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

Jul 19, 2012

This week, Tracee Hamilton discusses all the sports news.

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I'm sure Tracee's going to have another meetup sometime in the fall (perhaps when the Nats are playing in the NLCS).

Folks, you've *gotta come*. If you don't, you're missing 

a) Your direct shot at "inside baseball" (I got reasoned and supported answers to questions like "Is Ozzie Guillen really such a jerk? "(Yes).

b) You get to meet in person some other folks who hang out here, who are serious quality folks.

Really, you need to come next time. Section 405

And you miss a chance to meeting the prolific and engaging Section 405 and learning his real name!

We had a nice gathering Monday. I was completely underwhelmed by the Crystal City Sports Pub but otherwise it was great to get to meet some new folks, including natsfan1a, bagram, bill from columbia and rico! Plus 405 and a lurker named Sue who doesn't have a handle (yet). We'll work on her.

Now, on to the chat!

He craves milk but it gives him tummy trouble and the runs almost immediately. He doen't like acidopolus (?) milk, the kind made for lactose-intolerant people. Any other suggestions? He's generally spoiled rotten but it makes me feel bad to hear him mewing so piteously when I eat cereal, and of course I can't explain that it's for his own good. . I live in a studio apt. so shutting him out of the room is not an option. Thanks!

I don't know enough about lactose intolerance. Soy milk? Is that the same thing as the kind you mentioned? Almond milk? Or would that produce the same problem? I've never heard of this but I've been told not to give adult cats milk; that it's for kittens, not cats. Some cats just can't handle milk, period. Is there something else you can give him that he'd like? Try baby food. Boy, my cats love that. Chicken or turkey flavored Gerber in the jars. And ask your vet. I'm a good cat wrangler but no substitute for the real thing.

O goddess of the Plains and Knower of all things GREAT and small While perusing the REST of today's Post--front page, column about the DC mayor's mess and no obvious replacement for Gray--and then reading the Mighty Boz, I was struck by the thought that perhaps Davy Johnson could be DC mayor in the off season. Seems to be a part time gig anyway--mayor, not the Nats-- but we now see that he is the best sports leader in DC since Gibbs 1.0 and EVERYONE knows how a winning sports team can bind the region together. So why not Davy for mayor ? Of course there could be jobs for other Nats in the off season-- Harper for director of Youth services; Gio for Public Relations with that smile he could even charm the goofs from Congress who want to "run" the city; Intergovenment relations? -- none other than that suburban named guy --StrasBURG. Outreach to the religious community -- who else but a guy named Jesus ? Would the "Lerners" run the city school system ?Feel free to nominate others.

Well, it's an interesting thought. Maybe between the sports teams they could rotate people in so as to cover the offices year round. Poor D.C. -- it deserves so much better.

Ms. H: Sorry I missed the bash. Monday I trust the beer flowed like wine. I can't get on board with those who want to shut down the PSU football program for "X" amount of time. This is a case where the miscreants will all face criminal charges and who knows how many civil suits (St. Joe aside). Who would be hurt most by a shutdown - the current players and coaches, who, as far as I am aware, aren't connected to this despicable mess. I can't believe the hard-core followers who still feel Paterno is getting a raw deal. But, to be fair, if something similar would happen at Nebraska with Tom Osborne, I suppose you'd have the same amount of "hard core." AHG

AHG: Sorry we missed you Monday.

You'd have outrage at Nebraska. You'd have outrage at Kansas if this were Bill Self, God forbid. I am not as worried about the football team being punished as the rest of the sports, which would really be killed by the death penalty. Say Penn State gets a two-year ban. That kills funding for all the non-revenue sports who didn't produce this culture, who didn't provide cover for this pervert. Some of those wouldn't survive. The death penalty in 2012 would be far different than it was in the days when SMU got it. My trigger finger is itchy but I am trying to be sensible. Plus the NCAA doesn't have the guts to do it so why even contemplate? But PSU has to do something. Tick tock.

Hey Tracee - as a PSU alumn, I'm heartbroken and angry at just about every aspect of this scandal. I think the statue needs to go away - that's a no-brainer. As for the football program, I lean towards shutting it down for a year or two - hitting the reset button in a way. My only hesitation on the program is this: Sandusky used the football program as 'currency' with those kids, meaning many of them probably liked football in general and PSU in particular. Those victims will never be the same again and have been through a lot, mentally. When you're in a a bad emotional state, regardless of where you are in the healing process, it can be very easy to think: 'the program was shut down because of what happened to me'. And that doesn't help them heal at all. I think we need to take into account what the victims want - if the majority of those boys want the program shut down, then shut it down right away. If they don't, then it's something that, to me, should be factored into the equation. As an alum, I can go a year or two without football. But it's not about me, it's about doing the right things for those kids.

An angle I hadn't considered. I'm guessing shutting down football will neither help nor hurt them at this stage but I can't speak for them. I do feel for all the Penn State alums who understand the extent of this tragedy and are rocked by it. It must be awful and it could happen to any of us who love our schools ... perhaps too much.

Why is RGIII so visible with all these stupid commercials? He's already making ton of money, and if I was an opposing player, I'd have a lot more motivation to want to knock his block off. It seems to me he's making his job harder. What do you think?

Truthfully, the vibe I've always gotten off players is "make as much as you can, while you can" when it comes to endorsements and such. I do wonder about all these deals before he's even thrown a football but I think advertisers look at him and see dollar signs. Good looking, smart, playing for a prominent (if not successful) franchise. I'm not sure I could say no to it. Especially when I'm reading stories about head injuries, etc. I'd be wanting to make as much as I could as fast as I could.

I was wondering why AM 1500 has inserted a few second delay on their broadcast. They did not have it last year, but do now. It makes listening to it for analysis at the ballpark a pain.

I don't know why they do that, although I'm sure there's a reason and someone here will know it. Maybe MASN demands it so you can't watch TV and listen to the radio?

It may possibly rain this afternoon. Do you think the Nats will cancel today's game? FWIW, I live and work in Annapolis. Last year I took a day off work to take my kids to a weekday Nats day game. I drove to the New Carrollton Metro station and we took the long ride to Nats Park, arriving at noon on a sunny, clear day to learn that the game had been "rained out." Nary a raindrop in sight and none ever fell. I still root for the Nats, but it's going to be a long time before I forgive them for that one.

Yes, one of those horrible moments in franchise history. I'm guessing, because it looks like rain and rain is forecast, that they won't call off the game. Partly because of that debacle. Surely they've learned something!

When Santana clicks with his QB (Rypien, Campbell) he's wonderful, but Pierre is a younger and a bigger target for Griff.

Oh, impossible to say. Without having seen him throw to either, I'd guess Garcon. I think Moss has lost several steps. But somethings a QB-WR team will surprise you. There's chemistry involved and that will start to emerge in training camp. It could be someone we don't see coming...

I have MS and walk w/2 canes. Even a single step is challenging. The good news is that Camden Yards is very accessible to those w/disabilities. The bad news is that able-bodied people are snapping up the EAU (handicap) seats because they have more leg room and better sight lines. I'm not sure what the answer is, but I'm increasingly winding up in the OF when I request an upper deck EAU seat. The O's policy is that anyone who requests such a seat can get one, and I'm not sure what else they can do. I realize some handicaps are somewhat invisible and also a handicapped person may wish to sit with his or her friends. Sometimes parents request these seats and use the wheelchair spaces for strollers. However, last Sunday a friend walked all around the upper deck and said the overwhelming majority of the EAU seats appeared to be occupied by able-bodied fans. No canes, crutches, walkers or wheelchairs in sight. When I was in better shape, ushers sometimes asked me to give up my EAU seat for someone on crutches or in a wheelchair, and I always did. Today a lot of people refuse. I hate to be ageist, but teenagers are the worst. O's parking attendants do check to make sure those w/handicap parking placards have the proper documentation, which I appreciate.

I am not sure what to do except to call the ticket office and ask to talk to someone in charge and tell them what's happening. That seems outrageous to me.

Not surprising, though. I will say that wearing a sling -- which doesn't approach the level of behing on two canes -- is an eye-opener. People are unbelievably rude, in fact, I think, ruder to me with the sling than without. I've had some incidents this time around that you'd think I was making up. I mentioned it to my PT and she said she is hearing that from all her clients. I feel sometimes like people are going out of their way to jostle or bump into me, stuff like that.

And then, when I just despair, some nice person -- and I'm sorry to say it's always a woman -- will offer to help me with something. And I'll calm down.

But my issue will go away, and yours won't. I'd be madder than a wet hen. Get after the O's and see if you can't find someone to talk to over there. Because that just seems directly in conflict with the idea of those seats.

Wow, just read that they DFA'd Rick Ankiel, thought they'd send down a reliever to make room for Storen. BTW, do y'all have to tie mooring lines to Boswell to keep him from floating away these days?

I had hoped to go to the park today to see how Boz is faring but am not quite up to it yet. I hope someone is taking his coffee away. He drinks two cups at a time and if Kilgore is as smart as he thinks he is, he sneaks one of them up to the bathroom and pours it out when Boz isn't looking. He is caffeine in khakis at this point.

Okay, I'm a Nats fan and loooove Bryce Harper. And yeah, Ozzie is a [jerk]. But lost in all this is that ... well, yeah, Bryce kinda DID show him up a bit. Ozzie tried to do the right thing and let the Nats know "Hey, he has too much pine tar on his bat -- if he comes up again like that, I'm gonna have to challenge it." He could have just challenged it straight out, maybe waited til he got a hit and got it changed to an out and helped his team. Instead, he kept it quiet and just said "Fix it, please." And Bryce's response is to taunt him a bit? Point his bat and say "See, Ozzie, it's clean, so up yours"? Yeah, that's a bit much. Ozzie being Ozzie, of course he overreacted and looked even more like a jerk. But Bryce was certainly an instigator in my opinion.

Yeah, he might have showed him his bat. I don't know, it didn't seem so horrible to me. Perralta tipped his cap at Davey and the world didn't come to an end. And apparently it wasn't him just going to the umpire. Read the quotes from Davey. Ozzie was "chirping" before the fourth inning. So that didn't help. I don't know, I think Harper's handled himself pretty well this season.

Make sure any flavor of baby food you give to a cat does not have onions or garlic. Onions are truly poisonous to cats. Love, Cats

Good warning, but I'm talking about the chicken and turkey flavors for newborns. If they were poisonous, my cats would be toes up. This is what they have every day for Snicky-Snack, which as everyone knows is Happy Hour for kitties, served at 5 p.m. (And they can tell time.)

Tracee, I wanted to respond to some of the posts from the past few weeks complaining about how the Nats announcers are complete homers. Give me a break! I can't begin to count the number of times they've praised an opposing player for something. Do they go overboard at times? Yeah, sure. All announcers do. But if you want "homer" -- listen to an SEC football announcer. THAT is a homer. Bob and FP are enjoying the heck out of watching a great team rise up before their eyes. That's what you WANT to watch and listen to -- someone showcasing the excitement of the game.

The opinions about the Nats' announcers are wildly varying, which is hardly surprising. Folks that like 'em can leave the sound on. Those who don't can run the can opener or vacuum the rugs.

I fully agree with you, Tracee -- strike while the iron is hot with advertising. What, he's supposed to turn down free money because "oh no, it might make that guy want to tackle me even more?" Yeah, like an NFL DL is thinking "Hmm, this guy had a Gatorade commercial -- who does he think he is??" Please.

He might want to be circumspect in terms of his teammates, but even there, I've talked to guys when other players are holding out and they are always supportive. Get the money while you can. An NFL career can be very fleeting. His rookie season could end ... never mind, I'm not even going to put that in writing.

Hey, if we can make up our own monikers, I'll go with that one. Do we have to wait until fall for another happy hour? I'm a new Nats fan(atic) and would love to get together with some other fans to chat and even go to some games. I've tried but the one group I found rarely meets up, and getting my friends or family out to a game can be like herding cats.

We have to wait till fall because I'm not going out in this heat and humidity again. Plus I got rained on and my urticaria came back. Don't know what that is? Don't Google it if you're on a lunch break.

Seriously, the Olympics are coming, followed by Skins preseason and what I presume will be Nats craziness. Then the Caps report, then the Wizards. Plus college football. So yes, we'll wait, then I think we'll do a DC gathering again. A bar that is steps from a Metro stop is essential. If it wasn't for Rico I'd still be wandering around Arlington. Rico was like Daniel  Boone.

As someone who likes the Nats MUCH better than the "Skins (and, for that matter, the Steelers MUCH better than the 'Skins), I wonder why more of the Nationals aren't getting commercials. Stras does Toyota; Ryan hasn't done GEICO for a while, although I did see him do one for some window manufacturer. We have some good looking & articulate guys. Gio could charm the birds out of the trees. Surely the guys could do fast food or something. Clippard & Storen could do mortgage companies--"We'll always close for you!"

I don't get it. I thought last year Storen would get something. Smart, personable. nice looking kid. Gio? Forget it -- what's not to like? Every dentist in town should be lined up for the guy. I don't know; this is a funny town. No one wants to believe. I hope when people start calling the Nats make 'em pay. (Now I'm thinking of all those Skins who did "At Eastern Motor ... Your job's your credit.")

I think it's too late for the death penalty for this upcoming season; my theory is that if it does happen, it will start in the 2013 season for both scheduling purposes and to allow the football players time to find other schools. Alas, I wasn't able to make it on Monday to interject Jane Austen into sports talk like I did last time.

Did you read P.D. James' mystery about the Darcys? "Death at Pemberly," that's it. What did you think? I thought it was slow going. And I love the Darcys, and P.D. James.

Is the pressure of closing getting to Tyler Clippard or is it fatigue? I was concerned last night after he gave up that home run and his next pitch was juuust a bit outside.

Best color man in baseball.(You should get that one.)

I wouldn't worry too much about Clippard. I do think it might a little fatigue. And it's not his normal gig. It'll be good to have Storen back for everyone.

Acidophilus milk is not what lactose intolerant people drink. They drink lactose-free milk. Buy some LACTAID brand milk (every grocery store carries it) and give that a try.

Good, thanks. I thought maybe it was the scientific name for it or something!

What do you make of Clippard's 3 gopher balls on 2 successive nights? Is it a case of simple fatigue, as Johnson contends? His team bailed him out both times, but my coronary arteries can't take many more of these nail-biting 9th innings!

I think even if it's not fatigue, Davey's not going to say anything different. But I think it's a fair theory. And these nail-biting ninths -- welcome to winning baseball. Listen, this is the fun stuff, it really is. I know it's nerve-wracking -- you know I'm the queen of nerves -- but this season is something special. And these ninth innings are a big part of it.

PSU should shut themselves down for a year or 2. The non-revenue sports should be fine with a short shut down, and the football will recover with support from fans such as myself. As someone who attends 2 - 3 home games a year, I have no idea how someone can go into that stadium and cheer for PSU, and I'm a third generation fan. I'm absolutely sick about this.

I haven't looked at their books; they have a lot of money and maybe their non-revenues can survive. If so, then good. The B1G will fight this, of course, because it sold advertising on its TV network based on the presence of Penn State. If it loses money, the other member schools lose money. Penn State is usually a lock for a bowl game -- more money lost for all B1G teams. Etc. etc. Now how will the league respond to that? We shall see. Given the current state of college athletics, I'd guess poorly.

Hmmm. I was at the game last night listening to the radio broadcast on 106.7 FM. It started out a few seconds behind the events on the field but later on was precisely in sync. Sometimes I wonder if the radio guys deliberately delay a call to squeeze in one more commercial. After all, they assume you are listening and so can't see what is going on.

Hmmmm. That is weird and I would have no idea why that occurred.

Does anyone know where to get Mexican pulque locally? It's made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant.

I'm here to help. Anyone? Gotta make it quick; we have to stop at noon.

I haven't read it yet but will get it from the library and report back. The sound you hear is all the men running away from their computers in horror at the direction this chat has turned.

Ha! Well, we were quick about it.

As a PSU alum, I think the Paterno statue should be removed, especially before the students come back in late August. Among the many issues involved in this horrible scandal, many people don't get why there is such a backing of Paterno still to this day. It comes in part, but certainly not the only reason, because many students, alums and fans see the board of trustees and the governer engaged in blameshifting onto Paterno. He certainly did enough on his own to warrent this outcry against him, but many in our community feel that the Board, individually and as a whole, are much more complicit in this than is being reported. The same goes for the current PA governer who, as Attorney General preparing to run for governer, not only didn't bring charges against Sandusky, took donations from his foundation and only assigned two narcotics(!) officers to investigate back in the early 2000's. I'm not defending Paterno because, to me, he's very guilty in all of this, but there is more to the story that needs to come out yet. And I think that's where some of this "Joepa isn't all that bad" is coming from. I don't agree with it, but I think more thoughtful people outside the community would like to know that we're not just football nuts.

Oh, I think you are certainly correct. It is easy to blame the person who can't defend himself and although I think he deserves a lot of blame, I still feel a completely clean slate -- from the board down -- would be the first order of business. Then those yahoos who participated in the coverup need to go to jail. Stat. Then the school needs to figure out how to handle the lawsuits that are sure to be dropping soon. What a mess. All because a school let one man become bigger than everything and everyone else.

Why did the Nats designate Ankiel for assignment instead of sending Henry Rodriguez down to make room for Storen? Rodriguez has head problems and has blown his chance to be a solid reliever time and time again.

Haven't had time to read Kilgore's reporting but I assume it's because they feel they need to bullpen help right now more than another utility player. They are dripping with utility guys right now -- it's amazing.

This might be better for Boz, but I'm trying to think of a contending baseball team in the past that has as many interchagable parts as the curretnt Nats team does and am having a hard time coming up with one. For example, the Nats have been without what some people would consider to be their MVP of the 1st half of the season, or at least their best position player (Ian Desmond) the last few days. However, in adjusting to his absence, the Nats ended up moving 2 players to their more natural positions (Espi to short and Lombo to 2nd). So there has to be a loss offensively, but this move allowed the Nats to have Moore or bernadina in the starting lineup. While the line-up is definitely weaker without Ian, it is not diminished as one might think if you were told the team is losing their best position player! Harper has played all 3 outfield positions, Lombo has played 2 or 3 positions, Espi has played 2 positions, Moore has played 2 or 3 positions, Morse has played 2 positions (RF, LF; neither of which is his natural position), etc. Last night (as has happened many games), the Nats have played 3 1st basemen in the field at the same time (LaRoche, Morse in RF, and Moore in LF) and yet the Nats are still 9th in MLB in terms of fewest errors committed (4th in the NL)! IS there a comparable team in the past in terms of this facet of the Nationals?

I'm sure there probably is, although one doesn't leap to mind during Chat Time. However, that doesn't in any way diminish your point. The Nats have exactly the right pieces playing well at exactly the right time. This does not happen often in the baseball world. It's beginning to get scary from a "season that was meant to be" point of view. You can see these coming sometimes. Sometimes they sneak up on you. But the versatility of this roster -- we knew about some of the pieces before the season, but Harper? Moore? Lombardozzi EVERYWHERE? etc. etc. It's been a masterful job by Davey, as Boz pointed out, but Rizzo gave him the board and the pieces to move around.

I don't have season tickets in Section 128 but that's where I always sit and am trying to get on a shared season plan, so I might as well use that as my handle. I really enjoyed the get together on Monday and hope to do it again. It's always fun to put faces to names or handles. I'm writing early because at chat time I'll be on the way to section 128 for the game - I never miss a chance to play hookie! My question is this - why is the national media obsessing about Strasburg's innings limit? It's a done deal and it's the right decision. We've had the solution for what to do in the postseason (assuming we get there, of course) and his name is Jordan Zimmerman. He's flown under the radar and all he's done is eat up a bunch of innings and put together the best ERA on the staff.

As we talked about on Monday, it's a secret only to those who don't follow the Nats. Everyone's known this was the plan since 2010. It's a shame it's going to happen, but it is, and there are good reasons for it.

And yes, Zimmermann has been fabulous. He's one reason that, should the Nats make the postseason, they have a solid three-man rotation.

Agree it's outrageous, though the ushers do try to be helpful. However, if you plan on seeing at least 13 games, you can get EAU seats for those games. The O's have very gernerous exchange privleges, even let you turn in an unused ticket plus $1 for a future game. I was jostled a lot when I used a cane but find that, except on Metro, people are pretty helpful at opening doors, etc., now that I've "progressed" to a walker. Tempers at OPACY are probably going to be even more ragged now that the team is starting on its annual swoon.

Okay, good to know. I try to avoid Metro at rush hour (and I can, luckily) for that reason, but I'm still just amazed.

Tracee, they have the same problem at Nats games. I sat in 133 last night and the entire handicapped section in front of me, with the possible exception of an elderly couple, was able bodied adults.

Huh. Well, that's just sad.

Maybe Ovie needs to do another ad for them to recapture his mojo. Ever since he signed with IMG, his productrion has been down.

That's true. Ovie is great in commercials, very likeable.

Kilgore's theory is that they know they will lose Rodriguez as he is out of minor league options, and they will have to face the issue when Chad Tracy is ready to come off the DL.

Ah, my arch-nemesis is evil, but smart.  Thank you. (This is what a producer would do: look things up while I type type type.)

As much as I enjoy and appreciate the live chats with you, Boz, and others, I would love to see some guests hosts upon occasion - Davey Johnson, Mike Rizzo, Ted Leonsis, etc. Any plans in the works for some guest hosts? Who would you like to see hosting a Q&A on TWP?

Well, I don't know if we even have people to arrange those anymore. We used to. Those would take a producer and since I don't have one ... and I have no idea who to ask ... can't imagine getting Davey but Mike might. Hmmmm. Something to figure out. When I say there are that many people left here who I even know, I'm not saying it to be funny.

If it's a male cat, be very careful giving it anything that ups its calcium intake. I won't go into all the gruesome details, but my 12 year old neutered male cat just cost me a lot of money for surgery, because the buildup of calcium oxylate crystals in his bladder made it impossible for him to urinated. He almost had total kidney failure and the vet says watching his calcium levels is critical to preventing a reoccurrence. What's also critical is feeding him an expensive prescribed food that he hates.

Been there. And I know what the gruesome details are. Talk about making men run from their computers. :) Yes, I have never given milk to an adult cat and that's as good a reason as any. Crystals in the bladder ... you do not want that to happen. The screaming ... I will never forget the screaming. The cat actually was screaming.

I'm not sure if anything needs to be done to punish the school as a whole. Most of the people that were responsible for allowing Sandusky's crimes are no longer with the school - Sandusky's in prison, Paterno is dead, the president was fired, several other high-level university officials either resigned or were fired. Some stricter rules regarding children in PSU facilities could be put into place, I guess, but I'm not sure that punishing the university as a whole (shutting down the football team, etc) would really help anything. Your thoughts?

I do, actually, because the school allowed the culture to be created whereby Paterno was dictating everying, the police were kowtowing to suspects in child rape, etc. etc. The school let that happen, as a whole, not just in the athletic department. And the president being fired and the others resigning or being fired ... that's not enough. That's not nearly enough. They worried about being humane TO SANDUSKY after knowing what he was and what he was doing. To me they all need to be in prison. They were facilitators in child rape. Aw, no more Penn State for the morning. I get mad.

Carrie Bebris has written a series of books about Mr. & Mrs. Darcy, who interact with characters from the other Jane Austen novels. They are excellent, and I've read them all. You'd enjoy them.

I've read 'em all too. Much more enjoyable.

My cat loves cheese and ice cream and has no problems digesting it. I've heard that sometimes people can't drink straight milk but can eat dairy products because something about processing them makes them easier to digest, so maybe it's the same for cats.

My little cat gets cheese and an occasional lick of the ice cream bowl (thanks, Grandpa) because he needs the calories and that outweighs the risks of calcium deposits. My big cat doesn't get those things because he had crystals in his bladder. (Screaming) Some cats can process milk and some have trouble with it. I just never got int the habit of giving it to adult cats because my vet told me not to. But they don't cry for it, thank God. Bottom line, ask your vet if in doubt.

I have asthma and can't climb stairs to or from seats. I may look "able bodied," but there's a reason I might choose to sit in the handicapped seats. That said, it's clear that many people in these sections really are fine.

A good reminder to never judge. I remind myself of that when I see people get out of cars with handicapped stickers. Just because they look fine...

Word on the street is that he gets one of the starts on Saturday. Look forward to seeing him back in the majors. Hope he does well and gets the fan support he deserves for being a decent pitcher on some lousy teams.

I think he'll be warmly greeted. He did pitch on some bad teams. He also can't crack the rotation when healthy this year. That's just a fact; I still like the guy.

Now I've got to quit and be training for live blogging, which is what I'll be doing during the Olympics. What does that mean? Good question. I'll find out soon.

Thanks to those who made it Monday and thanks to all of you for joining me today. Let's talk next week!

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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