Jul 12, 2010

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

The game-picking octopus. I assume the Post has made a bid for his services?

Too late -- he"s retiring! Going out on top like all the greats.

I wouldn't believe in the octopus until he picked really important things, like where LeBron James will play next season. These are the things people really want to know. Apparently.

Good morning, everyone! Sorry that my break went a little longer than intended. I'll do the best I can to keep up today so bring it on!

How are you feeling? Are you dictating this chat to someone? What's the status of your meds? Uh, um, and how about that Cliff Lee trade?

Well, thanks for asking. I am feeling okay. The surgery was a little more extensive than we expected: torn cuff, torn labrum, torn biceps muscle. My surgeon said there are six procedures he can perform on a shoulder and I went 6-for-6. So I have scope holes and an incision to deal with. Oddly, the worst pain I've had was yesterday; not sure what to think of that. When we finish here, I'm heading to the store for a new prescription; Vicodin really played havoc with my stomach. Not sure what the new one will be but less strong. Tomorrow I get my stitches out.

I assume you threw in Cliff Lee just to make your question seem sports-related, so thanks for that! I think the Rangers just got a lot better, which is scary.

Hi Tracee, Did you watch last night's summer scrimmage between the Wiz and the Warriors? I must say that aftering seeing John Wall this guy is the REAL deal. If he can stay healthy he will be a special player one that might bring a tittle to DC!

I did not; my stamina isn't that great and I was worn out by watching the World Cup final. But from reading Michael Lee's account, it certainly sounds that way. They need some more pieces but I think they'll be a more fun team to watch next season, without a doubt.

Curious: if ESPN had asked you to participate in "The Decision," would you have said, "yes"? I love Wilbon, but that was not his (or Jim Gray's) finest hour. I have come to expect this stuff from the WWL, but I was deeply disappointed in Wilbon and Gray for going along with it.

This is a tough one. I am the kind who would want to do anything my employer asked me. However, that was the single worst hour of TV ever. 60 minutes of agony to hear one word -- it was like the American Idol results show. Unwatchable. I was channel flipping and happened to hit it just as LeBron was finally saying "Miami" but I feel for anyone who sat and watched that for an hour.

I'm really going to be curious to see how the Heat look this fall. I am not sure I see these three as complementary players but I guess some genius could come up with a system to make it work. The Heat sure have made some enemies, though.

And to answer your question: If ordered I would have done it, after making my reservations known. Then taken a lot of showers afterward.

But I'm really going to miss Paul the Octopus. He should get a talk show or something.

Paul would have been great at, say, the NBA draft. Instead of having Stern trot out there only to be booed, Paul could have pulled the draft picks out of a jar and held them up. Surely not even a Garden crowd could boo that!

Soccer is over (after a horribly long match without a goal for about 2 hours of play...how can anyone watch this stuff), LeBron is over (yeah, I said it), and the Nats are almost over (let's face it)....it's about time for the Skins! Now for the question...we all know that a move for a WR is probably going to happen soon enough, the problem is....is there anyone else out there beside T.O.? T.O. will be tempting for management looking to upgrade and have a comfort level with McNabb and I don't see much out there for the taking.

I agree that the pickings are slim and I do still wonder if this might not happen. I think a lot depends on what McNabb thinks after all the receivers visit him in AZ to work out. Well, I'm not sure if Santana is doing that, but the youngsters are. If he came back to management and said, "I need somebody else," they might be tempted. Do I think they are eager to sign him? No.

I'm bored out of my mind in Summer School (not a student, but a teacher) and this is something to pass the time while the kiddies work... What's the next step for the Nats? I would hate to see Dunn and Willingham go since essentially, it's only been them and Zim doing the work so far but I don't see a downside to trading Dunn and then picking him up at the end of the year. Also, am I crazy but I think maybe a little time on the bench for Nyjer wouldn't hurt. Play Maxwell for a little and give him some time to give it a shot. Maybe this can jump start both of them...give Justin some extended leash to give it a shot and Nyjer some motivation to get better...seriously, what can we lose? (more games I guess...)

I agree about Maxwell and Nyjer. I've admitted I drank the Kool-Aid last year on Nyjer but he needs a jolt.

I can't wait to see what they do vis a vis Dunn and Willingham. I think the right offer could pry one of them loose but I also think Rizzo is serious about being hesitant to trade either one. I was listening to him run through all the pitchers in rehab the other night and I heard a lot of "Augusts" being bandied about. Some of these guys used to be "Junes." Oy. At some point it becomes sort of a waste to bring them up.

But I do think they've gotta do something at the trade deadline to reassure the fans and the players that they are in it to win it. We'll see...

Watching the Cup with a bunch of rabid Dutch (didn't know that was possible, did you) gave me a very biased view of the officiating. Even so, it seemed like the ref was giving free kicks out like candy to Espana, while missing several critical penalties against the Oranje (particularly the breakaway). So the question, will the English ever be allowed to officiate a game again?

Oh, Dutch fans are probably my favorite international sports fans ever! Love the commitment to orange; love the singing and oompa bands and the whole bit. They were here for a World Cup match, I think, in the '90s and I was on the Orange line with a bunch of them. Had the best time. They lost it when the announcer said "Foggy Bottom" and then made up a song about it. Too, too fun. I was rooting for the Netherlands just for them.

However, Goff seems to think the Netherlands was playing dirty and I bow to his soccer knowledge, which is legend.

T-Ham ... welcome back!! Look, I'm not one to quickly throw a staff under the bus when players/talent is arguably to blame, but are Rigs, McCatty and Co. really the right guys to run this team and execute its "plan"? Maybe there's a larger question looming here -- how much can a manager and his coaches really do to influence the game? Will the team tend to regress to its (talent-driven) mean with or without certain personalities at the helm (this is not the NFL, yes?)? I used to have a pretty agnostic view of the role of the MLB manager, but I can't help thinking now that the errors and inconsistent play of these players might be better resolved by another staff. Thoughts?

This is the age-old question. I think in the NFL, a coach can get you maybe one win, and cost you the same, in a season. With in-game decisions, I mean. Obviously the playbook is a separate issue.

In baseball, the number is higher but not significantly. There is not much a manager can do beyond pinch-hitting at the right time and pulling pitchers at the right time. Not that those aren't important, but usually not game altering.

Yet there are managers who win wherever they go and that can't be coincidence.

I think it's maybe 95 percent roster and 5 percent managerial moves but that may be short-changing the manager; what do you all think?

I wonder about the "plan" for Strasburg; I would have pinch hit for him in a couple of situations in which they left him in for another inning. But is that coming from Rigs or McCatty or Rizzo?

I was at the game, and saw two Giants take a full swing at his 82mph curve and fall on their butt they were faked out so bad...

That curveball is sick. I'm told that's what Boz screamed the first time he saw it and he's not wrong.

Anyone else think the goatee is out of control? It's gone all "Witness" on us.

While I think it's all well and good to say that we could trade away Dunn and then sign him back in the off-season, it's not going to happen. Dunn wants to stay in Washington. If we send him away, he's not going to want to come back. If we want him around, we have to sign him to a long term deal (is using "we" wrong here? They? The Nationals? Hey, it is "my team", in that I root for them with lemming-like devotion).

You are allowed to say "we" when you are a fan. That's one of the fan perks.

You are probably right about Dunn; he might not like being used like that. I'm guessing Rizzo will take that into consideration. The fact that they haven't managed to get him re-signed, when he clearly wants that and they clearly like him, makes me wonder if they weren't delaying till the deadline to see what offers they might get. I just think his reluctance to play DH makes a deal difficult.

It's been a long time, but I remember Percoset as being the best. No adverse reaction and not a care in the world.

I'm hoping that's what I've moved on to. The Vicodin also didn't make me loopy or sleepy; in fact the first two nights home I didn't really sleep much. I would sleep hard for 10 minutes, jolt awake convinced it was morning, and then look at the clock and want to cry.

Speaking of looking at the clock and crying, it's time for me to wrap up and go get my meds. If you're on the streets of Vienna, look out. Let's talk tomorrow, maybe all-star game rosters, which seem to be just too darn large. But we'll see. 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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