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

Apr 04, 2013

This week, Tracee Hamilton discusses all the sports news.

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Root for Bill Self, because he teaches his guys to behave with character, they said. Ignore Charley Weis in striped overalls, they said. Then this happened.

I never said to root for Kansas -- I said *I* root for Kansas, which is not the same thing -- so I'm not sure who "they" is. I'm not sure what this has to do with Bill Self's character, and I'm not sure what ANY of it has to do with Charlie Weis, and I'm not sure this is that big of a deal. But I'll throw it up.

And good morning, everyone! Let's get started.

Remember the poster last week who called me “Big 10 Hater”? I was very curious about that but wanted to be fair so I dug it up. Here is the original question and answer, from the March 7 chat (and here’s a link in case “someone” doesn’t believe my cut and paste job).

Big Ten Basketball

Is the Big 10 the most over-rated conference in the history of any college sport? I've got a $500 bet with my brother than not a single Big 10 team makes it past the 3rd round of the NCAA tournament - I only wish he had taken my original $1,000 bet.

A. Tracee Hamilton :

Whoa! Really? I won't argue the overrated part -- I think everyone is overrated this season -- but not past the third round? Well, I admire your confidence.

Um, I think the “everyone is overrated this season” part was conveniently left out in Mr. Indignant’s post. I did think everyone was overrrated this season in that there was no clear dominant national team at the start of the tournament, IMO. Louisville certainly became that team. (I would have included my alma mater in that.) Gonzaga was overrated. Indiana was a team that looked dreadful in its conference tournament loss. In other words, there were no clearly great teams this season. Nowhere – NOWHERE – did I say the B1G wasn’t the best conference in the country. It was.

Reading comprehension used to be taught in our schools. Those were the days.

If the union prevails on its current collusion foray what do you think it could mean to the Redskins and their $36M penalty?

I think the Redskins have zero shot of seeing that $36 million.

Strasburg shuts out the Marlins. Gio shuts out the Marlins and hits a home run. How does Zimmermann "one up" those two?

Hopefully he just pitches his game and doesn't try. It'll be a long season if they start competing against each other.

Washington DCJCC’S Chaim Kempner Author Series will present “Our Hank: The 80th Anniversary of Baseball’s Hebrew Hammer,” tonight at 7:30 at the DCJCC, 1529 16th St. NW. Featured will be John Rosengren, author of “Hank Greenberg: Hero of Heroes,” and Aviva Kempner, director of “The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg.” Aviva’s documentary won a Peabody Award. Should be a good event!

Who is the only head coach to win both an NCAA Championship and an NBA title?

I quickly answered Larry Brown and I'm resisting the temptation to look it up. So if I'm wrong, sing out.

Tracee, after he hit two homers Tuesday night, following nine homers in spring training, do you think we were right to lose him? I know Span is a better glove, but Morse was a team leader and fan favorite as well as a big bat. And I still need to be convinced that with Clippard (snuck him in again!) and Storen in the bullpen we needed Soriano. As the old saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

I think it's too soon to judge the trade. And since you bring up Clip and Storen, I will tell you that I have thoroughly investigated this, and they just decided to get their own places this season. They are not living apart for personal or professional reasons. (This was a question posed earlier.) Had a nice long talk with Drew on Monday and a short nice talk with Tyler after the game. Lotta ice on that arm.

He sounds sincere, but he's been doing this for 3 years? ESPN claims to have hundreds of hours of tape. I'm with LeBron on this one; I'm a peaceful guy, but if someone was treating my kids this way I'd go after him with a baseball bat. And the guy who reported it got fired? That's a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Sincere my ... you know. That guy needs help. Pitino saying he feels for the guy? I feel nothing for the guy. Calling some poor kid a "Lithuanian [gay slur]" all the time, not once, but all the time? Ball throwing? Shoving from behind? Unbelievable. And really unbelievable that after Penn State, no lessons have been learned. The AD and president go blameless? Really?

Ms.H: submitting early, out of the country and no time on Thursday to say - I had KU to the championship game in my sheet, but I know my pain is nothing compared to yours. I've heard a few float the "this is 'payback' for Memphis," thesis, but I think that's nonsense. A few bad plays, a very important missed free throw, AND a fantastic shot by Michigan - it was close to 30 feet. At least you know KU will be good next year, and I have to hope NU b-ball can get slightly above mediocre. AHG

I'm not sure why we need payback for Memphis, and I'm certainly never going to someday say something is "payback" for Michigan. Own your losses. (I don't mean you personally, AHG; I'm talking about people who say things like that.) We deserved to lose that game. I'm not sure why we wet the bed in the tournament but we did. No point dwelling on it. I was over it the next morning. Bill will reload and we'll be fine.

Are these the "real" Caps, or is it all a mirage?

I refuse to try any longer to pin down the Caps. Every time I think their chances are gone, they surprise me. Then I think they can make the playoffs and -- they surprise me. So ... beats me. We'll know in a few weeks. What a weird season.

Were you surprised that the Caps gave up such a high prospect given their rather tenuous playoff spot? I guess you never want to send the message that you're giving up but Forsberg seemed like a legit part of the Caps' future. Maybe it works and Troy Brouwer is right that sneaking into the playoffs last year set a good precedent for this year but it strikes me as a move that a desperate GM (less concern for long-term success) would make.

I was a little surprised, yes, when I saw they'd given up Forsberg; I thought he was one of their building blocks for the future. I know missing the playoffs would be a huge blow to the franchise and one hopes the move wasn't made in an effort to save McPhee's job. But he certainly doesn't work in a vacuum so it's not his decision alone.

Cause I can't see anything! Good Morning to you!

We're live and I'm publishing so hope you're seeing something now.

Wichita - Shock Top, Michigan - Bell's Oberon Ale, can also be drunk by Orangemen for its orange notes. Can't think of any Louisville beers. Did you know a shock was originally sixty sheaves?

I know a lot about shocks. I'm an old harvest hand from way back. :) Someday I'll post the photo of me at the farm, ready to help harvest. It's hilarious. My grandparents were such patient people.

I am a little flabbergasted at how many people are kvetching about the performances of some of the players. Considering the Nats have the first two games, it is just ridiculous. Also ridiculous is realizing you might have an obsession problem with the team when a cute guy at the bar announces he hates baseball and you sigh deeply and move on.

This is the high expectations problem coming home to roost. I don't know who would complain about either of those first two games. What gems! There will be days in July and August where the lineup will bail out the pitchers.

And you did the right thing at the bar. If you love baseball and the guy doesn't, what's the point? Although I know there are probably happy marriages where one spouse is a fan and the other isn't. I just could never see the point.

Hi Tracee, What are your thoughts of the trade between the Preds and Caps Martin Erat and Filip Forsberg? Seems like GMGM is serious about the end of this season and a possible playoff run. But did he give away to much in the highly skilled but young Forsberg?

See above. I really thought Forsberg was going to be special.

Why did GMGM not deal away Shultz? I'm sure some team who is short on d-men would give him a shot. If not, package him in a deal with Carlson or Poti.

I can't answer that one. Maybe no takers? No takers with the right offer? Takes two to tango. I know a lot of fans have been down on Shultz for awhile, and even Carlson. Tell me what it is that you don't like. I'm not asking in a smart *** way but a "tell me more" way. (Poti I can see getting rid of; dude's hurt more than I am.)

If someone had told you at the start of the basketball season that a team from Kansas would make the final four, would you have guessed that it would be Wichita State? - Martinsburg, WV

Nope, I can honestly say I wouldn't have. But I would easily have predicted Wichita State would make the tournament and do well. Just not this well. I must admit I was rooting for them until Gregg Marshall opened his piehole about KU and K-State. Now I'm not so sure. Earn it, big fella. (He wants someone to force KU and K-State to play Wichita State, which I've already said I'm in favor of. But don't be insulting to the other programs and especially to Bill Self. When you have Self's record, get back to me.)

If you google "sylvia plath" "washington nationals", your column is the first hit - of "about 173,000". Congratulations on a quote not only unexpected in a sports column, but perfectly apt. I'm just surprised nobody's used it about basketball brackets.... Section 405

Now I want to see the other 172,999.

I got scolded by a reader for referencing the movie "Lost Weekend." Too old a reference. Well, everyone's walking around with a tablet glued to his fingers; look it up, youngsters. And it came out before I was of movie age and I've heard of it. Do we really not reference things that happened in the past? Ugh.

Hi, Trac! Hope you and all the clan are doing well. I am wondering, first, what you think about the Shockers. My instinct is that they have zero chance against Louisville, but I thought they had nothing more than a puncher's chance against OSU, so I turn to you. Second, although I'm glad that the Nats won last night, I see that Bryce Harper went homerless last night, dropping his season pace from 324 HR to 162 HR. Is it all over for him? Can "we" still win the World Series? Rico

Well, see above re the Shockers, Rico. Those feelings, plus of course the sympathy factor on Ware, means I'll probably root for Louisville, but I don't like Pitino, so I will probably really root for Wichita State once the game starts. I don't know. Maybe I will just watch the game!

Harper's done for the season. What a pity. As my old boss would have said: "He had a good run." (Man, that was fun to see on Monday.)

Who do you like in the finale(s) of the NCAA tournament? Can Syracuse topple Michigan and go on to beat Lou-a-vull in the finals? What does your crystal ball say?

My crystal ball is made of onyx, as well you know. But since you asked, I might as well jinx two teams. I'm going with Michigan to beat Louisville in the final. (You're welcome, Wichita State and Syracuse fans!)

Hope everything is okay.

Oh, it wasn't. Damn, they left on the language about the cancellation from the 14th. I don't have the power to change that. But thanks for asking!

Tracee, I put in a comment last evening re: Michael Morse, before he hit his third home run and before the article that showed up on the website this morning. I stand by what I said. I think we were wrong to basically exchange Morse for Span. I still don't understand why we needed Soriano either. Nothing has changed IMHO since my comment last night.

I think I already answered your first post and I think I'll stand by my previous answer -- too soon to tell.

Can I say, however, how tickled I was to hear Take Me On during the seventh-inning stretch? Loved it!

i have never questioned GMGM before and have had STH for 6 years. However with the team somewhat under performing or "adjusting to a new system", he trades one of the future cornerstones of the franchise for a middle of the road old forward? Surely he could have gotten more than this in return. It looks to me like GMGM traded away our future with the theory it doesn't matter if the caps give up huge prospects now because he will be gone before they get here. Looks like the caps got fleeced in this one.

I am no hockey expert, as people here are quick to point out. I wonder if  Forsberg indicated he wouldn't come here? I never saw anything that makes me believe that but it really does seem odd to try that particular kid.

Do the Caps re-sign him. Seems like with the pick up of Erat that will be even harder to do. Rebeiro is a league vet and will look for a multi year deal. I like him as a Cap. He is patient with the puck and seems like a solid leader in the locker room. Or does GMGM let him walk in hopes of replacing him with a young 2nd or 3rd line center talent.

Ribeiro wants five years; the Caps might get him down to four but no lower. I think he fits well into the system and the locker room. But then, if you had asked me last week, "Will the Caps trade away Forsberg?" I would have said not on your nelly. So there you go.

I think I have a name for the new/old Big East conference: "The Big Ugly." But they'll probably go with something boring like "Conference America" (actually, that's not bad) or "America Coast to Coast Except Not the West Coast, Probably, Unless We Can Get San DIego State to Reconsider" - TBHitW

If they could get San Diego State, they could be the Atlantic/Pacific or Pacific/Atlantic and then call themselves the Pac-At or At-Pac. Because that's really clear. Or -- how many teams are currently in? they could be Oceans 11.

Como é o suporte? (How's your bracket?)

Portuguese, eh? It's all these Rosetta Stone tapes I got for Christmas. Just working my way through...

I'm a retired criminal defense attorney who asked for a great many continuances over the course of my career. However, a 6 year delay in the trials of Sean Taylor's accused killers is ridiculous. What if one or more of them is actually innocent and has been wrongfully imprisoned all this time? And the sister who allegedly tipped them off hasn't even been charged. I imagine at least some of them have public defenders so our tax money at work. Sounds like a primer on how not to run a high profile case.

It boggles the mind, it really does. If only it were a deterrent.

Seems like these schools are faring a lot better than KU

Hoping this is someone other than last week's idiot, writing in jest.

If this is last week's idiot, you've a) become this week's idiot and b) apparently still haven't learned to read, since I addressed this at the top of the chat. And now you're done.

What is it with all this hype about the Nationals? Won two games - hurray. These are the sorry, no good Marlins. Wait until they come back from road games against the Reds and Braves and see if they are still above .500. Please knock some sense into these giddy baseball writers and Nats fans. Thank you

I don't think the giddiness is the 2-0 record but the two very exciting and dramatic games. It's a long season but the first week of baseball is always this way -- people have been without for months and they get excited. It'll calm down. Besides, I think we all need some giddiness is some part of our life, don't you? Baseball, love, spring, babies, puppies, whatever. So much of life is just ready to smack us in the puss.

I'd like to go back and retroactively fire my high school football coach. Even in the 70's it was abusive to expect us to run up the middle three times, then either punt or fumble.


Syracuse calls for a Genny Cream; it's not great (or even good), but it is semi-local (Rochester). As for Louisville, there are plenty of bourbon barrel-aged beers out there, including one from K.C.'s Boulevard that is available locally. One of those ought to make you forget about Rick Pitino, his hair and other indiscretions; that beer clocks in at 11.8% ABV.

TOBCOFTWP. Also, 11.8%? Good God, one would put me on the floor.

I guess Ero and Eras were not available.

What, the chat is in Latin now? (That IS Latin, isn't it? I've also been scolded by someone for not "remembering my Latin." Since I went to a small town high school that did not offer it, I guess she was right, I don't remember it. My inbox is a plethora of verbal delights.)

New book out on Mark Fidrych. Did they still talk about him in the newsroom when you were in Detroit?

Oh, yes. Everyone but me and my friend Gene had been there for years so they all were there for all the Fidrych stuff. But then the next year (after I got there, I mean) the won the World Series and they had something else to talk about. I have that book sitting here on my desk; need to take it home and read it.

Maker's Mark will do nicely instead. I think Lulvul may have sold MM the naming rights, too.

TOBCOTWP, again.

Okay, now I'm mad. The MLB schedule has completely lost touch with what is important and what is traditional. I was okay with interleague so long as it was limited- but now the Nats face the the AL Central 11 times this year, but only face their division rivals 9 times? The Mets, Phils, Braves and Marlins are fighting for a playoff spot- the Indians, White Sox, Twins and Tigers aren't even in the same league!!! Bud Selig's lust for greed has eliminated rivalries and turned the playoffs into a 6 week long money-grab disaster. I hope that whenever Selig finally steps down (I'll believe it when I see it though) that the first thing the next commissioner does is start rolling back his stupidity.

I hope so too. Never been a fan. Surprisingly, some of the crustiest sports writers I know love the guy. I have never gotten it.

I've seen soccer coaches scream at seven-year-olds...and far too many coaches in all sports going after refs/umps/etc. Even at the college level, most of the players will not be making a living at sports (unless of course they already are, wink wink). How about modeling some adult behavior so the kids (college players are still kids) might learn something. It's one thing to be intense. But this Rice stuff makes P.J. Carlisemo and Bobby Knight look like amateurs.

It's amazing to watch these large fellas just take the abuse. It's so ingrained, I guess, to be obedient. I can't imagine facing that every day. And a soccer coach would scream at my kid once. Just once. There are ways of telling a kid he screwed up without screaming, shoving, ball throwing, homophobic slurs ... seriously, I'm getting worked up again. Stop it.

Would you rather kick a field goal, or make a free throw, or shoot a hockey goal (net has a piece of plywood with a small cut-out), or kick a soccer goal (net has a piece of plywood with a small cut-out), which would you choose?

Free throw. Oh, wait, shoulder issue. Field goal.

Drat. I need Michgan to beat Louisville to win the office pool (I've got UM all the way, my manager has the Cardinals). And now you've done gone made a prediction.

. - space cadet

Not willingly, but people keep asking. Why, I do not know.

And that's why Louisville will win!

The beverage suggestions keep flowing...

From a hometown girl -- Bluegrass Brewing Company puts out a number of beers, but I can't see why you'd drink anything but a good bourbon ale from my homestate!

... which is cool.

The Heffenreffer of Central New York! It's been thirty years since I drank a Gennessee, and I still have the headache. Do they still come in those barrel-shaped bottles, that are perfect for throwing?

I don't know. I've never heard of it, but you can bet someone on this chat has.

Is anyone surprised at the stories now surfacing about Gene Chizik's big winning season at Auburn--grades being changed, money being handed over, failed drug tests? Even if only a fraction is this is true, would the (toothless) NCAA make them vacate the national championship?

You said it -- toothless. I'd be surprised and amazed.

No, no, they should use the name A&P. No one's using it now. (This reference has been brought to you by the year 1975.)


This is a recurring problem.

Sorry; no idea what I can do about that but I'll post it so hopefully the chat gods (if there are any) will see it.

I guess the NFL wants to make the stadium experience more unique, but feeding locker room images onto a stadium scoreboard makes no sense to me. It's about as interesting as watching them get off the bus. And can we start a pool on which team will be the first to accidentally show nudity? I'm betting on the Raiders.

I won't make a prediction, having been duly chastened, but it WILL happen. While waiting to talk to players in locker rooms, I do my best to stay out of the line of vision of guys who are not clothed, for their own comfort level. In baseball it's not that hard; in a post-game NFL locker room it's nearly impossible. I have no clue what they intend to shoot but they can't use a raw, ahem, feed.

Who to root for? Louisville sentimental favoritedue to the brave Kevin Ware, but Pitino still hard to stomach. Michigan not too compelling, and neither is Syracuse. Guess I will cheer for Wichita State, though I don't know about the fate of the MVC with the departure of Creighton next year.

I think my 10 years in Detroit and my Wolverine friends (not Hugh Jackman, sadly) will push me toward Michigan but gosh, I hate not rooting for the Shockers. Just the mascot alone is root-worthy.

The A&P Conference! Green Stamps with every ticket sold! That's a Giant idea. Maybe they'll take the Safeway out, or ask the Publix. Okay, I'll Stop (& Shop).


MIke Rice will get a $100,00 bonus because Rutgers is "contractually obligated" to pay it. Wow.

Seriously, are you trying to give me an aneurysm?

How do you spell aneurysm in English? Portuguese? Latin?

Who you got: UConn or Notre Dame?

Notre Dame, because they eliminated the Jayhawks and my future niece-in-law went there. Still stunned by the Baylor loss.

I flipped on the Rays game last night, and there were no more than a dozen people visible in the seats behind the plate. Gonna be another long year...

There were about the same number at Nats Park but a) it was nippy and b) they can retreat to boxes when it's nippy. Is that the case at the Rays? The box part, not the nippy part.

Good gravy, I'm running long. I'd better stop. Thanks, everybody!

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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