Jul 29, 2010

We can keep talking Strasburg, or we can talk the Skins on the eve of training camp, or we can talk hair care. But I'd rather we stick to the first two, wouldn't you?

We can keep talking Strasburg, or we can talk the Skins on the eve of training camp, or we can talk hair care. But I'd rather we stick to the first two, wouldn't you?

Good article this morning, Tracee. Thanks for being the voice of reason for the true fans! Wait, ten days? Ten Days!? Boooooooooo!

Ha! Well, not everyone agreed with it but that's what makes the world go 'round.

Morning, everyone. Let's get right to it.

Tracee, Where did you get your information that the Natioonals didn't send Stephen to Florida after he signed last season? I saw him pitch an extended training camp game against the Astros rookie signees in early October in Kissimmee, Fl. before they sent him to Arizona..... NatsJack in Florida

I didn't say he didn't go to Florida; I said he didn't pitch in the minor league system. I don't consider the instructional league the minors. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm talking about putting him in a rotation and playing in games that count for something. The instructional league is pretty scripted.

In one of Joe Posnanski's latest blog posts he mentioned Boswell along with Kahn and Angell as people that shaped the way we think about modern baseball. Are there any published collections of older Boswell columns?

You should have Boz's "Why Time Begins on Opening Day" in your baseball collection if you don't. He has other books as well, "Heart of the Order" and "Cracking the Show."

Caps just got an enforcer (assuming he can make it beyond the first game of the season). This was definitely an element that has been missing since they dropped Brash. Good move.

Yup, every team needs one. I think of the late Bob Probert from my Detroit days.

Weren't the Nats going to shut down Strasburg sometime in August for a month or more anyway ? Are you guessing that it is going to start now instead ?

I think that if he has trouble throwing on the side this week, they'll shut him down for at least 15 days. They were going to shut him down after 160 innings, and that could have come in August or early September. It's hard to tell what's going to happen after yesterday at Nats Park. It SEEMED to me that Strasburg had felt the discomfort earlier than Tuesday but hadn't told the Nats, but I couldn't swear to that. It was hard figuring out what was going on yesterday.

Do you know that they make shampoo with oatmeal? Who woulda' thunk it?

I knew I'd get at least one hair care remark. :)

Tracee, Just in the door from Nats park, where I splurged for a better than usual ticket to get a good look at the phenom. Yes, I am sorry I didn't get to see him up close and personal. However, I am happier the team took precautions with him. How many times have we seen guys struggle and then admit after the fact that they were hurt? Olsen, Marquis...going back to last year Stammen and J-Zimm. People get on these guys for trying to play hurt and hurting the team, I am glad that, for once, the Nats were on top of the situation and didn't let a potential injury hurt the player or the team. I just hope all the people feeling like this was a "bait and switch" realize the Nationals aren't that calculating and malicious.

Some people will go to their graves believing the Nats deliberately misled them. I don't honestly think so, either. And the screaming over that would pale in comparison to the screaming if they somehow ruin this guy's arm nine starts into his career. They are between a rock and a hard place in a lot of ways.

Okay, I keep hearing things about the people who walked out of the game Tuesday when Batista was announced. I was there, and not that many people left. Nobody from my section left that I remember, and I was looking at the exits, and I'd be surprised if even 100 people left before the 2nd or 3rd inning (and that's being generous). I think the overwhelming majority stayed until at least the end of the 7th (when a lot of people leave anyway, because, you know, alcohol sales stop). Now the boooooooooing, that was another matter. Was it possible they were saying "Boooooaaaaaatista"?

Ha! Well, my media cohorts said there were a goodly number, not thousands, but a decent amount. The press box has an excellent view of Half Street from the gates to the Metro so that's one advantage to those seats.

I work in a one person office. Boss is out of town but can call from cell phone. Fairly easy to fake being here all day and just missed his calls (if he even tries to call). So, do I go to the game today?

If heat's not an issue for you, I say go!

If Donovan doesn't look good today, should we give him another day before we bring in someone else? Thanks, Danny in Ashburn

Oh, my. My my my.

This should be easy for baseball geeks who are better than I am at computers: Has any team ever been 21.5 games out of 4th place in July? The O's just set the record for most Monday losses in a season, with 20. Two years ago they set the record for consecutive Sunday losses, also somewhere in the 20's. Only 5 more days to go. I root for the O's and Nats; my husband roots for Cleveland and the Pirates; and our children live in KC and Houston. Is that pathetic or what? But we still love the game.

You're the family that killed baseball! Just kidding. But that's a lot of futility in one family. It's good to see the loyalty though.

I'm sure there's a place to find the answer to your question about July 4, but it's a 30-minute chat. I would be surprised, though, if 21.5 was NOT the record. I think there have been worse. And someone on this chat will know...

Don't forget "How Life Imitates the World Series" -- fantastic stuff!

Yup, thanks. That's somewhere on the shelf.

I'll bite on hair care. I have a decent dandruff problem and I've stuck by Head & Shoulders for years. Anyone in the Hamilverse use anything different and want to hazard a recommendation?

You guys and gals crack me up. Anyone have any suggestions?

I heard on the radio that parking was free at Skins camp. Could that possibly be true ?

I believe that's true, but check redskins.com to be sure.

Hello Tracee, In regards to the post earlier this week about video chats, I agree with the person from Philly who indicated how awkward the video chat is, especially when the person answering is reading the next question, kinda creepy to see the eyes moving ( and sometimes lips ) . Too much of an awkward pause / Seinfeld esque moment. Long live the old school transcripts, better flow , especially when one has missed the session live. Peter - Ellicott City, MD

Hey, Peter. I think a lot of people agree with this.

Nothing makes it clearer to those us who blissfully reside well outside the Beltway (after having done a few years in Federal City) that D.C. is an event-driven, me-focused place than all the whining done by Nationals 'fans' about wanting their money back when it turns out Strasburg didn't pitch on the day they'd assumed and bought tickets for. My God, get a grip people and grow up. It is baseball - there's no sure thing in baseball. Why do you even entertain those kind of questions?

Yes, Detroit is a real baseball city; I lived there 10 years and love the Tigers. But Detroit also has never lost its baseball team. There is at least a generation  of fans here who never had baseball. I would say they are still learning.

Also, it's really unfair to determine that all Nats fans are bad. By your standard, Tigers fans would forever be known as car-burning Bubbas, based on the photo from the 1984 Series. You and I know that's not true. Remember how that made Detroit feel when that image went all over the country?


Heard this idea on MLB TV last night - have Miss Iowa come to DC to throw out the first pitch to Batista. I love it, what do you think?

I love it, too. Batista is a charmer; he'll win her over. He already sent her flowers.

so my friend is trying to get me to go check out skins camp? really what is the reason, i don't even care about being in the hot sun. Can you give me reasons on both sides of this argument. thanks.

Well, if you don't want to stand in the hot sun, then that's a deal breaker, because that's what you do, unless you have those golden tickets, in which case you sit in the hot sun and yell and the media for blocking your view. Is it hot out there? For a 4 p.m. practice, yes, it's pretty awful. I did faint once last season. The 8:30 a.m. practices should be bearable, and you do get to see the players a little more close up than you would otherwise. 

But realize before you go that the team will divide into positions and do a lot of drills. It's not the most interesting thing you'll ever see.

Not sure if that helps, but that's my two cents.

Tracee- You are right that real "fans" don't boo their own bullpen guy called upon at the last minute to make an emergency stary. But before we condemn, a few other points to consider: Real major league "shortstops" don't boot routine grounders every other day. Real major league "managers" don't frequently start an old guy hitting .184/.287.355 when a younger guy who is hitting .349/.391/.616 is readily available. Real "front offices" don't tell you about "The Plan" and lie about the talent in the minor leagues when in reality there is likely not a single bat in the entire organization with above-average major league potential not already on the 40 man roster. And real "organizations" don't move into a brand new taxpayer-funded stadium, jack up ticket prices, and promptly field back-to-back 100 loss teams followed by a team on pace for over 90 losses. So I'd cut the fans a break. They were not the only imperfect human beings at the park Tuesday night.

If we all began acting "imperfectly" because someone else acted "imperfectly" ... what a world.

Hi, Tracee. Good piece on Strasburg and no, fans should not have been booing, although I think some of it was more of an "oh, darn" frustration boo than aimed at the Nats or SS. However, I think fans are entitled to boo for a less than than all-out effort. I never boo poor performances (I have yet to boo an Orioles pitcher this year, and I have season tickets) but not running out ground balls makes me see red, especially when the other team muffs the throw and you would have been safe! Poor baserunning qualifies, too. So I boo judiciously, but on rare occasions, I do boo.

Yes, lazy play and bad officiating are time-honored boo-able offenses. I'm not sure I've ever booed anything but officiating but it's hard to remember. And of course we can't cheer OR boo in the press box. :)

Sounds like a guy with a good sense of humor, too. And they're invited him to be a judge at Miss Iowa. T-Gel by Neutrogena...works great on dandruff, if you don't mind smelling like a road construction zone.

I hope he does the Iowa thing. That would be great. And a dandruff recommendation!

I know you are upset that people booed when Strasburg didn't pitch, but isn't this exactly what management asked for by putting a nothing team out on the field, besides Strasburg? I mean, by booing, aren't people saying that they don't want to be there if Strasburg can't pitch, because this team has nothing else we should care about?

You can express displeasure with your pocket book, in that case. I think the notion that Strasburg is the only player worth watching is completely wrong, however. But if you feel that way, stay home.

Hi Tracee, I'm thinking about staying at work today so I don't lose my job. What's your opinion?

Ha! Okay, I shouldn't have told the guy to play hooky from work. I'm a work ethic girl and I'd never have the guts to do it.

For anybody who watches the Nats and gets disgusted, I have a solution. Just turn the channel to the other MASN channel and watch the Orioles!!

Good advice.

Who can eat more cheeseburgers, Albert Haynesworth or Adam Dunn?

I am going to go with Dunn, only because McDonald's is his food of choice, according to his scoreboard bio. McDonald's ... maybe they SHOULD trade him.

I use Pert Plus, which takes care of the dandruff and gives a nice body and shine. I haven't seen a flake in years. Then again, I don't have serious dandruff. My father used to use Neutrogena T-Plus With Coal Tar, which I tried but hated. Stick with Pert Plus if you can. Besides, Mike Piazza used to endorse it. So, you know, this is sports-related.

This is a smart bunch of dandruff ravaged folks here.

So answer me this: Does anyone here use the Braddock Rd. Metro station? Can I get a cab there at, say, 6 p.m. on a week night? Some Metro stations have cabs and some don't and it's hard to tell from the website...

Could she maybe start Sunday?


Unlike the opera at which people will murmur when they learn that Pavoratti will not perform and will be replaced by someone unknown to the audience, this is baseball. People who have spent a large amount of money to see, perhaps, the only game they will see in person this season (perhaps the only game for which they've saved enough money to take a family to the game, buy souviners, buy an overpriced Strasburg jersey for the son or daughter), have a right to be disappointed in not seeing him play as scheduled. That said, it's hard to understand how the team could have been so clueless as to not immediately inform the fans in the seat, the paying fans, of the situation; to have it simply dropped on them that "Oh yeah; here's why he's not playing" long after the game started is uncalled for.

Sure, they have a right to be disappointed. They even have a right to boo. But they shouldn't. There are no guarantees in baseball -- it says so right on the tickets -- "subject to change."

The reason Strasburg didn't go to the minors last year right after he signed was not because they wanted to limit his innings. It was because he didn't sign until August 17th and minor league seasons end September first. (Coincidentally, that's when the September callups to the majors happe. Wonder why?) Two weeks in the minors wouldn't have done anything for him. By the time he worked his way up to pitching more than an inning or two per start, the season would be over. Storen OTOH signed the day after he was drafted in early June, so he got sent right to the minors because at that point they had almost three months of the season left.

True, but they did also want to limit his innings. He had pitched a full season at San Diego State. Storen, on the other hand, is a reliever and had something left in his tank. And while he throws hard, he doesn't throw as hard as Strasburg, and he'd be the first to tell you that.

The Mystics play at Verizon Center tonight, how is this place still open with 100% of the concession stands having rodent droppings? Having eaten there a few dozen times, I'm disgusted with the utter lack of concern for my well being. Why isn't this a bigger story in the Washington Post? To me this is the final stamp on the Abe Pollin legacy, it's time to take his name down from the road signs around the arena.

Well, I wouldn't blame this solely on the late Mr. Pollin. Taking his name off the road signs MIGHT be a bit of an overreaction.

I have to admit I wasn't that surprised that these "kitchen" areas are that bad. Think of the vastness of an arena; it's a wonder there aren't bugs and vermin everywhere. Just think of the dropped/spilled food in the stands and the concourses; no way it all gets cleaned up properly and promptly. I do think Leonsis will get this taken care of at Verizon Center.

Sometimes I think about what we don't know about food preparation and want to hurl. Know what I mean?


I don't think the boos the other night had anything to do with Batista personally. None of the media mentioned the fact that *fans* text-voted him player of the game by a pretty wide margin that night.

No, I don't think it was personal, but he walked out to the mound and got booed, nonetheless. I'm sure that's what it felt like to him. But what a great attitude that guy has. Very impressive.

Why would we worry about McNabb knowing that we have Colt Brennan on the bench? That earlier poster was silly.

Right, I forgot, the Cult of Colt is just waiting for McNabb to go down! ;)

Yeah, they should worry about that. Look at how bad eating (and a few other things) held back Babe Ruth...

I'm not criticizing, I'm just saying why I'd give Dunn the nod on cheeseburgers. Babe Ruth must have had great metabolism and the constitution of a goat. I admire that.

I lived in Iowa for several years, and it gets a bad rap. It's actually quite pleasant in the spring and fall. Winter & summer, not so much, but lets be honest, DC isn't a fun place to summer either. Also, Ms. Iowa looks great, and what a good sense of humor. She's definitely the kind of girl I'd like to get to know better over a nice dinner at Red Lobster.

Iowa is a great place, very pretty and underrated. No knocks here.

Tracee, I would use the metro of your choice and call a cab with the magic cell phone to come pick you up.

That's an option; I'm just never sure how long that takes and I have an appointment. Hate being late for a KU engagement.

This has to be your longest chat ever...usually only a half hour. Are you just bored or something?

No, I'm slow. Yesterday was a long day and my first day at full throttle since surgery. I'm a wuss, apparently, but I'm tired and my arm hurts a bit. Had a nice talk with a media mate who shall remain nameless and when we were done, he gave me a friendly clap on the shoulder. Yes, that shoulder.

Hopefully today, I'll get half the sling removed, followed by a nap. So I'll try to be peppier tomorrow! Thanks and sorry I didn't get to more questions today.

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.

First Things First Archive
Tracee Hamilton Column Archive
Recent Chats
  • Next: