First Things First -- Tracee Hamilton on the latest sports news

Network News

X Profile
View More Activity
Tracee Hamilton
Friday, August 27, 2010; 9:30 AM

_______________________

Accusation of softballs: I don't get that guy's complaint about yesterday's Boswell column. He said it was all softballs (Nerf may have been the actual accusation), but it was pretty negative. It basically said, Skins won't be as good as the fans seem to think they will, and he predicted a 7-9 record. Exactly how is that a softball column?

Tracee Hamilton: I don't know. I also don't know how I'm supposed to be a shill for a man I've never met in my life, but people think the darnedest things.And good morning to all!

_______________________

Harper: OK, so he's lost the obnoxious eye black/makeup, but do you think someone on the team could tell hiim that we don't wear a black jacket, black waistcoat and black shirt around here? He looked like a mafia hitman. And on the subject of cliches, he would have made Crash Davis proud yesterday. "I just want to do whatever I can to help the organization."

Tracee Hamilton: He's Vegas, baby! And yes, what was the line? "You're going to have to learn your cliches. You're gonna have to study them, you're gonna have to know them. They're your friends."

_______________________

Post's Redskins Coverage: I don't know if the guy who wrote in yesterday was joking about the Post's "softball" Redskins coverage, but how could you not stand up for your paper against such idiocy? Need we forget that last year's season started with the Post publishing a three-part story bashing the franchise for suing fans? The beat writer clearly thinks the Redskins powers that be are idiots (he's right), , and so do the MW's (Wilbon and Wise) if you read their columns. If you read the sports section last season, you would have thought you were reading about the French Revolution. I know alot of Redskins fans who think the Post's coverage is too negative, and that they should be more Rah Rah.And of course the coverage was at its "Nerf" worst during the first Gibbs era; THAT'S WHEN THE REDSKINS WERE A CONSISTENTLY DOMINANT TEAM! Come on Tracy, stand up to the abuse!

Tracee Hamilton: There are people who want to debate, and people whose minds are made up. I don't like to waste my time on the second group. But I try to throw out a wide range of opinion, like the military guy/gal who thinks Shanny is a poor leader, and the guy/gal who thinks we're all in Snyder's pocket. It cracks me up because again, I've never met the man. He came to the Post once and I was in the room with him, but never met him.A funny story about this visit (at least I think it's funny). We had lunch at the Post -- I believe this was the Marty era -- and Mrs. Graham's chef prepared the meal, which was shad roe. I've never had a worse meal ever, and apparently neither had the Skins people, because Snyder and Karl Swanson called my boss from the car on the way home to say they were in a Burger King drivethru. I thought that was hilarious and showed a great sense of humor. We didn't see that very often.(This also led to one of the great fights between my boss George Solomon and me, when I announced it was the worst meal I'd ever had and George said, "No it wasn't." Even now I'm laughing. How the heck could George know that? I walked out of work to one of those Asian steam table places for some General Tso's.)

_______________________

Nats done with Dunn?: How concerned should we be that Dunn hasn't signed a new contract? To the fans it's a no brainer and I think if the Nats don't sign Dunn Boz will have a coronary. Unless I'm very much mistaken he's devoted more ink to sell Dunn - to include what must have been countless hours studying very stat imaginable - than to any other subject all year. On a side note, does Boz prefer Boz with a 'z' or Bos with an 's'? Thanks.

Tracee Hamilton: I've never asked Boz which spelling he prefers. His column slug is BOZ, and was when I came to the Post, so he's Boz to me. I consulted Boz about this Saturday night during the game -- before the Strasmess made him catatonic -- and he seems convinced they will in fact sign Dunn. So I am convinced as well. I certainly hope they do. Now that Harper is a done deal surely there's time to devote to signing Dunn?

_______________________

You've never met Boswell ??: How's that ?

Tracee Hamilton: No, no, Dan Snyder. I've certainly met Boz.

_______________________

Bryce Harper: Nice intro. . .now let's forget about him for a year as there's no hope he'll see the inside of Nats Park again until 2012. . .maybe not until 2013.

Tracee Hamilton: I'll get interested when he gets to Potomac, I have to admit.

_______________________

MY CHOICE: The burgundy tops with the white pants are good but my choice would be the white jerseys and pants with burgundy & gold stripes. With all due respect but the throwback burgundy shirt and mustard yellow pants is not a good combo at all. Historically speaking when we played with white jerseys and burgundy pants we were better at home.

Tracee Hamilton: Maybe we need a Robin Givhan consult here.

_______________________

Help Me, Tracee-wan, You're My Only Hope: For the last couple weeks the "opinions" tab on the WP home page has been bereft of links to sports columnists. I know you're not all on vacation and I can scout around and find Wise, Boswell, Hamilton, et.al., but I should be able to find you at that location. I don't know who to ask for help. Maybe your dad can take care of it after he finishes fixing the plumbing?

Tracee Hamilton: Producer Paul is on vacation this week, but Producer Rocci should be out there and hopefully will see this.

_______________________

Walls contract: How did Walls get to play so quickly for the Wizards. Was his contract set by the league?JJs

Tracee Hamilton: Yes, rookie contracts are slotted by the league, I think that's what they call it. And I don't think he would have held out if he could. Doesn't strike me as the type.

_______________________

I'll stand up for the WP: Their coverage is pretty much Redskins all the time. That irks me a bit as I'm not a 'Skins fan but they certainly have been critical of Snyder for years and rightfully so.Now Channel 4 ?? They are so far up the 'Skins you-know-what that they can see what they had for lunch.

Tracee Hamilton: Shad roe!

_______________________

Nats and the Post: Hi Tracee,First, thanks for doing this--I always look forward to my morning sport fix.Last night, I switched from TV to radio around the 9th inning and was barely awake when the Nats won in the 13th. I was amazed that the entire game was covered in this morning's Post, which was delivered to my home before 7 am. With a Boswell column on the Nats' future to boot. Nice job!One comment: I do find myself yelling at the TV whenever Riggleman puts Clippard into a tight situation. The guy has simply lost the effectiveness he had earlier in the season. I think it's time to shut him down, or at least rest him for a week or two.

Tracee Hamilton: Yes, Clippard is off the rails. I was more rattled by Drew coming unhinged. I'm sure that was a fluke but he had a rough night. I couldn't keep my eyes open and went to be certain he'd take the loss. Imagine my surprise! The night side does yeoman's work with fewer people than ever and worse deadlines than ever so thanks for noticing that. Those are thankless jobs and I know because I used to do them.

_______________________

Mornin' Ms Tracee: I really do not know if it will be a 'good' morning until its over... (:>) Anyway I wanted to ask you two questions but because I can no longer find what I needed in the WP. If it comes up again I'll ask it then... To the other question. I want to say a little while back on an occasion or two I believe you stated that you were sorry you couldn't get to all of the questions that day. I have noticed recently it stated at the top or close to it the number of responses you gave that day. I was wondering haow many questions come in for FTF? And do you know how many Wilbon gets when he does his. Personally I would rather send my questions your way. You are way more affable.

Tracee Hamilton: Fair enough. "Mornin'" is indisputable.I have never counted the questions. When we first started I noticed that I would occasionally run out; that hasn't happened in ages and some mornings I've got, I'd say, 30 or more unanswered when I sign off. I don't know what Wilbon gets but I am sure it's more than me. He has more page hits that I do so more readers, which makes sense. He's a household name; I'm ... not. Well, in Lincoln, Kansas, I rock.

_______________________

Skins or Nats Tonight?: What will be your primary sporting event tonight, Skins or Nats? I'm taking two of my children to the Nats game so I won't see the Skins at all. If I were at home, I'd switch back and forth. . .lingering on the team that was doing better. . .I can't stand to watch my teams lose! So what's on at the Hamilton household this evening?

Tracee Hamilton: Skins, because I'm writing for Sunday on Skins. There will, however, be flipping.

_______________________

Tracee Hamilton: the Mystics. Almost forgot but we'll be three-way flipping here.

_______________________

Jayhawk: I was at the Nats game the other night and a woman in the row in front of me had on a Jayhawks shirt. I thought of you. Don't worry. . .I'm not an obsessed stalker. . .I just don't anyone else from Kansas. Before I started participating in your chat I probably would have thought of Dorothy, John Riggins or Robby Benson. . .who played Billy Mills.

Tracee Hamilton: There are more Jayhawks in the area than I would have thought. I sometimes see cars whiz by with a KU sticker and get excited. I have ridden the train with Kansas tourists any number of times and always startle them with a "Rock Chalk!" Then we do the small town comparison. Everyone from a small town in Kansas knows most of the other small towns in Kansas. It's our thing.

_______________________

Nats fatigue; dancing usher: I'm a 1/4 seasons ticket holder, and I converted my "red carpet rewards coupons" into individual game tix, so I've seen a *lot* of games this year, and I never want to hear Bob Marley in the park ever again.I went to the game Tuesday (Red Carpet tix), and was totally bummed out by the result. When it came time to go to the Wednesday game, I just couldn't deal with it and bailed (aided by the fact that my Wed. tickets can be traded in for "passed games" - but how many are left?). I always used to believe that, no matter what, life was good if there was a ballgame in front of you. I *am* going tonight (figures I'd miss one of the rare extra inning wins the week I had 4 of 7 tickets), Why do I feel guilty? Why can't these clowns put together a real winning streak (last year's sad sacks managed to win the last 7 games of the season)?On the dancing usher front, anyone feeling bad about piling on to nix "Sweet Caroline" 'cause it's Boston's (Trace, I recall you felt bad after talking to the guy), the usher now puts on a seriously good show to "It's Not Unusual". I took photos Tuesday, but don't know how to share them with FTF readers.Regards, Sect 405 Row C

Tracee Hamilton: I don't know how to post photos here; there probably is a way. I didn't talk to the usher; that was probably Steinberg. But I hope we didn't hurt the usher's feelings; it was no reflection on him, just that the song should stay in Boston. Tom Jones is a good choice. It's got a good beat and you can dance to it.

_______________________

Nats Park Visit: Now how's that for a first ever visit to Nats Park!?!?! You probably don't remember this, but a couple weeks ago I asked your readers for some ballpark tips because I would be in town. Everyone suggested Ben's and it was as great as advertised. Very impressed with the park as a whole and was able to stay the whole way (the 13th would've had to be my last so lucky me). My question is this: why all the haters on Ian Desmond? He played great, and I see his defense get knocked quite a bit, but besides the hitting he made a really spectacular play in one of the extra innings that kept the bases empty for a Pujols at-bat. I was impressed. The Nats were a really fun team to watch, at least for one night.

Tracee Hamilton: Hey, glad you gave us an update and lucky you, you saw a great finish. I don't know why all the haters on Ian Desmond. He's young and he's an experiment this season, but I've seen him make some pretty good plays and I think he'll show improvement next season; he's learning on the job and that can be rough sometimes. Glad you enjoyed your visit.

_______________________

Nyjer's suspension: When I first heard about Nyjer Morgan throwing a ball in the stands, it reminded me of Rob Dibble. Then when I heard that there was no malice to the throw, I thought to myself, even if there was would anybody notice? They guy can't make a throw from center to save his life.

Tracee Hamilton: Ha! Yes, for those who might have missed it, there is a defense of Morgan in today's paper from a fan who was there. Also on Nats Journal.

_______________________

Real Housewives of DC: Is that the most self-absorbed, insulated and obnoxious group of women you have ever seen or what? Ok. . .not all of them. . .the African-American woman who had people over to her mother's house seems normal. But Salahi, the model agency lady and the british woman are just insufferable. I've known some pretty obnoxious, elitist and affected people in my day but those women take the cake. For some reason I'm particularly put off by the British woman. Her English class snobbery is even more sickening in an American setting. Have you been watching? Your thoughts?

Tracee Hamilton: I watched about 10 -- maybe 8 -- minutes of the first one and thought I might gouge my eyes out. And rip my ears off. Who in the world is watching this? How very sad. I know no one like any of these women and THANK GOD.

_______________________

Black clothes: Mafia Hitman ??? It sounds more like someone from the NY art scene.

Tracee Hamilton: True.

_______________________

College Football Realignment: I may have missed what you have to say about the realignment of the Big 10 (now 12 teams) and the Big 12 (down to 10) and the Mountain West, etc, etc. The guy in the next office is a rabid Ohio State alum/fan, who stops by every day to update me. I know this affects Kansas, but I hope it won't affect the Big East/Pitt.

Tracee Hamilton: I hate the whole idea, of course. I had an interesting talk with the Boise State president about this; some of that will be coming up in a column soon. The NCAA is amazingly ineffectual in this situation and leaves itself open to the question "who needs you?" The BCS is running everything now. And it's certainly not done by a long shot.

_______________________

Whoa on Tiger Hype: I wish Tiger Woods the best in getting his golf mojo back but yesterday was one round. He's had good rounds before and followed them up with lackluster rounds for the rest of the tournament. Let's wait until he actually has a couple of good tournaments before we exclaim his triumphant return. I'd actually say just Just report what happened and skip the morality play but unfortunately that ship has sailed. This rant has nothing to do with your reporting - more the ESPNs of the world. End of rant. Have a great day!

Tracee Hamilton: Fair rant. I have advocated for him to recuse himself from the Ryder Cup. If he puts together four solid rounds and wins this tournament, I would take that back. If he comes off the rails, I'd stick with my opinion. Maybe, with the announcement of the divorce, the constant talk about the marriage and the infidelity will stop. I hope so.

_______________________

Harper in the minors: One cool thing about Harper is that he'll spend enough time in the minors (and as an every day player) we'll actually be able to see him play. Strasburg moved up so fast his jersey barely came off the sewing machine before he was turning it in to go to the next level.

Tracee Hamilton: Yup. I say we have a FTF outing to Potomac when he gets there. Fun!

_______________________

Washington Federals: Did you watch the USFL back in the 80s? I was poking around the interweb the other day and was surprised at the amount of Washington Federals stuff was on there. You can buy throwback jerseys and everything! I still have a Federals cap from their first season. We weren't among the fortunate few that had Redskins season tickets so we bought tickets to see the Federals. What did their coach call them. . .a bunch of trained gerbils? They were terrible but I enjoyed them none the less!

Tracee Hamilton: Oh, yes, the Michigan Paaaaaaaanthers won a title when I was in Detroit. The announcer had a great way of saying "Panthers" that means I'll never forget the name of that team. I'm amazed there are still artifacts of that league around. There is another great Post story involving the Federals but I can't remember which writer it was. I'll have to ask George and tell it sometime. Or maybe it's only funny to journalists.

_______________________

At Bat Song: What would your at bat song be?

Tracee Hamilton: I'm a Jayhawk? No. I'm really bad at this. I can never think of a song off the top of my head. "Single Ladies" would be fun because no one sits still during that. But it needs to be something older. Well, it'll come to me about 2 p.m. today.

_______________________

Chats: I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your doing daily chats. Not only does it allow the sports-following public to get timely answers, but it makes you seem so approachable and connected to the community. We get a chance to know you better. Not in a creepy-stalker-Tracee-is-my-BFF kind of way, rather that, at least in my case, I feel like a normal person is my surrogate asking players, managers, etc the questions I would if I could. Thanks for that and enjoy the time with your dad.

Tracee Hamilton: Glad you enjoy the chats; I really enjoy doing them. It gives me a good feel for what people are talking about.

_______________________

NFL going to 18 game schedule/D-league: I heard Ray Lewis and several other players say that they are people and not machines and that the owners don't seem to realize (or care) that the toll on an NFL player's body over 16 games is great. I believe from about '47-'60 there were 12 games and then in the 60's and 70's there were 14 games and then in the 80's on there have been 16 games. So......in about.....50 or 60 years are we going to have a 6 month season? Also, do you think a developmental league for the NFL is a good idea? I think it is because it allows some of the fringe players to get more playing opportunities, because those guys need the reps more so than some of the star players in my opinion.

Tracee Hamilton: I have long thought a developmental league on this continent is a good idea. Of course, it would cost money. Maybe the owners can use that as a lure to expand the season: "We'll give you more jobs, you give us two more games."I am sure an 18-game season would take more of a toll on the players but I see it as inevitable, sadly. The money is too great and the league is too powerful.

_______________________

Cliches, NFL, Video Chat: Buttering up: HRH Hamilton, Queen of Kansas, the Universe and Everything, this is a smorgasbord post because so much stuff came up in Thursday's chat.Cliches: The biggest, most egregious and horrid sports announcer cliche I can think of is the one nicknamed "Boomer" (I know, we're not really talking people here -- and it's not Norman Esiason of whom I write). I mean, he is SO knowledgeable, and the first ten years of the the player nicknaming were funny, and so were the first half dozen years of the New York football Giants references, but puh-leeeeze make it go away and just make him have the show be about the sports, not himself.Okay, if it has to be a specific phrase, "hole location" is stuck in my craw. I read in one of the golf magazines that one of the networks jumps on their golf announcers for saying anything else, like "the pin is on the back left," or "the flag is tucked behind the bunker." They have to say "today's hole location is three paces from the right edge," or something equally stupid. It has infected all the other networks and cable channels now. I have yet to hear anything remotely like, "boy, today's hole locations are brutal" uttered by an actual golfer on an actual golf course despite listening for it over the course of hundreds of rounds.NFL: I think the National Football League must have a dictum, edict or fiat that requires announcers to say the whole thing. They might say "NFL" once or twice, but it's almost always said along the lines of, "You can't do that and expect to last long in the National Football League." I first became aware of it long ago with Dan Dierdorff saying it repeatedly on Monday Night Football, but thought he was just being pedantic. Now I hear everybody doing it. I imagine there must be a penalty most dire for violations.Video Chat: I'm sad about their coming, and I'm pretty sure I'll never see one, not least because my work would block incoming video, but I am making a request for what your first words just oughta be. You should say, with much enthusiasm, "I'm out there, Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" (Don't you see what's going on here? In a video chat, there'd be nothing between you and us but a thin layer of gabardine.)

Tracee Hamilton: I am posting the world's longest "question" just for the kicker. And I'm laughing my head off. Kramer at his best.

_______________________

A Possible Summit with Cheese Boy and Your Father: Hi, Ms. Hamilton. Would be any conceivable way that your father and Cheese Boy would meet during his time in DC? And if they did meet, would your no nonsense dad end up saying to you, "Trace, he's smart, funny, not terribly personable, a bit curmedgeonly, yet somehow through it all, a fine fellow."? Or would your dad just shake his head in wonderment? Have a good weekend!

Tracee Hamilton: Option No. 2, I imagine.

_______________________

Post Complaint: Living between Reston and Herndon, I don't get the same type of service as the person whose Post had last night Nats game. If the game goes past 10pm, I'm lucky if the edition I get has anything about it.

Tracee Hamilton: Sorry to hear that; I got the game in Vienna. Hmmmm.

_______________________

FTF Happy Hour: Any update? Maybe Mrs. Graham's chef can cater it!

Tracee Hamilton: No, but I haven't forgotten. And no shad roe! Lord, there wasn't enough ketchup in the world to save that stuff.

_______________________

Tracee's at-bat song?: "U Can't Touch This." Duh.In other news, I didn't mind Harper's attire or haircut. I watched the presser and found him to be quite a charming kid. He uses "sir" a lot, too. I happen to like that (although I'm a "ma'am" myself).Never watched Real Housewives, so I wouldn't know.

Tracee Hamilton: Don't watch it. Seriously, I felt my IQ dropping. And yes, on the song. Of course.

_______________________

Tracee Hamilton: "Tracy," by the Cuff Links. That would be my song when I was called in from the 'pen, my right arm hanging uselessly at my side...

_______________________

18-game sked: Wait, your more money-more jobs answer begs the question: why not expand the rosters by a few spots to compensate? The MLB union loves the DH; the NFL can do the same.

Tracee Hamilton: Oh, yes, roster expansion is a given if they do this. I've heard different numbers bandied about. Seven, 10....

_______________________

Is it wrong to refer to my hair as "flaxen?": A while back, someone asked, I think, if you referred to your hair as "flaxen." Well, yesterday, I told my wife that from now on, I would be describing MY hair as flaxen. She just kind of looked at me in horror/bemusement. Time to trade in my mancard?

Tracee Hamilton: Maybe not trade in, but just a renewal.

_______________________

Small town Kansas: My folks lived in Newstrawn KS for a while when my dad worked at the Wolf's Creek nuke plant. Please tell me most of Kansas is not that isolated and desolate.

Tracee Hamilton: Well congrats, you've stumped me. I had never until this moment heard of it and I had to Google it to find it. Actually, a lot of Kansas is isolated. I wouldn't say desolate.

_______________________

Boz: "It basically said, Skins won't be as good as the fans seem to think they will, and he predicted a 7-9 record. Exactly how is that a softball column?" He basically stated the fans should be happy with a 7-9 record. That is what makes it a, let us just say, not a terribly hard hitting column.

Tracee Hamilton: Oh, to me, "softball" means "the Skins will really, really try hard and they'll be great this season despite all the glaring holes." Interesting. I'm not sure Boz thought the fans should be happy so much as he was trying to explain that expecting a huge turnaround was not a statistical probability. But everyone reads things differently; I've certainly learned that. I used a line in a column -- it was the weekend of the most recent Supreme Court retirement -- like "the really big news this weekend was not that, but this..." in a sarcastic way, and got a screed email from someone telling me to leave politics to the professionals. I never mentioned the justice, a possible replacement, or either party, but somehow I had crossed a line in this guy's mind.

_______________________

Question(s) for Dad: 1. Is he in awe of your job and all the great perks/access that come with it or did he have visions of you following the more traditional path of school teacher, accountant, etc. 2. Does he have a favorite THam article/feature piece?

Tracee Hamilton: Sorry, he just called on his cell phone to say he locked himself out of the house and would I let him in after I was done chatting. I could NOT make this up. So he can't answer that but I can say with confidence that they were always thrilled by my chosen profession. Or if they weren't, they never mentioned it, which is a good policy. The Kirk Hinrich piece would probably be his favorite, or the one I wrote last year about watching TV with him.Okay, time to quit for today. The usual apologies; lots of questions. But the biceps says stop, so we'll stop. There will be much to discuss Monday so I hope you'll join me! Have a great weekend, everyone!


© 2010 The Washington Post Company

Discussion Archive

Viewpoint is a paid discussion. The Washington Post editorial staff was not involved in the moderation.

Network News

X My Profile