CANCELLED TODAY (3/14) Tracee Hamilton discusses local and national sports -- and whatever else you want to talk about.

Mar 21, 2013

This week, Tracee Hamilton discusses all the sports news.

Follow @TraceeHamilton on Twitter

Let's see your bracket! Who you got?

Well, my bracket's been online since Sunday night:

I put one on the Washington Post site and I think I might have altered it a bit but I can't honestly remember.

And good morning, everyone! Sorry I missed last week but I'm back and rarin' to go. Let's get started.

O goddess of the Plains and Knower of All things GREAT and small. Regarding the MLB/NFL "Mine's bigger" dustup, it seems that both sides are overlooking a rather important group--the fans. Does anyone have any idea of what a mess traffic and parking would be if they have roughly the same start time on that Thursday ? Even if baseball was in the afternoon and football at night, it will be a mess. Here's an option that the "suits" have not discussed --at least openly . Let's pretend that it "rains " on that Thursday and the O's have to re-schedule a day-night double header on Saturday. No lost ticket sales, no lost concessions or parking revenue. Two games, separate tickets.The employees work two shifts, the fans are not terribly inconvenienced . Attendance is probably better on a Saturday afternoon than a Thursday night since school will have already started . The city is happy that the police don't have a mess on Thursday with 2 games. And even the baseball players get a day off on Thursday after their travel following Wednesday's game. And Bud and Roger can smile and proclaim what geniuses they are for resolving a problem for the benefit of the patsies, oops , fans. Even Fox sports could be happy.Or ESPN or whoever carries the games.Yes, a day night double header isn't great for the palyers, but hey, it happens. Sorry, I should never address the goddess with "hey". Just a thought. Now , GO Jayhawks !

I don't think anyone is overlooking the fans; that is the crux of the conflict, actually; they are worried about getting people to the games and finding parking for all of them. So I think fans are central to the issue.

I still don't think baseball should give in, only because football always gets its way. And if the O's, for instance, are in the playoff race, that day-night doubleheader might really be a problem. I say stand your ground, O's. There is ZERO reason the Ravens have to play that night. I love Goodell saying there is "no other choice" but to have the Ravens open on the road. Uh, there are many other choices -- Sunday night at home would be perfect, to me. Much more of a spotlight.

Hi, Tracee It seems the World Baseball Classic was a pretty big deal everywhere but the Washington Post. If there was any coverage at all, I missed it. Not even a mention yesterday that the Dominican Republic won with astounding straight victories from the beginning. I thought there were some pretty good stories. I can understand not sending staff all over the globe, but not even picking up wire coverage? Can you shed some light? Excited that in about a week I'ill be at the park watching the Nats in their pre-season game against the overrated team from the Bronx. Go Nats! Cheers, Bill from Columbia

Well, I see the DR story on Page 5 of Wednesday's sports section.

Tracee, pretty good year for Kansas basketball. KU, K-State and Wichita State all in the NCAA tournament. KU and Wichita State women's teams in the NCAA, too. First time for Wichita State! Jayhawks could make a run this year. Wichita

Three states got 100% of their Division I programs in the tournament. Can anyone name the other two? (Not that hard, really.)

Since I now have approximately two hours before my bracket starts looking like downtown Detroit, I want to let you know that I'm picking your 'Hawks to beat the Zags 71-67 in the finals. Counting on East Coast bias to launch my western-influenced bracket over my wife's colleagues. TBHitW

Thanks, I think, TBHitW!

Hi Trac! I hope everything is well with you. I finally had the chance to watch the Caps a week ago against Carolina. They looked tough and disciplined, cut off Carolina scoring chances, and came back from 2-1 to win 3-2. Then two days later they flopped against Boston and I realized that this is who they are this year: hot and cold. Having to learn a third system in two years with no training camp was a huge disadvantage, especially when what they needed to develop was greater consistency. They may still sneak into the playoffs, and they might even shock the world by winning two games against a #1 or #2 seed on visiting ice, but if they did they'd promptly fold up and lose four straight. Oatesy should be looking at who's working hard to see who is going to be a part of this team in 13-14. Now then: if I've given up on the Caps, what should I be watching this weekend? Rico

This weekend? Too bad there aren't any sports on this weekend. :) I urge you to watch the tournament, plus there will surely be some golf, NBA and baseball thrown in there somewhere. I think you'll be able to kill a few hours.

Given this morning's news that the universe is, indeed, expanding (this time we really mean it!), does that mean that finally there will be room at the Final Four table for teams like Gonzaga, New Mexico and St. Louis. If our universe can keep expanding, can't the pool of Final four programs?

I just wonder if that means there will finally be room on the Orange Line at rush hour?

Hi Tracee, Do you think this is a must win series vs the Jets? It is 4 huge points. I think if the Caps lose both they will not make the playoffs. What says you?

I think the Caps' playoff hopes may have sailed, but certainly if they lose both to the Jets, I don't see them making the playoffs. I don't see it now anyway. A few weeks ago, yes. But they are so up and down.

I posted several weeks ago that I decided to go to the B1G tournament rather than an NCAA regional for the best concentration of exciting, competitive basketball. Sure, the final four may turn out to be more exciting, but you only get four games. I saw eleven games in four days with only one dud and a painful first half to the Wisconsin v Michigan game. It did not hurt that my Buckeyes won, but I was prepared to have a blast even if they lost in the first round. Anyone looking for a weekend of solid basketball should try the B1G tournament in 2014. It will be in Indy, where the venue is within walking distance of the hotels and restaurants. Bless their hearts, try as they might, the host committee had a hard time getting 20,000 fans (+ or-) back and forth from downtown Chicago to the United Center every day. I love your annotated bracket, BTW.

Indy is a great place to go to a big sporting event for that very reason. I wish more cities were like that. Glad you enjoyed the conference tournament! And congrats on the title! I care more about the regular season crown but I didn't mind my boys winning both this year.

There is a contest to predict who this year's three bobbleheads will be. It's on facebook & twitter and Curly W. I'm wondering why there are only 3? Why can't there be one per month? April--starting pitcher; May--infielder; June--outfielder; July--relief pitcher; August--perhaps a goon squad member or else Davey; September--team's choice or Taft. I know he's not going to be one of them, but I'd love a Clippard bobblehead complete with glasses!

Why only 3? I have no idea. But I'm with you; why not have more? And I'm not surprised Clippard would be your choice! :)

Montana and South Dakota, right?

Nope. Both those states have schools that didn't get in.

The Phillies traded away a pitcher for no compensation. Should that be allowed? That is demeaning to a professional athlete. Wasn't there a baseball player who was traded for some bats and he was so distraught by the trade that he committed suicide?

You are right -- there was such a player. Frankly, it's kind of a -- what's the nice way of saying this? -- mean thing to do. And why do it? Just say "future considerations" and let it go.

I've entered brackets at the Post, at CBS, and at ESPN. ESPN lets you name your brackets, and I won't be surprised if "What Was He Drinking" does best out of all of mine (you'll be happy to know that Kansas beats K-State 61-56 in the final in that one - and Gonzaga gets taken out by Southern in the first 16 beats 1 in tournament history). 

I'm not a huge basketball fan, and I don't really know what I'm doing, which is a major part of the charm of March Madness, especially the first weeekend. It also comes perfectly timed for me -- Spring Training has gone too long, with no major questions in Nats camp, and I appreciate the high energy jolt the tourney gives me to take me to Opening Day, The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year. Section 405

That's the perfect kind of bracket to enter if you want to have fun. I was going to do a wacky bracket this year but just ran out of time. Ah, well. I wish all your brackets good luck. I wish everyone's bracket good luck!

WOW! The Ravens are losing players left and right. Ed Reed is now headed to Houston. This might be a long season for the Ravens.

They seem to be going younger, and that can mean a letdown. But it's hard not to have a letdown after winning the Super Bowl. And it's so hard to win two in a row! So if I were going to rebuild, this would be the time. I'd trust Ozzie Newsome.

Nevada and New Mexico?

Ding ding ding!

With Ray Lewis retiring and Ed Reed heading to Texas, will the Ravens be able to regain a tough defense?

See above.

It seems we've been hearing and reading for years how thousands of former NFL players are suing the league over deceptive health practices, but we never see anything about the actual status of these lawsuits. When are they ever expected to come to trial?

I have seen no projection of that. In large class action suits such as these, discovery, etc., seems to take a long time. (Lawyers, jump in and correct me if I'm wrong.) So I don't think it's something that's coming right away.

Well, the important thing is that Kentucky isn't one of them. Heh.


Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico

One word: Tulsa.

Do you see the Ravens going 8-8 this year with all those free agency losses, or do you think that they are more like the Patriots who find a way to get better and younger by not signing their older players to expensive contracts? I wonder if they go 8-8, will Flacco's contract will be seen as the scapegoat?

If they go 8-8, then yes, Flacco's deal could be scapegoated. I don't think they'll go 8-8 because I think your comparison is a good one. I don't think they'll win the Super Bowl but I don't think they'll be completely off the rails, either.

I like Eleanor Holmes Norton's bill that would remove the ability to trademark the name "Redskins", and this may be the best face-saving way to get the name changed. Normally I don't like lawmakers sticking their noses into sports issues, but this isn't really a sports issue, is it?

As an aside, the other legislative interventions that I like are the ones where state-funded schools in a state are required to play each other every year. If I were King of the World, Georgetown-Syracuse would be required to play home-and-home every year.... Section 405

Well, Norton's bill is as good an attempt as any I've seen. As for forcing state-funded schools to play, it's a good idea in theory but there are some states that have a LOT of state-funded schools. If schools were forced to play all of them, they wouldn't be able to belong to one of the three conferences still remaining. Sorry, four. Five? Whatever. I wish Kansas and Wichita State would play. Kansas also plays at least one small in-state school each year at Allen -- Washburn, Emporia State. Those schools get some serious cash and their kids get to say they played in Allen. (And they're exhibitions, not an attempt to ratchet up the win total.) Roy Williams, I believe, started that tradition and it's a good one.

On Montgomery County Comcast, TruTV, where the first game starts in about an hour, is located at Channel 64. This public service announcement brought to you by Section 405

Thanks! That will be helpful to some of our readers. I was just thinking, I'll have to find that damn channel again. :)

I saw him a couple weeks ago (sucker for the WAC down here) and thought "That might be the biggest man I've ever seen run." He makes Shaq look like Shawn Bradley. TBHitW

WAC seemed pretty tough this year. I want to see this guy. (7-feet-5 freshmen center, from Canada, of Indian descent.)

They've gone from an empty swamp out by the airport to a sizable school, aided considerably by the real estate crash requiring a lot of local kids to stay home instead of heading to Gainesville or Orlando or Tallahassee (nobody goes to USF by choice either). Still not gonna prevail in the 36-32 loss to G'town.

Very intriguing school, I thought. Second year of hoops and they're in the tournament -- not too shabby. Clearly they can recruit.

I don't understand why they need a new rule, and I don't understand why they've allowed catchers to get away with what is clearly interference. According to an article by, I think, Bill James, these kind of incidents didn't occur prior to WWII - and I remember him citing a "knotty problems" section of the rulebook where what we see regularly these days was classified as an obvious case of interference. What say you? Section 405

I think it's interesting that baseball may be worried about class action suits and head injuries. If the catcher is blocking the plate, what choice does the runner have? Just giving up? Sliding in short of the plate, like Willie Mays Hays?

Tracee - Longtime Nats season ticket holder here. I am more than miffed about the Nats getting rid of paper tickets for season ticket holders and forcing the chipped cards down our throats. Nats exec keeps saying it will be quicker to enter the stadium. What a bunch of hooey. The lines are due to security check and not the turnstyle. I don't think going to a baseball game should be like a self-checkout at the Giant. I called my "guy" and he basically told me to suck it up. Boy how things change after 1 winning season. Seems like they could have offered an option because some fans may not want their every move tracked in the stadium.

Sadly, I  think our every move is tracked anyway. Don't you feel that? More and more the idea of a cabin in the woods, no, on the plains, off the grid, seems like a good idea. But I'd need TV.

Tracee, what has been the expert being around on the Skins signing of Biggers. Good, bad, or indifferent??

Sounds like a depth move, not a starter.

If you're a hockey fan, Penguins v. Flyers Sunday night. Always a fun game to watch!

There you go, Rico.

Was watching the Ducks-Blackhawks game last night when Andrew Cogliano took a high stick to the mouth and lost a couple of teeth. He didn't miss his next shift, though. No wonder he's played in 493 straight games.

Those hockey guys never let teeth bother them. A Cap lost teeth a few seasons ago and came back. Now I seem to remember someone losing eight teeth. Can't remember if he came back or not. I would not have come back. I'm not ashamed to admit it.

I am 100% a DC sports fan and have no love at all for Baltimore's sports teams. Having said that, I do have an interest in the whole NFL/MLB thing going on in Baltimore. My view is that the NFL has three options for that game. 1. Play it on Wednesday night in B-More. 2. Play it on the road. 3. Play it on Sunday. All are completely valid options. I understand that they don't want to play on Wednesday night because it is Rosh Hashanah. Yet, in the same breath, they say that the Orioles should move their game to Thursday afternoon, which happens to also be Rosh Hashanah (Thursday night and Friday are also still Rosh Hashanah, but I going to just let that slide, even though there are thousands and thousands of Jews who argue that, despite it being Biblically a two day holiday, that it is only one day). It's also nice that the NFL wants to have the SuperBowl champs open the season. However, they need to plan for that further in advance. It is a new tradition (barely a tradition at this point), so they certainly don't have years as support to try to force the Orioles and White Sox to change their game schedule.

I don't pretend to know anything about Rosh Hashanah, but I agree with your premise. Goodell saying the league has only one option is just bull.

I first heard of Chad Gaudin when his fiancee Syndal was on Say Yes to the Dress with Amber Sabathia & some other Yankee wives with her. He was traded to us and was a (not very good) reliever. He has since bounced around the league, last stop the Marlins, but yesterday he started for San Francisco. Is this usual? I thought pitchers only went one way--starter to reliever unless maybe it's a long reliever. I also watched a little of the Angels/Indians and felt so bad for poor Sean Burnett, who had a lousy outing.

There isn't a hard and fast rule for pitchers moving. Plus spring training starts are short; they might have just needed the help or they might be making him a starter. Beats me. But I don't think it's highly unusual.

Although I do agree with you about the Redskins' name, first I want to see the Cleveland Indians get rid of that offensive symbol--Chief Wahoo. And I also want the Braves to do away with the tomahawk chop! Then we'll talk Redskins (and our symbol of a noble warrior!).

Yes, the Indians' problem seems to be their logo more than their name, and the Redskins' issue seems to be the name, not the logo. Chief Wahoo is pretty bad.

I almost hate to post this; this is what this restaurant wants, free publicity.

Why is everybody jumping on the "Flacco contract" when talking about players leaving? Flacco's contract has a salary cap impact of $6.8 million in 2013, $14.8 million in 2014, and $14.6 million in 2015. A Reed 3-year contract isn't impacted by Flacco. Reed wanted more than the Ravens wanted to give him (as he can't tackle well anymore). As a die-hard Ravens fan, this is sad to see the veterans go but we were an old team and "In Ozzie We Trust" (either that or drink the kool-aid)

No one jumped on the Flacco contract. The poster asked if Flacco would get some blame if the Ravens were bad next season and the answer is yes, probably, because that's the easy scapegoat. I agree, one has nothing to do with the other. I just said that I would trust Ozzie Newsome to fix everything. So please, calm down.

is that, due to the way the brackets set up, we won't see the Zips vs. the Zags... Section 405

Okay, now you're just stealing lines from MY bracket!

Well, there's always this.


Hasn't anyone suggested the obvious? NFL prints money. Figure out how much you have to pay MLB to reschedule the game, or shut up.

They've already offered money. To no avail, so far.

While I think it will be Harper, LaRoche and Span, I am still holding out for a Davey bobblehead. How awesome would that be? I just wish that more promotions weren't on Friday nights/Saturday day so that us Saturday Sabbath observers could benefit. At least they started last year having a Sunday bobbleday.

Davey would be a good one, just in case it really is his last year.

I know this is more Steinbog's department, but do you know what is up with Storen and Clippard being listed as "former roommates"? Did something happen in the bromance? Or, as many hoped, it was just a bad wording of that they have been roommates in the past?

Beats me. Maybe one of them has a serious girlfriend now.

Nevada is D1 and is not in the tournament

Sorry, did I make a typo somewhere? The answer is New Mexico, Minnesota and Kansas. Did I type Nevada instead of New Mexico? If so -- sorry!

What are the other DI schools in MN?

Aren't any. So they got 100% in by having Minnesota make the field. New Mexico has two. Kansas has three.

I bet he would disagree. When you're the biggest bully on the block, your only question is who to punch next.

I'm quite sure he would. However, I don't care. :) Yes, he's turned into quite the bully. And I don't even LIKE Bud Selig.

I don't want one of them to be Span; he has no history with our team as yet. Last year we had the one-n Zimmerman; how about the two-n Zimmermann this year?


Just spotted my boneheaded mistake. I looked at New Mexico and let the "ding ding ding" rip. Apologies because obviously it's not Nevada. Now I  understand the blistering posts. :) I figured this out Sunday for my bracket and didn't manage to squeeze it in there. Had to get some use out of trivial fact somehow.

One of my entries in the pool I'm running for the place where I volunteer is your bracket. If it (or President Obama's) wins, proceeds will be donated to the institution. Actually, I have TruTV playing in the background, they were discussing the Zips, and it must have triggered the memory of your side comment in the dead-tree version of your bracket. My apologies -- I try to be careful about attributing what's not mine....

I know; I'm just giving you a hard time. Someone won his or her office pool last year with my bracket. Wish I could have said the same!

As a Ravens season ticket holder, I want to know why I've heard nothing about asking MLB to move the O's Sox game on Friday a few hours earlier and then move the Ravens home opener to Friday "late" night? No issues for MLB and the teams flying in Wednesday night and then having an early Thursday game. I'm thinking the weather will have the last laugh and Thursday's O's game is a rainout.

Or the Wednesday night game in NY will be rained out.

Traditionally, the NFL will not encroach on  Fridays (high schools) or Saturdays (colleges, until the regular season ends). So I don't think Friday is an option.

I'm going to get mine, but I know I have to get there eeeaaarly to make sure I get one before they run out, and I kinda resent having to stay there in the stadium for 2 hours before the game because there's no re-entry. Why? I paid for a seat and even if I leave and give it to someone else, the seat is paid for. I'm sure it's just a way for the Nats to make more money from concessions but it just doesn't sit right with me.

Yeah, they should give one to everyone. Just an attempt to sell overpriced concessions.

I own a Davey photoball from his Dodger tenure. It makes me happy. (Also, your typo was when you spelled "Minnesota" N-e-v-a-d-a. No worries.)

Yeah, I went back and looked. Brain freeze. Heck, I had trouble remembering all 50 states on Sunday. I realize how slow my brain is getting. (One state doesn't have a D-1 school, but you add in the District and you still have 50.)

Okay, enough of my nutty geography, dopey mistakes and questionable math. Let's get that tournament going! Talk to you all next week.

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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