Oct 13, 2010

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

Your faithfull follower from across the pond here! What is your take on Arenas feigning an injury last night? Does that not undermine Flip just a little?

My take is that it's disgraceful. He's shown disrespect for coaches before -- remember him deciding to put himself into the lineup and telling the media before telling Eddie Jordan that he was ready to go? It's really disrespect for Flip, for the few fans that came -- some probably for the express purpose of welcoming him back, because people are forgiving at this point -- your other teammates, your new owner who is trying to help you get back on track. Gilbert has been stripped of his leadership role, yet HE'S deciding who plays? I'd say he just proved that the Wizards don't need him.

And good morning, everyone! Let's get started.

What is with Gilbert Arenas? Does he really believe that people will buy his excuse about a phantom injury to give Nick Young more playing time. Sounds like he has been hanging around with Clinton Portis. If Ted has basketballs, he will instruct Grunfeld to cut him loose now, no?

There will be two hesitations: the money, and what I assume will be Ted's concern about Gilbert's mental health. Maybe he was so scared to be introduced that he did that? I don't know; I think fans are ready to embrace him, so that doesn't make a lot of sense, but neither does Gilbert's excuse.

Did you ever imagine that your chat would be competing for attention with a miner rescue operation in Chile? Powerful stuff, though the one miner with a wife and a mistress may prefer to stay down in the hole.

You don't want your wife and your mistress waiting for you at the top. Who do you hug first? Oy.

Hi, Tracee. If the Rangers beat the Yankees, what's the bigger story - 3rd African-American manager to win a pennant, or that it doesn't cause a stir?

Hopefully that it doesn't cause a stir. We should be getting to that point.

I can't believe the wait for the next round to begin. Baseball is turning into the NBA.

I would like to know if there was any thought to making Thomas (WO) into a running back? He certainly had some great moves when he return kicks.

I honestly don't think that was the solution for Thomas. Different skill set. Plus clearly Shanahan was unhappy with him. Changing positions wouldn't have helped.

Hi Tracee - This might seem like a strange question - but when a beat reporter goes on a road game with a team, do they still get to go on the same flight w/ the team/etc. (even w/ some teams getting custom charters/etc.). If so, do players ever open up more on long flights than they would after a game? I would think that in a setting like that as a journalist you'd get such better insight/etc. I seem to remember Bob Costas talking about how much he learned and in general how many stories he was able to write just being with players for extended amounts of time travelling. Like I said, kind of an oddball question. Thanks as always for the chats.

Not a strange question. In the old days, writers rode the trains with the teams, etc. Nowadays teams have charters or their own planes, so they are able in many cases to leave after the game for home, or the next city. Writers can't leave that quickly. So no, writers don't travel with teams any more. There was a period where they were able to, but papers like The Post paid the team rather than take the freebie. Now we don't even do that. Those days are gone.

Mr. Leons is: I'm sorry but the tickets that I bought to watch an upcoming Wizards' game, I'd like to return them. I have no confidence that the tickets I bought have any real value as I can't be sure that the players are going to play at a high level that justifies to me the cost of the tickets. For that matter, I can't be sure that they're interested in playing, especially after one of your star players, and a reason I bought the tickets, says he faked an injury so someone else could play, and then told the press that "I told him I'd go ahead and fake an injury or say something's wrong with me," and he smiled when he said it. I've saved money so I could take my children to see a game but it appears that the players can decide if they want to play or not. I can't justify spending my money, especially with it going to a player making $20 million a year, considerably more than 500 times times more than I make a year. I looked forward to your ownership of the Wizards and wished you good luck. Seeing what's just happened, and the cavalier attitude of your players, your employees, it's nothing personal but I no longer have any interest in the team, could not care less what happens, and wish you the best in other endeavors. Becasue I know I can't return the tickets and get my money back, I've given my tickets to a colleague at a financial loss to me. But at least I have some respect for myself I wouldn't have that if attended a game played by your employees with their attitude.

I took your email address off this, fyi. I hope you send a copy to Leonsis.

owww ... I'm going home, I just can't stand it ...

Gosh, I hope you're better soon!

I'd never been to a Wizards game before, but decided to go last night to see John Wall's DC debut. The game was fun, but, yikes, the attendance was terrible! I know it's preseason, but c'mon people, it's John Wall! I hope they can get a reasonable crowd for the regular season home opener.

I really thought they'd have a better crowd last night. I don't know if that Transformers filming that was supposed to make it a mess around Verizon Center scared people away?

Great game for Lee last night, which makes me feel good about the Rangers' chances against the Yankees. (Which outcome do you think would bother Boz more? Have to ask him on his chat.) The good news is that we all have a few extra days to catch up on our sleep before the actual LCS start on Friday.

Here's a chatter happy about the break between games, so that's good. Cliff Lee is amazing. AMAZING. He should make that series very interesting.

The fact that the Rangers couldn't win at home bodes well for the Yankees, yes?

Yes. Cliff Lee bodes poorly for them. Maybe it evens out, especially if Lee pitches twice at home?

1) Lo Alexander 2) Yi 3) Cheese Boy (obligatory mention) 4) Eric Fehr 5) You 6) Buckhantz

Yi, I think. I didn't realize you pronouce his name "Eeee," by the way. Live and learn.

My cult hero is Eric Fehr and his wife. He had both shoulders done at the same time. That can't have been easy for either of them. I told him his wife must be a SAINT. Turns out she's a nurse.

Is there any chance this whole faking an injury thing was just a joke and a way for Arenas to get attention? There aren't too many athletes that crave attention quite like Arenas. Even if that is the case, at what point can the Wizards consider trading him or buying him out? At 4 yrs and approx $80 mill it would seem that no one team wants to touch it, but at 3 or 2 yrs the Wizards may be able to unload for some other teams trash.

Yes, there is a chance. If he keeps saying crazy stuff after games, he gets attention. I've never seen a grownup more eager for attention that Gilbert.

This list begins and ends with one name: Babe Ruth. Such a label requires not only a dominating presence, but one that transformed their sport. MJ, Jim Brown, and Secretariat all definitely dominated, but did not transform their sport, so none make this list. Another poster suggested Jim Thorpe and Pele, who meet both criteria. Others have suggested Muhammad Ali, but he did not really transform boxing. Two other transformative athletes, both from hockey, would be Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky. Each of these transformative figures (Ruth, Thorpe, Pele, Orr, and Gretzky) singlehandedly and fundamentally changed the way their sport was played, but none more so than Ruth. Which begs the question(s): who were the most transformative players in football and basketball?

Throwing this out to the masses. Ruth was transformative, you are correct. He saved a sport and defined an era.

Here's the deal: it doesn't matter whether he was faking it or not. It's preseason, so who cares? Also, he is completely untradeable with an $80M contract. So, we need to suck this up and deal with it. He isn't going anywhere, so DC needs to stop complaining and let Saunders get of him whatever he can.

There is truth in what you say. There is no easy fix to this. But imagine another player doing this. Imagine Orakpo doing this in a preseason game. It speaks to a team problem at a time they are trying to take a bunch of kids and form a cohesive unit. This type of thing does not help.

Have you heard of and do you you have any thoughts on the 2010 version of 2-point conversion drama, a/k/a Wisconsin v. Minnesota? Let me take the lame position and say both coaches have a point - and some logical disconnect. I fully subscribe to the "stop-em-if-you-don't-want-em-to-score" philosophy, so Brewster looks like a bit of a whiner. However, I feel that the Bielema "magic card" explanation also is a bit weak - do you follow the card, say, if you are up 40? 60? (I did not adjust for the actual 2-point scenarios) Thoughts?

Funny you should ask -- Nebraska did this to KU when I was in school. As I recall, it was 34-0 at halftime and they went for 2 because they wanted to practice their 2-point conversion. (AHG, do you recall this?) So I have strong feelings about it and I think you can guess what they are.

There's always the "good triumphs over evil" story line.

To see Nolan Ryan crying, to see them celebrating with ginger ale in deference to Hamilton's addiction -- nice moments. They'll get a boost from that.

Tracee, I was trying to navigate between your chat and the NASA doctor's on the miners, and guess what? The link for the NASA doctor's chat is the same as yours. That's not playing fair (j/k)!

Part of my master plan. (This keeps happening. I'd better alert somebody.)

Looks like it's fixed now. Whew. You know how I hate pretending to be a doctor.

They're still charging normal prices, right? Why pay a (small) fortune to see guys play halfheartedly if at all?

Two reasons I thought the crowd would be better: 1) John Wall's debut. 2) Gilbert.

I don't think you'll see half-hearted play this year because there are a lot of guys trying to make the team. And to be fair, only one guy didn't play. That's another problem with what he did: makes them all look bad.

Guys, if we consistently ignore your "I'm here all alone in my hotel room" texts, sending photos of your self naked is NOT the logical next step. No woman is going to see that photo and say, oh, wait, I WILL come over.

YES! Well said.

Actually, the NASA doctor changed the link himself to give Tracee more chatting time.

Yes, I'm big at NASA.

Hi Tracee, Are you as shocked, SHOCKED as I am to learn that NFL agents actually pay NCAA players under the table, according to that new Sports Illustrated story?

Yes, it's a stunning development. :)

What has happened to Chris Horton since his good rookie year?

Last year it was injuries, and this year, he's getting less opportunities, and then he gets a bad penalty. I don't know; I really thought after his rookie season that he was a find. I don't think this is a doghouse issue, a la Thomas.

Why on Earth are they playing the Kansas-Kansas State game -- a rivalry game between two BCS teams -- on a Thursday night? It's not even on ESPN! (CSN Plus locally, BTW).

Money. I hate those Thursday night games because there is a lot of drinking and a lot of driving. I hope my boys win but the way they are playing this year, who knows what team will show up.

Dick Weber--he transformed the sport of bowling & made it popular. Pete Weber (his son)--first bowler to win $1,000,000 (and it took a while!).

Throwing it out there. He's not on Ruth's level but he did do a lot of bowling.

He probably should have moved on after his suspension. But now there's no doubt that he's done here in DC. It's just a bad environment for him that will not promote him growing as a person and a player. He may have some good years of basketball left in him but they won't be here in DC.

The trouble is, he can't just move on because of the money. Should they put him on the injured list (because there isn't a "fake injured list") for the season and move on? Then they'd be paying him to do nothing. It's a conundrum. Wonder if Leonsis is regretting waiting all these years to own this team?

Argh! What be the odds that G. Arenas turns up ailing with a "sore knee" for every skirmish on his home seas? Could the scurvy knave be rattling his saber against the city and fans that made him walk the plank? Avast!

We may need to have a "talk like a pirate" day on the chat, just for kicks. My guess is that Gilbert will play Thursday even if he's on crutches but we'll see. The coach has to be in charge of the lineup.

He should save the knee excuse for when he's forced to walk the plank again!

If I was a female sports reporter or a female employee of the Jets and Brett was emailing me pixs of himself and his package. I would send an email back saying "Hey 60 Sec man is that all you got short stuff.. Brett I hear your release off the field is a lot quicker than it is on the field. Not interested little boy and do not send any more pixs or my brother will put you on IR and the too stupid to perform list. Have a great Jets day." I would then share the pixs with everyone and photoshop the pixs and insert a ruler. Problem solved. My sis had someone at the firehouse where she volunteers do an alleged Brett and she shared the pixs with everyone to include the moron's wifey. Only thing is she said she would kick his butt since she doesn't need her bros for that.

I tried a similar approach many years ago with a certain NBA player. I found openly mocking his, uh, package in front of his teammates was quite effective. (He was sort of waving it in my face, by the way; I didn't just "go there.") His teammates didn't like him so it gave them fodder and pretty soon he was roundly ignoring me. Bliss. This isn't always the answer, but sometimes it is.

Wasn't that the 1978 game, and Nebraska was up 33-0, and went for two to make it 35? And Osborne said he was guarding against KU scoring five touchdowns to tie? (Of course, Missouri beat Nebraska that year in Lincoln. Just sayin')

That would be right, I believe, thanks. Yes, we were sure to score five touchdowns in the second half. This was before my mascot days and my reporting days and during my vodka and orange juice at the game days (freshman year!) so my memory is a leetle fuzzy. I'm not proud of that now.

Oh, gotta dash. Sorry I can't go long today because you have filled my inbox. Tomorrow I will try to go long and hijack as many other chats as possible. Until then...

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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