Nov 10, 2010

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

Interesting to see the dialogue on living in Kansas. Coming to Topeka several years ago we were given a very cold shoulder which we chalked up to our being "outsiders". Natives seem to love it, but transplants not so much. To quote a friend who did some time there, "It's a great place to be from".

Sorry to hear that. I can't speak for those big cities like Topeka :) ... It's certainly less warm and friendly than it was 30 years ago, but so is everywhere, I think. We're all in such a hurry.

Now that I think of it, though, I had the worst research experience of my life at the Kansas Historical Society in Topeka. Truly a rude, rude woman, which is very unusual in genealogy and history research.

Okay, let's get to it.

According to the Live Q&A calendar, this Wednesday chat is your last this week. "Say it ain't so, Joe" Sect 405

As of this minute, I have no plans to miss any chats. I'm heading to the dr this afternoon, though, so we'll see. :) Hoping it's bronchitis, fearing it's pneumonia. Man, I can't wait for this year to end.

Tracee - Please enjoy reading this amazingly prescient bit of football handicapping from Texas Gov. Rick Perry as featured in the Dallas Apologist. Oh...wait, no, it was in the Washington Post. "...with a young quarterback in his prime and a top-tier defense, the Cowboys have folks in Big D thinking "hometown Super Bowl."  I couldn't even believe that the Post ran that nonsense back in September, and it looks even more bankrupt now. What were you all thinking?!

I think the idea (not mine) was good, to try a combo of sports and politics,  but the execution has been spotty. And that one was pretty wretched, I agree.

Transplanted Colorado native here, I was wondering since you grew up in the Midwest did you ever have hot Dr. Pepper? They served it at high school football games when I was growing up (in the '70s). I don't know if they still do, and I haven't found anyone out here who ever heard of it. (I probably shouldn't even be posting here since I can't reply during, but I love your chats)

I've heard of hot Dr. Pepper; it was never served at our football games, though. I don't think I ever had it. When I worked at the swimming pool, we used to make a drink we called a suicide -- we just ran a cup under all of the soda spigots -- Coke, Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew. Truly awful but we loved 'em.\

Did you have Teem in Colorado? My grandpa King was a Teem man.

And yes, we ARE the official beverage chat of the Washington Post.

Getting tuned up for the KS deer season yet? The Whitetail bucks are big around Lawrence this year. Nothing like a crisp early morning in the field stubble, thermos of coffee in one hand and your .270 Winchester on your hip.

I learned to shoot with a Winchester, but I never shot a deer. Went out with my dad once, though. Too boring for me at that age, but I did like to shoot. I had a very close miss with a deer in May when I was home, closest I've ever come. I could see the whites of his eyes. But I've never hit one, thank God.

One reader followed up on the Tribe's ranking. While it's true that they're ranked #1 in the Sports Network poll, the coaches' poll has Delaware #1.

Ah, thanks for the clarification.

Tracee - As always, love the chats and the comraderie with the chatters! Why do you think ESPN fired *both* Morgan and Miller? The consensus was always that Morgan pulled down Miller's abilities - anyone who has listened to him call a game on radio knows he was better than allowed to be on SNB. Do you think the network just didn't want to concede what many people felt, that Morgan was an insufferable, unknowledgeable buffoon, so they took out two birds with one stone as a cover? Thanks for your response and daily chats! Thanks for your response!

I can't see them firing Miller to get rid of Morgan. I think they genuinely wanted him off the telecast. Why, I do not know. I've read some articles critical of BOTH men but I am a fan of Miller's; he's the last of the old-school guys, in my mind, he and Vin Scully.

How is it that Jeter won the AL Gold Glove at shortstop? He finished the year ranked 32nd out of 35 Major League shortstops in fielding stats (runs saved) because of his very limited range. Even the great Wizard of Sport - BOZ - writes that Jeter has very limited range. Yet he won - and, oddly, in his contract year. How much lobbying is there for these awards? I would think teams lobby, but to athletes and or their agents? It's certainly in the athlete's and agent's interest to win such an award - and the big bucks that come with it. How prevalent is this, and were you lobbied to vote for Jeter (or maybe just saw some campaign signs in the occasional press box)?

I don't know how much lobbying goes on. The Post doesn't allow employees to vote for these things, and this is one reason. (The big reason, of course, is that these awards can kick in bonus money, and we don't want to be in a position of helping decide if a guy gets paid or not.) I've never seen a campaign sign or anything like that. I don't believe I would have voted for Jeter either way.

You gotta love JJ Junior forgetting to renew -- yet another Idiot Son situation. Not quite Dolanesque, but give him time...

Oops. The timing couldn't be worse for them.

Trace, John Feinstein, whom I think is a very good writer and can be a great guest on TK's show, needs to stop covering the Skins and shut his mouth about the McNabb situation. It is painfully clear to everyone that he detests Dan Snyder...for whatever reason, for whatever Snyder did to Feinstein, he is harboring a serious grudge. However, he is letting his hatred for Snyder blind him when he inserts the race card into the McNabb benching. Everyone on the planet is in full agreement that the decision was a poor one and it was handled even more poorly. But for someone with the intelligence, seemingly, of John Feinstein to beat this overly beaten drum simply to further his agenda of hatred against Dan Snyder and now the Redskins, is absurd and damaging his reputation as a writer. Your thoughts...

I won't get into colleague bashing, ever, but I will say this: I have heard both sides of the racism argument and I would just urge caution in going for what looks like an easy shot to take, at this point. To know if someone is truly racist, you have to know that person pretty well and over a period of time. I've said this before about my refusal to jump to conclusions of sexism when I've been treated badly by a player, a team, a colleague, whoever. I've known women who play that card every time they hit a bump in the road and it's a dangerous road to go down. I don't think we have enough data to make what can be dangerous accusations.

"The dr" would be a good name for a bar. Almost as good as those bars in college towns named "the library." Oh yeah -- sports content. Five straight for the Capitals. How long can they continue to look like they'll lose and yet win?

That would be a good bar name. I like "the library" too. We didn't have one of those. As for the Caps ... amazing. And I think a lot of fans are freaking because they are worried they are once again wasting all their good mojo on the regular season. I don't envy the Caps fans this season; they will work themselves into a frenzy and I don't blame them.

And I'll say this about the Caps -- thank God we have one non-dysfunctional team in town. No drama, except when the puck drops.

if you didn't become a grizzled sports Guru/Editor/Journalist, who routinely barks orders at Wilbon, and who, despite a gruff exterior, has a heart of gold? Law school, med school, writer of fiction, technician to Shanny's laser eyes? Just curious. Thanks!

I wanted to be a cop or a shrink. If I were picking today and knew where newspapers were heading, I'd go to vet school.

No question. Just very excited to be reading the chat live rather than at lunch. When our internet went down yesterday for several hours, my first thought was "what will I do while I eat my lunch if I can't read the chat transcript?" For the chocolate lovers, in the winter I make a modified irish coffee. After I get back home from walking the dog, I make some hot chocolate and add some baileys and a splash (or 2) of whiskey. Throw in a marshmellow and it makes for a wonderful dinner!!

Do you have to read when you eat? I do. I mean, not when I eat with others but when I eat alone, I HAVE to have a book now. I'm so screwed up.

I worked my way through college as a radio rock and roll disc jockey and hot (think body temp) Dr. Pepper was always what we'd drink to soothe a scratchy throat. Chocolate stouts might have been more enjoyable, but a couple of those would mess up your timing.

Hmmm, maybe that's what I need today. I know I need something. Well, if I don't get antibiotics, that'll be my second line of defense.

For all of those who say that "football is a rough game" and injuries are to be expected, please try and remember Jim "Yazoo" Smith, who played for the Redskins in the '60s, was injured in a freak accident and has never recovered. Also, there is a study, recently done, that shows that every time a catcher or umpire is hit by a foul ball, it amounts to a whiplash injury. Just imagine being in a car crash 50 - 60 times a year and being whiplashed each time. How many of those people who defend those doing the helmet hits really understand the seriousness of the injury and what science has just begun to discover.

The brain remains such a mystery, even with all the medical advancements we've made.

I drink iced tea year around, and I make it with the family sized Luzianne teabags. I use three teabag, about 40 ounces of water, two cups of ice, and a half cup of Equal in my Mr. Coffee iced tea maker. I let it steep for two hours. Makes a 3 cup pitcher full. Good even in winter.

I, too, drink iced tea year 'round. Hurray for us!

New uniforms for the Nats tonight. I, for one, am looking forward to ditching the block red, gold letters foisted on us by Bud's House of Fashion back in '05. But it's interesting how many posters to Nats Journal and elsewhere are criticizing this change for the reason that the team should concentrate on winning.... If the Nats' can't manage changing the look of uniforms AND making offseason moves at the same time then this franchise is much more dysfunctional than anyone imagined. And that's a lot of imagining.

Well, I agree -- I don't think Mike Rizzo and the scouting staff are in some sweatshop, stitching these things together, so I think it's safe to say they can do two things at once.

Tracy, this is DC. Why must we suffer through so many Kansas related questions and responses? Most of us have never been there, and have no interest in Kansas sports / life / politics / cuisine, etc. I'm not trying to knock the place, I'm just sayin'...

Well, can't you skip over 'em? I think there have been two today. And we spent an entire day talking about Anita's, which is nowhere near Kansas. I sort of go where the chat takes us, or try to.

My wife and I attended a fantastic program put on by the Smithsonian last night which featured former "Postie" Jane Leavy talking about her new biography of Mickey Mantle. The panel featured a former PR guy from the Yankees, former Senators and Redskins PA announcer Phil Hochburg, and the very entertaining Jim Bouton, author of possibly the greatest sports book ever, BALL FOUR. Did you get a chance to attend? I could have listened to them speak for hours, each of them had something to add based on their personal experiences and professions. I cannot wait to read Jane's book. Did you get to work with her at the Post? I wish there were more programs of this calibre relating to sports. It truly kicked off the Hot Stove league for me. Just 90 something days until pitchers and catchers report!

I've met Jane but our time at the Post didn't overlap. Her Koufax book got tremendous reviews and I think her Mantle book is getting the same.

T-Ham, you wrote: "The Post doesn't allow employees to vote for these things, and this is one reason." It's a good policy by The Post but another, even better reason at least when it comes to the Gold Gloves, is that the voters for those awards are each league's managers and coaches, not members of the media.

Ha! Touche. Yes, of course. We don't vote for rookie of the year, etc., or for things like the ALCS MVP (they send around ballots in the press box at the final game). Thanks for the cx.

And Team Flakes! The Midwest was a great place to grow up, then leave. Also, you can get a deer whistle for about $5 at Wally World. You stick it to the front grill and you won't see a deer from the car again. I just wish my pyscho ex had let me put one on her truck when I lived on the Eastern shore.

I swear by those deer whistles, but I was driving a rental car. :)

I feel like I may have asked this somewhere else once, but I have a problem with that policy. If every outlet had that rule, no one would be able to vote. Do you think it's fair that the missing vote(s) could potentially make a difference? The Post doesn't trust it's journalists to be unbiased?

No, it's not that, but say you cover the Nats and you vote for someone from the Phillies for some award instead of a Nat, and the Nat misses an incentive bonus, he's going to hold that against you, the voter. Best to keep yourself out of the equation. (That's maybe not the greatest example but it's a 30-minute chat, in theory.)

Why do these people think they deserve the job for life? I'm a fan, too, but 20 years is enough. It's like politicians who would rather die in office than retire.

 A lot of people regard Jon Miller as the best in the game right now. I don't think it's because he's been their 20 years. Some other people don't care for him, from some comments I read, and apparently ESPN has reached that conclusion as well.

I can see why folks would not like Joe Morgan, but once you get past his attitude, he is, in my opinion, the best analyst out there. He conveys the subtleties of the game without you even realizing it.

And there's a vote for Joe Morgan.

What is the backstory there? Come on, Trace, spill it...

There is a story but I honestly can't remember it. I'll have to get TK to remind me.

Hi Tracee, Boz confirmed what I have thought for a while. When I hear people talk about the "young' Wizards, i wonder who they are talking about. Blatche will never be a complete player, Yi is good offensively but can't guard anyone, Hinrich works harder than anyone but is an average player and Gilbert may or may not return to the player he was. The playoff team that Wizards fans dream of is not on the floor this year. The draft in the next few years will tell the story of the Wizards.

Oh, no, there is zero chance this team makes the playoffs. I think 30 wins would be a good effort, maybe a great effort.

Traci , is the Post sending anyone down to the Nats Uni-Unveiling? Did you get an invite? If you are not using it, can I have it?

You know, I don't think I did get an invitation. I assume that Cheese Boy will be there, and maybe Boz. I am self-quarantining so that I don't become the Typhoid Mary of Washington sports.

Tracee, please don't worry about the stray complaints regarding "Kansas" or beverage questions. What makes this chat great is that it is "you," or at least you in chat form. Viva la Hammeltime!

Thanks, HP.

And for that first-thing-on-a-cold-morning pick-me-up, go ahead and add a little coffee to your cup. I drove across Kansas once on the way from Denver to Dallas. Longest, flattest three days of my life, except for the A&W hot dog stand and Bob Dole's boyhood home.

I assume you turned south while in Kansas and skipped the eastern part of the state. Because from the middle to the east it's not at all flat. You missed the good stuff! Western Kansas is flat, but nothing is flatter than eastern Colorado. Nothing.

Hey, anti-Kansas guy: it's ridiculous to complain about the questions Tracee choses to answer. It only makes you look like your ego is on par with Jerry Jones. Now, Tracee, why haven't you responded to any of MY questions today?

Because they weren't about Kansas, silly!

That probably would have meant going to K-State! You would have loved the Little Apple! -K-Stater

Yes, I would have had to go to K-State. That might have been a deal-breaker for my folks, but then, of course, I didn't want to be a vet. And of course I'm not going to ever be a vet now.

Hi T-Ham. At the risk of "going too 1987," I was wondering if you were a fan of "The Far Side?" If not, perhaps fellow chatters might like to weigh in. What's your favorite caption? Mine is (something like): "The ghost of Baron von Steinitz, murdered by the Dutchess of Prussia and her lover (believed to be the Duke of Norwood), falls into Edna's bean dip."

Love the Far Side. My favorite -- and this isn't accurate - is "blah blah blah blah Ginger. blah blah blah blah Ginger." You'll know the one I mean.

I was actually in Kansas once (I live in NoVa) and the one thing that amazed me was that the speed limit on the interstate was posted as 70.

How great was it to drive on highways with no traffic? My family is baffled when they come here because to them, getting on a highway and going somewhere means driving the speed limit or higher, and no traffic. Fat chance!

Have been proven beyond a doubt not to work. Having a full auto street sweeper firing out the winter at dusk or dawn has been proven to prevent deer and car collisions. We glaze ham with Dr Pepper. its contains prune juice you know.

I don't understand the street sweeper part of this so maybe you can come back tomorrow and explain? But it's interesting.

And I finished up with a lot of Kansas questions, and not even deliberately. But I've probably lost a chatter anyway. Sorry! Okay, I've gotta go, but no matter what the chat schedule says, 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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