First Things First -- Tracee Hamilton on the latest sports news

Jun 24, 2010

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

Let's see, what to talk about, what to talk about? Slow day yesterday in terms of sports news, and nothing going on tonight.

Psych! We can talk Strasburg. We can talk World Cup (if you insist). We can talk Wimbledon. We can talk Wiz. We can talk about that guy we aren't supposed to mention but he did issue a statement yesterday so I think that counts as an exception. You know, THAT guy. Whatever you want. It's your world, I'm just chatting in it.

Tracee, I'm calling out the person who called you out yesterday for your bio, the person who said, "It's Metro not Subway." Subway, obviously, is a generic term for any metropolitan underground railroad. Clearly, your opposition to poor etiquette doesn't apply only to the Metro, but to every subway system in the world, whether it is the T in Boston, the BART in the Bay Area, the London Underground, or that other Metro, the one in Paris. Don't be a hata, bro. Especially when you can hate on Strasburg instead. Lose to the Royals? What a bum. Clearly he doesn't belong on the All-Star team.

Well, thanks for having my back, I guess. As for Strasburg, I thought the Royals might give him some trouble, but not that much. They are slap hitters and kind of pesky. He's going to get hit hard one of these days. It's just going to happen. I also thought the heat bothered him more than perhaps he let on.

Good morning, everyone. Lots to talk about this morning. I'm in the studies of ESPN 980 getting ready to do Mr. Tony's show. I've got more platforms than Lady Gaga.

Now, I'm no more a soccer fan than any other average American. But this was a day when the US advanced to the second round on one of the few goals in this tournament that can actually be called exciting. Does it really make sense that the Post not only did not mention it on the front page, but ran it essentially below the fold on the front of Sports? Below a Nationals loss (that, ironically, was also 1-0)?

Nats played above, but soccer got the display. Too much stuff yesterday; something was going to get short shrift. I think the 9:30 a.m. start has something to do with it, too.

Strasbourg is washed up. He is done, put a fork in him. He'll never win another game. Option him down to the Cannons or buy out his contract. It was great while it lasted. Curse of Les Boulez strikes the Nats. Just wait to see what happens to Wizards' first pick.

Oh, my. I'm hoping this is very tongue in cheek or perhaps heat stroke?

We start off the day with Team USA and Landon's game winner in extended time and end the day watching Isner/Mahof tied at 59 all in the 5th set. Normally June is a bummer of a sports month, but the niche sports sure came through for us. What's your prediction now for how far we'll go in the World Cup?

Yup, that was quite a day. I'll predict, with my vast knowledge, a win over Ghana and then out. How about you?

Who determines who's in the MASN booth? MASN or the Nats? Dibble is just awful. As an analyst he's got to rate near the bottom of all broadcasters, and his likability factor is near zero. In last night's post game wrap he unloaded a verbal beatdown on Knight. Knight stayed professional and tried to keep it civil. The other two guys sat there in stunned silence. Never seen such awkwardness.

What was the beatdown about? I am sorry I snapped off the TV but I admit I did. MASN and the team choose the announcers. Dibble's not everyone's cup of tea but some people like his blatant homerism.

Posted this yesterday, but too late to get a response. Our story thus far: Lance Armstrong posed for a cover shot for Outdoors magazine in a plain blue tshirt. The editorial staff decided to Photoshop his tshirt by adding the text: "38. BFD." ("38" is Lance's age, "BFD" is--presumably--his attitude to his age.) The staff put a note on the cover that this was not Lance's real tshirt. Lance issued a profane Tweet expressing his displeasure with this cover. So--is Lance just being over-sensitive or were the editors being over-zealous?

If you want the headline to be "38. BFD." then make it the headline. Don't photoshop it onto a T-shirt, especially on a cover shot. I wouldn't be in favor of that as an editor.

Where will they end the season? 500 a possibility?

I've gone with 76 wins since the beginning. I still think they can do that but they'll have to get busy and start hitting.

I got tired just watching it. Incredibly impressive feat by both players. I have an excessively practical question. I figure that it's hot there - not as hot as here, of course, but still hot enough - but i'm sure they had played long enough to get hot, and they surely were drinking a fair amount of liquids to stay cool and to provide some energy. Do the players get potty breaks? I mean, that was seven hours today. A long time to play with your legs crossed.

They can request potty breaks but didn't very often, apparently. I think they sweat so much liquid out that they don't have to pee very much. But yes, if they want, they can. I wonder if each was trying to outwait the other, potty wise.

Hi Tracee -- I have a weirdo question. I'm not yet a Nats season ticket or plan holder (getten there) and usually buy tickets online. I've used a lot of discount codes that way, but was it totally insane of me to roll up Tuesday night and buy face value? Right before I left work I decided to head to the game and the online ticketing was closed so I went for the box office option. I think the girl behind the glass thought I was nuts. "Government? Military? Student? Nothing?" Direct quote. Apart from scalpers, I felt like I was missing the secret handshake ...

This I can't answer, because I have a nifty baseball writers card that gets me in for free. Chatters? Thoughts? This would explain why there are so few windows open when I'm slogging up to the stadium.

Geez, what an inept offensive performance. Does this contagious batting slump continue into July and August? Inquiring minds want to know. You are too young to remember "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain" but this is different. The Nats' starting pitchers have been OK, but where are the hitters?

It can't. It just can't. Right? RIGHT?

Last night was painful. Good lesson for Strasburg. He should have had a chat with Greinke about lack of run support while the Royals were in town.

So, can they BOTH just win? Please?

For those that think there is not enough scoring in soccer to make it exciting, they should watch yesterday's game. Even before the goal was scored, both teams were pushing the ball forward very quickly trying to catch the other team off guard. With both teams needing a win to advance (with Algeria also needing to win by a lot or hope that England would lose or tie) both teams were pressing forward like I have never seen in a game before. It would be similar to two basketball teams running a fast break style offense, but that the shots would other be blocked, miss, or a turnover would result from the speed of play. Almost every pass was an attempt to push the ball forward and play was going back and forth the entire game. Truly thrilling!

I couldn't see the game from my chair at the salon, but all of the hair guys are big fans so I got updates. But see, you are falling into that soccer fan trap of trying to convince the non-believers that your game is great. I hate to tell you, but the people who like it, like it, and those who don't, don't. And when you try to convince them, you're like a guy (or gal) in a bar, begging. Don't lower yourself. You're better than that. Just enjoy these glorious days.

Seriously though Tracy, can we officially admit the Nats are not as improved as we had hoped? The offense that no-one thought we had to worry about is officially a problem. I mean this is stating the obvious, but what is your take?

That little burst before my vacation never convinced me they were going to be in the playoff chase. A hitting slump was bound to happen. I am a little surprised it's lasted this long. The offense is not a finished product, no question. Who'd have thought a year ago that the bullpen, a year later, would be their strength?

Send the bum to the Gulf Coast League. 9 singles. (Many pretty weak). Nine Ks. 0 Walks. 1 Earned Run. (Tongue so firmly implanted in cheek I have a divot there).

As well it should be.

It's a rout in soccer, of course, but I wouldn't exactly worry about the Baseball Messiah getting shelled.

No, of course not, but that will happen. He'll get hit by a team that can manage more than singles.

What is that rectangular object on the rear half of the pitchers mound? Whatever it's for, I've never seen anyone use it.

I believe that's to clean the pitcher's spikes.

Hi Tracee--Last night when Ovie accepted his award, did he mention that his brother had just died? Had we heard about this previously at all? Do you know any details?

I hadn't heard anything about it and don't have any details but Tarik will, one assumes. That's a real shame.

All I've seen is "not before 1030am EST". Do you know the exact scheduled start time?

I don't, and I'm out of time, but I think it will be on after the Sharapova match. Sorry I can't do better than that, but time to jump to a new platform.

Thanks for joining me, everyone. Let's talk in the morning about the Wizards (plus anything else; maybe the Isner match will still be going on), sspecially what they do with the lower picks. Tune in to 980 if you can. Later!

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 was a Jayhawk who once flew off a ski jump, she'd know where he was buried.

Her list of pet peeves is considerably longer, but includes Missouri basketball and poor subway etiquette. She welcomes dissenting opinions -- in the way Great Whites welcome open-water swimmers.

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