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

Jun 13, 2013

This week, Tracee Hamilton discusses all the sports news.

Follow @TraceeHamilton on Twitter

Yes, we hang around the water cooler thirsting for the season to start. 1. Which Redskin in the Hall of Fame played for 5 teams? 2. Name a Titan in the Hall of Fame who never played for the Oilers.

I'm throwing this out right up front because I'd rather y'all tackled the trivia today. So get to it!

And good morning. We'll try to keep this right to an hour in case the world ends, or we all lose power, anyway. Hopefully this has been overblown (no pun intended) but we shall see. Let's get crackin'.

Oh, day ball today at 3:10, again, assuming we have power.

Hello from the Hawkeytown area. Chicago has gone absolutely off the wall during the Stanley Cup. You would think the Bears are in the Super Bowl. Guess it's all that pent up frustration from lousy baseball teams. Congrats on KU getting Jerrance Howard on the coaching staff. A proud Illini fan who will do you good. How is your cat? Ours were interesting when the storm came through last night and the sirens went off. 3.5 inches of rain and some hail and lots of wind. Hope the DC area is spared from what we went through.

Yikes, I hope so too. Hope you didn't have any damage. I'll bet Chicago is going nuts -- that's a good sports town and the Blackhawks are worth going nuts for.

I'm just hoping no sirens going off during the wedding. I anticipate 110 degrees and 50 mph winds because that's just a typical day in Kansas, but my wish list has really been pared down (no tornadoes is it).

Or as we call that down here, "Tuesday." No, seriously, good luck, y'all. TBHitW

Ha! True enough.

You're getting married? If so, congrats!

Oh, Lord, no. That ship has sailed. My nephew. And why this is my lap is a long and boring story. But I'm very happy about it and love his bride. Just wish they'd have listened to ol' Aunt Trac's wise counsel re weddings (and now they do too).

Which is worse, losing in the first round, or being skunked in the penultimate round?

Oh, well, I think losing in the first round. I remember the year the Wings had maybe the best record in hockey and lost in the first round to the Devils. Swept, I believe. Ouch. I'm not sure if Caps fans would agree or not.

Loved your suggestion about changing the 7th inning stretch song to "Gloom, Despair and Agony on Me." Did you know Roy Clark and Mickey Mantle were good friends and that Roy played at Mickey's funeral? Well, enough of that. I don't want this to become The Official Hee Haw Chat of the Washington Post ( TOHHCWP).

That would be awesome: TOHHCWP!

Hey, Grandpa, what's for supper?

Heh heh. I loved that show.

Hi Trac! The last time we chatted, the Rangers were still a viable playoff team. The Bruins are beating the Penguins like rented mules, which makes me happy on both fronts. Of course, it's also true that the last time we chatted the Nats were a game behind the Braves, and their current positions temper the joy somewhat. It must be noted that Atlanta's been on a 15-4 run, compared to the Nats' 8-11 meandering. I see that you have already lined up B-Svrl and Operaman to pinch hit this month. I presume that this means you will be Kansas-bound. Hope all goes well. Rico

Still can't believe Torts got fired. Still sad the Wings went out, but they didn't earn it. And yes, Kansas bound, to try to get this wedding off without any more problems. Oy.

Can you name a Steeler who might be the first?

Another one I'm throwing out there. What this group ought to do is meet at a bar for a trivia night contest. I think collectively we'd be unstoppable.

Wow! I continued reading James Wagner's column, and found that, in addition to Wilmer Difo, Hagerstown also has Will Piwnica-Worms! These are not *quite* as good as Urban Shocker or Bris Lord, but they're up there....

Awesome in its awesomeness.

What does a 3rd string QB do?.

Holds the helmet of the guy holding the clipboard.

Wow! And looking at that windup made me feel like a kid again - 1963 called; they want their windup back... I wonder why the "old skool" full windup went away? Section 405

Somebody probably decided it was "bad for you." Science will then discover it is "good for you," and everybody will be doing it. Ohlendorf came up large for them. Not a HOF outing but enough to get the job done. Hello, Dan Haren.

At Zimmerman's Night at the Park I was lucky enough to meet and talk a little bit to two of my favorite Nats -- Danny Espinosa and Kurt Suzuki, who may be looking at significantly different futures on the ballclub. Danny's defense is nothing short of spectacular and his heart is unquestionable but the latter may be the source of his problems this season. His shoulder injury can't be helping and I think it's clear that the wrist injury sapped his power, the one thing that made his strikeouts at least more tolerable. In retrospect maybe he should have had his shoulder repaired and just worked his way back into the lineup. Instead he may well have worked his way out of it, perhaps for good.

Rendon is killing the ball and showing good-to-great defense as well, one Bad News Bears fly ball drop aside. Do you think we'll ever see Danny starting at second for the Nats again? As for Kurt, well, I hate to say it but Wilson Ramos is looking more and more like one of those guys who can never stay healthy. I told Kurt I hope the Nats sign him to a long-term deal because Wilson is fragile. It sucks because if anybody deserves some good luck it's Ramos but with the latest news of a setback in his rehab it's increasingly looking like it isn't to be. Do you think Rizzo signs Kurt or will he depend on the deep catching corps in the organization?

Well, I heard Davey talking about Espinosa and he seemed ready to find a place for him in the lineup as soon as he's off the DL. Too ready, IMHO. You are right about his defense but the hitting this year ... last year they could afford one black hole in the lineup but not this year. But I wouldn't give up on Danny only because Davey isn't. I PERSONALLY might. I do think his injuries have hampered him. What is it with our local teams and injuries and letting players dictate treatment. Players LIE. You can't tell me Shanahan and Johnson and everyone else doesn't know that.

I think Suzuki will stick because he's got a really good rapport with several of the starters and they need that.

I can't force myself to vote for any nats position players as all stars- not with Harper out indefinately. Do see any nats, other then Zimmermann, making the all star team? Would you vote for any of the position players?

Nooooooo. Although I might vote for LaRoche on a "value to the team" basis. He has prevented even more errors than the Nats have committed, which is saying something. But is he an all-star? No. To this team, this year, I think he's a boon, though.

Trouble with the Curve would not have been worth the cost of a movie, popcorn, and soda. But if it happens to be on TV it's the kind of movie you watch while ironing or cooking. It's nice to see films in which girls know as much about sports as boys.

Okay, it's on cable all the time so maybe I'll catch it.

To those who say this season is washed up, I say: 

Anthony Rendon

Ian Kroll

Fernando Abad

Jeff Kobernus

There! - Section 405


The NSA knows exactly how hurt every NHL player is, and is willing to share that information with those who "need to know." For a price, of course (we're in a budget crunch, after all). No "upper body injury" reports for high rollers, thank you very much. But where's the outrage? Where are the hearings? I'm shocked. SHOCKED!

I was just glad to know the government can tell when I'm running my dishwasher or using my microwave.

Don Maynard of the New York Jets and their predecessor, the New York Titans!

Okay, that WAS a tricky one.

I'm glad that the clue stick finally whacked some sense into the Nats' brain trust and they ended the Henry "Ready, Fire, Aim" Rodriguez experiment while they were still able to get something more than a bag of baseballs for him. 

I'm hoping that similar clarity arrives concerning Danny Espinosa. Folks, he's had over 1400 at-bats in the majors. He's batted .230, his OBA is .303, and he hardly has any power (his .SLG is .396). Even without this year's injury-plagued abysmal performance, this is who he is. 1400 at-bats is not "a slump". It's who he is. He is a very good fielder, and apparently a really nice guy. I hope he recovers from this spate of injuries, and I hope the Nats can trade him while he still has some value.

Section 405

I agree -- I wrote a little about that last week -- and I too think he's more than a fair shake. However ... I sure didn't ge the impression from Davey's interview that he is in any way down on Espinosa. Maybe he's pumping him for a trade, I don't know.

Looks like old age and and cunning may just have a shot against the Miami Lukewarm. This is delightful if only for the chance to see David Stern call in Joey Crawford to work the next four games...

36 points? That was somewhat amazing to me. I know what we'll be doing this weekend in the basement: 1. Watching Royals. 2. Watching golf. 3. Watching NBA. 4. Tying ribbons onto wedding programs. And then there are westerns...

Wow, that was one of the longest hockey games in Stanley Cup finals history (til after 1 AM EST)! Imagine the players won't be having much of a practice session today. Props to the refs, who skated the whole game (none of the players skated even half of it), as well as to Mike "Doc" Emrick for doing the play-by-play for the whole game, and the camera and sound operators, and all the technical and production staff in the trailer (or wherever) who brought us the broadcast. At least I got to be a couch potato.

Nope, that's an off day or optional skate for everyone. And the refs should be taking a steam somewhere.

I've gotta hand it to my Penguins: they didn't just go down in the conference finals, they went down in flames! On that note, I will sit back and enjoy the Original Six match-up for the Stanley Cup. (And look forward to the Pens/Caps rivalry getting back in full swing next season.)

That's the right attitude!

...scored twice as many points against the Bruins last night as the Penguins did in their entire 4-game series.


Tracee - a suggestion for the chat. You have a Twitter account, and links to content from Twitter links don't count. If you tweeted a link to each week's chat, folks could still participate without hitting the paywall. Of course, we should be paying for the content - it isn't cheap to produce the Post every day. I'm personally a dead-tree edition subscriber, and have been for about 30 years....

I could certainly do that. A lot of people don't want to sign up for Twitter for a variety of reasons, but I seldom tweet (which is bad) so anyone signing up for my feed would hardly be treated to a blow-by-blow account of my day.  So I'd be willing to try that! salute Belichick's brilliance? He now has everybody hating him equally, except for Massh-les and people who normally spend their Sunday mornings somewhere other than in front of the TV. Then when he wins, he can claim the path of the righteous man, like Jules Winnifield.

No one ever accused him of being dumb. Many other things, but not dumb.

Tracee, Can you make sense of these Finals? Being 2-1 is not that surprising - but a blowout by each team is strange.

I don't get it either. I can see one blowout win at home, maybe, but at this stage, you ought to be playing every game like it's your last. Very weird. But it seems headed to seven games, just because no one seems to want to take control. Although we shall see tonight.

Tracee, that's homage to longtime Penguins play-by-play announcer Mike Lange, who uses that expression.

Ah, that's also an expression from back home, where people actually had rented mules. :)

Who was the last baseball player to ever hit .400?

I immediately said Ted Williams, so that can't be right. It very nearly became George Brett. Oh, how I wanted that to happen.

I can imagine him cutting finely across the tip of the plate, like if Greg Maddux were a moyel.

Now I'm thinking about the Seinfeld episode re the moyel.

Howdy! Just stopped by to say hello. To keep this comment sports-related, I have tickets to two O's (Os's?) games in the next two weeks, including a Yankees game. Also, how's dad? Sunday I intend to lie on the couch and watch golf. I will be toasting my father and remembering past Father's Days spent cooking out and watching the US Open with him. Good luck with the wedding and the weather.

Thanks! Dad's good, I think. Much rather watch with him that repeat our trip to Congressional. Still haven't recovered from that. But at least he can say he went to a U.S. Open when he and the boys are at the Elks Lodge. Enjoy your games! Hope you have good weather for those.

A number of teams have taken up the practice of having their rookies not get the Redskins logo on their helmet until they have "earned it" by making the team. Any chance you see the Redskins doing that?

I don't know, it doesn't seem very "Shanny" somehow. Plus I don't think they want to get involved in any scheme involving the logo because it just draws attention to the  logo and the name and ...

Here is the most prominent recent practitioner, the fairly good Paul Byrd.

Sweet. Looks tiring.

I'll be gobsmacked if Troy doesn't make it.

Nobody, huh? That's kind of amazing, considering the size of their induction classes.

I am a homer for the Nats. My AS Ballot:

1st Adam

2nd elsewhere

3rd Pablo -- for the game winning HR against the Nats

SS Ian Desmond (he is on a tear, after early season jitters)

C Buster Posey

OF Harper (did not vote for anyone else....did not want to dilute Harper's chance)


T-Bone, do you ever get frustrated when lazy sports media beat an issue to death? This could be anything from ESPN's obsession with BRETT FAVRE and TIM TEBOW to less egregious things, like MASNs broadcast team reminding viewers approximately 10,000 times last night that the ball carries further in Colorado because of the altitude. I'm not sure if this is happening more, or if it has always happened and I'm just getting cranky. LEBRON!!! BOSTON STRONG! BRITTFAR! TIGER!

Yes. I think it's happening more because of the proliferation of sports -- it's 24/7 so we have a shorter tolerance for hearing the same thing. I wrote about it re Brett Favre and got some interesting emails. Certainly wasn't Brett Favre's fault. Tim Tebow is another example; most of this is not his fault. And I try to avoid the "dead horse" topics although don't always success.

Boy, we've got dead horses and beating mules. We are not being kind today.

Kings rule the royal court, not sit helpless on the sidelines while others attend to important matters. Do you think LeBron will be motivated to show that he can be "The Man" in these Finals? So far, not so much.

I heard someone on the radio refer to him as the greatest player of all time. This was yesterday. I just shake my head. I think he has tremendous talent, but I think Michael Jordan was the greatest player of all time, because he could put a team on his back and just will them to win. And I'm not a Jordan fan. Just how I see it.

Why is the Nats twittersphere so obsessed with facial hair?

I don't belong to an twittersphere so I can't tell you. But that's part of the problem with Twitter -- lots of jibber jabber about things I don't care much about.

Slingin' Sammy was also coach of the New York Titans and the Houston Oilers.

Ah, there's the Skins connection. I thought there might be.

I'm a fan. There - I said it. I'll concede he's testing my faith, but I'd raise a few points. At $500K, he makes roughly half of what Bernadina and Tracy make. The former has mostly defensive value, but remains an asset to the team. The latter - no idea whether we are talking in the field or at the plate. At this point I would introduce, Haren, whom Espinosa is paid approximately one-bajillionth in comparison. It's an apples-to-oranges comparison; however, Haren can and has consistently cost the club games almost entirely on his own. My point? Espinosa's bat may come around, maybe not. But he remains a potential asset in the field and is far from the albatross he seems to have come to represent... Not when there are bona fide tomato cans on the roster.

I have been preaching patience with Espinosa since I met him, what, four years ago. I just think his time may be up. I have no disagreement with you re Haren. That was a risk of a signing that didn't pay off. But the argument that there are guys making more and playing worse, so Espinosa should get a pass, I can't get behind. There's always somebody making more and playing worse. He's gotta hit. If he hits, he gets more money, from the Nats or someone else.

That's all. K-Stater

I'll wave at your alma mater as I pass the Manhattan exit! And I will sure get caught up on my K-State news. We don't get a lot of news on the other schools where I come from.

Were you surprised at Stephenson's firing at WSU? I guess it had to happen sometime but I was nonetheless taken aback.

(Longtime, highly successful baseball coach of the Shockers, for those who don't know of him.)

Okay, that's it for today. Barry will be here next week and Dave the next (or is it the other way around; well, you'll figure it out!). I'll be back on July 3, the good Lord willing and the creek don't rise.

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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