In the last calendar year, the majority of postgame newsmakers in Washington have vanished. For better and worse, all ages and all sports — the beloved, beseeched and every personality in between — have faded from the landscape.
Stephen Strasburg got hurt. Haven’t seen him since he underwent Tommy John surgery nearly a year ago.
Gary Williams retired in May, taking 23 years of maddening and momentous Maryland memories with him.
Clinton Portis? Second-leading rusher in Redskins history, cut in February.
Everything that was Gilbert Arenas — his exorbitant contract, charisma, clownish ways and, yes, criminal record – was traded to Orlando in December.
George Mason’s Cinderella man, Jim Larranaga, pulled yet another shocker — taking his talents to South Beach in April.
Stan Kasten, a financially constrained carnival barker, stepped down as Nats president last September, just before his bosses decided it was okay to actually spend $126 million on a coveted ballplayer.
We’re so bereft of buzz, Tiger Woods not only missed the U.S. Open, he’s played just twice in four years in his own Washington tournament.
Throw in Brendan Haywood, Caron Butler and DeShawn Stevenson, who celebrated an NBA championship in Dallas 16 months after they were traded from the Wizards, and — okay you Barra Brava crazies — Major League Soccer’s all-time leading scorer Jaime Moreno retiring from D.C. United last November, and it’s apparent:
A lousy Q rating beats the heck out of no Q rating.
The truth? Worse than living in Losersville, where three of Washington’s four major-revenue teams have occupied the basements of their respective divisions two years running, is residing in Boringsville.
Only the NFL lockout has spared the District’s rubbernecking fans and media from the eventual crash-and-burn losses of Albert Haynesworth and Donovan McNabb, who have been so good to Miserable Suburban Guy radio. If not for Jan Vesely smooching his girlfriend on national television after the Wizards plucked the cocksure, 6-foot-11 Czech Republic kid sixth in the NBA draft Thursday, and, yes, a certain manager blow-torching his career this past week, we only have the most flammable club in baseball at the moment.
That apparently wasn’t enough for Jim Riggleman.
Really, who quits when you’ve won 11 of your last 12? Yes, Riggleman had his authority undermined the moment General Manager Mike Rizzo made him a lame-duck manager by not exercising a club option for 2012, and that the only other manager under the same constraint was Florida’s Edwin Rodriguez, who also resigned and was replaced by a geezer.
But if he had thought things out better, Riggleman could have kept managing his white-hot ballclub until he became . . . The Martyred Manager Ownership Wants Gone. Frank Robinson Lite, if you will.