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

Aug 22, 2013

This week, Tracee Hamilton discusses all the sports news.

Follow @TraceeHamilton on Twitter

As of Tuesday night's game, Soriano has given up homers in his last three games and blown two of four saves (and would have blown a third except for Denard Span's wizardry in center field). Do you get the sense that there's any chance he'll be moved for next year? He just seems like a terrible fit for this team. On the other hand, Mike Rizzo seems awfully stubborn and slow to admit that he might ever have made a mistake.

It's surprising because everyone was singing his praises on last week's chat. (Sarcasm alert.) I'm not sure why the Nats would keep him, for a variety of reasons. I don't think Rizzo can afford to be stubborn this offseason. He gets a year's grace after being executive of the year, but then ...

And hello to all. Let's get started.

I read JReid's article yesterday and yes there is truth in what he was saying but I think the ultimate responsibility lays with RGIII. He has to learn how to protect himself above all else. Reid also stated that the Redskins need to use RGIII to fake the run more with the Read Option. There is one major flaw with that reasoning. If he "fakes" as well as he does defensive players will be able to tee off on him and there will be nothing that can be done about it for the most part because if he is faking having the ball the officials will be hesitant to call very many penalties because he is not the proto-typical pocket passer.

You are right about the read, of course. He seems interested in becoming more of a passer; whether the team shares that interest remains to be seen.

O goddess of the Plains and Knower of ALL things Great and small. ENOUGH, ENOUGH, ENOUGH ! Can't we just call the Redskins' quarterback something simple , like his name -- Robert, Bob, Bobby, Rob, Robby, whatever folks called him while growing up ? I doubt that his parents called him Robert Griffin the Third , except when he maybe took the last of something in the fridge and didn't tell anyone. That's when we ALL get called by our full names. Use his NAME, people. "RGIII" is his BRAND. I'm really, really tired of hearing about every time "RGIII" lets loose a .......... belch. Time for him also to shut up. He is rapidly approaching Dan Snyder "dislike "territory. Now I feel better.

He is accessible and charming and intelligent, so he's catnip to the media (I include myself). He will soon be completely overexposed, which will anger the media who overexposed him (I include myself). And so Fortuna's wheel turns.

Hi, gang -- posting early because I may not be here, depending on what time my anniversary lunch is with The Best Wife in the World. I'll be celebrating the best fifteen years of my life; she'll probably try to focus on the one or two good ones she's enjoyed... TBHitW (p.s. TH, I sent you an email a couple of weeks ago which you probably didn't see. Should I re-send?)

First, happy anniversary. Second, if you sent me an email and I didn't respond, I didn't get it. I know some of my mail ends up in the spam filter, but I empty it often and it still usually contains more than 300 emails every time I sign in, so I have given up trying to go through and separate the wheat from the chaff.

Today (Wednesday) is the 150th anniversary of Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence. Do you know of any local Missourians we could "celebrate" on.. I mean with? Nothing too serious. Maybe tip over a privy or two or let their chickens loose.

I have a few candidates in mind working in this very building ... if I were a vengeful person, which of course i am. Love the use of the word "privy"; underused.

It seems like the only reason to let Davey go before the end of the season would be if you wanted the interim manager to be trying out for the position next year. This seems like it would only make sense for someone within the Nats organization. Do you think they might replace Davey with Randy Knorr this season to see if they see him as a permanent solution?

No. There's no way they let Davey go early and I don't see their next hire being Randy Knorr.

I have now guaranteed that Randy Knorr is the Nats' next manager. You're welcome, Mr. Knorr.

I'm beginning to have a problem with RG's look-at-me attitude. Three reasons: 1) On the field, what's he done that Kirk Cousins hasn't? I'm not talking excitement, I'm talking results. 2) All the ads, the attention, the film?? C'mon, win first, then explain how you got here, as if anyone didn't already know. 3) Belichek? Really? If you want to talk and "be myself," then learn how to do it properly ... like not comparing yourself to a multi-Super Bowl winning HOF coach with not only decades in the game but a football legacy ... until you've accomplished something. Meanwhile, Cousins just leads the team and, had he been put in when he was needed last year, the 'Skins likely would have advanced, and RG's knee would have been a lot easier to treat. It's results on the field that earn respect. And respect is different from media coverage. SIgh. Get off my lawn.

You had me till Belichick. That comparison was because he is a surly, unresponsive interview. I don't think in any way Griffin intended to imply he was at Bill Belichick's level of success. Just sayin'....

I have been out in my makeshift shop (Screen room in South Florida) and just finished my circ saw cutting (about 50 cuts) to make my wood storage rack to stack my 300BF of walnut. Had to take a break and send in a question to my fav girl. How can the NFL preach safety first by saying no hits to the head yet say anything below (lets say the shoulder) is legal. The players say that to avoid a blow to the head they have to go low. To the knees? Come on Man! There is a very large target from the shoulders to the lower waist area. When I played we were taught to hit in this area and to "wrap" our arms around the opposing player with a bear hug and don't let go (til he is down at least). All the players are trying to do today is to get a monster hit and get on SportsCenter. They do not really care about safety if they say they have to go low (knees) to avoid a blow to the head. The penalty for an illegal or dirty hit is if the player is injured and misses any games the player will be suspended that many games. If the injured player is out for a year or more then the penalty will be for one year. I guarantee that the dirty hits will go way down if not eliminated.

I have heard this idea put forward before and it's an interesting one. I am sure the players union would go nuts and so would coaches, but all it would take was one guy to get smacked with this penalty, and everyone else would take note. I think it would be effective. Not sure we will ever see anything like it.

If Dempster was suspended for throwing at A-Roid (deservingly so). Why didn't Teheran get suspended for trying to plunk Bryce TWICE! Once is a message but twice? He should have been suspended the next day before Stras had the chance to throw a single pitch! Violence for the sake of Violence should NOT be tolerated in any way, shape or form. Don't give me this "It's traditional baseball" stuff. It's not. Plenty of players watch their home runs without getting plunked twice in the same game and NOT the game that he hit a home run in!!!! Once the game is over, it's over! It's really a double standard and sends a confusing message when one pitcher is suspended for trying to plunk a player and the one who started it that week IS NOT!

I'm not going to argue with you because you are typing in CAPS and that usually leads to trouble.

I won't be able to chat Thursday, so I'm submitting this early. First of all, I'm very happy that Drew Storen is back and is doing so well. Ditto for Tyler Moore. Both of them, and Dan Haren, did very well last night. Soriano continues to do less than we have expected, although he did manage to get the save. But Clippard has a much better ERA (2.11) and leads the NL in Saves. Why can't he be our closer? I know he wants it, and I believe he has earned it.

I don't know why not. Soriano hasn't earned it, IMO.

I bet the Cubs really enjoyed the result of intentionally walking Jayson Werth last night, don't you?

I understand why they did it, but no, it didn't work out for them.

Isn't the $21 million defecit for the MD Athletic Dept a little deceiving since thier budget included $15 million from the ACC that they did not recieve? Being only $5-6 million is about what they have been. Also, Since the President held all these secret talks to move form the ACC to the Big Ten, maybe the school, and not the Athletic Dept should pay the exit fee.

I don't think it's deceiving in that it's been mentioned in all the coverage.

Ichiro got his 4000th hit. Congrats sir. The debate has already begun about should we add the Japanese stats in MLB stats. It has already been suggested that minor league stats then should be added. Are we so pompous to think that MLB is the highest of the high? Anything else is bush league? If you played in Japan's highest league (Nippon I believe) that should be considered MLB level. Are they afraid that someone will surpass Ty or Pete? Go ahead and include his in the MLB stats.

There are players in Japan who could play in the majors here, but I don't think the two leagues are comparable top to bottom. I was glad to see Ichiro honored, but I think the MLB record book should stay the MLB record book.

I'm with you on being concerned that baseball is aping the NFL on the proposed plan, (please, please, PLEASE don't use a flag to indicate a review request).

However, the home run reviews have not been bad in terms of time spent as compared to NFL reviews. I think that this is aimed more at the calls that everyone with a TV knows were blown instantly, rather than philosophical discursions on "what is a football move", etc. that tend to be what gets reviewed in the NFL.

I think it's more important to get it right than to get it fast. A review wouldn't take more time than, say, the ump's group consultation on what was ultimately ruled a homer in game 6 of the '04 ALCS, (Boston's miracle comeback). Cutting back on batter's elaborate at bat rituals and making pitches pitch every 20 seconds will have more to do with shortening the game tan reviews will.

Section 405

No, the home run reviews haven't been bad, but that's the only reviews there are, and let's face it, they don't come up that often, certainly not eight times in a game.

You will never find a baseball game too long, 405. And I envy you that!

(If you can call it that) - Don't tip over the privy, or they won't have anywhere to make that gawdawful Provel "cheese" they put on everything. TBHitW

Okay, I don't know what that is, but I will never eat any.

While I am thrilled (thrilled, Jerry!) that the Caps signed Brandon Segal earlier this week, GMGM has been very quiet in fielding a team set to make a long playoff run. The Metropolitan division is way stronger than the SE division was last year. If the Caps don't tinker and improve their roster, I don't see them making the playoffs. What do you think?

I think he's been awfully quiet and that the new divisional structure is going to be a challenge. However, knowing the Caps, and my prognostication, they'll win the whole thing after leaving the easiest division in hockey.

Hi Tracy, Are you hearing anything on possible successors to Davey? Will the Nat's be looking in house or outside? Will Davey have a role in choosing? Could it be a "Davey guy" like Wally Backman or a " Rizzo guy" like Matt Williams? Do we need to see what managers get fired in order to get a better idea?

I heard a name thrown out on the radio the other day and it was so unimpressive that I don't remember it. I sure wouldn't hire anybody now. Long way to go...

How about just saying you can only hit inside the Strike Zone? Of course, if some of these refs are like many umpires, the score might wind up 100-99.

I'm picturing this and it's funny.

Love this, from today's Post: "I've got scouts out there that you guys have been really raunchy today," Johnson scolded the (Sports) Junkies shortly into their interview. Jason Bishop then explained that they had been discussing the news that Red Sox slugger Mike Napoli apparently is dating a porn star who goes by the name Rachel Starr. Johnson's reply: "Well none of my guys could, 'cause we can't score."

This is why some people love Davey and some people think he's mailing it in. But it's a great line.

Is that some teams would play the system. The fifth WR on the depth chart gets knocked out by the star DB on a division rival? "Gee, he has a concussion and our doctor's haven't cleared him yet. Sorry. What? Yeah, two months is a long time, but it's what's happened. You shouldn't have hit him like that."

Oh, that would never happen because ... never mind, of course it would.

Tracee, you forgot that he is a cheater too. I don't subscribe to the notion that if you aren't cheating then you are not trying or its not cheating unless you get caught

Not sure what that has to do with anything, although I don't disagree with your views on cheating.

Hi, Trac! If you were going to make a decision about the Nats' manager, couldn't you have kept it in-house? Maybe you could have said "There's no way Rico gets that job." If you got me the job I'd host a chat meetup at the ballpark. (That would help you get the eyeballs craved by your benevolent overlords on the dotcom side.) Granted, most of the time I'd say stuff like "We've got a lot of great ballplayers on this here ballclub," but occasionally I'd let loose with the occasional scoop or bon mot. BTW, we haven't had a beverage question in a while, so: what are you drinking today? With August dwindling down, I am enjoying a Coke Slurpee. -- Rico

My beverages veer from decaf green tea to decaf diet coke. I lead an exciting life. If you get the manager's job, we will definitely had a get-together and we'll have it in the locker room, which has a lot of TVs and couches.

After all, he did go to Baylor, which we know isn't above, um, let's call it "stretching" the rules a bit when it suits their needs.

Not sure why this Belichick thing is bringing out this stuff, but okay.

Taft should be DFA'd immediately. The concept of America's most corpulent president being able to win an athletic contest of any kind is so metaphysically absurd that it has to have impacted the Nats' season.... From a web site dedicated to Taft fat jokes (you gotta love the internet...): "While he was in the Philippines, disturbing reports about his health caused Secretary of War Root to send a cabled inquiry. Taft cabled back that he was perfectly all right -- he had just finished a twenty-five-mile horseback ride and was feeling fine. Root read that, smiled, and sent off another cable of solicitude: 'How is horse?'" Section 405

Anyone else think Taft is the problem?

...should have been suspended for taking four tries to hit a stationary batter.

He was suspended. I assume you mean he should have gotten a longer suspension? I feel that way. Doesn't seem like much of a penalty for a pitcher.

Ms. H, being "mentioned in all the coverage" doesn't make it true. Just sayin'.

Now I really have no idea what you're talking about. The monetary figures are true because they came from the University of Maryland. No one is making them up. Yes, the ACC owes Maryland money. Maryland also owes the ACC money. They are fighting that in court and doesn't take away from the fact that Maryland is broke. All of that is true.

Boswell mentioned in his column this morning a list of players that signed huge contracts, and then tanked. I know age is an issue, but do you think it's probable that the players stopped taking PEDs after signing the big deals?

That theory has been floated around re Pujols and others. I think it's an intriguing question with no evidence to back it up.

I'm not a big baseball fan, although I think I may becoming one. I did however get sucked into the game on Saturday and was up until 1am. Glad they finally won it, but I feel like I deserve something for hanging in there. Maybe a nod from Tracey!?

I will give a nod to anyone who can stay awake till 1 a.m.

Why not include all players' minor league hits? College hits? Heck, they're called "hits" in Little League, aren't they?

Some of his hits came off MLB-quality pitchers but not all of them did. There has to be a line somewhere.

Part fo Rizzo's stubbornness may well be that occasionally sticking with a player is the right thing to do. Fans were calling for dumping Jayson Werth after his disastrous first season in DC, and for over a year Werth has been the best player on the team. Fans called for dumping Adam LaRoche, and he was the legit slugger in the heart of the lineup last year. Now he's struggling again, and there are calls to dump him again. Rizzo's job is not to knee-jerk respond, but to analyze what gives a team the best chance to get better while recognizing that there are no guarantees. If it was easy, everyone would do it ... well hell, everyone does do it, at least on the internet. But it is the hard that makes it great. And even with the team struggling this year, I'm really, really glad that the person making the decisions is Mike Rizzo and not the chatterati. And yes, I include myself in that number :-)

Lord, I don't want that job. I would be fearful of giving up on a guy too soon, or hanging with him too long. And a million  other things. Like I said, Rizzo has earned the benefit of the doubt.

in August ... Really, really over. I have no idea what is going on in the NFL ... anything interesting happen. So this is what life is like for people whose baseball teams play meaningful games in August. Let's Go Royals!

Hard to believe the Royals are still in the wild-card hunt but I'm happy for them, and you, LGR.

One thing that's missing from the closer discussion is that in general, getting a save is easy*. You often come in with a decent lead, almost always with the bases empty, and just have to get 3 outs. Most of the time you can give up a run or two, and still get a save. To me, total saves is a worthless stat. A more interesting stat would be the save percentage entering with a 1 run lead.

* Standard disclaimer that by "easy" I mean "easy for a decent MLB pitcher" and not "easy for the average human."

I'm sure closers would say it's not easy, and would have good reasons for it. It certainly doesn't look that tough. :)

I would hate to have baseball adopt the NFL's version of "instant" replay. The NFL version is anything but instant. It often takes 5 minutes of commercials and discussion to get the call confirmed/overturned. It would be better to have certain actions that are reviewable and put the onus on the umpire/crew/official-MLB-person to make the call. They could review every home run, every tag, and every force play and still make quick calls (and not very many of them). The NHL does a great job of reviewing calls and getting the right outcome. There's no reason the MLB cannot.

I got this suggestion from other readers and it's not a bad one. Because managers challenging calls is just not going to be as fast as baseball thinks it is.

I've liked everything I've seen from him, starting with his booting Soriano's butt from that game several weeks ago. He handled the Strasburg-payback game well, and the clubhouse seems to respect him. Why wouldn't he get a legitimate shot? (I hate the idea of anybody connected to PEDs -- read, Matt Williams -- coming in. So far that stain hasn't spread to our team. Why not keep it that way?)

I think they'll want to make a bigger name hire than Randy Knorr. But like I said, I am probably guaranteeing Knorr the job, so cheer up.

I just want to say as a Ravens fan (Super Bowl Champs), I find it funny that DC fans are already turning on RGIII. RGIII is an amazing talent, so a word of advice is to appreciate him and not run him out of town.

Yes, it's been interesting to watch. If he plays well this season, however, he will be beloved again.

This is a made up stat. Adding Japanese stats is nonsensical. While there are many Japanese players that are MLB caliber (yes, MLB is clearly the highest of the high, anyone that doesn't think so is a lunatic) the league as a whole is no better than AAA. What shouldn't be missed here though, while this stat is bogus, is that Ichiro Suzuki is one of the greatest hitters ever.

I think it was a nice thing to honor him, and he seemed delighted. It's not going in the record books and it didn't hurt anyone. That said, I agree about Japanese stats.

The Japanese league is close to MLB baseball using comparative statistics. (Players in common expected preformance.) A hit in Japan is worth roughly 90% of a hit in MLB. For comparison a AAA hit is worth about 80-85% of a MLB hit. (The range is due to high park affects of the PCL.) Let's Go Royals

But not everyone does...

Are you as excited as I am that college football season starts next weekend?

You do know where I went to school, right? :) Yes, overall, I guess I am. When the games are going on, I still love college football and forget that it is ruining all of college sports, conference alignment and causing global warming. Okay, maybe not that last part.

I wish I could be in Kansas City on Saturday to see the Nats and the Royals salute to the Negro Leagues. Bill from Columbia

The Royals do it right. They have a seat in the stadium reserved for the late Buck O'Neil. It is occupied every game by someone who has done something great for his or her community.

If a group I long ago worked with were invited to be honored at the White House (as if I'd be so lucky!), I'd go regardless of the occupant's views, and I'd behave courteously while there, because that's the way I was raised. Those three '72 Dolphins who so outspokenly declined the invitation to attend with their surviving teammates and coaches simply made themselves look churlish at best, and like (fill in the blank with a wirty dord) at worst. Just one fan's opinion, of course.

So would I, but politics has become a hateful arena (not unlike a lot of other arenas).

The Pirates hold on to make the playoffs this season, or they collapse like last year?

They make it. (Hope that's not a jinx.)

Reading the musings about hits lower than the head, I think that we should go in the direction of lesser pads. If the players were not wearing facemasks they would be a whole lot more cautious about using the head as a missile. Just a thought. Go K-State.

You Wildcats are tough!

I am a Caps STH so my account manager calls me occasionally, just to say hi. In talking to him yesterday I mentioned how excited I was to be having my picture taken (for $$) with a Cap alum at the upcoming Caps Convention. The account manager said that yes, the alums really enjoy these opportunities but that the younger guys (I interpreted this to mean the current players) sometimes complain about them. Really? I understand that the season is long and days off are few but for some fans, these are the only times they will ever see a player up close. Do most current players dislike these meet and greets? Thanks.

I think players in all sports are less receptive to the public AS A WHOLE. There are still players who love any kind of interaction, of course. But I think players today get approached and bugged far more than they used to, because they are more recognizable and because people are less shy about shoving a piece of paper under someone's nose in the middle of the fish course. I can't speak as to whether most dislike them, but I'm guessing it's harder to get the younger guys.

Tracee, I've got everything set. Negro Leagues and WW I museums, barbecue, and two Nats-Royals games. The only thing I can't control is how the Nats play. Any last minute advice on Kansas City?

If you have the time, the Arabia.

No real question today. Just wanted to say hi. Seems too early for football, but that's happening. The NCAA is making me feel guilty for enjoying college football. I'm sure I'll get over it. Wait, I DO have a question. If NASCAR is a sport, does that mean I am participating in sport when I watch the Baltimore Grand Prix from my 14th floor office next week? Okay, that's all I've got.

Well, the Baltimore Grand Prix is open wheel racing so don't expect NASCAR. But otherwise, sure, it's close. I remember when the Detroit Grand Prix made getting to work pure hell for one week a year. That was a long time ago.

Good to hear from you B'More Cat and Chat Lover, and everyone else as well. Hope you all have a good weekend!

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.

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