Feb 18, 2011

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

So when is the Harper article coming out? How is spring training? Are you getting a chuckle about the Pujols/Nats rumors - God knows I am... Hello, he isn't a Boras client, there is no way we would sign him! Give Kilgore some flack for not being nice to our T-Hamm! -Ashburn Fan

Hey y'all. Just wanted to say a quick to thanks to Tracee and the rest of you for inviting me on today. To answer your question, I'm told my Harper piece hits the magazine on 3/13, but would almost certainly be online a few days beforehand.

As for Pujols/Nats, baseball people view Ted Lerner as a bit of a wild card, after his runs at Teixeira, Werth and Greinke. They think there's no telling what he might do. I can't say I disagree.

Getting started; was having my evaluation! Dave will join us so let's just get going.

And if you are, when are you going to break out his signature "windswept, swooshing" hairdo, and wear it proudly around the hallowed halls of WAPO?

My girls are only 4 and (almost) 2, so thankfully I'm not subjected to a whole lot of Biebermania yet. I mean, I sort of know who he is and all, but I don't know much beyond the fact he has some lopsided hair.

Hi, D-Shein! Okay, I asked this of Tracee and others a few days ago, and was given valuable feedback, but I'm very curious as to your take: you see, last week, I mentioned to some people that I was going away for a few days to someplace warm, and remarked that I hoped that I wouldn't "forget my trunks," whereupon everyone laughed hysterically, accusing me of being an 87 year old man. No one, they said, says "trunks" unless they're over 85 years old. And then they started calling me "Hear ye, hear ye!" In your opinion, did I immediately and irrevocably ensconse myself in middle age the SECOND I said "trunks" to refer to a bathing suit?

Yeah, you're not allowed to say "trunks" anymore. A corollary: you're also not allowed to say "trousers."  Those, of course, are pants.

Just read the Bos column (yay!), and wish that you were going to ST, too. How awesome would it be if you could show up early in the press box there and pull a Cole Kimball on Kilgore? hehe.

I'm here! Sitting about 20 feet from Boz and Kilgore as we speak. This is my first day in Viera, but I've been in FLA all week, bouncing from Phillies to Cardinals to Mets and now here. Can't say I'm quite as giddy as Boz. But it's nice to be here.

I was so happy to have the sports news segment on the NBC4 11 O'clock news lead with baseball! <p> Somebody does need to tell Strasburg (the main focus of the story) that the Unabomber look just does not work.... <p> Section 405

Don't think I'll be the one to tell him that, but your opinion is duly noted.

Wow, what a game last night.

Yes, Wilbon has been touting Rose as the MVP and I'm beginning to think he may be on to something.

Besides Matt Bomer (and Zimm), may I also crush on Ian Somerhalder (those eyes! those cheekbones!) and Nestor Carbonell (Lost's nearly-immortal Richard Alpert), who will be starring on a fall series with Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy)?

Ooooh, Nestor's going to be on with Buffy? Hot damn!

Today's beautifully written (as always) tribute to the start of spring training is one for the ages.

Someone here called it the most Boswellian Boswell column ever.

I thought the article about NASCAR today was spot on. Rather than running from it's roots it should be trumpeting them because it's unique and interesting and marketable. A single file line of cars continuously turning left led by Jimmy Johnson on a track in suburban LA is boring. A bunch of rednecks in their souped up cars going hell bent for leather down South is poetic. Yes, safety must come first but if NASCAR wants to get its mojo back it should be less concerned with corporate sponsorships and a coast to coast audience and focus more on creating a great competition with great characters with substance and talent and flaws. I love NASCAR but find it hard to watch these days and I'm the exact type of person they're going after. . .urban, educated and with disposable income. I hope they're listening!

I don't know jack about NASCAR, but that was one dadgummed amazing piece of writin' by Liz Clarke.

For me, Alex is most annoying when he rubs it in with a contestant who missed a question: "No, the Aral Sea; ARAL Sea. What happened there was that you confused the order: west to east, it's the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, THEN the Aral Sea. You had Black, Aral, Caspian. Which is incorrect. *sigh* Pick a category..." However, the show might be more entertaining if he didn't know the answers ahead of time: "No, I'm sorry (*flips notecard*) - wait, that's RIGHT?! "Beryllium" - that's a real thing?! It sounds totally made up!" /s/ Walker of Dog

Yes, you've given a good example. In final Jeopardy, contestants will say "I guessed" or I didn't know, and he'll STILL make fun of whatever they wrote. Dude, they said they didn't know. So why so surprised when the answer is wrong? He's just so condescending. Now, maybe when the cameras are off he's a pure delight. But I only care about what he's like when the cameras are on.

I was so happy to have the sports news segment on the NBC4 11 O'clock news lead with baseball!

Somebody does need to tell Strasburg (the main focus of the story) that the Unabomber look just does not work....

Section 405

Someone please ask Dave about his chest bump from yesterday. Please.

Tracee, you had a job performance evaluation, or some other kind of evaluation? If it was indeed a job evaluation, was it conducted by Kilgore? If so, was he shaking uncontollably with fear? Also, hi, Dave. Do you share Bos's giddyness over the start of Spring Training?

Hard for me to share that giddyness when I've got two little ones at home whom I'm missing in a big way. But (don't tell my family this) I must admit it's nice to hear baseballs popping into mitts, and it's nice to be in 75  degree weather, and it's even sort of nice to sleep in a quiet hotel room without kids jumping on my head at 6 a.m.

Always like to see a huge underdog pull an upset. If the Cavs can beat the Lakers, the Wiz can beat . . . . ??

... the Cavs? I'm looking at my optimistic cheat sheet and I have them beating Indiana Tuesday. That's the best I can do.

Is Will Ferrell's on SNL. Not exactly a dead ringer impression, but maybe that's why it's the best. Of course Sean Connery makes it. "I'll take the rapists" "That's THERAPISTS, Mr. Connery,"

Lord, yes. I will say Trebek will poke fun at himself at times. That is an endearing quality in my book.

What do you think of the Oakland A's chances in 2011? Their offense was lifeless last season, and I don't think the additions of David DeJesus, Hideki Matsui, and Josh Willingham add enough punch to the lineup, but that rotation and bullpen are both scary good. Not to mention one of the best defenses in the game.

I'm pretty high on the A's actually. Not sure if I'm ready to pick them to win the West yet, but by the end of the spring I might. I agree with everything you said. Their pitching is about as good as anyone's, and I think they'll have a more representative AL offense now with those additions.

As I settled in to watch another fine outing by the most upstanding team in the history of sport, I had no idea that I would also be treated to the most disgraceful display ever to be put on by the faithful in orange and maroon. Heckling a future hall-of-fame coach is completely out of bounds, if you'll excuse the basketball pun. When the students subsequently began to chant bull-$#!t at an otherwise terrific call officiating crew late in the game, I had to cringe. These students have no idea how to properly cheer on our Hokies. Thank goodness my 2 young children were at bible study and not around to hear it. I had hoped to share in Hokie sports with my children however I will now think twice about bringing them anywhere near the Blacksburg campus, and I will NEVER take them into Cassell Coliseum. I am also a substantial donor to the campus and I will certainly think twice before renewing my academic endowment next year.

Is this an elaborate tongue-in-cheek or did this really happen? I've been told my sarcasm ear doesn't work.

Last year, at least to my observations, Strassy looked like he was enduring a colonoscopy whenever he had to interact with the media. But this year, at least thus far, in contrast, he seems almost smiley. Have you noticed this as well?

Yeah, I think you're right. But I suspect that has more to do with the absence of any pressure/expectations, as opposed to any conscious changes. He's very relaxed right now, and even last year, on those rare occasions when he was relaxed, he could be great with the media.

In response to yesterday's question about Gary Williams, it seems a lot of people are forgetting that just last year the team tied with the eventual national champions for first place in the conference. Also, they lost on a buzzer-beating somewhat lucky last second shot in the NCAA tourney. The player that hit the game-winner has since been kicked off of Michigan State. Eight months too late for Terps fans. Also, since the national championship they have won the ACC Tournament. The consistency hasn't been there that most would expect, but they've still been the third most consistent team in the conference over the last ten years. This year the previously role player upperclassmen did not step up. However, with the freshmen (Howard, Stoglin, and Palsson) seemingly improving by the game and one of the best big men in the country the Terps could be a very formidable team next year.

Okay, I'm getting your drift. But you are setting the bar awfully low, I think.

Who are your favorite characters in opera? Which character would you like to perform most? If you were a woman, which character would you like to perform? My all-time favorite character is Papageno, and my favorite female character is Gilda. If I could sing, I'd like to be Gilda, or Olympia, or the Queen of the Night.

Ooooh, cool. An opera question. Tracee promised me there would be some of these. Let's see... favorite characters. I loved when I got to sink the Duke of Mantua from Rigoletto, because he is such a vile creature. You could really milk that sneering, nasty side. But honestly, the role I always felt most fit me was Rodolfo from Boheme. Yeah, I guess that means I'm a bit of a hopeless romantic.

Danny Espinoza burst onto the scene when he first appeared last season. He then showed signs of struggle. Will he be able to adjust to major league pitching this season? How good of a defender is he?

He's an excellent defender. I think the question is whether he can hit enough to be an everyday guy.

Variation to PW recipe Herb-Roasted Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions

1/4-cup soy sauce

1/4-cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4-cup vegetable oil

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. dried marjoram

1 tsp. rubbed sage

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 (1-1/2-lb.) package pork tenderloins

Bacon strips

Portobello mushrooms

Stir together first 11 ingredients in a heavy-duty zip-lock plastic bag. Prick pork with a fork, slice tenderloin in half lengthwise. and place in marinade, turning to coat. Seal the bag and marinate for 24 hours in refrigerator.

Remove from marinade, discarding marinade.

For sandwiches: Purchase 2 baguettes. Preheat the oven to 350. Slice bread in half lengthwise but do not cut all the way through. Hollow out some of the bread from both halves. Brush bread shell with olive oil. Lay Portobello mushrooms on bottom half of bread. Wrap tenderloin with slices of bacon and place inside bread, tucking under the ends so all of the pork is about the same thickness. Place more of the mushrooms on top of tenderloin. Close the loaf and wrap tightly in foil. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before unwrapping and slicing.

For Caramelized Onions: Cook these while the pork tenderloin bakes. Slice up 5 medium onions. Take a skillet and preheat using medium-high heat. Heat 5 tablespoons of olive oil (or 1 tablespoon per onion) and heat until glistening. Add onions and cook slowly, for 30 minutes to 1 hour (I always cook for about an hour). Stir every few minutes to get up all the bits from the bottom. After about 10 minutes, you can add a teaspoon of sugar. Just keep cooking and stirring until onions are a rich, golden brown. They will cook down quite a lot, so don't be surprised by that. Serve onions over pork sandwiches.

Of course, after eating all that you will need to join Weight-Watchers and visit your doctor for a prescription of an anti high cholesterol drug.

Now: how about them Caps? Will they get a legit second and third line center? Johansen is maturing but not fast enough and Perrault is AHC material.

It takes Swedish players a long time to learn NHL hockey. I think Marcus is progressing but he's not there yet. I'm afraid they may give up on him about half a season too soon.

Not (only) because you're at Spring Training, but because you get to talk to the greatest baseball writer since Shirley Povich on a regular basis (and I ain't talkin' about Adam "Never return emails" KIlgore).

I try never to forget how lucky I am to be a colleague of Boz's. Also, I'm lucky enough to have met Shirley himself when I was an intern at the Post in 1990. (Wow, that was a loooooooooong time ago.)

C'mon sing it with me (and you non-cat lovers out there can just scroll past...): Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr, purr, purr

One of the great songs in TV history. Certainly one of the great shows.

Dude, my son's 3, and I only leave him to go to work everyday. And this kind of bums me out for the first few hours of the day. Am I certifiably unmanly?

No way, dude.

Does putting the TV on mute make it better?

No, it makes the show too hard to follow. Believe me, I've tried.

Of course Mimi's hot, she's probably got a fever of 100 degrees with the TB. :)


I don't even notice anymore because I've heard it my whole life. He's from Missouri so I don't know if it's an age thing or a regional thing. I've never called them that but I know what he means. My Grandmother calls bathing suits "trunks."

Dungarees is such a great word and in a few years, no one will know what it means. Pity.

Krusty the Clown was barred from television in 1957 for saying "pants" in a live program. - TAC

He should have said dungarees!

Earlier this week, people disclosed their hopeless crushes. You're a happily-married chap, indeed, but who's YOUR hopeless crush? Knowing you as well as I do, I submit that it's a tie between Scarlett Johannsen and 1988 Michelle Pfeiffer. True?

Hmmmmm. I'm going to go with Jennifer Aniston. Is that acceptable?

Or, he was in 1988 when I ate lasagna with him on the set of Soul Train. Really; I was a Jeopardy champion back then and because of rules regarding the impending competition I had to be kept away from the next contestants during a lunch break between the shooting of episodes. So I sat with Trebek and other show staffers. They'd set up a buffet for contestants and crew on the set of the other TV show sharing the sound stage building with Jeopardy. A big old Hollywood sound stage with a historical marker by the entrance stating that it was where Al Jolson filmed "The Jazz Singer," the first talkie. I've always figured the Soul Train dancers ate their lunches on the set of Jeopardy.

That is actually very cool. SNL could do a skit merging the two shows.

How much harder does Haynesworth's recent troubles make it to trade him this offseason?

It makes the extremely difficult nearly impossible, in my opinion.

I know the ratings were low but I sure enjoyed the Series last year. My first MLB game was at Candlestick and I've always liked the Giants, and now that Bary Bonds is gone I can root for them again. I like the way the Giants built their team - they didn't buy it. I think the Nats could do worse than to follow their example.

True. But there are a lot of great examples. How about the Phillies? When they signed Jim Thome, it was done in part to give them such much-needed credibility, much as the Jayson Werth signing did here. Then, they developed a homegrown core (Rollins, Howard, Utley, Hamels, Ruiz). Then the last piece was going out and spending big to get the additional pieces they needed.

I've been to only a few operas, but it seems like every year someone is putting on Turandot. Is this opera actually any good, or do people just like to hear Nessun dorma?

I suspect that opera's popularity is 75 percent due to Nessun Dorma. I'm not a big fan of the opera as a whole, and I'm a big Puccini guy.

Sorry. . .I just always have. They remind me of my older brother. . .all aloof and entitled and misanthropic and self-centered and predatory. Ok. . .I love my older brother but I do think he may have been a cat in a former life. I like dogs and horses. They're like me. . .gregarious, affectionate, faithful, fun and messy eaters.

I would like to introduce you to my cats. They are all those things except messy eaters.

I also want to make one thing clear: I'm not a "cat person." I love my cats. I also love dogs and horses. I'd have both in a heartbeat if I could. In addition to my cats. :)

You've also made me feel better about my older sister. :)

Who is your World Series Champion prediction. (Feel free to Join Tracy in picking the Royals ...) Let's Go Royals

Not exactly going out on a limb here, but the two best teams are the Phillies and Red Sox, so I'll go with that as things stand today.

It's my favorite opera that I've never had a chance to see live. My wife despises opera, which is odd because she likes classical music and loves musicals. How do I tell her that operas ARE musicals?

Maybe try starting her out with something lighter (even though Nozze di Figaro is pretty light) -- maybe some Gilbert and Sullivan, or Die Fledermaus?

In you chat yesterday someone cautioned GMU fans to not get too excited about our "nice little team" and that it didn't compare to Georgetown's "program." GMU, as with all Division I schools has a "program." Sometimes said programs produce good teams. Sometimes, like Georgetown the last couple of years, they don't. This is the type of "Major" school arrogance that prevents mid-majors from getting more recognition and limits their ability to recruit. Ultimately, the majors are out to protect themselves because they know that their "programs" are vulnerable to schools that can put together a "nice little team." Go Patriots!

I do not understand the tearing down of one team in order to build up another. Never have. At its most extreme and crazy, it leads to the Toomer's Corner incident. Be proud of your Patriots and ignore the rest.

Pujols and Sabbathia. Yeah its $60 million a year for two players but they are worth it.

I think Sabathia will wind up back with the Yankees, on a huge extension. Pujols? Man, that's fun to dream about. But keep in mind -- the Nats' payroll this year will only about a tick or two above $60 million. And now you're ready to pay that amount to two players?!

It's one of the most beautiful arias ever written IMHO. But I don't really care for Puccini that much--or Wagner either except for his instrumental music. I'm a big Joe Green fan!

I never really acquired the taste for Wagner, even in my opera-singing days. But yeah, Verdi rules. No question about it.

Your Great! That didn't take long. Oh, and you desreve a big pay raise and a bonus. Let's Go Royals

LGR, you'd be the greatest boss ever.

And I can't believe the opera questions pouring in! Dave is pumped!

T-Bone, I'm not sure what I'm more excited about: the fact that spring training is on, or the fact that Boz is in Viera writing about spring training. It's 70 degrees in DC and I feel wonderful.

So does Boz, believe me. Boz is a real live Benjamin Button, which makes him so much fun. I envy Dave and that other guy.

Maybe they already have one who I'm overlooking. But don't the Nats need a pitcher who you're not sure if he's just a bit unbalanced, or actually nuts, who has absolutely wild hair, and a goatee that would scare a Marine?

Well, that's one way to look at it. But the greatest closer in the history of the game has no facial hair, no hystrionics and no gimmicks (other than one infernal pitch).

There was interesting article in Sports Illustrated last week about Jake the Snake Plummer, who quit football at relatively young age after he was run out of Denver by Shanahan. Jake's gripes about Shanahan have been well chronicled, but the article also portrayed Bruce Allen in unfavorable light during the Bucaneers' ill-fated attempts to woo Plummer to Tampa. Apparently, while Jon Gruden was making his pitch to Plummer, Allen gave Gruden a fist bump after Gruden offered to make a contribution Jake's charity. Not a horrible thing, but enough for Jake to decide not to go to Tampa. Ultimately, the article didn't give me much confidence in the Redskins new braintrust. This off-season of knife fights, road rage and groping is also not making me feel any better.

No, it's not been an uplifting offseason, thus far.

I took her to see The Magic Flute. I don't know if I can go lighter than that...

No, I hear you. Maybe you could try the Rent/La Boheme double-header. You know, take her to see Rent first, then let her see the adult version.

Tracee Perhaps the real story line about "Junior" winning the pole for the Daytona , then losing it via a practice crash is now 'Will Junior work his way through the field , drafting, bumping and crashing others out of his way to win on the 10th anniversay of his daddy's death ? " His whole career has been built on his Daddy's reputation/legacy. If his last name wasn't Earnhardt, he would probably be the assistant manager at the Kanapolis, NC Jiffy Lube. NASCAR had better be careful . They are very close to being little more than a 900 horsepower soap opera.

It would be great if Junior could maneuver his way to the front. Dale sure could.

I've tried, I really have but it's no use. I just don't like opera. I feel about opera the same way that non-sports fans feel about sports. . .they just don't get why we get so into "games." I just don't get why they get so into music in a language that they can't understand. I love the theater mind you, just not opera.

I know. There's no convincing some people. You either love it or hate it. But the foreign language thing is a bad excuse, because they make it so easy to follow along with super-titles or seat-back translations, or whatever.

Love him to death and would do anything to see him in a Nats uniform. I have to say, however, the Cards deserve him more. I've been to a lot of MLB stadiums and for my money STL is hands down the best baseball town in America. I was at Busch a few years back then they were AWFUL and the staduim was awash in red. And the fans follow. every. single. pitch. We haven't earned Pujols yet.

Well said.

Tracee, I'm not going to try to change your mind about him- we all have things or people we just don't like. But I think you are giving him a bum rap about his remarks about wrong answers. The only time I see anything close to that is when all 3 contestants miss a fairly easy one, and they know it. At that point, they are probably kicking themselves mentally anyway.

It's quite possible I'm more sensitive to perceived slights from T that you are. I have admitted that my abhorrence of him is real and unexplainable.

By the way, if any of you missed Ken Jennings' chat earlier this week, please read the transcript. That guy is hilarious.

I don't mind opera, but usually one soprano's shrilling voice will ruin the whole experience. Are they supposed to sound like fingernails on a chalkboard?

I hear you on the sopranos thing. But when you hear a really good one... oh, man.

Kudos to Liz for a great article. I thought the article was well written and touched on a lot of good points. I don't pretend to be a car racing fan, but will say that everyone should go to a race sometime in their life. They are actually pretty exciting. Its like watching a the 10,000 meter run in person in track and field at the Olympics...Boring as anything on TV, but in person at the event its amazing and the crowd is unreal. Sure there are some slow points (like the middle of the race) but the 2nd and 3rd quarters of most NBA basketball games are too!

Yes, I covered NASCAR for awhile and it was a great experience. I compare it to a hockey game -- until you see one in person, don't write it off.

Brent Mussberger asking your wife to dance? Or Brent Mussberger asking YOU to dance?

I worry about you people sometimes. I really do.

I don't get this. Why is that a bad thing to do?

I wondered that too but assumed maybe a word was missing. Maybe it seemed slimy to Plummer? I don't know; I'm not a huge Plummer fan, either. He seems to really be getting his 15 minutes based on complaining.

I've seen a few prognosticators give the Nats and edge over the Mets at the bottom of the NL East this year. Will we finish in the cellar or will the Mets take the honor? I always hold out hope we'll finally put it all together and the players will play beyond expectation and we'll surprise everyone. Check with me in June, but as of right now, we're takin' it all this year baby! Go Nats!

I actually just got done seeing the Mets yesterday, and I can tell you: They are an absolute train wreck. Aside from the fact their owners could lose the team over the Madoff scandal (see my story in today's paper), they have crises all over the field. So, yeah, it's not inconceivable that the Nats could finish ahead of them.

Check out the reruns some time on VH1 Classic. That's my era, and even I can't believe the cheesiness.

I look at the clothes and just crack up. And yet, that's what we wore.

Is non-binding arbitration more window dressing? I have been impressed that the owners have been able to limit the discussion of their internal strife. IMO this labor dispute is being driven by the small owners who want make as much money as the big owners. Rather than implement more profit sharing amonst the teams those small owners are trying to take back money from the players. This issue wasn't really solved by the owners the last time. Do you agree?

I think that's really possible. Even if owners try to even out their profits, there will always be the haves and have nots. Baseball is a perfect example.

And Boz just informed his editor that you couldn't have a prettier day than what he's got in Viera today. God, I love Boz. He's chatting at 1 p.m., by the way.

How is progress for the Nats when the Nats are starting the same pitcher on Opening Day that they did six years ago? Since then Livan has only confirmed his status as a journeyman inning eater. I know Stasburg and Harper are on their way, but Livan on the mound makes me think the team hasn't progrsessed at all.

Yeah, I hear you. It's hard to take seriously the notion of "progress" when Livan is your opening day starter again. But this whole year is a sort of holding pattern until 2012, when (theoretically) Strasburg is back and Harper is ready and some of the money the Lerners tried (and failed) to spend this past winter will get spent.

Took in the Magic Flute at a minor opera company a few years back. They lowered the Queen of the Nifght aria an entire octive because of the 'talent' level of the singer and it was still bad. When it's done well it's gorgeous, but when it's done badly... not so much.

A lot of sopranos lower that aria. It's a dirty little secret in opera. A lot of tenors do it, too. But a whole octave? That's insane. That's not even a soprano -- that's a contralto or something.

Will the Redskins have won a Super Bowl? Caps a Stanley Cup? Will the Nats make the playoffs? Will Bryce Harper or Stephen Strasburg still be with the Nats? Will the Wizards still be in DC?

See, I think these questions are impossible. Who knows what will happen in 10 years. Or 10 minutes? But this is what sports has become. So ...

No. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

My in-laws, who are in their 80s and from New England, call jeans "dungarees." They're the only people I know who use that term.

You go, in-laws! It's just a great word. Like jaunty.

Hey Dave, ask Boz and Kilgore what's the deal with Wang. Why is it taking him so long to recover when guys with TJ surgery can come back in 12-18 months.

I can answer this, sort of. The main reason is, shoulders are 10 times more dicey than elbows. TJ surgery has something like a 90 percent success rate. For shoulders, it's probably more like 50.

Dave, Tracee et al discussed athletic adultery earlier, and I'd love your take. Here's mine: the Skins have become so dysfunctional and unlikeable (due to management), that they've become almost unrootable. Now I find myself becoming attracted to that girl up north, the Ravens. Have YOU ever commited this type of adultery?

I'm a bad person to ask. I have pretty much no affiliations with any professional teams any more. I've gotten too cynical in my old age. The only thing I have is to root for is Vanderbilt, my alma mater. And I can't imagine ever leaving her for another.

I have a DVD which I cherish of Florence Foster Jenkins singing the Queen's big aria. She was an extremely rich lady who loved opera but couldn't sing. She gave her own concerts. I discovered this in the archives (as an LP) of my college radio. Written on it was "This is murder! Audition before playing!" BTW her accompanist was Cosme McMoon (sounds like something out of Lil Abner!)

Wow, that's so bizarre. It deserves to be heard -- well, maybe once... and then burned.

I disagree that DC does not "deserve" Pujols because we are not a good baseball town yet. DC supports winners, and if Pujols signed, we would win and DC would come out in droves to support the team. Exhibit A: Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals.

Yeah, I'm not sure I buy the whole notion of anyone "deserving" Pujols more than anyone else. Heck, Pirates fans "deserve" him for enduring all these years of futility.

What do you more aspire to? I suppose the top of the heap in your field is national syndication but being an editor might be fun too. . .more work I suppose but you get to boss people around. That's always fun!

These are my choices? :) I was an editor for 26 years so I've been there, done that. However, I liked it a lot and I'd go back and do it again if the Post asked me to. I'd do pretty much anything for the Post. I'm quite fond of the Post.

Dammit, Dave. I don't know what I want to do more now. Go to a ballgame or an opera.

There's no reason you can't do both, right?

Attending a Spoleto festival in Charleston, SC with my then-girlfriend in the 1970s, the big event was a production of Menotti's "The Consul" with Menotti himself directing, with Levine conducting and with Brenda Boozer singing. Wonderful show. The next day we're watching a group of madrigal singers in a park, and talking about that production of "The Consul" when a person standing next to us asked what we'd thought. Now, this was my second Consul, having seen a student production at Indiana University a few years earlier so I started a long discussion of the music and the lyrics and the meaning. But after about 45 seconds my brain brought up a photo I'd seen in the local newspaper and I realized I was explaining "The Consul" to Gian Carlo Menotti himself. I stopped mid-sentence, went "Oh, Maestro!" and he smiled and said, "I'm glad you liked it."

Wow, what a cool story.

Very Good Wife here. I see someone tweaked my recipe to add a side of heart attack to it! My problem is that the bacon would never make it to the sandwich...I'd eat it all on its own...

Oh, I thought that was from YOU! I have no way of knowing. Okay, that was an outside variation and you prepare it at your own risk, people. Still, once again my keyboard is covered in drool.

Nope--also, not a mushroom fan. But hey, you take a recipe and make it your own.~~The Very Good Wife

Very true, TVGW.

So then, do you think the gamble the Nats have taken with Wang will be worth it? How much have they paid to date for nothing?

Based on the way he looks this spring, and of course the fact he didn't pitch last year, they may get nothing for the $3 million they will have paid him last year and this. At that point, essentially, they will merely subsidized his rehab.

Better hot dogs at the opera, so it's an easy choice.

Well, there you go.

My point was that St Louis fans support their team whether they win or lose, go to the Series or the cellar. Redskins fans are that way, but we are not a baseball town (yet). Fans as supportive as Cards fans deserve a winner, IMO, more than a city that only follows winners. That's not being a fan.

There's no question it's a fabulous baseball town and a fabulous fan base. Maybe the fans deserve Pujols, but the Cardinals' owners don't -- not if the numbers we have seen from their contract offer are true. You simply can't pay Albert Pujols less than three other players at his own position, when he's the best player in the game by a wide margin. Just my opinion.

Clippard has glasses. Does that count?

Not sure that's what I'd call intimidating.

I'm having sushi for lunch. . .sort of a Friday tradition. Do you partake?

Ah, a non-opera I can answer. No. Just can't make myself do it. But I have a lot of texture issues where food is concerned.

Maybe I could go to the opera with Ryan Zimmerman?

Good luck with that.

Every time he tries to throw around the horn, he'll bounce it and management will say that he's refusing to learn how to bat the way they want him to bat. Then the Nats will offer him a huge-appearing contract which doesn't really exist. He'll talk to management through the media, and will eventually wind up as cap-reducing trade bait.


And on that note, I'm going to bid addio. Molto grazie.

Thanks, everyone, for joining us, and a big thanks to Dave for taking an hour away from beautiful weather and pitchers and catchers. Much appreciated!

I will be here Monday, holiday or not, so join me if you can. Have a great weekend, everyone!

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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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