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

Oct 31, 2013

This week, Tracee Hamilton discusses all the sports news.

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Has your friend's/relative's baby arrived? If so, how cute? Section 405

No baby yet, which is why I'm here. Even as we chat, my nephew's wife is being induced so hopefully it won't be long. She went a week past her due date (after hearing repeatedly that the baby would be early). Hoping for a safe and fast delivery. I will go to NY and not be here next week, FYI. Thanks for the setup, 405!

And good morning, all. I will have to quit a few minutes early today so let's get going!

After watching Peyton this past week, who actually calls the original play before the Broncos come up to the line? That job could probably be filled by anyone, like the honorary bat boy at MLB games. Because it seems that Peyton has never not changed the play at the line of scrimmage after looking at the defensive formation.

I pointed this out  in my Tuesday column. He's a better play caller right now than Kyle Shanahan, certainly. He is probably one of the best offensive coordinators in the league.

O goddess of the Plains and Knower of ALL things Great and small. Let us assume that the Washington football team had a different name and that the NFL approved an expansion team . Would the league approve that application if the new team was seeking to be called the "Redskins" ? On what basis would they approve or disapprove such a name ? OK, not counting a team based in Idaho. Just asking.

No way they would approve a team with that name. Not even in Pocatello.

I'm not really happy with the way he's handling the job. I think we start looking for somebody else. I mean, if we wait too long, somebody else will snap up Tony LaRussa and we'll miss our chance to... Oh wait, am I too early?

Maybe a few days early.

I just got the release from the Nationals saying he'd been hired. So now we know. :)

... was the repeated mention of Red Sox chance to "clinch" the World Series Wednesday. Not once did I hear them say "win" -- which is more specific.

People like to fancy-up their verbs, I guess. Win is so 20th century. And 19th century, too.

Hi, Tracee, I'll be out for the chat, so I'll submit my questions early. How could Denard Span, with no errors, NOT be awarded the Gold Glove? And what does UZR mean? Why must writers use abbreviations not all of us are familiar with? Do you think this was the right choice? Why doesn't some team pick up Tim Tebow now that there are so many injuries? He threw a pass that beat my Steelers in the 2011 playoffs. He's better than a lot of guys out there, I'm sure. Why doesn't a rabid sports city like Pittsburgh have an NBA team? I realize with football, baseball, and hockey, the whole year is covered, but do you think they'll ever get one? I'm not sure if they want one, but still. . .

UZR is Ultimate  Zone Rating. Did that clear it up? Not for me, either. It's a stat from Fangraphs and you'll have to look up the explanation -- I just read it and I still don't get it. Not sure I'd use it to determine award winners. And no one should use it without explaining it. It is not part of the widespread lexicon. I think Span had a Gold Glove worthy season, yes.

Tebow is toxic in the league, for whatever reason. I guess no one wants all the attention that comes with him.

Why doesn't Pittsburgh have an NBA team? I've never heard anyone say it actually wanted one but we have Pittsburgh experts on this chat so correct me if I'm wrong.

Assume this is the story to which you refer? Or do you mean his performance this season, which has, in fact, been gnarly?

I sent two recipes to Tracee after her request last week, but if it goes up early enough, maybe we can get more? Section 405

I got a lot of recipes via email and there were so similar that I have a lot of information to go on. I'll be making a practice roast in a couple of weeks. :) Thanks to everyone who emailed. Save your culinary advice until my next question, which will probably come soon. I've never cooked a turkey (in 30 years, I've probably made Thanksgiving dinner maybe four times) so I may have questions about that. I'm mostly worried about cooking for a houseful of people who don't like the same things. I will have to buy (yes, buy; we have a great pie place less than a mile from the house) three or four pieces for Christmas. One may or may not be vegan; trying to figure that out. I can't eat anything so whatever I make is for everyone else. It's a mishegas.

Can we please just get rid of him NOW? He's a much bigger embarrassment than the team name, record or anything else.

Well, this is what I just wrote about. I think the answer about getting rid of him now is no. I think ultimately the answer will be yes.

Any news?

This just in: the doctor thinks it will be tonight. I was hoping not to have a Halloween baby but this is not high on the list of worries.

Ex-Nat Jonny Gomes did really well in the Series this year. He was one of the reasons I was rooting for Boston this year (of course, I'd have been rooting even for the Yankees, holding my nose, against St. Louis and Pete "8 strikes and you're out" Kozma). Why did our spear-carriers fail this year compared to a career spear-carrier like Gomes? Section 405

My only question about the Red Sox is how soon they shave those things off their faces? After the parade?

Tough choice between Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and M&Ms. No Tootsie Rolls, Bit o Honey, candy corn or unpopped popcorn, please. And no shaming letters in lieu of treats.

Shaming letters? What in the world does that mean? Do people hand out shaming letters?

i hate all sports but i think Brandon Meriweather is a moron for saying he will try to hurt people, anyplace else than football, he'd be prosecuted. Shame on RGIII and Fletcher for defending such behavior. Hope league suspends them too.

Not gonna happen, but yes, that was not a smart thing to say.

First one to 21 wins. In the 4th quarter Peyton decided to play football.

He's still a force.

Are we going to have to watch yet another coronation of Alabama as national champion? Alas, not convinced that the Oregon SOS is equal to that of the SEC.

It's quite possible.

We were discussing NFL mascots around the water cooler. The Redskins are one of the few teams not to have an official mascot (Chief Zee is unofficial). Can you name another? Can you name the only team that has a mascot dressed as a human (not a cartoon-ish character)? And which mascot will you be dressing as tonight?

New England? And none. I will be hiding in a darkened room, avoiding trick or treaters.

Tracy, I'd like to know your thoughts on the decision by Shanahan when he first got to DC to go the 3-4 defense. My feeling is that if it doesn't work out in DC for him, that will ultimately be the reason. I mean, he took a defense that was admittedly weak in creating turnovers but was a perennial top 10 defense in the 4-3 each of the 5 or 6 years prior to Shanahan getting there and turned it into a 3-4 that has been at or near the bottom of the league every year since. I mean its great to have a defense that creates turnovers, but what good is it if you can't stop anybody. Personally, I'd rather have a d that gets 3 and outs. Your thoughts?

It wasn't really even Shanahan. He let Haslett have full control of that and Haslett did it (although one assumes with Shanahan's blessing). I thought it was an odd move at the time given the personnel but they seemed to be making some strides with it. But it is taking far longer than they thought it would to make the transition. I agree about the three-and-outs. Lots of teams Washington plays seem to be able to get those.

Sad news, if true, about Varlamov.

Yes.

Hi, Tracee: Go Sawx! Been following them since 1966, so this latest WS win is a treat, indeed. The Cards are clearly the class of the NL, and our Nats will have their hands full for the foreseeable future. All those young arms who are learning to throw strikes and change speeds - this team is oriented well for the future. I am impressed by how much Xander Bogaerts looks right at home at third base.

Congrats to you. St. Louis is always going to be an obstacle and yes, they keep reloading. Impressive organization.

Why do they keep trotting Erin Andrews out? She's a horrible interviewer, her sideline commentary is banal at best and her voice sounds like she constantly has a cold.

I sometimes think Erin gets a bad rap but I heard her interview someone the other day and she kept interrupting them in mid-answer with "yes!" or "yes yes" or "right" talking right over them and it was really disconcerting and really kind of inappropriate. If you're doing an interview of someone for television, you should let them talk. She wasn't on camera so her voice seemed to be coming from nowhere. Just odd.

True story re "Hoping for a safe and fast delivery": I once heard Dave Newell, the actor who long played Mr. McFeely on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," wish a woman who'd just begun labor "Speedy Delivery!"

It seems better than "Slow Delivery!"

Do any media markets as small as Pittsburgh's now is -- lots of shrinking in the past 3 decades -- support franchises in all 4 professional sports? I doubt it. Besides, if a Yinzer wants to see "professional" basketball, there's always the Pitt Panthers.

I think Pittsburgh has a larger TV market than Salt Lake, San Antonio, Oklahoma City. But I'm sure you're right and size has something to do with it. And I don't sense any real desire to have a team. They seem pretty happy with the ones they have.

Presented without comment. Okay, just one comment - seriously? Why give out candy at all? That's just messed up. Okay, I'm done now. (1a)

Huh. Well, dried egg is hard to clean up. She'd better be prepared. My guess is there will be some angry parents.

Hi, Tracee: It's October, and I'm fed up (again) with announcers and the press combining league playoff stats (HRs, etc) with World Series stats into something called "postseason" totals - World Series accomplishments stand apart from league playoff games, and can't be combined or compared. For example, Mickey Mantle hit 18 WORLD SERIES home runs, he did not hit 18 "postseason" homers. I have heard people who should know better say that Mantle's 18 "postseason" homers will soon be eclipsed by (insert name here)....League playoff game totals are significant, but shouldn't be lumped in with the World Series, which is (or should be) very special and different from all other MLB games. And another thing! UZR? Those who spew this stuff can't even adequately explain what it is or how it works. These stat geeks would be better off if they put down the laptop, and actually went to a baseball game, and try harder to understand what they see happening. And they should stay off my lawn!

Whew! I hope that helped! Good rant!

Best Thanksgiving turkey advice: Do NOT stuff the turkey! Instead, make the dressing and bake it separately. And this isn't just one chatter's opinion, either: No less an expert than "French Chef" Julia Child recommended it.

Oh, I won't stuff the turkey. Grandma never did and her stuffing was magnifico!

There was a team but it folded after one season. Still, that was 1947-48 so maybe they could get another chance. The reality is that NBA teams tend to be located around arenas rather than markets, which is why the Nets moved to Brooklyn, the Seattle franchise is struggling despite a good ownership group and market, and the Kings left Kansas City for the not-exactly-a-hotbed Sacramento (and the Maloofs are talking about moving the Kings to Virginia Beach).

Good point, yes, arenas make a difference. Sometimes those small markets are great -- Oklahoma City is a perfect example of an enthused fan base (with no other pro teams) and a nice place to play.

At last, we will now be free of having to hear Tim McCarver's wrongheaded conventional wisdom commentary in years to come. Mc Carver was one of the folks that was frothing-at-the-mouth angry about the Nats shutting down their (then) fourth-best pitcher last year (on medical advice, mind you). This year, he wanted MLB to reexamine the interference rule, perhaps to add "intent" - I've heard of opening a can of worms, but not opening an empty can to *insert* worms.... Goodbye to a great catcher and not-so-great announcer.... Section 405

Can't disagree -- never cared for McCarver and he got worse as time went on.

Longtime vegetarian here. Least-work advice for the Thanksgiving dinner hostess: Make sure you have plenty of meatless side dishes, and your vegetarian guests will eat well, too! E.g., a bean dish for protein (even cold bean salad), mashed potatoes (without dairy), baked sweet potatoes, green salad, cranberry sauce, steamed vegetables, bread/rolls, fruit pies with crust made using vegetable shortening (instead of lard); various beverages. i suspect your omnivorous guests won't even notice their side-dishes are meatless as long as they get their turkey + gravy.

Sadly, my guests will notice if they do not get the exact side dishes we have every year. One year I didn't make scalloped corn and my sister about lost it. But good idea about the beans, etc. I will have to see just how vegetarian she is. She may just be off meat but not fully committed. No idea.

Gnarly Performance ???? He's 7-1 with a .945 save pct and a1.76 gaa.

Gnarly on the ice, perhaps just bad off the ice. Hence my confusion. The original poster was referring to his arrest, not his stats, which are out of this world.

Is that normal? It is the only vegetable he will eat

Asparagus? Huh. I don't know about kittens and vegetables -- not sure I've ever fed any vegetables to my kittens.

I plan to hide behind my door, scream, and push candy through the mail slot.

That'll work.

How do you do that? Do you use soy milk?

I was wondering the same thing but figured I could look it up? Quick answer? I'm going to have to sign off soon. I now have to rewrite my column.

Couldn't the bearded Sawx shave off their beards for charity?

Maybe they will. I haven't followed the beard thing too closely.

Tracee, it sounds about time for you and Carolyn Hax to do another shared chat! Hax would some choice advice about the scalloped-corn ideologue.

People's passionate obsessions with their favorite holiday foods is a great Hax topic. I should see if Carolyn is interested in a combo. It was fun.

This is totally off topic (although your chat is so wide ranging it may not be that far afield) but I just want to vent. We pay for 7 day a week delivery of the Post, happily. I still love the serendipity of browsing through the hard copy paper and I actually consider it part of my civic duty to pay for the paper to support the important role of journalism. I am very serious about this. But we have not gotten our paper 8 days this month and my 3 calls to Customer Service result in the same script: 1-We are sorry 2-We will have the distribution manager contact your carrier 3-We are sorry again. After today's call I'm at wits end. It is not like we can choose a different carrier to deliver it. I can't imagine cancelling home delivery but wow, for a business that is fighting for every subscriber it can get this is just amazing. I miss the Ombudsman right now. On a happier note, how about them Red Sox!

HP, email me after the chat and let me see if I can figure out someone to send that on to who will actually do what he/she says.

Anything chocolate. Although I seem to have developed some blood sugar issues so I shouldn't really have much. Boo. 1a

I can't have sugar so Halloween is a particularly cruel time, which is why no trick or treating at my house.

Sounds tricky, the kernels are so tiny. Or does it just mean you put the sauce stuff on corn that you would have on scalloped potatoes?

Oh, it's very midwestern -- cracker crumbs, creamed corn, minced onion, eggs. Very tasty, very easy. I just thought we could get by without it. I was apparently quite wrong. :)

As far as my amigos and I can figure, the 2013 Red Sox have the largest number of Portuguese-Americans of any team in MLB history -- Dustin Pedroia, Jonny Gomes, Shane Victorino, and possibly Daniel Nava. (Unless you count the late Billy Martin all by himself!). BTW, did you know that Portuguese is the second-most spoken language in Massachusetts? Parabens, amigos!

Interesting, thanks!

But they have a team! The Pittsburgh Pisces! Man, I'll never forget Moses Guthrie.

I haven't seen this but now I'm intrigued.

My cat will also be doing this. He's not big on strangers. Or kids. Or even our friends and family. Yeah, he has a few issues, but who doesn't? What? 1a

Mine hates the doorbell. When we're watching TV and someone rings a doorbell, I say "TV!" really quickly or off he goes. If I say TV, he remains lap-bound. As you said, who doesn't have issues?

Rah! Rah! Ski-U-Mah! How about them Gophers over the Cornhuskers? Woohoo!

That was a big win for Minnesota and a big loss for Nebraska. It's going to be interesting to see what happens in Lincoln. The interesting Lincoln. In my Lincoln, things aren't interesting except for a new restaurant.

Section 405 raises a great question. Who do you root for in a hypothetical Yankees-Cardinals series? I think I have to root for the Cardinals, as painful as it is, because the Yankees are so much worse. Or possibly the Little League Yankees from "Bad News Bears."

I would root for the Cardinals because of Midwestern solidarity, but the rooting would be pretty subdued.

I hope Matt Williams keeps Knorr and McCatty. They know our guys best! At least until he's had a year under his belt!!! You think they will keep them? Gotta get some NATS gear for that youngin'!

I'll try but daddy is a Cubs fan, for some unknown reason.

I don't know what will happen with Williams' staff, but it's pretty normal to bring in your own guys.

Order your turkey and trimmings from Boston Market, that's what I did last year.

And that may be the way I go. Can you pick them up on Thanksgiving?

(This is the plan to make room in the oven, not because I'm a chicken.)

To be sure, he did have a number of "quirkinesses." 1a

HA! Well, don't we all.

Do they know if the baby is a boy or a girl?

Yes, a girl named Ayala. The sampler is made, the blankets are crocheted, the clothes and accountrement are purchased ... I'm a little over-excited. I've always been a great aunt, but now I'll be a Great Aunt. :)

And now I need to sign off and re-do my column and call my mother to tell her Farah is in the hospital. Or I'm in big trouble. :) We'll talk in two weeks!

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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