Tracee Hamilton Live: Nats and other local and national news, plus whatever else you want to talk about.

May 10, 2012

This week, Tracee Hamilton discusses all the sports news.

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A little more detailed info on games in the time range you'd mentioned. Game dates (7:05-7:10 starts unless otherwise noted): Mon. June 11-Wed. June 13 (12:37 start on Wed.); Fri. June 22 at BAL; Mon. June 25-Thurs. June 28 (8:40 starts on Mon.-Wed.; 3:10 start on Thurs.); Fri. June 29 (7:35 start); Fri. July 13, Mon. July 15; Mon. July 23-Wed. July 25 (12:10 start on Wed.). Olympics opening on July 27. I can't do the first set of games, fwiw.

Okay, here are my thoughts. 8:40 starts are too late for a social hour. I'd love to do the early June dates (and I could bring my dad) but I'll still be on painkillers so that's a non-starter because I will want a refreshing beverage. I think we should avoid Fridays just for crowd reasons. We want to be able to sit at a table -- too hard to vist at a bar -- and to be able to hear each other. SO .... how would everyone feel about either Monday, July 16 or Monday, July 23? Let me hear from you! If I don't hear outcry on one or the other by the end of the chat, I'll have one of the kitties draw straws or something.

Okay, let's get going. Was at the Caps game last night, which you all probably know. This is my last chat until June 7. The dance card while I'm gone, again, is Liz next week, then Dave, then Michael. Then I'm back for a week to get caught up on beverages and report on harvest, then Sally takes over for a week. I hope to be functioning again by the June 21 chat.

I believe that covers the announcements for the day. Onward!

Hi Tracee, What are your thoughts about John Tortorella? This guy always has this smart a$$ smirk on his face that one just want to smack off! Doesn't seem to be to engaged in presser's either. What a jerk!

He really does. Tarik says in personal interviews he's a good guy but yes, he always has the smirk and he's not a lot better in press conferences, from what I hear. I went to the one after Game 3 and he was okay, but I think he was tired. :)

From Boz to Tracee to the talking heads before the game all said that Ovie, Bax & Green had to score more and voila on the first goal of the game Ovie scores a PP goal with Backstrom and green assisting. BTW I was in a store to by my wife a Mother's Day present and there was a cashier talking to a customer about the matchup between the Devils and Rangers. I interjected, "Excuse me, but the Rangers are not yet in the Conference Finals..." and proceeded to get into what happened Monday and the possibilities of last night. The only ones that believe the Caps can win this or any other playoff series are the Caps & their fans.

Can you imagine how badly NBC wants the Rangers to win? I do think it comes through during the broadcasts a bit.

After a thoughtful chat question (not mine) yesterday, Tarik El-Bashir : "The Flyers are done because Bryzgalov wasn't any good." I used to respect him but no more, because like most sportswriters/commentators, he refuses to give NJ any credit. Never mind Brodeur - in 8 playoff wins the Devs had SEVEN different guys with game winning goals. We're happy to lurk beneath the radar, generally, but the disrespect has gotten old. Rant over. Thanks for listening, and hosting my favorite chat! Get well soon, we'll miss you tons!

Well, I would ask you to give Tarik another chance, because really, he's a good guy and a smart guy. He's my go-to guy. Don't judge him on one chat answer.

Hi, Trac! Hope you're muddling through on the health front. We all wish you luck with the surgery and a speedy recovery -- and not killing your dad. :) The Caps looked so good last night: being aggressive early, blocking shots, killing penalties. Even when the Rangers stepped it up in the third period the Caps took the hits and kept on going. (The fans next to me in the bar started groaning after the NY goal -- "Oh, don't do this again" -- but I was utterly unconcerned.) Yay, resilience! Yay, focus! Bring on the Garden gallery gods! -- Rico (PS: I vote for any of the July dates for the next meetup.)

Hi, Rico! Yes, that strong start really helped, with the Ovechkin goal, obviously, but also all the pucks they were firing at Lundqvist's glove side. And the penalty kill was great. Good job without Beagle. Matt Hendricks has had an amazing playoff run.

I love kitties, but I wouldn't trust one for one minute on drawing straws. :-) I could do either date, though I likely wouldn't stay until the last out. Venue ideas, anyone? A sports bar close to Metro, I would think? "SO .... how would everyone feel about either Monday, July 16 or Monday, July 23? Let me hear from you! If I don't hear outcry on one or the other by the end of the chat, I'll have one of the kitties draw straws or something."

No, I won't make it that late, either. I would say we should shoot for 6 or so and stay for a drink or two. I think that last gathering lasted two hours or so. And oh yes, venues. I really need help with that. Let's hear it, folks. Someone suggested a name and I can't remember what is was....

The Nats margin on offense is razor thin. Espinosa is batting .189 with 2 RBIs and looks awful. As a comparison, the pitchers are collectively batting .186 with 2 RBIs. How long can the Nats continue with Espinosa as an automatic out in the lineup, especially with Lombardozzi as a more than adequate replacement in the field and a huge upgrade at the plate?

We talked about this last week and I was preaching patience but I believe the time has come. Lombardozzi is just one of those guys that makes things happen. He's pesky. Last season they could be patient because it wasn't going to happen for them. This season there is no reason not to be less patient and more demanding of everyone.

O goddess of the Plains, Knower of all things GREAT and small, Princess of jinx--new appellation. Would it be wise or unwise for the Caps to put in some more practice time in on HITTING THE EMPTY NET ! ? How many million blood pressure points would have been lowered in CapsNation if Ward or ANYBODY could have hit an empty netter last night - or Monday night for that matter ?

It's funny how small that thing gets once nobody's in front of it. It seems to me they do practice this occasionally; I seem to think I've seen it at Kettler on occasion.

I was seated in section 404 last Saturday at the Nats-Phillies game and I found myself thinking, "Hmm, I wonder which person in the section next to me is "Section 405" from Tracee's chat?" I thought it would be a little weird to go around asking everyone in section 405, so I didn't...but I liked the view from there, so maybe next time...

Hmmmmm. I wonder how you could have found out. You can't very well start yelling "Section 405? Section 405?" People might think you're nuts. Although I know Section 405, and he would have known that you were speaking his name. We'll have to think of a chat code word.

How come the CIA somehow has leaks that reveal every single detail of CIA plots in Yemen to infiltrate terrorist cells, but we can't find out more details of injuries in the NHL and the NFL? Everyone in the NHL has a "lower body injury" and Tom Brady has had a shoulder injury every week for years. The CIA might try to learn something from the NHL and NFL and try to keep secrets better.

If the tradeoff is CIA leaks in exchange for the dreaded "upper body injury," I'll go with CIA leaks and learn to live with the other. Is it silly? Yes. In the scheme of things, would you rather know about a terrorist plot or a groin vs. knee injury? I realize these are not the only choices in life, of course....

7 games against the Bruins 7 games against the Rangers, if the Caps can win in New York on Sat, can this team Win it all. They are playing the best I have seen them play in 10 years. I love the physical play of all these guys and to see OVI blocking shots just shows me this team will do anything to win. SO with that being said can these guys win game 7 and possibly finally hold up LORD STANLEY....

Easy there. One game at a time. This is the third season I've covered them in the playoffs and they are playing as well as I've seen them play in any postseason. They Rangers have not lost a Game 7 at the Garden. So first things first. But they certainly feel they can beat anyone. They are very confident; I'm not sure Dale says more than 12 words to them before a game, but they must be the right 12 words.

While you're under, why not get some titanium elbows so you can plow your way to the front of the press scrum? Best of luck. //The Conflicted Cowboys Fan + Baylor Alumnus

Ha! Needed them last night. That locker room was so ripe and then some journalist (no one I know) put his arm in my face with a tape recorder stuck out and seriously, we were next to Hendricks, and Hendricks smelled like a rose garden compared to this guy's BO. No excuse. That was Olympic-caliber BO. You usually don't get that in a hockey scrum.

I've already requested a cortisone shot in my right thumb while I'm under anesthesia. I normally get them wide awake but I thought what the heck, why not? I thought about asking them to do something about the bags under my eyes but then I remembered, my guy's an ortho.

There's a big Sports Bar on 23rd Street in Crystal City off of Hwy 1. I don't remember the exact name but part of the name is Sports Bar and it's 3 floors....

Is it near the Crystal City Metro? Anyone know of this Valhalla?

Tracee, for what it's worth, I would prefer if we could have the meet-up on a Friday. As a single parent who lives near Baltimore, a weeknight meet-up is very hard for me. I often am off on Fridays, so coming back into town with my son would be relatively easy. But I may try to come anyway...

Does everyone else want to do a Friday? Am I the only one averse to crowds?

What do the NY fans call Lundqvist? King Henriq? Looks like he is about to be dethroned. He has met his match. You dear Tracee shy away from stating who will win? I do not! I am going to state here and now for the record (barring a career ending injury) that not only have the Caps found their goaltender of the future in Holtsby he should go on to better career than Olie the Goalie but should be a HOF career. This little tidbit From The Peanut Gallery

Love the rookie. Love his style, his pregame routine -- they show it on the big screen before the game -- his attitude. He's for real. Lundqvist is a very good goalie, no question, but the Caps got to him last year and they can do it again. As they've proven.

Your column on Monday seemed to excuse Harper's tantrums because he's only 19. Considering that you were condoning Cole's actions, which were indeed childish, you really should not have provided an excuse, and an inappropriate one at that, for Harper. Since when is it OK for a 19 year-old to through a tantrum?

Not because he's 19 so much as that his tantrums (I believe I called them hissy fits) are self-directed. If he threw his helmet at a pitcher, then no, not cool. He gets mad when he strikes out. Cool. I have no problem with that. He hasn't learned to control all his emotions yet. That's the part that I attribute to age 19. Now, some 19 year olds are well past that stage and some aren't. Age is a number. And the big leagues will bust that out of him. But not by throwing baseballs at him. Who died and made Cole Hamels Miss Manners? His manager, his teammates, his coaches, they'll get him calmed down.

Perfect example was that pop fly (foul) down the third base line. He made a great catch, almost, but the ball popped lose.  He slapped the dirt with his palm. That's the kind of thing I was referring to by "hissy fits." That's hardly a worrying thing to me. I think that kind of thing annoys the other team, but what's wrong with him wanting to make the play? What's wrong with him running out grounders? This, too, shall pass.

Guys are going to throw at him. Or they were, until Hamels screwed the pooch by talking about it. Now they probably aren't. Which is kind of funny.

You said awhile back that my daughter (age 8) could surely have picked up her love of hockey stats in utero, bc I splurged on the Center Ice cable package when preggo. Well, her brackets have the Devils and Kings in the final (Kings win). Sports Illustrated had the Penguins beating the Canucks. Hmmm. (She also has the Caps in the next round agst NJ - I'm posting this Wed. a.m., wondering if she'll be right .)

Well, so far she's half right and her final is alive, so I'd say it was a good investment!

I know the Nats love Espinosa and he's great in the field, but how long can you continue to start a guy that for nearly a whole year has been an empty hole in the lineup? You've got Lombardozzi here, he has good at-bats, puts the ball in play during key situations, and he's hitting 110 points higher. At some point, don't the Nats have to give him a shot rather than having the automatic out? Espinosa is clueless at the plate right now, and it just doesn't look to me like having him there puts out strongest lineup on the field. You just can't continue to start a guy who's hitting .190 who has no RBI in the last 21 days.

See above. Last week I was patient. This week I'm not. You are all in charge of fixing this before I get back.

I've been to 6 Nats games so far this season. I thought wearing my Nats hat from opening day '10 was going to do the job - no. That just guaranteed extra innings. The '12 opening day cap is working OK.

I thought the watch I wear also determines this. (I collect watches, and pick from about 10 every morning). Yesterday and today, I wore a quartz Bulova. The Nats lost to the Pirates both days when they shouldn't have (and I have a wind-up Bulova that's 3-0). 


The Caps won game six while I was wearing that watch.

What do I wear? Section 405

What would you do without me? Okay, Saturday night, you wear the watch. I think you need to stick with the '12 Opening Day cap. I think the problem is too much experimentation. The gods are confused. Pick, stick and then when something goes horribly awry, banish it forever.

Also, tell Section 404 how he/she can find you in Section 405. Give us a code word or describe the hat.

1) Whatever happens with the rest of the playoffs, I think that the goalie situation is pretty clear. I think the Caps should trade/release Vokoun [actually, I think they should never acquired him in the first place; I never liked his style of goaltending]. What do you think about this? 2) It was great to see Jeff Halpern back in the lineup last night. He's always been my favorite Caps player. Do you think there's a chance he's back with the team next year (I think he was just signed to a 1-year contract)?

No argument about Vokoun. I'd be a little surprised about Halpern; he's barely played. But it's possible.

I know that it's a marathon and not a sprint, but I feel like the Nats are now being lapped. Talk me off my ledge. I've been a fan since September 2004 (the day they made the announcement), before I even knew the players names. I've been with them, loving them, through good and bad but I don't know how much more my nerves can take. I'll love them no matter what, but how can I calm my nerves and emotions besides reminding myself "It's only a game. It's only a game"?

There is no good answer to that. There is nothing I can tell you that will shorten the time between this morning and Saturday night. Distractions is my best advice. Find something that needs doing and do it.

I liked him in "O Brother, Where Art Thou" but not in "The Big Lebowski." Wait, what?

I loved him in my favorite Coen brother movie, "Miller's Crossing." "Look into your heart, Tom!" "What heart?" Man, that's a good movie.

If the Caps have taught DC Sports Fans (and hopefully journalists) one thing this year, it should be to temper your emotions. I still cannot believe the swing of Cup proclomations after wins and blow-up-the-team arguements after losses. It's one thing for some silly bandwagon fans to ride the tidal wave of emotions, it's another for long-time knowledgeable hockey fans and supposedly-intelligent sports writers to follow suit. Why can't we just follow the lead of the team? They won, GREAT. They have yet to lose back to back games this playoff season. However, there's another game Saturday night against a team that's already beaten them 3 times in the past 2 weeks that will determine their playoff fate for the next 2 weeks. Just like the team needs to enjoy the moment and then compartmentalize those emotions and look to the next obstacle, so do the fans and writers.

Yes, I should never have written that there was no Game 7.

Oh, wait...

"Might they win a game by as many as two goals, or fewer than one?" Thanks for the laugh. They had a 2 goal lead and then John Carlson decided that the fans were getting too bored. Made for a terrifying last 51 seconds. I actually enjoy the NHL playoffs more after the Capitals are eliminated. With the Capitals games, I worry about getting a stroke.

Yes, when I am writing the games, I feel the same way. About the stroke, I mean.

Stealing home? Are you kidding me? I can't think of the last time anyone stole home, and this kid has the wontons to do that in his first week of the majors? What's next? He gets hit by is own line drive while sliding into second?

Okay, I'm loving wontons. So maybe that can be the code word. Section 404, you shout "wontons" and Section 405 will know you are a fellow chatter. Everyone can play!

And yes, that was a gutsy move, I don't care who the player is. And it was perfect done because Harper just did it, looked at Hamels and walked away. That's how you respond to a plunking. You make them pay.

(Getting tired of hearing it called it a beaning, by the way. To me, a beaning occurs in the melon. If the head isn't involved, it's not a beaning. Anyone else?)

I'm not fan of the guy, but he does have his name etched on the Cup, and took a mediocre team to the best record in the Eastern Conference this year. He also has the unenviable task of having to deal with the NYC media, who seem to know more about hockey than he does. I'd be pretty short and snippy with the media too if I were in his position. The important thing is that his players all seem to love him, and are willing to go to battle for him.

I don't care if coaches are snippy, truthfully. He's absolutely a good coach. It's that facial expression that just kills me. I don't even know how you get that look and keep it for an entire game. Supercilious. Is that it? Anyway, you are right; how he treats the media is not how he should be judged. That's our problem, not the readers'. If coaches were smart, they'd do this: They'd be unbelievably boring and vapid and never say anything of interest. THAT'S how you teach the media a lesson. Snippy won't get it done. And some coaches are smart, and they do this. Intentionally or not.

"Can you imagine how badly NBC wants the Rangers to win? I do think it comes through during the broadcasts a bit." Some of the local radio shows have taken a stab at finding some level of favortism during broadcasts, and if it's there, it's extremely nuanced and minimal. NBC does have an interest in the matchups doesn the road, but this is not like David Stern handpicking teams for the NBA Finals. I actually watched a bit of the NBC Post-Game, and Milbury seemed agast at the play of Ovi last night. Keith Jones mentioned Ovi was playing like the Ovi of old, while Mibury was adamant that this was a completely new Ovi with desire, heart, and drive. The studio crew spent 75% of the time talking about how solid the Caps were in this game and even conceded that the series should have been over if it weren't for some lucky bounces in Game 5.

I haven't watched the studio shows. Like I said, I only noticed some very subtle things, nothing egregious.

The Ovi of old? Huh. He's playing hard but the style of hockey sure doesn't lend itself to the Ovi of old.

I have what may be a dumb question, but you (or someone else) may know the answer. I do not understand the logistics of a player who is drafted by a professional sport and begins to play before he graduates. (i'm not talking about someone who elects to leave school early). For example, Chris Kreider apparently just helped BC win the NCAA Championship, was drafted by the Rangers and is now playing - didn't this just happen like a month ago? How was he already drafted? And what about school. I realize that if the Rangers want you, you are going to play, but if he's a senior, would he be weeks from graduation? I am just baffled and hope that you can help. I barely watch the NFL draft and their schedule is more on a school schedule so their timing works much better.

They can always go back to school. A lot of the college kids who are going to come out early for the NBA draft just quit going to school -- why bother? Some don't; some keep going. But what difference does it make? To be able to play in the playoffs this year and then finish up your classes in summer school or whatever you need to do, as opposed to waiting 12 months to play in the playoffs -- at that age did you want to wait 12 months for anything? The NHL lets them play right away; if the NBA had its lottery in April you'd see the same thing happening -- assuming the league allowed it.

I feel that no matter what happens on Saturday at MSG the Caps have had a GREAT postseason! Knocked out the defending Stanley Cup Champions and are taking the #1 seed in the East to a Game 7. Great job by the boys and especially Matt Hendricks who IMHO has been one of the best players in these playoffs.

Agreed on Hendricks.

Hi Tracee - I have casually followed the Nats since they arrived in DC - reading Kilgore's articles, Boz's columns, and going to a game or two per season. I thought that this would be the year that I really committed, and the last 2 weeks proved that to be the case. I watched the Dodgers games to see how Bryce did and was pretty impressed. Then I went to the Phillies game last Saturday when Gio threw a gem (and batted well too) and we got a couple home runs. I loved the whole game, the atmosphere, etc, and the Phillies fans sitting around me weren't rude - even when they were ahead early. So I watched the game Sunday night and as soon as Cole Hamels plunked Harper, I looked up the next Phillies games on the schedule so I could buy my tickets. The Nats are for real, and as you wrote the other day, so is the rivalry. Count me in to be there to see it unfold.

This is exactly what The Plan was all about -- growing a club, getting good, attracting folks like you who had been casual fans as well as those who hadn't been fans at all.

Forgive me, I'm very happy for the Caps. I'm not happy the Nationals lost 2 games to the Pirates (and PH did NOT watch either game. I should have made him watch!). Clippard got robbed by the umpire (he DID strike the batter out) and by Desmond (should've been a double play!). And was that Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn disguised as Rodriguez? Sigh. On a side note, having seen the adorable Karen Burnett on Say Yes to the Dress with Syndal Gaudin & Amber Sabathia, I was a little disappointed to see that A.J. was not as cute as she was--and those tattoos!

You lost me in there somewhere but it's always good to hear from you!

I know this makes us sound like snobs, but we're from Kentucky and every few years attend the Kentucky Derby. In addition to the race, we enjoy the atmosphere, the fashions, the hats, the juleps . . . It's all very civilized and classy. Our son is in grad school at Johns Hopkins, so last year we went to the Preakness. The contrast could not be more sharp. The park itself is decrepit, and the day is a drunken frat party on steroids. "Kegasus," with his nipple ring, borders on obscene. Clearly underage drinking is rampant; we saw drunks throwing up in the parking lot who looked to be in their middle teens. And our son, who apologized for taking us (he hadnever been there before) tells us they are adding more "party" elements this year! Don't they want families and old folks to come? I realize all race tracks have some sort of seedy element, but Churchill Downs does its best to discourage drunken and rowdy behavior. Pimlico, on the other hand, seems to encourage it. No way we are ever coming back.

Had you not heard of Kegasus before you went? It got a LOT of coverage. I hate to tell you this, but this is how the Preakness has been for a long time. The difference now is that they are embracing the drunken frat party image and rolling with it. I wouldn't go near the place. That doesn't make you a snob. It means you show good judgment. I'm sure there are places to watch where there aren't drunks throwing up on your shoes but why risk it? And the knowledge that afterward, you're getting on the area's fine roadway system with these people is a dealbreaker for me, too.

I've been to the Belmont and it's not at all like the Preakness. I suggest you check it out if you ever get a chance. (I actually won a trip there. Still can't get over that.)

I don't like mint juleps, but years ago my aunt, who used to live in Louisville, gave me the recipe for Derby pie. Oh my, that's good.

Crystal City Sports Pub,, perhaps? I just called them and while they don't have private rooms they can set space aside for parties of a certain size, so we can chat.

The driving directions give a coco-loco route that's half a mile. It looks like a walk would be shorter and more direction but cross Highway 1. Anyone know enough about this to know if that's the case, and if crossing Highway 1 is easy or a place where pedestrians go to die? I do not want anyone harmed for the sake of a beer.

First Nats game ever lost to the Phillies; Strasburg blows out elbow against the Phillies; and Werth breaks wrist against the Philies. This is a disturbing pattern that I don't think Natitude and one take back the weekend promotion can defeat. It's time Nats fan realize that we are embarkng on a decades long crusade against baseball's worst team (10,000 losses) and that we must hate them with Dallas like intensity to reverse this curse before it does more harm.

Hmmmm. It takes three to make a trend, but I see where you're going with this.

Tracee: Please ask your Conversation producer to link to Boz's column about the Caps chances against the Bruins in that game 7. It's time for a refresher! I love the Caps obvious and wondrous toughness. Not in a fighting sense, but in their willingness to put their bodies to a full test. They are holding nothing back, game after game, and their ability to do so is increasing in lockstep with their confidence in the success that comes from such an effort. I see the same sort of thing from the Nats, though baseball players need to play at 90% vice 100% or theirs will be a short season and a brief career. I vote for July 15, and suggest Pentagon Row. There are three or four bars, it's a short walk to the Metro, and it's across the street from the Pentagon (which makes it easy for me!). Deli Man

Sorry, I'm still laughing at "Conversation producer".

It's July 16, btw. July 15 is a Sunday.

= head; plunking = elsewhere (except maybe the wontons - I believe that's referred to as ringing the bell)

Thank you. I feel better, having gotten that off my chest, and having someone else use "wontons" in a post.

really going to simplify here. NHL teams draft players and retain the rights to the player for a number of years (depending on if the guy plays NCAA, Canadian juniors, a euro league, etc). Kreider was drafted by the Rangers as an 18 year old, then went to BC for 3 (2?) years. Rangers retained his rights. He could sign a contract and play with the Rangers at any point. He won a national championship with BC, and signed with the Rangers within days, which is how he's now playing with them. This is the highly simplified version. NHL drafting and draft rules is highly complex.

Thank you. I had forgotten that teams draft these kids but then they go off and play in college or overseas or wherever. As always, this group is the bestest.

Ben Roethlisberger just graduated from Miami of Ohio. He had left with four courses to go and was able to finish up. And this was a while ago but Christian Laettner left with one course to go and did finish it up & graduate too.

It's always good to see when athletes go back. More should.

All networks always pray for an NY-LA finals for any sport because they're the biggest markets in the country.


That's near my office - You can make it across Route 1 and not die -- they have traffic signals & crosswalks!

Excellent! I'm sure there's a mapquest for pedestrians but what do I know, and my producer isn't helping. He's currently playing with a catnip toy he unearthed from somewhere. He's a hoarder.

If you shout "wontons" at a ball game people might think you're a vendor selling wontons. How about T-Ham?

That's funny. Wontons. Get your wontons! But won't people think you're a vendor selling ham and tea? Which is what I had for lunch yesterday, come to think of it.

Yeah, that's never happened.


Um, isn't that what they call hustle? I've seen enough players who decide right away it's not worth their while to run, and loose the opportunity to take a base when a ball takes a bad bounce or doesn't get caught. I'll take a slap at the ground for the rest of his career if he hustles every night.

This is my point. You want a guy who runs out grounders. I'm with you. Fans respond to players who show that they care. This kid does.

Next time I'm stranded between connections at Dulles, I'll walk around murmuring it like a deranged soul/ticket scalper/drug dealer.

Oh, don't. Guantanamo is too far to go for cervezas. And if any of that is spelled wrong, I'm blaming my producer.

Of course, maybe they could spend some time improving their prime time schedule... then they wouldn't have to pray for good sports mach-ups.

I watch almost nothing on that network, and three of the shows I do watch are on the endangered list. I am close to being able to remove it from my DVR. Not quite there yet.

When Storen comes back, do you think the Nats should consider trading Rodriguez? I love his heat, but he can't seem to handle the pressure. With Mariano Rivera out for the year, maybe we can gouge the Yankees and get some hitting?

If he can't handle the pressure, the Yankees won't touch him with a barge pole. That's not the place you go for some calm and quiet. But a trade? Maybe. They'll have to see if Drew is on schedule and how he looks, but there's not reason to believe he won't be fine. I would think Rizzo will try to make moves at the deadline this year, and that it will be harder for him to do so. Tougher if you're contending.

Okay, I tried to ask Boswell this question on Monday, but he didn't get to it. Perhaps you can dig deep into your baseball knowledge to come up with the answer. The O's and Red Sox played 17 innings on Sunday where both DHs ended up piching at the end of the game. The AL DH rules state that if a DH goes into the field, the pitcher would then be forced to hit, and the team would essentially lose their DH. However, what's not clear is if those rules still apply if the DH pitches. If either team substituted the next day's starter for the DH pitcher, would that team have lost their DH, meaning that pitcher would have to hit the next time around in the order?

I can't possible answer this now. If Boz couldn't do it ... but I'll throw it out there and if someone knows in the few minutes remaining, sing out. Shout wontons to get my attention.

The Corleone Family reports that Fredo is day-to-day with an upper body injury.


Are you surprised at the Caps success versus the Bruins (#2 seed) and now, the Rangers (#1 seed) considering their rollering coaster regular season? Why have the players bought into Hunter's philosophy?

I am surprised, yes, but as I wrote today, I also have not seen a team improve during a series. They are getting better from game to game. Part of that is Holtby gaining experience but they are finally buying into Hunter's philosophy because they beat the Bruins in seven games doing it when few people thought they could. He told them they could if they did what he told them to, they did it, they won ... It's no longer a theory when the guy proves that his system works. They believe now. Or at least seem to.

You can cross under Hwy 1 on 18th St to Eads St, make a right and walk down to 23rd St. That's the quickest route. At 23rd St, you can safely cross Hwy 1 and there's also a pedestrian tunnel under the Hwy. No one has to die for quality sports talk, or beer. Again, about a .4 mile walk from the Crystal City metro to the Pub.

Okay, perfect. So let's meet there on Monday, July 16, starting at 6 p.m. I'll call and make arrangements for some kind of meeting place. Maybe we can have a roll call of sorts on the June 7 chat so people can say if they can come. The page is already built so even those who are reading transcripts can leave a post there. Then I'll have a rough idea of how many to tell them to expect. I will get there earlier than 6 in case some of you who get off work earlier don't want to dawdle. That will give me time to get really bombed.


... will your dad send out for wontons? (Just had to.)

Ha! If I ask for them, he will.

I only watch Awake & Grimm. There's nothing else on there that interests me.

I watch those also Awake is starting to put me to sleep, which is such an obvious joke but also true. I watch Community, 30 Rock and Parks and Rec on Thursdays. All hilarious, all in danger. Oh, and I watch "Who Do You Think You Are." That one I give them props for. Not your standard "embarrass someone" reality TV. And I think that's it for me.

That was my post, but I have to credit that to Bart Simpson - I got it from him. There's an old episode where Bart tries to get the teachers to strike. Miss Crabapple tells him there won't be a strike and Bart says "yeah, Skinner says you wouldn't have the wontons to go through with it.' I've been using it ever since.

Crediting the source -- nice!

Sad but true. Great, great hockey fans there (lived there, loved games at Staples and spotting Affleck and Canadian celebs), but it's still a niche. NBC would only prefer L.A. to PHX.

I'm sure you're right about that.

We haven't even talked NBA. I am really looking forward to the second round. I've tried to avoid the first round because starting Wednesday, I will see every minute of every game from now till it's over. So I'm pacing myself.

Are the Wizards in this year? No? Hmmmmm.

hmmm...if we do that, maybe try Champps?

This was runner-up. We'll do this again unless it turns into a drunken brawl between Section 404 and Section 405, with Oklahoma Mom and Ancient Husker Grad trading jabs. Because that will probably happen. For sure. Bagram, I hope this date works for you.

***(Getting tired of hearing it called it a beaning, by the way. To me, a beaning occurs in the melon. If the head isn't involved, it's not a beaning. Anyone else?) It was a kidney beaning

Oh, that's a good 'un right there.

sounds pretty good. They do that with Peking duck.

Peek and duck is what Harper should have done.

I didn't match the Nat's jersey on Sunday night and looked what happened! I've got to keep track of all my superstitions or the Nat's season is done. The baseball gods are already a little upset. Don't want to really anger them.

It's okay. It's still May and everyone's a little rusty.

I only have a 1/4 season ticket - "Abe's Plan", heavy on Wednesday and Friday games. I was at the Friday game; wish I'd gone Saturday as I'd love to see the Nats win my more than one run. A secret code word won't work any better. What if "Addicted to Chat" had wandered over to my section and started yelling "swordfish!"? Section 405

Alas, all the work for nothing. Well, 405, I expect to see you in Crystal City with bells on. Plus your lucky hat/watch/jersey whatever.

I would never take on AHG. I am actually such a newbie that the OU-NE rivalry was already dying when I jumped aboard the Sooner Schooner. I might say unkind words to a Mizzou fan, but I expect that they're already categorically excluded from participating in your get togethers. So to turn this into a question, will I need to practice my sparing in preparation for the OU-WV game this year, or will the Mountaineers treat visiting fans (of a team that they will expect to beat) kindly? Hope your surgery goes smoothly and you're back chatting about the 1st place Nats in June. OUMom.

There she is! From what I hear, I wouldn't expect a warm welcome up there. I've asked around. Now, we have a Mizzou fan who's a regular and also a K-Stater but haven't heard from them in awhile; hope they can make it. We can have the old Big Eight, or maybe Big Six, represented. (We won't talk about this all night, I promise. It would just be funny.) Thanks, OUMom!

is one of the million reasons we will miss you!


What would it be? Better still, if you could watch one comedy & one drama, what would they be? In the days of Lost, it would have been a no-brainer; there never has been & never will be another Lost. But for now Once Upon a Time & Modern Family.

Ooooo. It changes during the season as shows ebb and flow, but Modern Family for sure and probably The Good Wife, although there was an ebb. I think I need to watch Once Upon a Time via On Demand this summer.

Tracee, I'm totally buying in to Harper already, mostly because of the way he has played, not the results. The way he has channeled his passion and energy into hustle instead of blowing kisses at a pitcher is amazing to me. When he comes off as the adult in comparison to Cole "Keeper of All Things Baseball" Hamels, it is simply hard to believe. I can't wait to watch his career develop. Good luck with you health stuff. We'll enjoy your fill-ins but miss you terribly! -Handle Pending

Thanks, I'll miss you all as well, HP. But it's time for a little Kansas wind in my hair. Well, a lot of Kansas wind. I'm so excited that they may be harvesting! And my nephew got engaged and is bringing his fiancee back home so it'll be a good trip. Lots planned. I think I told you all about the dedication of the Civil War veteran's tombstone; finished my speech yesterday so I'm ready for that. I'll try to bring back a photo or story or something about that to show on the 7th for those who might be interested.

Now I'd better skedaddle. Thanks, everyone, for joining me. Glad we got a date set and I hope as many as possible can make it.

Well, we never got an answer to the baseball question. Sorry about that. Maybe I can research it during my convalescence, or I can just call Boz and sniffle and see if he'll do it. Take care, everyone, and I look forward to June 7!



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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 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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