prospering league. So it's working.

– October 27, 2011 11:47 AM
Q.

Redskins

This HAS to be the year we draft a QB correct? Any chance we trade multiple picks to get the highest pick we can get to go after the best QB? Do you think theres any QB out in the League now that would come to Skins Nation?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I believe this is the year they have to draft a quarterback, yes. They passed up last year and knew they would have to make do a season with Beck and Grossman. They put the best spin on it they could but they know these guys aren't full-time NFL starters. I haven't studied the draft and the available quarterbacks yet or started to think about what they'll have to do but if they have to make a package deal, they will. They HAVE to get a quarterback this year. That's just my opinion, but I can't see any other option.

– October 27, 2011 11:50 AM
Q.

To Bat or Not to Bat--That Is the Question

Mr. Kilgore, how do AL pitchers & NL relief pitchers feel about not getting to bat? Are they relieved (pun intended)? Or would they rather have a swing or two? How do pitchers feel about being pulled for pinch hitters when they feel they have another good inning or two in them?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

It varies, but for the most part the NL relievers and AL starters I've been around love hitting. One, they all played and hit growing up, most of them as one of the best hitters at their high school or travel team. Two, tThey have no pressure, and the bragging rights if they do ANY small thing well are never-ending. My favorite reliever-hitting moment happened last year, when Storen had his first at-bat. He's a switch-hitter (only Storen) and he needed a helmet with two flaps that fit him ... and so he used the bat boy's. 

I don't know of any pitcher who has handed the ball to his manager and said, "Great idea, Skip." They want to keep pitching.

– October 27, 2011 11:50 AM
Q.

Area Sports

List in order who brings home a trophy to DC first. I see Caps winning one soon. Nats give them 3 years. Skins 50 Wizards 75
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Ooooo, good question. So hard beecause of moving parts. As of today, I think your order is right. However, Skins could just Nats, or Wiz could jump Skins, depending of drafting, coaching hiring/firing, lots of things. But right now, I like your order. Maybe not your time frame...

– October 27, 2011 11:51 AM
Q.

Greatest Fan

You should have a children's division of the contest, so you can grow the greatest fan. My 10-year-old would be in contention - he's a particularly rabid Nats fan (he and my husband fulfilled one of my husband's life-long dreams by going to watch some spring training games this year), who is going as Jayson Werth for Halloween (last year he was Dunn, the year before he was Nyjer Morgan - do you spot a trend?). We drove to Hagerstown and Richmond to watch Harper this summer, and to Altoona to see Strasburg's start last year. We've spent a few mornings hanging out at Kettler to watch practices and he lives and breathes each Caps game (thankfully, most end in time for him to get to bed at a reasonable time, unlike baseball games). He likes the Redskins and will forcefully debate each person's worth and abilities. Basketball is a little lower on the rung. Of course, his knowledge only goes back three years at most!
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Well, so long, Jayson Werth! Just don't let him be Ryan Zimmerman and you'll always be welcome on this chat. And so will he.

– October 27, 2011 11:52 AM
Q.

St. Louis Cardinals

Here is a tip for Tony LaRussa: cellular telephones. They seem to be all the rage these days. He could ask his grandchildren about them. They can fill him in. On a related topic, what kind of beer goes best when drowning sorrows of a World Series loss?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Guinness. Always Guinness.

– October 27, 2011 11:52 AM
Q.

NBA

I sure do miss the Wizards and the sounds of squeaky sneakers on hard wood. Oh wait. No I don't. I don't think fans are the least bit concerned about the NBA season. There does not appear to be any public pressure for the two sides to come together. What if they canceled a season and no one noticed?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Well, there is SOME public pressure. (I'm talking about the Big Man, not me.) And I think people would notice. I would notice in January. And the people whose jobs would be lost would notice right now.

– October 27, 2011 11:52 AM
Q.

Zman contract extension

What are your thoughts on a contract extension for the Zman? BTW: Whenever I need a baseball fix during the long winter months I will go back and listen to what I consider the call of year. Charlie Slowes calling Z-Mans grand Slam walk off homerun against the Phillies in August. You would think we just won the World Series. (Note you have to watch the call by Bob Carpenter first. The radio broadcast immediately follows)

A.
Adam Kilgore :

Zim contract stuff covered above.

That was a hysterically brilliant call by Charlie. That grand slam, which came after midnight, may have been the top moment of the Nats season. The other contender, off the top of my head, is Strasburg's 10 Ks in the finale. Or that insane three-blown-saves, 13-inning (IIRC) game against the White Sox the day after Riggleman resigned.

– October 27, 2011 11:52 AM
Q.

Awful Radio Announcers

Your contemporary CU alum here. The talk about how godawful Sam and Sonny have gotten and audience reaction is a wonderful case study of how the East Coast and Midwest are, in fact, different countries. I'm a DC native living in central Missouri. I spent many, many years listening to Sam, Sonny and Frank before moving out here. I'm sure they're nowhere near their skill level as radio guys today as they were 15+ years ago. Mike Shannon's name has come up in this chat before, he's the exceptionally godawful play-by-play guy for the Cards. Now, I think it's safe to equate St Louis's passion for the Cards to DC's passion for the 'Skins, different sports, same rabid fan enthusiasm. But over the years, I've asked St Louis natives and big Cards fans "how can you listen to Mike Shannon on the radio? He makes Harry Caray at his worst seem lucid." The answer I get is illuminating. It's either a look that says "And your point is...?" or a brief statement "Mike's revered here." And there's the difference between Flyover Country and the East Coast. They know Shannon stinks and yet, he's revered and accepted. The fans here feel that despite his total lack of skill at his job, he's an essential part of the Cards landscape and that they owe it to him to be loyal. My native East Coast questions about him reveal that "edginess" you don't see out here. I'm sure if I were back there, I'd be saying much the same thing about Sam and Sonny. And yet, I've come to believe the St Louis acceptance of a craptastic radio announcer for their beloved sports team is the better way. Sam and Sonny are beloved and instead of rolling our eyes at their blathering, we should remember what they've brought to the franchise and revere them for their continued association with it.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

You may be right, but if attacked, I believe a lot of this area would leap to Sam's defense. He's definitely got his defenders and folks who'll shrug and say "that's Sam." I've heard Shannon isn't very good. Very odd considering there are a lot more baseball games than football.

– October 27, 2011 11:53 AM
Q.

DC Sports Fans

I'm really enjoying the Post articles on what it means to be a DC sports fan. I'm from Northern Virginia, and I fondly remember the 1991 season when my high-school kept a banner of the Skins record, at one point it looked like they might go undefeated. I root for all the local squads. I feel that its odd that many transplants don't adopt ANY local team, and instead chose to LOATHE all of them. For example, you'd think a Yankees fan might develop a casual appreciation and interest for the Nationals, but many of them choose to denounce all the local teams. I suspect this may have to do with some transplants that feel that everything from somewhere else is better than it is in DC: "Oh my GAWD, the pizza here is AWFUL, it's SOOOOOOOOO much better in [Chicago, New York, etc.]" is a common refrain. I for one, think the local teams (and the pizza) are improving.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Glad to hear it. I find it hard, the longer I live somewhere, not to develop some sort of feelings for local teams. Some people apparently have an immunity. Everyone is different.

– October 27, 2011 11:54 AM
Q.

Backups

This team was never going to make the playoffs, so I'm happy there is some youth playing. Lichtenstiger, Torain, Banks, Armstrong, Cook provided some production this year and were practice squad or backups at the start of last year. If we can find some more this year and couple that with another draft(Campbell, Mcnabb, and Haynesworth extra picks?) the team will be more improved. Patience.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Oh, stop being reasonable! :) Seriously, you are absolutely right. This is going to take time. I don't blame Skins fans for not wanting to hear that, given how much time it's already been, but ...

– October 27, 2011 11:55 AM
Q.

Redskins Franchise QB

Hello Tracee -- My "chase for 8" hopes being crushed, I've crawled out of my bunker to look at the sad state of the Redskins. To answer an earlier chatter, Uncle Bill isn't 8-0 IF Oklahoma shows up, but sadly that seems to be a big if. But as far as the Skins, go, what could the Redskins possibly give the Rams/Dolphins/whoever in exchange for the first pick to get Andrew Luck? There isn't much in terms of current players that it would seem others would want, short of Orakpo and Kerrigan, and hopefully those fellows are here to stay. OUMom
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

OUMom: Andrew Luck may be a pipe dream; they may have to trade up but not all the way up and get someone not quite Luck-ish. I wouldn't trade Orakpo or Kerrigan for anyone, I agree. Oh, and you all go ahead and beat Uncle Bill. Thanks!

– October 27, 2011 11:55 AM
Q.

Free agent 1B with ironic last name

Another beat writer keeps teasing that Prince Fielder may be in the mix for the Nats. Is he just trying to get attention/pageviews or is there something to that theory? I realize Fielder is a little younger than many free agents, but just looking at him, I think #olplayaskilz can't be too far off. Fielder would be a major change of philosophy for the Nats or more accurately, show there is no philosophy.
A.
Adam Kilgore :

I agree on Fielder. I think both Fielder and Pujols will sign contracts that will ultimately be regrettable for the team that signs them.

The Nats have been in the buzz for Fielder and Pujols, but I don't see it happening. It would give them the offensive bang they desperately need. But they have Morse and LaRoche and Marrero and their resources should be diverted in areas they need more -- signing Zimmerman to a long-term deal, getting a CF and leadoff man, saving some coin for Strasburg's next deal, etc.

It would be a mistake to assume, too, that getting Pujols or Fielder at this stage of their career is a once-in-a-lifetime change. Joey Votto, as one example, will be available, in either a trade or as a free agent, in a couple years. Pujols and Fielder are great players, but the world will not run out  of slugging first basemen.

– October 27, 2011 11:57 AM
Q.

Coke in White Cans

With polar bears? Heresy?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Okay, I'll go along with it. Heresy. Although I like polar bears.

– October 27, 2011 11:57 AM
Q.

'Cuse, baby

So, Kilgore, any thoughts on the waking giant that is Syracuse football? Have you purchased your Orange Bowl tickets yet?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

I just want to know, has any team ever won the Big East and ACC in consecutive seasons? Did you guys SEE the beat down they put on West Virginia on Thursday?

– October 27, 2011 11:58 AM
Q.

Being There Live

Didn't mean to imply anything about writing "live off events and try to make it seem like we were there." Nothing in particular, just curiosity, especially as the difference between writing at the event versusnot. Also, thought you and Kilgore could offer different perspectives. In the end, the question pretty much stands as originally written.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Sorry, that wasn't a defensive reply, just curious if there was something specific so I could better answer the question. The basic rule is, you don't write off TV, you don't write and "pretend" you were there. You can write later off an event you didn't actually attend -- that happens all the time and in this new gig that's what I do because I do it so damn early in the morning. Does that answer the original question?

– October 27, 2011 11:59 AM
Q.

PIttsburgh

Caps and Pens -- the rivalry of the season?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Sure.

– October 27, 2011 11:59 AM
Q.

Confused about the Big 12 (as usual)

Just when it appeared Union Station would be a 55-mile commuter rail ride from Big 12 country (Harpers Ferry), ol' Mitch McConnell had to get in on the act with his best Mark Warner impression (hey, it worked for the Gobblers eight years ago). So will it be West Virginia or Louisville, or might the vassals override Texas for once and invite both, actually expanding to a 12-member Big 12 (Brigham Young or Cincinnati, come on down!)? Oh, and one more thing, Tracee -- Mountaineer Field is from the same firm that designed Jack Trice Stadium at Iowa State, which opened five years earlier. Of course, they don't burn couches in Ames.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Sorry, I'm in the fetal position, clutching my old Big 8 T-shirt and crying. I literally no longer know or care what's happening. And my program is in such disarray that it really doesn't matter where we end up.

– October 27, 2011 11:59 AM
Q.

Nats

If you were the Nationals GM, what would your top 2 moves be over the winter?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

1. Sign Zimmerman.

2. Go for Darvish. On paper, Strasburg-Zimmerman-Darvish-Detwiler-Peacock would have to be the best 26-and-under rotation in baseball. It's risky. But what isn't?

Bonus: Try to trade for B.J. Upton or sign him after the Rays non-tender him.

– October 27, 2011 12:00 PM
Q.

Nationals

My first baseball game attended was a Senators/Red Sox doubleheader at Griffith Stadium in 1960. I was 10. I coached baseball for 15 years and may be coaching again at the middle school level. Ergo, I think I know more about baseball than I do. I love the way the Nats are building. Young, solid character guys with speed, power and charisma. I'm hoping they are VERY careful in the personality assessment of any new signees. The best teams I had where the teams where the players liked each other. Am I too optimistic to think we will challenge for the playoffs this year?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

Depending on what happens this offseason, I think the Nats might be a chic playoff pick come spring training. Their offense needs some serious improvement, but I bet they'll be a buzzed-about team in the spring.

– October 27, 2011 12:02 PM
Q.

Terps

Any predictions on the Terps' record for the rest of this football season?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

I'm going to say 3-2, but boy, is Maryland hard to predict.

– October 27, 2011 12:02 PM
Q.

Nationals Hot Stove

Adam: What is your feel as to what the Nats will do this Winter. I see them mentioned as after everyone. Will we see them sign Yu Darvish and Fielder? Do you think something like trading for Denard Span and signing Edwin Jackson(No draft pick required) is more likely? Thanks.
A.
Adam Kilgore :

I think maybe on Darvish, no on Fielder. It's to hard to predict what's going to happen. Who had Werth to the Nats at this time last year? Absolutely no one did until it happened.

– October 27, 2011 12:03 PM
Q.

Adding to the RZimm Panic

Third base horizon for both the Red Sox and Yankees is pretty short: A-Rod will be switching to DH soon and Youkilis seems to be trending downward, so there maybe some deep pocket suitors out there for Mr. Zimm after 2012.
A.
Adam Kilgore :

A good point.

– October 27, 2011 12:03 PM
Q.

Morse Fan Favorite

Definitely, because of three syllables: Take On Me
Q.

Re: Morse a Fan Favorite

He's my third favorite, right after RZimm & Clipp but before Espy & Store!
Q.

Nationals

We are only one Veteran Starting Pitcher and Power bat from making the playoffs correct? I hope so
A.
Adam Kilgore :

There's a little more to it than that, but that would be a good start. I don't think Veteran is as important as Very Good or Excellent. And I would say a rock-solid OBP hitter is more essential than one more power bat. Between Zimmerman, Werth, Espinosa, Ramos, LaRoche and Morse, they should hit enough homers. They need guys who get on base.

– October 27, 2011 12:06 PM
Q.

Did it rain last night in St. Louis?

I live about a mile from the ballpark. The answer is No.
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Well, then, that should have been in the paper.

– October 27, 2011 12:06 PM
Q.

Redskins building

If you were the GM of the Redskins, is there one person on offense and one person on defense who you would strive to build the team around? Doesn't have to be the best O or D player, just someone to use as a focal point/anchor. If not, doesn't that say something?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

On defense, yes (Fletcher, even though he's getting up there, Orakpo). On offense ... no. Sure, it says something. They do not have the big play-maker on offense (and no, it's not Santana, in my opinion).

– October 27, 2011 12:06 PM
Q.

Taiwan "All-Star" Tour

Is having C-M Wang pitch in the Taiwan series a good or bad thing for the Nats? The team gets a little more time to watch him before their exclusive negotiating window closes (a day?), but other teams get more time to evaluate him, as well.
A.
Adam Kilgore :

I spoke with Wang's agent about this last night. I don't expect the Taiwan series or the exclusive negotating window will have an impact one way or another on Wang landing with the Nats. He wants to be here and they want him here. It'll get worked out.

– October 27, 2011 12:07 PM
Q.

Spring Training

Do you think the Nats will move to Tampa for Spring Training? I kind of like the dumpy little town of Viera.
A.
Adam Kilgore :

I don't think Tampa is in the mix. Rizzo toured a couple sites in Fort Myers a couple weeks ago. That's a possible option -- the Red Sox recently moved into a park in the Fort, leaving perfectly good City of Palms Park unoccupied. Fort Myers already has two teams, which would tremendously help with the Nats' travel, which in Viera is untenable. The issue with the Sox' old park is that the minor league facilities are down the road about two miles from the major league ones, which can be a pain you don't want to deal with.

– October 27, 2011 12:10 PM
Q.

Nats Offseason Fan Activities

Kilgore - as on of the Orcs who will hunt you - you must find out what offseason activities the Nats have planned to get the fans excited about next season. Fan Fest SHOULD NOT BE the day before the season starts.
A.
Adam Kilgore :

I think it'll be the same this year since the Nats' marketing folks liked the way it went last year. Which is odd, since fans, media and players all seemed to hate it.

– October 27, 2011 12:11 PM
Q.

Uncle Bill

Tracee - lay off Snyder! K-State was only up by 17 when he was arguing that call. He's a perfectionist; that's what he does. That does not make him loveable, I admit, but it's kind of working for him. And don't worry - the Hawks have no where to go but up and - it's almost basketball season! -K-Stater (reporting in late, due to a previous engagement)
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Ha! I knew I could lure you out of hiding. Yes, it's definitely working for him. It's not like it cost us the ballgame or anything, it's just ... I don't know. And seriously, I don't think basketball season is going to be anything to get excited about. I'm okay with that, but something out there better get that football program cleaned up, quick. I'm pretty fed up about a number of things not involving Snyder. :)

– October 27, 2011 12:11 PM
Q.

O Goddess of the plains, Guinness and all other beverages:

Suggestion: If you're going to have a baseball chat, do it during spring training or better still, April. I hate to say this but I'm bored silly. Whether or not you're a baseball fan, THE NATS' SEASON IS OVER. I'd rather hear about rugby, for dog's sake...
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Adam's being inundated with questions and so am I. You can always just skip his. I'm answering at my usual high rate.

– October 27, 2011 12:12 PM
Q.

Bench strength for the Nats

Do the Nats bring back Hairston, Cora, Nix and Gomes, or none of them? I think Cora is done. Along the same lines, should they consider Marquis again?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

Maybe Nix or Gomes. Can't see Marquis coming back. Doubt it on Hairston and Cora, too. Although Rizzo would love to keep Cora in the organization as a minor league coach or manager if and when he decides he's done playing. Cora is adamant that he'll play somewhere next season.

– October 27, 2011 12:12 PM
Q.

Yes, Morse is a fan favorite

How could you not like a guy who hits so well, turns out to be a good first baseman, so obviously LOVES playing the game, and is a happy goofball, to boot? What do you think of Danny Espinosa? Is he really First Half Danny, on a hitting tear, or Second Half Danny, who strikes out way too often? His fielding seems great to me, especially considering he's only a rookie.
A.
Adam Kilgore :

The answer, like it usually in  baseball, is somewhere in between. There were questions about his penchant for strikeouts going back to his minor league days. He's an outstanding defensive second baseman, already one of the best in the NL, in my opinion. His power also makes him incredibly valuable for a 2B, even with the strikeouts. I think pitchers adjusted to him in the second half, and it took him a while to re-adjust. He turned it back around by the very end. He'll be fine next year, maybe better than that. I wouldn't worry about a full season of Second Half Danny. 

– October 27, 2011 12:15 PM
Q.

When do you pack it in?

If you've been a fan of a sports team for decades and in your late middle age you come to the painful realization that they are NEVER going to turn it around--is that the point when you step back, stop wearing your crony wear, stop watching the games, turn off the radio and avert your eyes from the painful stories in the paper?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

This is a good question and I'll be honest, one I'm grappling with at the moment. I look at it this way: sports are supposed to bring us JOY. Even when our teams lose, there should be a player we like or admire, or a style of play (loose, gritty), or something that we get out of watching that team. It's supposed to be fun. And yes, occasionally, it would be nice if our teams made us proud, but they shouldn't embarrass us, on or off the field. Their values should be our values. If none of that is happening for you, then what's in it for you?

The answer for many people is commitment. You've made a commitment to this team and you want to keep it. You don't want to give up the minute things get tough. So you stick with it. And there is nothing wrong with that.

There is a point where the payoff for that commitment dwindles to nothing. There is no joy, no fun, and not even a sense of pride that you've held up your end of the bargain, because there is no end in sight for all of your time and effort. And when you reach that point, you have a decision to make. Sounds like you are at that point. You have to make the right decision for you. Never mind what your buds or your kids or your spouse or anyone else thinks. If you are getting nothing out of this relationship any more, and there is no expectation of getting anything, what is the point? Some friendships reach this point. Some marriages reach this point. And some fanships reach this point. It's a horrible feeling in a lot of ways because our teams are often some of the longest constants in our lives and their absences will be felt. But if that constant is pain, then what you feel is the absence of pain. And that has to be a good thing, right?

My God, I sound like Dr. Phil. But this is a fair question and one that I think a lot of fans face at some time in their lives. I don't think the answer is always as glib as "Wait 'til next year!"

– October 27, 2011 12:17 PM
Q.

Nats Starting Rotation

Would you care to take a crack at it? How about Stras, JZimm, Wang, Lannan, Detweiler? Next year that seems to be a mid range major league rotation with a lot of potential.
A.
Adam Kilgore :

Seems like a good guess to me. If they sign Darvish, maybe Lannan or Detwiler is traded and becomes the CF they need? I'm in no way implying the Nats are itching to trade either of those guys, but it's a possible option.

That's one reason it makes it tough to answer questions like these -- once the offseason dominos start falling, the landscape changes and options can both arise and disappear.

– October 27, 2011 12:17 PM
Q.

Michael Morse - Fan Favorite!

Michael Morse is definitely a fan favorite at Nationals Ballpark - ever heard the fans keep singing "Take On Me" (A-Ha for non-eighties types) for several verses after the PA stops playing the cut? It's great to hear them (try to) hit that high note.....Nats should keep Morse, re-sign Livo, CMW, and RZimm.
Q.

Baseball managers

Why do baseball managers wear uniforms when in every other sport, the manager/coach wears a suit? It is just odd. They are often lumpy middle age men who do their uniforms no justice. Oh sage one (two), what say you?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

The only good answer is tradition. It really is  hilarious when you stop and notice.

– October 27, 2011 12:19 PM
Q.

Hiding?

WOW, they really hid your Q & A today...took me awhile to find you. Ridiculous!
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

Sorry -- I thought it was pretty noticeable today and man a lot of people submitted questions. We're still wading through them here.

– October 27, 2011 12:19 PM
Q.

No on Upton...

Hi, Tracee! I vote NO on signing Upton - every time I hear this rumour, I keep seeing Carl Crawford last year. Upton's flaws relate directly to the Nats needs in a CF/leadoff man....in that he's not a leadoff man. After last year's $$$ outlay on Werth didn't turn out so swell (for one year, at least) they can't afford to cram a square peg (Upton) into their round hole in CF. He's just not a good fit, although a fine player with interesting talents that just don't quite add up to what the Nats need in CF or at the top of the lineup. Just My Opinion, no bash on Upton.
A.
Adam Kilgore :

The problem with comparing Upton to Crawford is that 1) Upton is much younger and 2) you'd be getting him at a fraction of the price.

– October 27, 2011 12:20 PM
Q.

audition

Was Dave Jageler basically auditioning for Carp's job late in the season? He'd be an improvement, but I like him with Slowes on the radio too much to want it to happen.
A.
Adam Kilgore :

When Dave filled in last year on MASN, it had nothing to do with an audtion. Bob had some minor health issues and needed a few days off, is all. That being said, if MASN decides to go another direction, Dave would be a logical potential replacement.

– October 27, 2011 12:21 PM
Q.

Wang contract

Am I wrong to think that if the Nats make a reasonable offer, and he goes elsewhere for bigger money, it's the worst case of ingratitude in sports?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

Ingratitude's got nothing to do with it. I wouldn't look down on Wang a bit if he had a higher offer and took it. All in the game, yo.

I really don't think we'll have to worry about it, though.

– October 27, 2011 12:22 PM
Q.

Hey Kilgore..

Who wins in a foot-race, you or Mark Zuckerman?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

We're sportswriters, so the best guess is that neither would be able to finish.

– October 27, 2011 12:23 PM
Q.

CC Sabthia in the FA market

Long shot sure, but why not? He would probably like to pitch in the national league and hook on with a young team about to go places.
A.
Adam Kilgore :

In the slim chance that CC opts out and signs elsewhere, I'd bet he'd end up on the West Coast. But I don't think he's going anywhere.

– October 27, 2011 12:24 PM
Q.

Phillies

Adam, Are the phillies in the process of becoming the new Braves? Years of regular season dominance, and 1 World Series ring?
A.
Adam Kilgore :

I don't think they'll have close to the sustained success of the Braves. Their core is too old, and they've morgated the farm a bit by making win-now trades.

– October 27, 2011 12:25 PM
Q.

Handle Pending

Adam, what did you think of the MONEYBALL movie? I am glad that many more people are pointing out the glaring problems with the way the story is presented. In true Hollywood fashion, it is all the work of the tortured genius. Not a mention of Hudson, Zito, Mulder, Tejada, or Chavez (other than in passing) in the movie. Seriously? Do they really think it was Scott Hatteberg who made that team great? The other five were all signed based on scouting. I'm a big time Sabremetrics guy, but it needs to be in concert with traditional scouting. No one way is perfect.
A.
Adam Kilgore :

I haven't seen the movie. I love, love, love the book. The movie was not a documentary about the team, and so I don't think it's beholden to telling a complete story and explaining how awesome pitchers made the team win games. It's a story. Enjoy that way.

That's all for me. Thanks so much for chatting. I didn't have a chance to get to every question today, and if you'd still like it answered, my email is kilgorea@washpost.com. Enjoy Game 6 tonight. 

– October 27, 2011 12:29 PM
Q.

Shanahan

Just how crazy is Mike Shanahan? I mean, he says Grossman is available as a backup while the man is hooked up to an IV in the locker room, and the next day he is in the hospital! Is he totally out of touch with reality?
A.
Tracee Hamilton :

My guess is that is he'd needed Grossman to play, he'd have played him. Shanahan suffered a ruptured kidney on the football field. I am not sure he'd be impressed by pneumonia. Me, I'm impressed, but I was never speared in the kidney.

Okay, we've run waaaaaay over. I blame Kilgore. No, seriously, thanks to my arch-nemesis Kilgore for joining me today for the chat. Let's talk next week!

– October 27, 2011 12:29 PM
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