Oct 06, 2010

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

1) Prior's injuries were primarily to his shoulder, not his elbow, and from what I understand much more difficult to recover from. 2) JIm Riggleman NEVER managed Mark Prior. Riggleman managed the Cubs from 95-99. Mark Prior was a freshman at USC in 1999. Riggleman has spoken before about regretting the overuse of Kerry Wood when he was with the Cubs. But, at least when looking at pitch counts, they were pretty cautious with Strasburg compared to Wood.

Yes, sorry, I should have caught that yesterday. Riggleman does get the blame often for Woods, but is innocent of all charges re Prior and Strasburg. Court is adjourned. (And I wonder how our Angry Juror came out yesterday? If we don't hear, we'll know he/she was seated and is doing his/her civic duty.)

And good morning, all. Just ran to the grocery store and for the first time went sling-less. And in line behind me -- one of the physical therapists from the practice I go to. BUSTED. Let's get going. I have to quit early, which is to say on time, today so I can go to Kettler. Going to the Caps home opener Saturday and Skins on Sunday -- whee!

Hey, T. I just saw a clip from a short interview w/ Olie the Goalie at the recent Caps convention. Wouldn't it be great to see some sort of "welcome back" and "congrats" kind of thing for him, now that he's officially retired? Ted L. does seem to be especially eager to bridge the old and new players. Olie's in the Pantheon ... plus, he had such an unsavory, unspectacular departure. PS - Torain ... Kansas boy ... no unabashed state promotion here? I'm no sycophant, just love the smack talk.

I agree re Leonsis -- he seems to be making similar efforts with the Wizards. It would be nice if he could heal the breach with Olie, one of the most popular Caps ever.

Torain? Well, I believe someone on this chat asked me in training camp who was the most pleasant surprise and I named Mr. Torain, born in Topeka, Kansas. How KU let him get away I do not know, or K-State for that matter. Ah, well. Looking forward to seeing what he can do with his opportunity on Sunday.

A poster said yesterday that every Spring they watch Ken Burns' documentary Baseball in its entirity to get ready for the baseball season. I do the EXACT SAME THING! I usually begin in January and like to be done by the time pitchers and catchers report (I typically only watch on weekends). I've been doing this for 5+ years now though there's been a couple of years I didn't make it all the way through for one reason or another. I'd be curious to know if any other of your readers do this as a Winter/Spring ritual? P.S. I always laugh when I see how young Boz and Bob Costas look!

Boz still looks the same. :)

Anyone else have a similar winter ritual? I used to read the Henry Wiggen books every winter but one year found that I couldn't enjoy them like I used to so I haven't done that in awhile.

Kudo's to ESPN for their newest 30 for 30 feature. I strongly recommend it for all Red Sox fans and for anyone who likes watching the Yankees lose (a much larger contingent I'm sure). It really brought back the emotions of those days, going from "Here we go again" to "OMG we did it". Now, as usual when the Sox aren't in the playoffs, I will cheer for whoever the Yankees are playing. So go Twins!

Meant to DVR it but I'm sure it'll be on again, and again.

Tracee, yesterday you were wondering about McNabb attending a Caps game. Well looking at the schedule, the Skins have the Bye on November 7th and on that Sunday, the Caps just happen to be at home; against Philadelphia.

Perfect! It would be good to have some cross-polination among our DC sports stars. I know some of the Skins show up Wizards games and I expect more this year with Wall on the team. Some Caps visited the Redskins locker room last year -- I think it was Mike Green. I occasionally sat in a friend's seats at Tiger Stadium years ago and Steve Yzerman sat in the same row. Awesome. I have a great photo, somewhere, of Yzerman, Cecil Fielder, Barry Sanders and Joe Dumars, the local stars all together at a Tigers game.

Ms. H: I don't get to yesterday's chat until the pm, and I read your response to a question about the KSU/NU game on Thursday, which includes " . . .I like Ancient Husker Grad so much . . ." Aw, shucks - now my mustache and beard, soaked with tears, are dripping on my "Mizzou is the heart of darkness" T-shirt (which glows in the dark). I think KSU has more than a decent chance to win - NU, aside from the Washington game, has not looked that impressive. Going with a freshman quarterback (even a good one) in conference play is usually a nerve-wracking experience. (and how can KU beat a solid GT team and then get pounded by Baylor?) AHG

Dry your eyes, AHG. And what's the matter with Kansas -- the school, not the state -- is anyone's guess.

You were mentioned on the Junkies radio show this morning as having written about some of the Caps skipping warmups during the playoffs last year. The Cap being interviewed said that A) you don't know what you're talking about because that happens all the time and doesn't mean anything, and B) he never saw you around the practice ice so how would you have even known about that. Any response?

It does happen during the regular season. My point was that between Games 6 and 7 everyone should have been on the ice. I still believe that. Ovie was apparently in the building that day but not on the ice.  I was at six of the seven first-round games, as I recall, and nearly every practice in between, including in Montreal. So I don't know what to tell you. I don't know all the Caps, by any stretch. I'm working on that. So maybe whoever was interviewed doesn't know me from Adam. It's possible. Kind of sorry to hear some of them were pissed because they are a fun team to talk to and write about.

Hey, look at who's the #2 receiver in the league right now.

Yup, he is.

I read Friday Night Lights each summer. No matter how many times I read the book, I still find it captivating. The descriptions of the football are crisp and vivid, but I find them ultimately overshadowed by the portrayal of West Texas.

Rare to see a great book become a great TV show.

If Phil Mickelson did lose his short game, how do you think he'd do selling cars? Gotta love/hate Johnny Miller.

Mickelson would do well selling anything, I think. But then, chances are he really wouldn't need to go out and earn a living. I'm not a huge Miller fan in the booth, although I liked him a lot as a player. I heart David Farraday.

I don't watch Survivor but my wife watches religiously. I was walking by the TV awhile back while she was watching and I commented "that guy looks just like Jimmy Johnson." She confirmed that it was, in fact, the man himself. Um. . .why would a multi-millionaire former NFL coach and TV personality be on a non-celebrity version of a reality TV show? Actually. . .I think it would be great entertainment to do a season of survivor with all the biggest prima donnas in the NFL!! Fat Albert, Ocho Cinco, TO, Reggie Bush, Big Ben. . .just think about it!

I really like this idea. Instead of suspensions, Goodell could put them on an island. Talk about Lord of the Flies.

Hi Tracee, I'm sitting here listening to an Andy Williams holiday album because the MLB playoffs are upon us (and I just recently saw my first Xmas catalog. Really, they can't wait until after Halloween?). Can't wait to see which teams survive the crap-shoot that are the playoffs and make it to the World Series. I've got the Twins vs the Phillies in the November Classic (WHAT?!? Baseball outdoors in November in Minnesota?!?). Who ya got?

I have about half my Christmas shopping done so I'm the wrong one to ask. I'm ready to fire up the Christmas music but have sort of a rule that I can't do it till after Thanksgiving. But I love it so.

And I made me Series prediction last week and now I can't remember. I think I had the Yankees and the Reds and the Yankees winning it. No short term memory. I need to start writing those down.

Hey is that an inverted "W" I see AJ Burnett committing in that pic by Boz's column today? Just sayin' ...

Is his arm flying off his body? That's apparently the tell-tale sign.

So what should I expect? The team that dazzled in Dallas and edged one out against the Eagles or the team that fell flat at FedEx against the Texans and Rams? I get a sense that this team is more. . .coherent . . .that it was under Zorn. Better coaching. . .definitely better quarterbacking. . .will help. What I don't see yet is that the players are truly focused on victory and playing with confidence. Part of the poison that Danny brought to this franchise is that players seemed to feel that getting paid was the end result and that their performance on the field was secondary. I want to see the players with a more. . .say Ray Lewis. . .type attitude that victory is the beginning and the end of why they play this game. So who's it gonna be on Sunday?

I'm going to say we'll see more "Eagles game Skins" and less "Rams game Skins". I also think that while there are guys in the locker room who perhaps play more for a check than anything else, the vast majority of them do care about winning, a lot. I've seen very few pro athletes I thought DIDN'T care about winning. But there hasn't been a culture of winning there in a long time. Perhaps they are finally starting to believe in themselves. Last year they'd have found a way to lose that Philly game. They came close this year, but they didn't. Baby steps.

You mentioned you're upset that some of the Caps were pissed at your comments. Does that indicate that you now feel that won't give you the access you need? But therein lies the problem. I think that too many sports journalists are apologists for players for that very reason. If so, who will we get the real news from rather than just PR fluff? The sports radio personalities in DC who cover the Skins are particularly guilty of this. Have you ever heard them light in to a fan who dares criticize a player? Call 'em like you see 'em Hamilton!

I'm not upset. I'm a little surprised, is all, because I definitely was around and I've been around during camp as well. I can safely say I've been to more practices recently than any other Post columnist, for instance. But it's okay. I don't think it will affect my access at all; the  Caps have great access, a great PR staff and are the easiest to deal with and I don't expect that to change. It's all good. And if one of the players is angry with me (or more) he can tell me about it. That's fine too.

I think mine is Remember the Titans because (1) it's local and (2) the marvelous Will Patton is in it--remember how awesome he was in No Way Out? I also liked We Are Marshall, which I primarily watched for Matthew Fox (big Lost fan here!).

Brian's Song. For obvious reasons.

Is there any better time of the year for sports than October?

In a word, no.

I love that the NFL is dressed in pink each October, but was wondering if there are any players who refuse to wear the pink, like Kramer and his AIDs ribbon?

Lord, that was funny. I haven't heard of any and I'd be surprised if there were but I suppose it's possible.

He was on the radio this morning saying that the reason certain guys do and don't skate in the mornings on nhl teams during the playoffs has more to do with the minutes played the night before than leadership. Since you wrote that column during the playoffs last year, do you know the standard protocol for such things on most/all nhl teams? I don't...and he seemed to infer that you don't really either. Care to respond?

As I said, this is common during the regular season. I wrote that I thought it was wrong to do that between Game 6 and 7, when they were on the brink of elimination. And again, I stand by that. I thought it would have been a sign of leadership from Ovie to get on the ice, even for part of practice. That team was reeling. They disagree. That's fine.

And I will say I've never met Matt Bradley so he might really think I've never been to practice. That's fine too.

Tracee, I don't know if you have children, and if you do, whether or not you have a daughter, but would you let your actual or hypothetical daughter date Kirk Hinrich? I mean, he's successful, personable, likely does NOT ride a unicycle, and, best of all, is a JAYHAWK!

No, because I've met his charming wife. Otherwise, absolutely!

I won the lottery! They called two groups of 30 or so, using random numbers so we all had to sit and sweat, then told the last 20 of us, and I'm quoting: "Youse are free ta go." For once, I was glad to hear a NY accent down here in America's Wang.

Ah, jury service. Always a treat. I've been seated once for a week-long trial (and yes, I was the foreman), and one seated on a jury that was used as a prop to get the sides to settle. We sort of sat outside the courtroom, the lawyers looked at us, went back in and the case was over. Glad to hear you were reprieved although I must admit I didn't mind the trial. Very interesting.

Leonsis really needs to mend fences with Big E since he had his granny put the curse on the Bullets decades ago. Shame the WP's crack sports staff has never reported on how and why the curse came about and the role Abe played. The curse is real and not a fig newton of Mr Tony's imagination.

I confess I didn't know this. Sounds like it's in Cheese Boy's wheelhouse.

I like Rachel N just fine, am happy to see ESPN gave her something to do (other than stand on Brett Favre's lawn). But what in the heck was that misguided piece on Snyder last night all about? I'm sure it came down to some "editorial direction", but anyone living within 200 miles of here knows that it did not accurately depict public sentiment or his style. I suppose we're all suppose to give him a pass for 10 years of bad decisions and polarizing behavior because his dad had cancer? Not happening, I'm not drinking the kool-aid on that one. Please tell me you saw it.

Another DVR failure. But I'll catch up to it.

Isn't an "inverted W" an M? Woudn't that be easier to say?

I guess "inverted W" sounds more mysterious and scary.

I often watch the movie "Diner" on New Year's Eve. It takes place that week, plus makes mention of the Colts.

Good one!

When I lived in the cold, the four sweetest words to my ears were "Pitchers and catchers report." Now those words mean "plan extra time for traffic."

Ha! Yes, I've always wondered if spring training were annoying for retirees, or good cheap entertainment. It's gotta be better than spring break.

Good morning to you, Ms. Hamilton. I'm turning 42 next month. Am I middle aged? Am I aging? Am I still "relatively young" (never cared for that term)? Am I on the cusp of becoming old? Something to consider: I don't hike my pants up over my navel, and I can only take a few days of Florida at a time. No Del Boca Vista for me!

For me, the clincher was not being able to stay awake in my chair until I was ready to go to bed. I don't think it's a number; I think it's a thing your body tells you. My body is telling me it's all over. I nod off like my parents used to do when I was in high school and I would think "Never going to happen to me!" What an idiot I was.


No Christmas shopping should be done until after Thanksgiving and no decorations up until the Friday after Thanksgiving. Nordstrom's doesn't put up their decorations until Thanksgiving night. Violators should be forced to lsiten to the Jersey Shore's Holiday Album on repeat. Snookie singing O Come Holy Faithful is a classic. Who knew she had an operatic quality voice.

Very good. Well, I confess I violate the shopping rule mightily. I begin shopping in January and go all year. And I will never be able to change that. I hate malls and crowds very much, so it's a defense mechanism.

Hi Tracee! From you know, and based on what you've heard, is it reasonable to expect that Stephen "There's a better than even chance I'm a Cheese Boy-esque curmedgeon" Strasburg will return from his surgery as the flame-throwing phenom we've all come to love?

Oh, it's so early to be making a snap judgment about this. But what the heck -- yes, I think he'll come back and be as good or almost as good as he was.

I read Ball Four (plus Ball Five-ten year update) every spring. I am well aware of the fact that Time Begins on Opening Day, to the point where I consider Opening Day to be a national holiday and take off from work, but with all due respect to Boz, Mr. Angell and countless others, for me the best baseball book ever written was Jim Bouton's diary of his 1969 season.

Another ritual.

And I've run over time. I've got to get to Kettler so I can meet Matt Bradley, I guess. Let's talk tomorrow!

In This Chat
Tracee Hamilton
Tracee Hamilton has worked at the Post since 1993, toiling in office obscurity as an editor before someone said, "Hey, you've got a lot of opinions and can write a little. Why don't you become a columnist?"

Her interests range from genealogy to Nordic combined to Kansas basketball. If ever there was a Jayhawk who once flew off a ski jump, she'd know where he was buried.

Her list of pet peeves is considerably longer, but includes Missouri basketball and poor subway etiquette. She welcomes dissenting opinions -- in the way Great Whites welcome open-water swimmers.

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