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

Jul 18, 2013

This week, Tracee Hamilton discusses all the sports news.

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Just a follow up to my Sunday Subscription issue last week. Tracee, did her magic and I received a bill the next day! No joke! Thanks again Tracee! - APV

Man, do I have pull! Seriously, our reader got the letter in the mail the same day, so I can take no credit but am happy to hear it worked out.

And let's get started, shall we? I'm going to have to quit on time today because I need to get to a retirement party for my pal Judy in the Virginia Room of the Fairfax Public Library. Best wishes to Judy, who was a regular chat lurker!

Why is there a 3/4 rectangle on the field where the first base coach and third base coach are to stand? They never do. Should they be assessed a penalty?

They're allowed to leave the box to give signals, etc. So more of a guideline than a rule. They will be penalized if they interfere with play.

Jim Leyland said he was managing the AL All-Stars to win the game and secure home-field advantage for the AL ad he did not care what anyone thought about how he did it. Leyland you did baseball and the fans no favor and almost lost what you were trying to attain. He said he wanted to "make sure Rivera would pitch so he brought him in, in the bottom of the eighth (just in case one of his other relievers gave up 3 or more runs. Leyland could have brought in Nathan in the 8th if he faltered (2 on no outs) then bring in Rivera. Rivera was the best "closer" in the game not "set-up man"

I think he wanted to give Rivera his moment and he did. I'm not sure this rises to the level of outrage for me but maybe others feel otherwise.

Can you name someone who wears a Super Bowl ring as a player and a Super Bowl ring as a head coach? He led the Steelers in interceptions the year they won.

Pittsburgh wife either submitted this one or is ready with the answer.

Way back in April, I said " it's too early to worry about the Nats." It's not too early now, and the last couple of weeks, against WEAK teams, are reason enough to REALLY WORRY. Right now, unless the Nats cure their collective psyches (that can't be the right spelling), we'll waste even more of our time watching the Skins pre-season antics. (yes, I'm not using "Redskins" from now on, and if anybody wants to tell me how it's not meant to be insulting, etc., I want to know if that person would walk up to a Native American and call him or her a "Redskin.") AHG

AHG: I've written several columns saying this Nats team is on the cusp of being "worry-ready," most recently on the 4th of July. They ran off a few wins and I hoped I was wrong. But I don't think I was. The three-game series with the Dodgers is going to be crucial. And no, where we're from, at least, no one would do what you describe and get away with it.

Given that it is most likely possible to beat today's drug tests with today's masking technology, does baseball store drug test samples to test them in the future? In other words, when the testing technology finally catches up to today's cheaters in 5 years or so, we might be able to answer whether today's MVPs were juicing. Lance proved that the "I never failed a drug test" defense doesn't mean that someone is clean.

I BELIEVE, without time to look this up to confirm, that they store the results for eight years.

And when One Great Recorder comes

To write against your name,

He writes--not that you won or lost--

But how you played the game.

This is dedicated to my Washington Nationals, of whom I'm very proud. I love you guys!

True fan there.

As a right-thinking person, I put the Yankees up there with Notre Dame and the Celtics on the "axis of evil" ... but that was a nice moment for Mariano Rivera at the All-Star game. Good job by Leyland to make sure he got in for the 8th just in case. TBHitW

And the opposing view on Rivera. Didn't even have to ask for one! I like Leyland but then, I like the Tigers.

consistently seems to be the toughest columnist the Post has writing about sports. From today's Nats midseason roundup: "The Nats keep saying they are a talented team. They remind me of kids who claim they are so smart but keep getting C's and D's.". He was fairly tough on the football team last year as well.

Section 405

Fred does a nice job on Kids Post.

It must be NFL time as the Bears start training camp in my town, the TV sports lead with Bears last night and its 95 degrees. At least the Cardinals seem to be saving my baseball season but not looking forward to the U of I in football. Will be a long fall. On the positive notes, I continue to find good porters and stouts to try and my golf game is getting better. Down to a 7.4 index. How is your kitty doing and how do you get through college football season? Playing golf at the U of MD on the 2nd. My annual trek to get crab cakes and see old friends.

I will hope for far less heat and humidity on the 2nd for you, my friend. I have no idea what to expect from my college team this year; I will just watch and wait, I guess. I certainly have zero expectations. Kitty is still incredibly needy but after much internal debate have decided he'd be far more angry if I brought in company for him. So he and I will stay together as a duo. His appetite, however, is amazing. He is eating about 10 times what he was in a day. Not gaining weight but not losing so that's all I ask.

Tony Dungy

I can't say "ding ding ding" because I don't know if this is correct but if it's not someone will chime in.

Here's to hoping that this year's Tour is clean. Will Contador attack today with the two climbs up Alpe d'Huez or just have his team push Froome today and attack tomorrow? I would like to see Froome win, cleanly, after all of the work he did for Bradley Wiggins last year.

The chances of me giving spoilers on the Tour de France are ... slim. I should have the TV on with the British Open but the darn phone keeps ringing with wedding stuff. This wedding will not end. Anyway, I have no thoughts about the Tour de France. Sorry, just can't get into it.

Hi Tracee, What do you think the chance's are of the O's making it to the postseason again this year? The AL Central looks tough. Will they catch up to the Red Sox and Rays? - APV

I'd like to see the O's get in again but they have a tough row to hoe. Not sure I like their chances.

Seriously. LeBron and Carmelo. That organization has become the formerly hot-lookin' girl or guy that hasn't come to grips with the idea that they've lost their looks. Exactly WHY LBJ would leave a situation where the Heat would have to max him out to keep him and play in a state that has no income tax for a team that could, at most, give him four years and 13.9% of the money would go to the say nothing of 'Melo having to deal with D'Antoni again. The only chance the Lakers would have next summer would be Phil Jackson having final say over the basketball operation. Maybe Jim Buss holds on to his title, but Jax has to have the last word. By the way, for those thinking LeBron might go back to Cleveland...anyone remember how publically vicious Dan Gilbert was in the aftermath of The Decision??!? I'd bet that LeBron remembers. Therefore, if the Cavs really believe in that pipe dream, either one of two things have to happen between here and next summer--Gilbert publically admits that he went overboard in his statements about LBJ in 2010...or he sells the Cavs. And I don't see either one of those things happening.

I've never thought LeBron would return to Cleveland -- dreamin'! And I can't imagine him and Melo together. I also admit that I don't get too invested in all the NBA rumors. I wait to see what happens and react, sometimes poorly. :)

This line from your column last week made me LOL: "Washington Nationals fans have been terrified they will lose Harper since the day he signed his five-year deal. (This must be what it's like to date George Clooney; it must be torture.)" You hit that nail on the head! If his development continues on its current trajectory (and I hope it does), I fully expect to see him in a Yankee uniform one day. They have the spotlight he craves and the checkbook he (and Boras) will demand. Sure, he says all the right things about wanting to play in DC his entire career, but I bet Clooney talks a pretty good game, too. Let's just enjoy it while it lasts...

I think it will depend on what the Nats do in the next few seasons. And Harper's shenanigans get covered here, but they would be blown sky high in NY. Talk about your clown questions, bro. But yes, in the end, money almost always is the decider.

We're seniors, venturing to Paris for the first time in early Sept.. Can you name a couple reasonably priced pleasant restaurants? We're beyond the age where we want to eat standing up at a counter or eating spicy ethnic.

Oh, someone else help out. I haven't been to Paris in -- good lord, 23 years. The one dining experience I remember is Tour d'Argent, but that wasn't reasonably priced (I wasn't picking up the bill or I'd never have gone near it). Any suggestions, folks?

Tatiana Maslany was NOT nominated for an Emmy for her amazing work in Orphan Black (she plays 6 parts--all totally distinct). I thought it was bad that John Noble and Anna Torv, who played two parts each, as well as Torv playing both characters posing as the other) were not nominated for Fringe, but this is worse!

Agreed. She is amazing on Orphan Black. And that show is pretty interesting, I must say. And I'm not a sci fi person (so Syfy or whatever). John Noble was awesome on Fringe but that show made it hard to stick with it -- to try to figure out what was happening was headache-inducing. Who was alive in which universe? Who was evil in which universe? Oy! I'm too old. Give me Copper. I know exactly what's happening on that show: corruption, sex, murder.

The lenght of games killed a lot of my interest in baseball. I rarely watch much of the World Series because they all start late and finish late and I am no longer able to function on 4 hours of sleep.

Have you tried DVR-ing? I get this suggestion a lot but when to watch? It's not like we can avoid knowing the outcome; it's awfully hard not to know what happened in any event almost immediately unless you're Amish. But I'm like you -- the starts are too late (I've tilted at that windmill before) and the games too long. I'm going to wake up between 4 and 5 no matter what time I go to sleep -- I can't help it. So something's gotta give.

It couldn't have been more poignant. I think the 8th inning was perfect. (Plus, I got to go to bed then instead of having to wait for the bottom of the 9th.)

Yeah, I thought it was pretty generally agreed that it was a touching tribute. Leyland is old-school baseball; he's going to do it right. Just wish he'd quit smoking.

The LA Times has posted a story that despite rule changes that were supposed to reduce the number of concussions, there are more of them than before, mostly coming from legal hits. I wonder if this increase is due in part to better tracking of concussions. Either way, time for fighting to be phased out. One Derek Boogaard is one too many. Thanks.

That's interesting. I wonder if you're right. I have a feeling a LOT of concussions went unreported, and for all I know some still do. I'll have to check out the story.

I'd bet, though, that few concussions are inflicted in the actual hockey fight, which is almost always a lot of harmless flailing about. It's the hit that led to the fight, I think. But like I said, I'll check it out.

Best guess...will he start the season? By the way, I enjoy your columns and chats.

Thanks, and best guess? Oh, you all know how bad it is for everyone when I make predictions. I tend to be a jinx. However ... I do think he'll start the season.

Any chance that John Keim will be doing Redskin chats? Thanks.

I don't know. You know the paper has an aversion to the chat format these days. I haven't even had a chance to see John and welcome him aboard.

I always recommend Bubba Earl's House o' Hawg. You did mean Paris, Texas, right?


When I was a young guy in great shape, I didn't have any use for the Tigers...but now that I'm old, fat, and cranky, I can get behind Leyland and Prince. One sneaks off into the tunnel for a butt, the other for a pork butt. TBHitW

Ha! I prefer to call them "burnt ends" myself. Which, come to think of it, works in both situations.

And when the World Series comes,

The regular season done,

They'll care not how you played the game,

But whether you lost or won.

Also dedicated to the Nats - Who I hope start winning!! -K-Stater


Well done -- and from a K-Stater! :) I don't have to ask how your team is looking for the fall -- I know the answer to that one. Will you spot me 50 on a friendly wager?

I did not submit that question, but I think the answer is Mike Ditka.

Hello, PW. I assume Tony Dungy was right since I haven't gotten a flood of corrections, but it's early yet.

No baseball, and not much going on in the sports world. Any good metro stories you care to share with us?

You know, now that I don't ride every day, I don't have the interesting experiences of yesteryear. Can't say I'm sorry. I do, every single time I ride, help at least one group of tourists who will not board the train at Vienna despite the fact that 1) every other person on the platform gets on and 2) there is no other train there. They don't get the "end of the line" situation. But they are grateful 99% of the time and I feel like I've done my good deed for the day, plus been nice to tourists, and that's something I'm not known for.

It IS a slow sports time, isn't it? This is why people get excited for training camp -- we just need something to happen.

Enforce the rules: Batters: "6.02

The batter shall take his position in the batterÂ’s box promptly when it is his time at bat. (b) The batter shall not leave his position in the batterÂ’s box after the pitcher comes to Set Position, or starts his windup. PENALTY: If the pitcher pitches, the umpire shall call "Ball” or “Strike," as the case may be. Rule 6.02(b) Comment: The batter leaves the batter's box at the risk of having a strike delivered and called, unless he requests the umpire to call “Time.” The batter is not at liberty to step in and out of the batter’s box at will. Once a batter has taken his position in the batter’s box, he shall not be permitted to step out of the batter’s box in order to use the resin or the pine tar rag, unless there is a delay in the game action or, in the judgment of the umpires, weather conditions warrant an exception. Umpires will not call “Time” at the request of the batter or any member of his team once the pitcher has started his windup or has come to a set position even though the batter claims “dust in his eyes,” “steamed glasses,” "didn’t get the sign” or for any other cause. Umpires may grant a hitter’s request for “Time” once he is in the batter’s box, but the umpire should eliminate hitters walking out of the batter’s box without reason. If umpires are not lenient, batters will understand that they are in the batterÂ’s box and they must remain there until the ball is pitched. If pitcher delays once the batter is in his box and the umpire feels that the delay is not justified he may allow the batter to step out of the box momentarily. If after the pitcher starts his windup or comes to a “set position” with a runner on, he does not go through with his pitch because the batter has stepped out of the box, it shall not be called a balk. Both the pitcher and batter have violated a rule and the umpire shall call time and both the batter and pitcher start over from “scratch.” (c) If the batter refuses to take his position in the batter’s box during his time at bat, the umpire shall call a strike on the batter. The ball is dead, and no runners may advance. After the penalty, the batter may take his proper position and the regular ball and strike count shall continue. If the batter does not take his proper position before three strikes have been called, the batter shall be declared out. Rule 6.02(c) Comment: The umpire shall give the batter a reasonable opportunity to take his proper position in the batter'’s box after the umpire has called a strike pursuant to Rule 6.02(c) and before the umpire calls a successive strike pursuant to Rule 6.02(c)."



When the bases are unoccupied, the pitcher shall deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds after he receives the ball. Each time the pitcher delays the game by violating this rule, the umpire shall call “Ball.” The 12-second timing starts when the pitcher is in possession of the ball and the batter is in the box, alert to the pitcher. The timing stops when the pitcher releases the ball. The intent of this rule is to avoid unnecessary delays. The umpire shall insist that the catcher return the ball promptly to the pitcher, and that the pitcher take his position on the rubber promptly. Obvious delay by the pitcher should instantly be penalized by the umpire." Next, lose stuff like the Presidents Race, pizza flipping, kiss cam, etc.. That should shave 10 to 20 minutes off.

Whew! Took so long to clean that up that I can't comment, except to say "whatever works."

Not a lot of international travelers on the chat, so thanks for this!

How would you feel?

I'd feel sorry for the poor tyke having to go through the rest of her life patiently spelling and re-spelling her name for people. :) Althought PRINCESS Tracee has a nice ring to it.

I believe it would be: Mike Ditka Tom Flores Tony Dungy

Anyone? (Submitter, don't forget to send the correct answer.)

1. All Century Team

2. #42

2. A-Rod moves Cal moves to short in his last All-Star appearance. Yep! A tie for 2nd!

What about Cal getting his nose broken? That was at an all-star game, right?

Why does everybody think he's so great? His only success as a pro was at Syracuse...

Ha! I don't know, I'm not a big fan. I think he's got talent but he sure picks and chooses when he's going to display it.

NY Yankees Notre Dame Coach K

Now that my niece-in-law -- that's not right -- is officially in the family, I can't trash Notre Dame. Otherwise, I'm right there with ya.

I find it hard to believe that anyone who watched Rivera's spotlight at the ASG in the 8th inning would be indignant about it not being the 9th. What a perfect moment for an athlete who is the greatest ever at what he does and seems to be even a better person than player. This is from a Red Sox fan by the way. And I know it is a cliche, but in the minute that just passed Jim Leyland forgot more about baseball than any of us has ever known. He is old school and get it, and I think he did it just right. Nice moment all around. -Handle Pending


Kilgore wrote a decent article about JZimm. IMHO he left out things that I'd have put in, but, on the whole, a nice picture of our ace. Even if we were both single and I were the right age and beautiful, I wouldn't marry him--or Tyler Moore or Adam LaRoche or Bryce Harper or any of the guys who love hunting, fishing, & small towns. I'd take Gio (Miami) or Tyler Clippard (Tampa) or Ryan Zimmerman (Virginia Beach)! You?

Oh, I'm a small-town girl. Jordan's town is even smaller than mine, and that's saying something.

(My hometown had an actual dust storm while I was in KS on vacation. Just in case anyone doubts the drought.)

He has a Cowboys player ring, and a Bears head coach ring.

So Dungy and Ditka confirmed, I guess.

There was an old movie (1964) on TCM last night with two whites guys threatening to beat up an indian - and actually called him "Red skin", obviously in a derogatory way..

It's not a term of endearment, certainly. Was an Indian playing the Indian? I am always stunned at some of the actors who playing Indian roles.

Well, saying "We're going to go after LeBron and Melo" sure sounds a whole lot better to the fan base than "We have no idea where to go from here. Sorry about that, but please continue renewing your season tickets."

Ha! Well, that's true. You notice the Wizards don't even attempt these baseless lies and allegations. :)

Given our relative lack of strength at the safety position, what do you think about Reed Doughty's ability to contribute this year. He made plays down the stretch last year, and was everywhere in the playoff game vs Seattle. To me, he is someone who can match up with TE's (an area we struggle with at both LB and S) and be of use in containing/stifling a dual threat quarterback like Wilson vs Seattle (which we will have to do at least 3 times this year vs Philly and SF). Your thoughts

I think they can upgrade at that position. But they may not have an opportunity. In which case Doughty will do what he does -- make some good plays interspersed with some pretty bad ones.

I'm not sure what the definition of a "reasonably priced" restaurant is, but I'd first suggest checking both Tom's latest "postcard" in the Post and whatever the NY Times has on line (especially the "frugal traveler" Also, from my trip in April, I would say the go to main street paralleling the Pantheon (near Notre Dame) and just walk up and down there - several good restaurants. AHG

Thanks, AHG.

I was watching the College World Series and saw a thrown ball bounce off a 3rd-base coach who was out of his box. It was a blessing for the other team. If the ball hadn't hit him, it was going in the dugout and the runner would have scored. It was entertaining to watch the coach; he really wished he hadn't been in the way. (It worked out okay for the coach because the runner scored anyway.)

You'd have to feel like a doofus.

It is true that when you are first meeting someone you can tell a LOT about their personality by how they treat service employees, waiters and waitresses for instance. It is a situation where they have some power and if they are abusive and ugly, that gives you a glimpse into who they really are. I think the sports analogy would be how one feels about players like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera if one is not a Yankees fan (and indeed is a Yankees hater). It is impossible not to admire them for their athletic achievement. If you find someone who trashes them, you sort of know they are a yahoo and not a real sports fan.

I kind of like that analogy. And yes, that's a great clue. If you're on a date and your companion is rude to staff -- big red flag.

Le Petit Celestin on the Quai des Celestins across from Ile St Louis, a couple of blocks east of City Hall. Sit outside, if you can.

Ah, Ile St Louis. That's where we stayed when I was there. Loved loved loved it.

The Lerners have plenty of personal wealth to pay whomever they want to play in a Nats uniform, What may prevent them from having the money from their baseball operations to pay big salaries is a Mr. P. Angelos and a Mr. A. (B.) Selig and whatever hosing they concoct for the Nats in the MASN deal. Local TV money always has been the big divide between the haves and have nots in baseball.

Very true.

Reminds me of the "Ski Indiana" poster we had when I was a kid.

I know. And yet, that's the only place I go. Sad...

Now that he's been dropped from the leadoff spot, what value does this guy really have to us? Harper seems more comfortable playing in center anyways (probably because he has more space with which to avoid walls). Furthermore, I also believe Bernadina (when given the chance to develop a good rhythm) is more dangerous as a hitter than Span and is a greater threat on the basepaths. Span, for all his speed, is not a good base stealer and it feels like he hits weak groundballs every time he is up. Any way we can package him and a Tyler Moore type for Morse (or someone similar). Morse specifically is being mentioned already as a trade canditate and our lineup would be significantly more potent and it would no doubt do wonders to the atmosphere in the clubhouse (we need that swagger back!) Any dropoff in defense will be more than made up for at the plate, and this would solve our problems vs LHP. Lets go back to the way things were, it was clearly working better...

Span started with a lot of promise but yes, if not a leadoff hitter, then what?

Mike Ditka - Super Bowl XX Head Coach 1985 Bears, Super Bowl VI as a player with the Dallas Cowboys 1071

I believe this is the submitter, and the correct answer is Ditka. Or Mini-Ditka?

I'm in Paris a couple times each month for work (going to be there tomorrow actually). I would strongly recommend Le Relais de l'Entrecate for a great steak frite. It's similar in style to Medium Rare in Cleveland Park. Get there early as the lines build. There are also some great creperies, boulangeries, and patisseries on Ile St. Louis. Go grab a selection of food there, grab the RER at Notre Dame and take it to the Eiffel Tower and have a great picnic out on the lawn.

Yes, I can testify that there are a lot of great takeout places on Ile St. Louis and a little partk on the tip where you can sit on the river and just ... be. Ah.

It was great. I hope they can have something similar for Derek Jeter next year. After that, I can go back to hating all the Yankees again.

Yes, I find it hard to hate Jeter as well. My Yankee hatred is from my days as a Royals fan, so it pre-dates Jeter.

Can someone teach the Nats how to bunt, and especially Span? Or maybe they can just watch the teams they've played the last few weeks.

405, you're at a lot of games. Get on this!

Add one new rule: Batting gloves must be correctly sized to the hands and may not have velcro straps or other means of adjustment. That should eliminate 30 seconds per pitch x 300 pitches = 150 minutes

The batting glove thing drives me bonkers. Harper's one of the worst offenders but certainly not alone.

Johnny Depp has Indian ancestors.

I actually wasn't even thinking about Johnny Depp, but that's interesting. Boy, is that movie bombing.

I'm pretty sure she wouldn't have to spell it out all that often. That's what minions are for...

That's true. And maybe the British are better spellers than we are in this country. You'd be AMAZED at the number of times I have to spell my LAST name.

And that's it! Thanks for joining me, everyone. Time to clear up some lingering wedding problems -- the gift that keeps on giving -- and then head to Judy's party.

If anyone is thinking about having a candy buffet at an upcoming event, 1) don't, but 2) if you do, shoot me an email. I am looking to unload some candy buffet supplies cheap. (Not the actual candy, which is not cheap.) And if you don't know what a candy buffet is, you're lucky.

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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