Dec 06, 2010

Every morning, Post columnist Tracee Hamilton discusses the most amazing and outrageous news from the world of sports.

When Campbell left the Redskins to go to the Raiders, didn't we feel sorry for him? Now they're 6-6 and we're 5-7. Maybe he feels sorry for us.

Well, I didn't feel sorry for Jason; I thought it was the best thing that could happen to him, just getting out of here. I'm guessing he feels sorry for some of his friends on the team but not for the organization. Sort of like D. Thomas must feel today...

And good morning, everyone. Jason Reid is joining me this morning for at least part of the chat, so let's get going.

Also, Wilbon's in the Chat House at 1:30 today.

... the Caps! 46 shots and only 1 goal. Felt like a playoff game. Glad to see Ovie get the goal, though.

Mama said there'd be days like this ... Well, she didn't, because she never saw a hockey game in her life, but whatever...

Gosh, what a slow sports weekend in D.C. I have no idea what we're going to talk about. Hmmm...

It's a conundrum. I guess we'll have to go with pomegranates and Kansas....

can you get Dave or Adam to guest host while you are on vacation and explain what it God's name is going on at Nats Park! No Adam Dunn, but signing Jayson Werth to 7 years for $126M? This shifts the entire outfield, and leaves 1B up in the air! What is going on over there?@!????

I'll try to have Adam or Dave on sooner than that. Meanwhile, I know Boz is champing at the bit to write about this so please check out tomorrow's paper.

Hi Tracee! If you haven't found chocolate bark, I've purchased it at the Harris Teeter in Ballston (right behind Kettler) multiple times in the past two years. Also, I agree with you that milk chocolate is the best kind, though I do really really like the white chocolate candy cane kisses that Hershey's makes. As for Werth. I'm shocked, surprised, happy the Nats actually made a big move and pleased our pitchers don't have to face him anymore. I hope it proves to be a good investment. Does anyone else think that if Zim agrees to his "Tulo" deal, it will be for more than $126?

Thanks! Michael's ended up only having the "buttons" or "disks" or whatever.

Good question on Zim's deal. You'd think so. As for Werth, as someone who griped incessantly about a lack of a RF last season I guess I have no complaint coming...

"I don't know" if you're Abbott or Costello. Or the Washington Nationals. (No , wait, that's third base.) But, nice as the Jayson Werth signing may be, it still doesn't fill what seems to be the biggest hole for the Nats at the moment, which is at first base. Who does play there? Willingham? Morse? Somebody who hasn't been signed or traded for yet?

Beats the heck out of me. As I said, I feel bad griping about this after griping about the lack of a RF, but surely they need a first baseman. Surely they don't think Marrero is ready? (And your reply should be "And don't call me Shirley.")

If the second word is "chocolate,' I don't really care what the first word is.

You're a uniter, not a divider.

Tracee, I've only been a Skins fan for only 41 of my 46 years on this earth. Is it time to buy a Ray Lewis jersey?? Please advise......

I wouldn't buy a Ray Lewis jersey because based on those Old Spice commercials, dude is crazy. But I can see wanting to perhaps have a "fallback" team. Unfortunately for me, my fallback team is the Lions. Thank God the Chiefs are decent this season.

Trace, His act is beyond old. He had as much a part of the Skins loss yesterday as the guys on the field. Other than Favre, who we may finally be rid of, there isn't a face that I am more tired of seeing than his. He got paid a king's ransom and has been a pain in the tuckus ever since. I hope this is a final lesson to Snyder that throwing dollars at big names is not the way to build a successful, stable, respected organization.

I wonder if he would have helped, hurt or had no impact yesterday. I don't know what he did in practice to anger them, but it must have been pretty dramatic. I don't blame anyone for being sick of hearing about him.

Since we're looking for new names, may I suggest the Washington Butterfingers? And are we still on track for 8-8?

Good, and no. I now feel that I must have been high on chocolate bark and pomegranates when I said 8-8.

Say, chocolate bark and pomegranate seeds ... Hmmm...

The Ray Lewis Old Spice commercial is TOTALLY AWESOME! It rocks!

To each his own. I find it incomprehensible and disturbing, but then I'm very curmudgeonly (grumble grumble). I can't wait to get to Kansas and watch TV with my dad in the basement. He makes me explain all the commercials to him. It's a bad sign that I'm no longer able to do so.

I always think of two people when I hear that: Leslie Nielsen and Shirley Povich.

Two good ones... Shirley was named to "Who's Who in American Women" once. I love that.

Are you reading anything into it?

Nope. I don't read much into this winter golf. I do wonder if he'll ever be the player he was. But I don't think this tournament will tell us that.

Are you reading anything into IT? We could go on like this for awhile.

Are we seeing the beginning of the end of Peyton's dominance? I hope not. I like watching him. I don't think so, not yet.

Great column today from Boz re: Haynesworth! I love it when the old man gets angry...

Slow to anger, but when he does, look out.

Shirley Povich and Evelyn Waugh

Yes!

I can't believe the talk on 980 after the game ... "Well, now the Redskins DO have to win all of their games to get to the playoffs." If yesterday did not show all of us who look through the rose colored glasses with other glasses half full in our hands our team just isn't any good, well ... Other than Orakpo, there are no All Pros or Stars on this team. We have a handful of better-than-average players; the rest are over-the-hill, simply too slow, maybe two weak, and too old. Rebuilding this mess will take many, many years. People say we will beat Tampa Bay. How will this collection of guys beat younger, stronger, faster players? With respect to George Allen Sr, this is a game for young men. Old Coach

A lot of work needs to be done in player-personnel. If the Redskins hope to return to elite status, they must do a better job in that area. It has been a big problem for a long, long time. Ultimately, Shanahan must get  it right. Player-personnel was not his best area in Denver, and it ultimately led to the end of his reign there. Let's see how he handles this offseason.

Hi, Tracee! Let's say that, somehow, there was some formal gathering in which the entire staff from the WAPO sports dept was present. Who, from among this list, would make you cringe the hardest, if you were asked to dance: a) Boz, b) A particularly orange Kornheiser, c) Cheese Fellow d) Shapiro, e) Svrluga, f) none of the above g) all of the above

I would happily dance with all of them, though I can't imagine Svrluga dancing, for some reason. I wonder if he danced at his own wedding. I'll have to ask him.

That said, we will  never have an event at which we have to dance, thank god. Well, maybe Wilbon's going-away shindig will be a cotillion, but I doubt it.

This is a baseball reference, not Redskins. Any chance that we can get a chat from the Winter Meetings from one of: Shiner, the Bos, or Kilgore?

Let me see what I can do...

Ok, I hadn't seen the Ray Lewis Old Spice commercials yet, but I just looked 'em up. What the *bleep* was that?! Those are amazing!

You say amazing, I say disturbing. Let's call the whole thing off.

Seriously (sort of), is forfeiting an option? The season ticket holders and others could still go to the field, but instead of hours of quasi-football, they could tailgate, vendors could still sell all of the foods, but no football. Snyder could provide music, kids games, etc. It would sure beat the continuing ongoing disaster that is the 2010 Redskins...

I know you're kidding. The Redskins must play their final games to continue the evaluation process. Let's see what Austin shows as a wide receiver. Is Keiland capable of being a big part of the running game next season? What about James Davis? Is Barnes ready to start at corner opposite DeAngelo Hall? There are many questions that need to be answered. That's why they need to play the games.

So the Nats are OK with giving a THIRTY-ONE-YEAR-OLD Jason Werth an eight-year contract, but won't give Adam Dunn a four-year one? I'm sorry, but Operator, I think I've missed the connection somewhere....

No, that's a more than fair question.

My moolah is on Bos.

Oh, I think Boz is the MJ of our team, no question. The veteran, the guy who puts us on his back... I'd be happy to be Pippen. Does that make Wise Rodman? Hmmmm.

I know this is very old news now, but I finally saw the play at the end of the UCLA/Kansas game where the foul was called on UCLA. Wow. I know you have a horse, or Jayhawk, in that hunt, but that was a horrible call to "decide" what appeared to be a great game. I guess no one should even try for loose balls anymore. What did you think?

I agreed with the head of NCAA officiating, who said it was the right call, of course, HP. :) How could I think otherwise? I hope my boys learned a lot from that game.

The Chiefs can clinch the West next week with a win. They would be up 3 with 3 to go and have the tie breakers over SD. Redskins fans, please join the bandwagon. Same type of mascott and similar colors. Your welcome on board. But the band wagon only serves stout beer and dark chocalte. Even you want something else pack your own. Let's Go Royals! (and Chiefs.)

Good point, LGR, and a good idea. Same offensive nickname, nearly the same colors (well, red, burgundy, maroon, let's not split hairs). Great, loyal fans. Join us on the bandwagon, my friends. Might as well pick up a team for the playoffs.

If I were his coach, I would send him to the eye doctor IMMEDIATELY! It may not be the problem, but in that case it could be eliminated. And if it is the problem, he can have it fixed.

Hmmm. Sometimes that works. Couldn't hurt.

I am hoping that once this season is over, a reporter will ask Coach Shanahan if his regid adherence to his old offensive philosophies and the switch to the 3-4 were done because (1) he is set on making these systems work and will rebuild to make them work (i.e. forcing players to learn), or (2) that's the only systems he, as Head Coach, is comfortable with. Great Coaches have started out both ways: Allen and Gibbs = always adjusting; Cowher set in stone. John in Germany

I believe Mike switched to the 3-4 because, long term, he believes that scheme gives him the best chance to win a Super Bowl here. And I really believe his offensive philosophies are as sound as they were when he was in Denver and San Francisco. He needs better players. If the Redskins improve their talent level on offense, I think you'll see why some in the league consider Shanny second to none on that side of the ball. As for the defense, the Redskins don't have 3-4 personnel. They need to make changes.

Like George, I feel this season's performance can be characterized by "significant shrinkage." And like George, I feel like I've been shortchanged. I feel exposed and embarrassed, but not in a good way. Not a question, but somehow felt the need to say this. Thanks, T-Ham!

Yes, they have regressed, or experienced "shrinkage," nearly every week. The result of cold water, er, weather, do we think?

Hi T-Ham. Well, here we are again. Another Skins' season devolving into MEH right before our very eyes. But there's an upside: I can't speak for others, but now that I'm really not emotionally invested anymore this season, I'm now free to hang with my wife and my kid on Sundays without constantly checking the score. It's liberating to a degree. When your beloved Kansas teams struggle to the point of MEH, what psychological defense mechanisms do YOU employ to cope?

I hang out with your wife and kids, too.

Just kidding. I develop hobbies. I have half-knitted sweaters all over my house, stuff like that. I also adopt a different team for the postseason, usually just pick one but sometimes I pick the one with the KU alums on it, and root for them instead. I agree that it's liberating at times. I have been liberated in mid-March many times. Oh, the liberation!

Okay, ex-Redskins quarterback. Mr. Campbell didn't do too badly in the Raiders' upset of the Chargers. He still may not end up doing as well as McNabb in this season overall, but how would you rate the future prospects of Campbell vs. McNabb?

Good question. Campbell is 28. McNabb is 34. Campbell has youth on his side, but McNabb's situation is much more stable. If McNabb and Kyle Shanahan get on the same page, McNabb could have a nice two-year run in Washington. The Raiders are, well, the Raiders.

So what was the story with his name anyway? I've always wondered.

Shirley used to be a fairly accepted name for a man. I knew a Shirley back home, not quite as old as our Shirley P., but  still .... It wasn't common but not unheard of. I give him points for not changing it. I've been asked why I don't change my name or spelling by people, and I always think that would be a big slap in the face to my parents.

HOW was that hit on Heath Miller NOT a penalty? I don't think I understand the NFL's rules at all.

I think I know the one you mean; I wondered that at the time too. Isn't that the one where the guy clearly led with his head?

My first guess is a receiver. My second is an offensive lineman. What say you?

Ooooooooh, I'd go OL but they'll probably go WR. Of course, that depends. Or hey, they could draft the best available player. :)

What was with the color of the Tampa Bay Bucs Jerseys yesterday? Orange Sherbert? Orange is my favorite color, too. But that was no color to be wearing while playing football, IMHO.

I assume those were some sort of throwbacks. They were miles better than those Packers uniforms. Good grief.

a playoff run by the Redskins? Give them time to build a roster. How many players on this team could start for another quality NFL team? By the way, I think you are great....

I'm taking this question and hoping it was meant for me. :)  I think some fans did expect a playoff run, but I think the majority did not. Logic would tell you it wasn't possible, but I understand the temptation of getting a few wins under your belt and dreaming big. I'd have to go down the roster and count but you are right; when you want other games, you see that the Redskins do not have high quality players at every position. They just don't.

They're not just another 8-8 team on the rise, this is a terrible team that is going nowhere and loving it. I wish we could be the browns or KC, that just sucks but builds young for the next 4/5 years and then can compete for years to come. But we do the same thing, new coach, new puppet gm, and new system that doesn't fit our personnel. I hate this team.

I agree that the personnel on defense does not fit the scheme. The Redskins do have the oldest team in the league, which is a problem when you're not a legitimate playoff contender. I wouldn't say the general manager is a puppet, although Allen is under Shanahan. Obviously, things have not worked out this season. But the Redskins have seven draft picks and the free-agent class is considered outstanding. Perhaps they'll get things turned around.

That's kinda sad, actually. He tried to give himself the nickname "Showtime," for one thing.

Like a Bull Durham type thing going on.

Well, with some very important differences!

I'm assuming the previous questioner is quite young. Yes, those are the Bucs throwback to their original, 1976 unis. I actually like them!

Thanks, even I didn't remember those, and I'm quite old. I do like orange sherbert, though.

Jeez, the Lerners made a huge $ commitment, but there still seems to be little celebration amongst the fandom. Questioning this move in light letting Dunn goes is a popular theme, but don't you think that maybe this is apples v oranges?? Even some of Dunn's biggest boosters admit that there is at least some validity to the argument that his defense and strikeout stats made him a questionable long term investment. Lets see how this all plays out. I renewed my season tickets today, and am looking fw to April.

There is an apples/oranges aspect to this, certainly, but I think wondering about 1B is a legitimate question. I'm not sorry they got a full-time RF, however. And I'm withholding judgment on 1B for now.

I've no problem with signing Werth. He's a good player, with a hot bat and can hopefully help build a culture of winning. What I do have a problem with is the fact that a hot bat was not our biggest need. . .though we do need more offense. What we really need is PITCHING!!!!! That said, if this is the beginning of ther Lerners shutting up all us "the Lerners are cheap" crowd. . .I look forward to the spending spree. OR. . .they will expect us all to be happy with one big ticket item per year. . .which will not create a winner unless you're close to competitive. . .which we're not. We shall see. . . .

Well, one giant contract in the offseason won't help this team. But I'm willing to give them time to make some other moves. But if you need kitchen appliances and you spend all your allotted budget on a super-cool sub-zero fridge -- you'll soon wonder why you don't have an oven. Boy, is that a metaphor or what?

Do you think McNabb is yet another in a long, long line of Redskins free agent busts or is most of his ineffectiveness a result of the pitiful state of the talent on this "semi-pro" team?

Technically, McNabb wasn't a free agent. They traded for him on Easter Sunday, but I get your point. McNabb has taken a pounding this season behind an offensive line in flux. Despite making many changes on the offensive line from last season, the Redskins still need to address that group. I wouldn't be surprised if they used their first-round pick on an offensive tackle and their second pick on a quarterback. McNabb still has ability. There's no question about that. I' m going to reserve judgment until the Redskins bolster the line and improve the running game.

I kind of feel like dropping everything, tie-dying EVERYTHING I own, buying something like an old Buick, and just heading out west to see what happens. Except that, were you to check in with me in 6 months, I'd probably be managing an IHOP in a shaky part of San Jose or something. Back to reality: the Redskins aren't very good this season.

I sometimes feel this way. I wonder if everyone does? I wouldn't tie-dye anything, but just get rid of everything and get in the car and drive somewhere ... it has some appeal.

As for reality: You are correct.

While I was shocked by the length and value of the Werth deal, I understand completely why it happened. It is the "Bad Team Tax" that exists in free agency, if the Nationals and the Red Sox put the exact same deal on the table, where will you sign? Most people will chose the Red Sox if the deal is the same because they will have a better chance of winning the World Series. That's just how it is right now for Washington. As for 1B, they will probably sign either Carlos Pena or Adam LaRoche to play there, giving them a left hand bat to balance the right handed-ness of the team. Either of them will be a HUGE upgrade defensively, everyone will wonder why all our other infielders are making fewer errors. I like the way things are going now.

HP, looking at the bright side.

So I truly believe that we'll get at least four good years out of Werth, five if the fans really take to him and he plays hard for us (he seems like that kind of player). Which leaves the Nats with two to three years of an albatross of a contract on the books. So my question is this: do you think Phillies fans will be mocking us incessantly once Werth's production drops off, or will they have forgotten by then that he was ever even part of their team? And does he get booed or cheered the first time he walks on the field in Philly?

Yes, they'll mock, but I think he gets cheered in his first appearance. They cheered Donovan and he didn't win a championship. After that, who knows?

So how come no bog for the past few days? He was sick, like Albert and I guess he couldn't practice (typing) like Albert, so does this means that he and Albert are looking to cheaps fares outta town?

Well, if you compare Steinberg's production (and salary) to Albert's, I think you'll agree that he should get his sick days.

So this weekend we see the Skins get wafflestomped by the Giants, the Wizards get schooled by the Suns, the Capitals lose their second straight game, the Nats losing fan favorite Dunn (though picking up Werth seems nice), the Terps losing to Temple in basketball and to Michigan in OT in soccer, and the Terps football team being relegated to the Military Bowl when they outperformed some of their other ACC competition that recieved more high-profile bowls. I'd add Baltimore's loss to Pittsburgh yesterday and the Cowboys beating the Colts in overtime, I guess. I'm a little saddened at all of this so quickly. Is it pouring right now for DC Metropolitan area sports fans?

Well, if you put it like that ... But can I throw in the Wizards' victory over Portland Friday night? That was a nice comeback and win for them. I saw some good things.

Eh, I tried.

I saw a crawl last night about the signing that mentioned Werth has a .500-something slugging average at Nationals Park...is that even meaningful, since it was achieved against Nationals pitching? A.W.

Good one, A.W. He'll miss facing that Nats pitching and really not enjoy that Phillies pitching next season.

I disagree with the writers who hate Dan Snyder. Even if he is the one pulling strings and making bad personnel decisions - he's not the one on the field missing passes, missing tackles, missing pretty much everything. It all comes down to the players who are not performing and making the usual excuses after each loss. The players are upset over the Haynesworth drama? PLEASE!! You are getting paid huge money - - get over it! Sheesh.

I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I don't hate Dan Snyder. Obviously, the players play the game. But the owner has created a culture in which the Redskins probably will miss the playoffs for the ninth time in 11 years. When analyzing this organization's problems during the past decade, one cannot ignore the major role Snyder has played in the Redskins' failure.

Having watched him the past years in Philly, but this is stupid money. We Phillie fans wanted to keep the guy, and I would have thought 4/$60 would sign the guy as a FA, but come on... Stupid.

The viewpoint from Philly...

Good Morning Tracee - My brother and I visited family in Kansas this weekend. When we flew in Thurs. night from DC - we were listening to the KU/UCLA (KU got lucky) game on satellite radio and realized we were going right by Lawrence. We stopped at Johnny's Tavern to watch the rest of it - good burgers! To book end the trip on the other side - we went to the Chiefs/Broncos game yesterday - which leads me to my comment: The fan experience at Arrowhead is so much better than FedEx - kind of frustrating. I'm rooting for the Chiefs now!

I'm so jealous. And yes, the Arrowhead experience is awesome. And welcome to the Chiefs bandwagon! Good seats still available.

This is the Nats coming out party. I have a feeling they're not finished. Debate the merits of the deal all you want. Go all Buster Olney on it and use pejoratives like "insane" "outrageous" "irresponsible". Who cares. It's the Nats the poobahs are ranting about. Let those who only think in terms of the Redskins make their Danny Snyder analogies. I love the idea that the Lerners and Rizzo are making a splash and sticking the so-called experts noses in it. It's about time the Lerners swung those billions around and started creating a little mayhem. Keep it up. And, by the way. Werth's a pretty nice player.

Here is one happy Nats fan!

When you have so many holes to fill, isn't it better to get three 42 million dollar men than one 126 million dollar man?

There you go, using that new math. You could certainly make that argument.

Hi Tracee, I'm about 5 minutes from taking the lethal jump and supporting this JaY(!)son Werth signing. TALK ME DOWN!

Easy, big fella! (or gal, depending!) It's okay to be cautiously optimistic, even if you ARE a Nats fan.

Well, it looks like Nebraska will leave the Big XII the way that it entered: by losing in the championship game. Though they only lost by 3 (and had a chance to win the game near the end), it sure felt like Oklahoma dominated from the 2d quarter onward. In watching the game, it was hard for me to believe that Oklahoma lost two games and played so poorly in many others...they have some very, very good athletes on that team. - RHG

Well, RHG, I doomed the Huskers by picking them. My power is mighty! And yes, I am not sure what to think about Oklahoma. It seems to me they didn't quite play up to their talent this season.

The Nats may have overpaid for Werth, but if it ends the "Justin Maxwell Experiment" then it can't be all bad. Please tell me the nice guy, nice fielder, non-hitter won't be on the roster on opening day.

Well, he might be around as a utility guy.

Hi, Tracee! With the Skins going kaput and kapoof (not sure what that means, but, oddly, it's kind of fun to say), perhaps we can now turn our collective attention to ghosts, and to shows about ghosts. I know I probably will. It beats being really mad at the outcome of the season, right?

Why not? I checked out "Ghost Adventures" Friday and really just didn't care for it as much as GH. But I gave it another shot for the folks on here who keep telling me to.

Most of the time I feel the same, but then I wonder are we blaming the new regime for the problems caused by the old one? Are they doing their best with what they've been left with. Do you see any signs that we will move away from signing overpaid has beens and will we stop giving away our top draft spots for nothing?

I do. I think the football operation will be run more professionally than it was in the past. The player-personnel problems are not on Mike this season. It's all on Mike, however, after this season.

Tracee, the man doesn't exactly evoke one's nurturing side, but during that drubbing, did you, at any point, wish you could offer Coach Lazer Eyes a comforting hug? I fleetingly did--- and then it went away.

Not really. Well, maybe when he tried to throw the red flag and Kyle picked it up.

I have been reminding Maryland residents inside the Beltway for YEARS now. The Ravens are the Maryland team, STOP pulling for the Redskins. Better managed at all levels, better players, better stadium... I think they might be getting the message at this point.

Well, all of that is true, but if you grew up a Skins fan, that's a hard change to make.

I get the urge to get rid of all my stuff and go live on a boat by myself a lot.

I'm with you, but not on a boat. Cave, maybe. Cave with electricity. Cabin in the woods, maybe. Yes. Then I can work on my manifesto in peace.

Scratch that.

Scott Boras has incriminating pictures of someone in the Nats organization, right?

It makes you wonder, but who? None of those guys seems like the type, really.

so the Nats will give up the 2nd round pick. I know, not a huge deal

Well, they'd just use it on a pitcher who'd blow out his arm anyway. :)

Is it possible that Boras talked the Nats out of signing Dunn so they could at least bid the price up on Pena?

This is the conspiracy theory of the day. Not saying it's not true, but it seems to be out there...

As that wise sage Homer Simpson observed "It's funny cuz it's true!"

D'oh!

My question is a comment: on the overblown, overdone coverage of the Redskins and the under coverage of the Nats, Wizards, and Caps. Today's front page of the sports section has two columns about the Redskins, the main story about the game, a giant-size picture of a Redskin loser, and a single six-inch story about the Jason Werth deal. This is typical of the Post's coverage from late July through December. It's always about the Redskins. We have other teams and they deserve better coverage.

Fair enough. I know Boz was coming out of his skin yesterday, wanting to write Werth, but the Skins' implosion is a big story for the Monday paper, and he had a nice takedown of AH.

So I am wearing my gold turtleneck & black skirt in honor of the Steelers! Also Pitt football beat Cincinnati in a snowstorm and the Pitt men's BB team beat Rider big time. Life is good. What do you think of the Nationals signing Jason Werth for 7 years & twice what Dunn got from the Sox?

You're rocking the gold and black look, for sure. I'm glad some town had a good weekend. As for Werth ... well, Dunn wasn't going to get that money so I guess it's fine.

Tracee - Maryland has jumped conferences before; they, Virginia, and South Carolina founded the ACC in the 1950s when the old Southern Conference forbade visits to bowl games. After this insult of the third-best team playing in the Number Eight ACC slot, it's time to send a message to the Carolina Mafia and join the Big Ten. We get access to the Big Ten's television revenues, they get access to an East Coast market, and we get to play Penn State in football again... wait... The Airless Cubicle

Every silver lining has a cloud, TAC.

Tracee: First, I hope you'll root for Syracuse over Kansas State in the Pinstripe Bowl on 12/30. Go Orange! On to more important stuff - the Nats give 32 year-old Jason Wirth a seven year deal for $126 million, but wouldn't give 30 year old Adam Dunn a four year deal for considerably less. I don't get it. Do you? The Great and Mighty BOZ has noted that Dunn is an incredible slugger - only Babe Ruth has been as consistent over time, and that's pretty good company for a slugger - Wirth won't touch him as a slugger. And Dunn is great in the clubhouse, something Wirth evidently is as well. That leaves defense. Does outfield defense really make this much of a difference? Or did the Nats just use dollar bills as a tourniquet to try and halt the bleeding caused by their tossing Dunn out the window?

For you, anything.

As for Werth, I think there is an element of "See, we spend money" to the deal, no question, but having an everyday RF is a good thing. As long as they find an everyday 1B.

Peyton Manning has been throwing a bunch of interceptions lately, maybe Synder can trade McNabb and the Redskins next 10 1st round picks for him

Shhhh. Don't give anyone any ideas...

I have a feeling the Nats are now in the market for one of those stainless steel designer kitchens - the oven, the fridge, even that fancy wine cooler thingie that fits under the counter.

You may be right...

Isn't Justin Maxwell out all next year because of having Tommy john surgery?

You're right! Completely forgot that. He might be able to come back at some point next season but it's up in the air.

that Shanahan is NOT a good personnel man, a good evaluator of players, evaluator of coaches, of anything this weekend should remove any doubt. While Shanahan is evaluating the players The Danny should be evaluating him. Now there is a conumdrum of biblical proportions.

Ah, I don't know about that. Let's see how he does next season. It's unfair to judge him now.

I think you need to be invited first. You just can't show up at their door one day and say "Here I am. Let's play."

Well, of course. If it were that easy everyone would be doing it.

How about a little piece of barely-deserved dap for your Connecticut Huskies? Only ten years of 1-A football, and we're about to get blown out in a BCS game!

Um, congrats?

T-Ham tells us, "I know Boz was coming out of his skin yesterday, wanting to write (about) Werth," and I just want to say he should have. The Skins are not going to be undercovered in Monday morning's Post. Every thing else sports related will be undercovered in Monday morning's Post while the football team is given vastly more coverage than it deserves. If you're going by journalistic values instead of marketing, that is.

Well, if there wasn't that pesky Haynesworth mess, he probably would have. I am not saying Boz wanted to write Werth at the expense of a Skins column. Knowing Boz as I do, he probably wanted to write both. :)

Hi T-Ham and J-Reid. Can Brandon's role in the offense be expanded, or, given his size, is he destined to be a role player? And perhaps my nickname for him is a bit cumbersome.

J-Reid is done, and I should be too, but I couldn't resist this headline so I grabbed it. I don't think Banks' role can be expanded too much simply because of his size. He's not even 5-7, despite what they say. I think you can use him on an occasional pass route and hope to catch the defense napping (or perhaps he can run through defenders' legs and fool them) but as for a bigger role, I'd be surprised.

And on that note, it's time to sign off. WAY over this morning. But a good, lively chat after a lively weekend. Let's talk tomorrow!

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

Her interests range from genealogy to Nordic combined to Kansas basketball. If ever there was 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 subway etiquette. She welcomes dissenting opinions -- in the way Great Whites welcome open-water swimmers.

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Jason Reid
Jason Reid is a Redskins beat writer for The Washington Post.
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