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

Dec 05, 2013

This week, Tracee Hamilton discusses all the sports news.

Follow @TraceeHamilton on Twitter's pretty $weet to $ee the $EC refs try to give their #1 team one more chance to win, just to have it bite them in the butt. And kudos to Michigan for having the guts to try to beat their archrival. Better to lose with glory than to go to overtime. TBHitW

I wondered for a minute about the Hoke call, but with an injured QB, why not go for it? Pretty gutsy though. And the Alabama-Auburn game, say what you will about the SEC (and you always have something to say!) was the best game I've seen in a long, long time.

And speaking of a long, long time, it feels that it's been awhile since we've done this. So let's get started!

The NFL is fining Mike Tomlin $100K. Where does the money go? The owners? A player's fund?


I was in London last week and have news about a Ripper Street plot development that will please you (as it did me). Will only reveal if you want to know..........

Oh, my. Well, I don't want to ruin it for everyone but still, would love to know.

Randy Edsall obliquely calls out his players after a loss, and people call for his head. Meanwhile, Mark Turgeon calls out his players, bluntly, at nearly every opportunity, and gets a pass. And now it looks like the Terps are no better than last season, and might very well be worse. When does Turgeon's seat start getting warm?

I think this is the season. Sunday's game against GW is big. I think GW has an excellent chance to win, and then Turgeon's seat gets very warm. I freely admit, I thought Turg would be great here and he still may be. This is the year he needs to get into the tournament. There's a lot of hoops to be played, however.

What do you think of the decision by the B1G 10 conference to not suspend any players from the OSU/Michigan brawl? It was obvious that punches were thrown by both sides and behavior was out of control. Is this a case of the conference (and its members) putting money before character similar to allowing Buckeye players to participate in a bowl game despite "tattoo-gate"? Do you think players would have been suspended if one of the teams didn't have a shot at the national title?

Truthfully? Yes, I think if Ohio State were Poinsettia Bowl-bound (does that even still exist) there would have bene suspensions. And should have been.

Hi, Tracee! I know you must be happy to see the Chiefs finally return to the upper levels of the league, and I have a request: if you happen to talk with the new GM who's getting the credit, please tell him I want my collector's edition Beatles albums back. You may remember, the White Album on white vinyl, and the red and blue collections on matching vinyl? He'll know what you're talking about--he swiped them from my dorm room. Thanks -- TBHitW

Ha! Yes, I'll get right on that. And if my former roommates from the house on Missouri Street (yes,  Missouri Street) read this, I want my autographed copy of "The Glory of Their Times" back.

where the hell have you been for the last 45 years? It's football season, you moron, and "60 Minutes" *always* gets delayed by the late game. It's been that way since Lyndon Johnson was president, and it's not gonna change. This minor pet peeve brought to you by Section 405

This made me laugh. My "taping" of Sunday night shows is a complicated mess thanks to CBS's in ability to admit the obvious -- they have more programming than can fit in prime time. After seeing "The Mentalist" this season, that's a show that could definitely be lopped off the schedule!

Tracee, I am truly happy about acquiring Doug Fister; I hope the third time is the charm. I can't help but be sorry about losing Steve Lombardozzi, however. I'm sorrier about losing him than I was about losing Michael Morse, primarily because Lombo is such a local man. I live two miles from his father's high school and often pass it, and my daughter has played basketball at Atholton High School. If push came to shove, I'd have almost rather given Tyler Too (no, never Tyler One!) to keep him. It seemed we could always count on him, and he played his heart out. Your thoughts?

I was sorry to see Lombardozzi go, too. Another fan favorite like Morse and a very versatile player who did precisely what was asked of him without complaint, unless I'm forgetting something.

Sports -and everything else are supervised by the Moon, so why don't we have a weather station on the moon by now? We still don't know clouds at all.

Call Sen. McCain. I think he's in charge of that.

I'm a little concerned - this deal seems too good to be true. We get a solid #4 starter, at age 29, a groundball guy, no injury history, for two years (at little more than what we paid for one year of Haren), and we paid Detroit some magic beans?

Lombo is a real nice guy and a versatile fielder, but his OBP was .278 and his WAR was -0.5 (Baseball Reference). Krol was a nice toss-in from the Morse deal, and was an effective reliever the first couple of games he appeared in, then not so much. Krol's WAR was +0.1. Robbie Ray, the minor leaguer had not been on my radar, so I had to look him up. He split last season between Potomac and Harrisburg, went 11-5 with a .336 ERA . He was rated the Nats' #5 prospect. Clearly a good pitcher and he's only 22, but AA is far, far away from the majors.

Fister was 14-9, with a 3.67 ERA last year. He threw 208.2 innings. He's pitched in 8 postseason games, and went 3-2 in them. Fister's Baseball Reference WAR is 4.5. That means we gave up 2 major leaguers who between them were almost half a game worse than generic ballplayers for a guy who gives you 4.5 more wins than a generic player. What would 5 more wins have done last year?

My concern is that Detroit's GM Dombrowski is not an idiot, and there had to have been a reason for him to make this apparently lopsided trade. Detroit area blogs and chatter seem to think it's a salary dump - Fister stands to get about $8 million in arbitration (he made $4 M last year), and they're saving their pennies for Scherzer. Alternative theories are that Dombrowski sees really, really great potential in the Ray kid, or "musta been drunk". My worry is that he sees signs that Fister is going to decline rapidly. Then again, Rizzo is no idiot either. What do you think?

Section 405

I think Dombrowski is perhaps the best in the game, or close to it. Rizzo is no slouch. I don't THINK this is a pig in a poke and that it is more of a salary dump. However, you aren't the only one who is concerned.

I must be missing something. Detroit gives away a great pitcher to the Nationals for almost nothing. Has Doug Fister been hanging out with Rob Ford lately? Joking aside, I sure hope there is a physical exam involved because great teams like Detroit don't give away pitchers just to save some money, especially after already shedding Prince Fielder's huge contract. It usually involves something like "shoulder soreness" or "bone chips in the elbow."

This is the alternate theory and worry. Surely after the Haren experience the Nats checked him thoroughly. Surely.

Why don't the Nats make some effort to sign Cano? Rendon would be great off the bench and poised to take over 3rd base once Zim moves over to 1st base. A move like this would show me that the Nats are serious. Fister, etc. are fine moves, but I'd like to see the Nats be the predominant favorite ... not just a contender.

I don't think that's a bad idea but I'm not sure the Nats would agree. 405, what do you think?

Are you rooting for a Michigan State victory over Ohio State so that we don't have to witness another Big10 team getting blown out in a national championship game? Shouldn't we just default to the top two ranked SEC teams for the national championship each year? No other conference can produce a team that's even close.

Part of me would like to see Auburn and Alabama again, just because of the quality of that game. But the rematch is never as good. FSU vs. OSU would be fine, depending on Winston's availability. I do know that no matter what, it will be another controversial national title game.

So I scored so primo seats for Sunday's game, and now the Capital Weather Gang is forecasting gloom and doom, and not the kind on the football field. I am an old KC-er from the Ed Podolak era, and have gone to about 3 NFL games in my life, primarily because my pay stubs had to spent elsewhere. But I'll be there in the freezing sleet and rain in my version of Red & Yellow (not Burgundy & Gold).

If you lived in KC, you will have experienced worse weather than anything you'll get Sunday. Leave early, drive carefully, and have a grand time!

Your alma mater will be looking for another football coach sooner than later. Perhaps it ought to turn to the cradle of coaches for a MACtious tuneup. Oh, wait...Turner Gill. Okay, so maybe you ought to stick with one of the actual Mid-American MAC schools. Oh, wait...Glen Mason. Well, anyway, that Ball State guy might bite. If you get really lucky, you might get the Northern Illinois coach (Lawrence is much nicer than DeKalb in so many ways). Over here in Mizzouland, we're pretty pleased with our MACbuddy, even if some of us remain somewhat bit bitter about the whole SEC thing. Still, if we hadn't left, you wouldn't have won a game in conference. So you gotta thank us for ol' West Virginny. Always look on the bright side...

Ha! Yes, thank you! Of course we'll be looking for a new coach, which I believe I said the day he was hired. I admit, I thought Mizzou was in over its head in the SEC but congrats to your team for proving me wrong.

I don't expect Weis to be gone for a bit, though, because the amount owed him will be staggering, and Gill is still cashing his checks. Oy.

from the beginning of the chat until Pitchers and Catchers report. A public service announcement from Section 405

Thanks, 405, for reminding us of our priorities!

Can I remind you of a certain Alfonso Soriano, who had a good year with the Nats in '06? Remember how bent out of shape the talk radio callers got when the Nats passed on him, and the Cubs signed him to a long-term expensive ($18 million/year) contract in '07? Do you realize that *he's still under that contract*? The Cubs are eating $13 million of his 2014 salary even though he's playing for the Yankees. He's probably not worth the $5 million the Yankees are paying. 

Other long-term deals for old guys: Alex Rodriguez Albert Pujols Josh Hamilton Adam Dunn hasn't worked out too well for the Sox, either, and I was one of the folks clamoring loudly for the Nats to keep him (and think about that, all you "bring back Mike Morse" people) . Live and learn, and, as I've said on several occasions, Rizzo knows a lot more about this stuff than I do. Section 405

The argument against Cano (which 405 answered before I asked).

So the NFL fined him $100,000 and will possibly adjust the Steelers draft picks for 2014. He continues to say it was an accident and coaches of other teams are backing him. Call me skeptical but who in their right mind would stand on the sideline of a professional football game and keep their back to the action? We've all seen players running, diving, being blocked into the sidelines and knocking down refs, players, coaches, cameramen, Sean Payton, etc. In most of these, the person on the sideline is watching the action but can't get out of the way in time. It defies all logic to willingly and knowingly stand with your back to the action on the sideline - unless he wanted to stand with his back to the action for some other purpose.

I have a hard time believing it was deliberate, although I don't know. I think the draft pick thing is too much, but I think the fine is fair. Coaches know where they can stand. As the NFL has said, intent is not taken into account.

The Wizards are in third place in the NBA East. Can they move Miami and Indiana out and rename the East "Division 1AA"? Section 405

Hoping to see the Wizards continue their success and get Otto Porter on the court. It's time to get off the playoff schneid.

Yep - last Saturday, that was pretty special! Everyone's been talking about it! It might be a long time before we see another one like it! (I understand the Ohio State-Michigan and Alabama-Auburn games were also interesting.) K-Stater

Ha! I was hoping you'd check in so I could say congratulations. I'd like to say I was shocked by the result but I can't lie to you, K-Stater. We stink.

I'm so happy that there is the possibility of not having an SEC team in the National Championship that I will willingly cheer for Ohio State this weekend!


How does Urban Meyer back away from his 2006 quote that a 12-1 SEC team should play for the BCS title because of the difficulty of their schedule? Now he's saying that it shouldn't matter? Can he have it both ways? Ohio State's schedule doesn't come close to either Auburn or Missouri's in terms of playing ranked teams, teams going to bowls, teams with winning records, etc.

Maybe he has changed his mind.

Kidding. Of course he's going to think whatever gets his team the best position. He's a football coach. And he's a little desperate because his conference let him down this year by being ... not good.

And BYU is playing in it in 2016 and 2018! - how will that work for the Cougars? the plant is poisonous to cats...

Be careful, kitties!

(My cat is eating artificial needles off my trees. Then they come back again in one form or another. Fun!)

Sorry, I started Googling.... there are 35 (thirty-five!) (!!) bowls happening this year, and they're adding three next year for non-power-conference teams like the MAC so that they feel included too (or at least, I hope, can get some revenue). One of those three is the Bahamas Bowl in Nassau. I'd say that's not fair, but I did get to spend a week in Hawaii over Christmas when my alma mater went to the Oahu Bowl when I was in the pep band. :)

The sheer number is ridiculous. They are nearing the "trophies for participation" stage.

Dombrowski's on vacation...Matt Millen is filling in for him. TBHitW

Now THAT'S funny.

What would he add? Money would be better spent on left hand reliever help. Cano will be a Yankee for next 5 years give or take.

Agree about the money. I sense a lot of Nats fans just want to be in the conversation about big name free agents.

The episode of "The Mentalist" that is set to air this Sunday night includes an extended scene where the mentalist (no caps) uses his noggin and "powers" to determine the exact start time for 60 Minutes after the football game ends. That is epic TV.

THAT I'd watch. That show has jumped the shark about a million times now. Too bad.

Say a big time QB gets injured (or indicted), does the team's BCS ranking go down even though the team hasn't lost any games? Hypothetical question of course.

I don't think so.

I wrote a longish , negative post on the Nats and Cano even before you asked my opinion.

I know; I acknowledged it!

Emily, (the weepy wife, the morose mother, the righteous reformer) has left Reid, and therefore left the show. And a good riddance and happy ever after to her!

Oh, best news ever. Hated her.

If you could make just one change to help the Redskins be better next year, what would it be? "Everything" does not count!

Oh, right now I'm torn between a big play receiver or a behemoth lineman. I'd probably go with the latter.

But maybe if his conference was good, Ohio State wouldn't be undefeated. Maybe his conference helped him just when he needed it most.

Helped him be undefeated, but didn't help him when it comes to strength of schedule.

But if Millen was filling in for Dombrowski he would have required a first round pick to be used on ANOTHER wide receiver! -Handle Pending

Ba dum dum.

Sen. McCain isn't the one to talk to about a weather station / base on the Moon - you want Newt Gingerich for that. -- space cadet

Thanks, space cadet, and right you are. And this is a perfect example of why we don't talk politics (so to the person who sent the very political question/rant, you have the wrong chat).

But it would have been just a little better if the Auburn return man had to maneuver his way through the Alabama marching band for the last 20 yards.

Or dodge Nick Saban.

Tracee, I must say that while it is very early this looks like it could be a fantastic college hoops season. Not so much for the quality of play, that ship sailed with the relaxing of the "hardship" rules and the arrival of one and done, but in terms of competitiveness. No one seems to be so good that they can't be beaten and there are a number of teams that "can" play at the top of the pack. I admit that I predicted my Heels would lose by 30 at Michigan State given how UNC was outrebounded badly by UAB, but what a complete game they played.

I like it when the teams are sort of all decent. Makes the tournament more interesting. I wasn't sorry KU lost to Villanova, and I figured MSU would lose this month. The rankings right now are just silly.

35 bowl games? That means 70 teams, or 56% of the FBS teams finished with 6 wins or better. Either there's a ton of mediocrity out there (Rozelle smiled) or the standards are so low you and I may see our schools in bowl games. TBHitW

Lord, I hope not.

Living in KC the death last Sunday in the Arrowhead parking lot is a BIG story. It's currently looking like confusion fueled by alcohol led to a guy in the wrong place at the wrong time getting killed. Do you think the NFL has any responsibility for its drunken fans' actions?

Yes, I do. The guy gets in a wrong car and ends up dead? Yeesh. The Dodgers and baseball were responsible for that Giants fan who was killed.

With Martin Erat's trade request, the trade that gave up a top prospect for him looks even worse than it did at the time. Doesn't GM George McPhee deserve a lot more criticism than he's been getting the past week?

Yes, you are right, I thought trading Forsberg was wrong and still think so.

Tracee I think you should do your best rendition of Santa baby and maybe the Skins will get a new coach and who knows a new owner. Couldnt hurt.

Love that song, but I fear even my vocal abilities wouldn't be enough.

Trying to apply Santayanna to MLB (those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it), don't you see the Yankee$ 7 year mega deal for Ellsbury as another sign they are done? You look at the teams that are dominating this century, the Red Sox (3), Giants (2), and Cardinals(2), especially in the past few years, and you see teams built with mostly farm system main parts and pieces added at the edges through Free Agency. The teams doing the mega deals with mega stars, like the Angels, are failing. I think signing good fits like what the Red Sox did last year is more valuable than big splashes. I would make an exception for the Werth deal though and the Nats needed to add some credibility and they knowingly overpaid for him.

I certainly think the Ellsbury deal is excessive, but very Yankee. I agree about trying to get it done by making a big buy.

Hammer Time: Two items: 1. As I recall you're not drinking at this point, no? Too bad -- Flying Dog is about to release, just in time for Christmas, its Cinnamon Porter. Yum. 2. RE: NFL fine money -- ESPN just did a pretty good segment on SportsCenter on this. It does appear to go to good causes . . . How was Thanksiving?

Oh, cinnamon. Sounds great. Nuts. I may have to jump off the bandwagon during the 10 days family is in my house. :)

Glad to hear the money goes somewhere useful and not to the NFL, which makes enough on its own. Thanksgiving was dull. TV dinner, decorating, put together a bathroom cabinet, fixed the mistake made putting together a bathroom cabinet. All my focus is on Dec. 19, when my parents arrive. TWO WEEKS!

Nothing, I repeat NOTHING, will ever beat "The Play," when Cal used all those lateral passes for a come-from-behind victory to win "The Axe" and beat Stanford, its Band and John Elway in the 1982 Big Game -- Saturday's Auburn run-back doesn't even come close!

I would agree with that. It was certainly one of the best, but that one just had all the elements.

When the Caps traded for Erat, they thought they were a player or so away from a legitimate run at the Cup. They didn't need a prospect. They needed a player to perform right then. Erat didn't happen to be that guy, but he did not cause the Caps premature exit. The locker room is largely the same in that regard.

No, he's not to blame, but McPhee is for thinking he would fit. I'd rather had Forsberg back.

You like that song? Only the Eartha Kitt version can be tolerated. Madonna sang it like a cartoon, and Taylor Swift sang it like she was reading a grocery list. Not a classic.

Eartha Kitt's is the version I like. No, the song is not a classic but the way she sang it was pretty great.

Nice pull on Ed Podolak. Way better than Len Dawson, Buck Buchanan, or Jan Stenerud, although I do still have a Buck Buchanan football card from back in the day. No pictures of Podolak (good thing).

I don't know if Podolak was part of the team that came to my hometown to play the Jaycees in basketball. Buck Buchanan was. I always loved Podolak. Those were the players I first remember watching.

And now I'm off for a cortisone shot. That's what I'm giving myself for Christmas. Surgery scheduled for late February and I can't wait. This is the last shot I can have so I need to make the most of it. :) Talk to you all next week!

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.

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