Oct 20, 2010

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

Hands Free Device. Done and done.

Well, I'm totally loving it! Thanks!

And good morning, everyone. I am in the midst of the Tony Show on 980 AM, in case anyone can turn in or grab the podcast later. This is a new experience because before the chat ended when the show began. We'll see how this works. Let's go.

that line in your column yesterday made me laugh out loud - while i was reading it on the metro!

I'm glad; only Metro riders can fully understand that one. Today, coming to the show, we were off- and on-loaded at Farragut North, within about three seconds. No idea why. The train also magically changed from a Shady Grove to a Grosvenor. Love the Metro.

Also, more Torain nicknames from my inbox:

Toot Toot Torain

Von Ryan's Express

Night Train Torain

Night Torain



Since Haynesworth is here for at least the rest of the season, and his bonus has ALREADY been paid, he is actually a pretty good deal for his yearly salary, no? Can malcontents really ruin a team just by being in the locker room and complaining? I would think everyone on a NFL team who isn't in the starting lineup is upset, because for their whole life they have been a star. Why would Haynesworth be any different?

A malcontent can ruin a team, or at least damage it, but by all accounts, he is not that. His teammates want him on the field. He has friends in the room, and defenders. So I don't think that will be a problem. Is he upset about no longer starting? Possibly, even probably.

These chats are a wonderful start to the day, so thanks for that. Can you please just leave out the nasty comments from the "pie hole" jerk from yesterday? Just don't respond and maybe they'll go away. I know you'll still see the comments, but try to take one for the team and the rest of us chatters will try to carve out our own little slice of civility in this big bad world. Thanks again.

I'll try. Every now and then I feel like sharing my pain. I was hoping that guy was writing tongue in cheek and had a sense of humor. Wrong again!

Those first posters from yesterday are giving rugby a bad rep. Do you know what causes concussions? BAD UNSAFE TACKLING. In rugby and in football, a bad and/or unsafe tackle can lead to a concussion. Seen it in both, had it in both, given money to families with sons no longer with us due to it in both. You are taught to tackle safely in rugby and in football. Whether players are disregarding their coaching or caught in a bad tackle, there is that chance of a concussion. Oh, and doctors definitely need to stop players from playing as soon as they have signs of a concussion. Death/long term repercussions aren't worth it. --Rugger first, but a football fan too

All good points, thanks.

1) Just now got around to the Monday transcript. I was the guy who sent that trivia question last week and the time zones answer was correct. Won my team trivia group a $40 gift certificate to a great place that offers the heavenly beer cheese soup (it's in Wisconsin, sorry for the tease DMV natives). Imagine taking the ooey-gooey center of a great grilled cheese and mixing with beer. Aaaahhh... Before I get carried away on soup, my other topic: 2) Concussions are the big buzz topic in the NFL. I can't figure out if this the violence of the game has gotten that much worse, or if it's always been this bad but we're just putting the focus on it now. For this viewer, this is the first year that I've watched games and literally cringed. I've decided to go the Wilbon route and steer my son to other sports. I just shudder at what these people are doing to their bodies. It's truly frightening. I am not joking in the least when I say I feel like an in-game, on-field death is a matter of when, not if.

Glad to know that was the trivia answer, and the chatter who got it will be glad too. Beer cheese soup -- hmmmm.

Some of the hits from Sunday were almost unwatchable< I agree.

Boz pretty well squelched that talk today, huh? Guess he's an FTF lurker.

He is an FTF lurker, god bless him! He is chatting this week, too. You can't stop him, you can only hope to contain him.

Sorry, but what's FTF?

First Things First, the name of this chat. Well, one of the names. We also go by "Hamiltime" and "Shut Your Pie Hole!"

Tracee, Loved your comments on Nolan Ryan and pitch counts. I too believe today's pitchers are fragile ironically because of efforts to protect them from injury. Consider: it's been 30 years since anyone pitched over 300 innings (Steve Carlton, 304 IP in 1980). This season only 7 MLB pitchers had more than 225 IP, led by Roy Halladay with 250.2. Carlton's highest single-season IP was 346.1, in 1972. As impressive as this is by today's standards, i.e., nearly 100 innings more than Halladay's 250.2 IP this year, Carlton's 346.1 IP ranks 390th, yes, that's nearly 400th, on the all-time single-season innings pitched list. My favorite is the 1884 pitching line of Charlie "Old Hoss" Radbourn: 73 starts; 59 W; 12 L; 11 shutouts; 678.2 IP; 441 K; 98 BB; 1.38 ERA. Sick. Yes, the pitcher's mound was only 50 feet from home plate back then, 10.5' closer than the 60.5' distance established in 1893. But I seriously doubt that Radbourn expended any less effort in 1884 than pitchers have from 1893 to present. So in terms of innings pitched, Radbourn's 1884 season was as grueling as the combined effort of THREE of the hardest working pitchers in 2010. Were men three times tougher in 1884 as they are today? I think not. Mind you, I'm not advocating a return to Radbournesque labor, but I think more than 7 of today's MLB pitchers should be capable of merely one-third Radbourn's 1884 output, i.e., 226 IP/season. Is this really too much to expect?

You know, men may have been three times tougher in 1884. That's not a knock on today's men but think about it -- pitchers came from the farms and the factories and everyone, men and women, did far more manual labor then than they do today. I don't know Radbourn's background but I'd guess he probably was tougher than, say, Strasburg, just from his background if nothing else. Not a Strasburg knock, just sayin' ... and those stats ARE sick!

Good morning! I want to like Carlos Rogers, I really do. But really...what is going on with his non-catches? Please tell me you think this is being addressed by the coaches..!?!?!? I have this re-occurring nightmare where he goes to the locker room after every game and all anyone says is "aw, next time man!" - and that's it!

There are drills for this, and he does them. He does all the work. I think it's in his head now.

Hi, Tracee. I am NOT the poster from yesterday. I played Rugby Union in college (not at the highest levels), and enjoyed myself. It's a great game. Tackling has a different purpose in rugby union; when a player is tackled, he must drop the ball and a loose ruck (or what the French call a melee) is played for possession. In Rugby League, he drops the ball and the next attacker picks it up for six equivalents of downs. Head-in tackles are forbidden. When my team went on an international tour, we played Britons who noted two things about our tackling... we hit them very hard, and they were able to slip the ball and run around us and beat us. It's a great sport, and if we didn't have gridiron, Americans would fall in love with it - especially the Rugby League 13-a-side code. The players are all well-conditioned, and head injuries and concussions are rare. I did see an Aussie get kicked in the head, but it really, really was an accident. Rugby's also adopted the yellow/red card system, so violent hits are punished on the spot.

Would red and yellow cards work in the NFL, I wonder? I don't suppose so but it's intriguing.

Did you know he's the only Major Leaguer in the WWE Hall of Fame?

Nope. How about that?

Hi Tracee - happy hump-day! I just found a mostly full 55 gal. drum of stickum in Pat Fisher's old backyard. Do you have an address where I can send it so Rogers and Moore can give it a try? Do you think it might help?

Redskins Park, Ashburn, VA. They might have to bathe in it but 55 gallons is a lot.

Everybody knows that little girls are tougher than the little boys on the playground. A disagreement among boys will be settled by a punch, but the girls will destroy you with words. Just yesterday I came across a boy crying, I asked him what was wrong, and one of the girls had told him (untruthfully) that his Daddy wasn't on a business trip, in fact he had died and his Mommy was keeping it from him. Cold!

Yikes. That IS bad. When I was in school, our girls were tougher than our boys, and we weren't mean girls. There was a boy who liked to look up skirts, a real perve. A bunch of us cornered him on the playground and cold cocked him. There were really mean things we would have said about his family, which was a mess, but we would NEVER have gone there. That wasn't done. Boy, have times changed. So glad I grew up where and when I did.

Tracee, Like yesterday's angry poster, I also played rugby at an elite level. I played through college and then in the Army, at one time on the top-ranked team in the military. I also played football, though admittedly not past high school. I preferred rugby but don't need to denigrate gridiron to feel tough. Comparing the two, I saw (and had) had more bumps and bruises, pulls and strains playing rugby but more serious injuries in football. There are a couple of reasons why. Once you encase someone in armor he tends to disregard his own safety, using his body as a weapon. In rugby, it only talks a couple of head-to-head knocks to your own melon before you're a hell of a lot more careful about where you stick your head. In football, yardage matters so there is a motivation to stop someone cold. In rugby there are no first downs to be had, only possession. And in rugby there's no blocking. Bottom line is that rugby is more pushing, shoving and tackling whereas football features a lot more brutal hits. Football is simply more violent. I'll put it to you this way -- “ I hope my son plays rugby when he gets older but I will absolutely forbid him from playing football. Besides, chicks dig a guy who wears a collared shirt and shorts.

Thanks for the perspective. And yes, chicks do!

I used to like the Giants until Barry Bonds blew up like a balloon. Now that he's out of the picture I like them again (does that make me a jerk?), though even if they had Bonds as a Nats fan I'd want them to beat the Phillies. What's cool to me is that if we get a Giants - Rangers Series we'll see a new winner for the first time in a while. The Rangers have never won and the Giants not since they left NY, so the SF Giants have never won, either. Might not be the best for ratings but awesome for diehard fans of the game and its history. Besides, I'd love to see The Freak go against that Rangers lineup!

I'm sort of thinking the same way. While MLB wouldn't like it, that sort of makes it more delicious for me. MLB does a lot of things I don't like, too!

Tracee If the NFL is REALLY serious about getting rid of the vicious, illegal hits, they can probably correct the problem by upping the penallty. Automatic one game suspension (which means a game check or 1/16th of salary) PLUS additional game suspensions equal to the number of games the "hittee" has to miss because of injury caused by the illegal hit. Would probably only take one or two "examples" and guys might start tackling with their arms and shoulders and not leading with their helmets first and arms tucked in. There can still be clean hard hits that are fundamental to football without the intent to injure.As Duffy Dougherty once said "Football is not a contact sport. Dancing is a contact sport. Football is a collision sport." Just keep it clean.

Yes, in a word. It's interesting to hear all the current and former players pooh-poohing the idea that the hits are too vicious. But the game has a responsibility to protect these guys, even from themselves.

I understand the concerns about player health, but as a former Redskins season ticket holder (game day experience is just too horrible to renew), I always resented paying full price for two meaningless preseason games. Baseball has the decency to charge much lower prices for Spring Training games, and you're more likely to see actual stars play than in NFL preseason. Does this make me selfish?

Nope, preseason games should be cheaper. But I no longer think the 18-game season is worth it.

They're exactly that - they work for the team. I'd be skeptical of a doctor who cleared a player during a game and am glad Cooley was smart enough to disregard the doc's OK.

Yup. He did the right thing.

So how can we FTFers make the TK show a good one for you? Should we bombard Nigel with emails? Overwhelm the TKS chat boards? Or just send you punchlines in real time?

I'm not sure we can do anything in real time given my internet connection. :) We're going to talk about Mad Men so I'm looking forward to that!

To simply know that there's a chance that the venerable BOZ might be a FTF troller, and thus see a question about your hair, or about a chatter's wife refusing to call her hubby's hair "flaxen," just made my day.

I'd love to see Boz's reaction to the questions here, which are not like his questions, I'm sure.

I hope at least one of you listens to the opening so you can head me praise the chatters!

Well, goodday, Tracee! It appears as though our very own Cheese Boy has written that he enjoys getting punched repeatedly by legendary Redskin great, Pat Fischer. Is Cheese Boy's love of physical pain limited to only enjoying it when legendary former athletes inflict it upon him, or does he also ask you to hurt him? And if he did, I fear for his wispy frame. Is he simply in need of a playful noogie?

Steinberg really loves Pat. He doesn't ask me to punch him and that's a really good thing. Can you give a bald guy a noogie?

You "seriously doubt that Radbourn expended any less effort in 1884" than pitchers of today? How fast do you think Radbourn threw? How many pitches do you think he threw, given that his K/9 and BB/9 are much lower than most pitchers throw today? (And off the top of my head, I can't remember whether walks used to be three balls in his day.) How many breaking balls and sliders do you think he threw? Each individual pitch today places more stress on an arm than the lobbing that was customary in Radbourn's day. Today's pitching injuries center on ligaments and tendons, not muscles, which illustrates that the durability issue has nothing to do with toughness and everything to do with the limits of human physiology. If you doubt my word, take the word of Christy Mathewson, who openly said in "Pitching in a Pinch" that pitchers of his time take it easy and don't throw the really hard stuff more than ten times a game.

Some points about Radbourn.

Old Hoss Radbourn was a butcher by trade. And he did moan and groan to management about having to pitch all of those innings without a raise. (The other pitcher - THE OTHER PITCHER - on the team got hurt). Tough indeed.

Butcher in those days mean slaughtering beef and toting sides of beef. He would have been pretty tough, all right.

the Jackal

What was that movie with Anthony Edwards?

Where do we get it?

www.espn980.com and there is a place to click right at the top of the page...

to Virginia Thomas?

No, I think not.

You just said "How about that" to the Uecker question but that's a Mel Allen line! I just hope when the doctor goes in to make the incision, nobody has to say "Juuuust a bit out side" or "Whoops, tried the corner and missed"

I must use "juuuust a bit outside" at least once a day.

the old timers arms became. That's not something that would have been documented or known. People back then really didn't care about the players' health.

Very true. I don't think we ought to return to those days.

Maybe Boz is reading your chat to find out ways to increase his answer speed. He doesn't seem to quite get that -- especially on an Internet chat -- five-paragraph answers aren't always the best thing.

Well, this is also the way Boz talks. He's a lot deeper than me. We make a good team. :)

You do these every day and frequently go over time. I'd say you have the stamina to play rugby!

I know, I've got to stop now! I'm sorry I didn't quite get to as many questions as I want. This was an experiment; not sure I'll repeat it. Let's talk tomorrow, when I'll be back in the hole.

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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