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Horrible foreign policy news: Deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya ignored the brilliant Futbol Diplomacy™ stategy laid out in this very space that would have gotten him back into his homeland. As a result, he is still locked out by his Honduran deposers, and the national team of his old nation lost to the good ol’ USA, 2-0, at RFK.

Zelaya was right here in D.C. yesterday morning, trying to get the U.S. State Department to help him get his old job back. But, contrary to our brilliant Futbol Diplomacystategy, he didn’t stick around for the big game. Instead, he spent the evening away from the RFK grandstands, where he could have rooted on the Hondurans and sucked up to the soccer-crazy folks back home.

As his boys were losing to ours, Zelaya was on a plane headed for Costa Rica, where he’ll be negotiating with the folks who put him out of work, but using traditional diplomatic means.


After the Jump: Broom Hilda should be the Nats’ mascot? Scorekeepers Revise History in Ryan Zimmerman’s favor AGAIN? Boxing gym legend Jim Finley comes back, local fighter Jimmy Lange leaves home? Screwed Divas get on the bus? Will Adrian Fenty fix high school sports?


As for the Honduras/USA matchup, Freddy Adu was on the field but not much of a factor. Another local, Baltimore’s Santino Quaranta, picked up Adu’s slack with a blast from just inside the penalty area at the 74-minute mark to give the North Americans the insurmountable 1-0 lead.


The Nationals should pack their own broom on road trips. The worst team in the majors lost yesterday afternoon to the Rockies, 10-4, meaning they’ve been swept yet again. Another three errors for the Nats; none for the opposition.

Would somebody please turn over the Manny Acta sand dial?

Revisionist history benefits Ryan Zimmerman again? Yup. Scorers in Colorado changed an error from Wednesday’s game on a groundball hit by Zimmerman to a hit. Again, if these scorekeepers are historians, George W. Bush might get his way.


The Washington Times catches up with Dmitri Young, the hobbled and heavy former Nat who’s getting $5 million this season to not play major league baseball. Young, of course, isn’t that hard to catch up with. The Times reports that Young has lost 40 pounds since hitting 330 lbs. I miss having his physique in the lineup every day more than his bat.


In case you missed it: A D.C. boxing legend is making a comeback. Ask any fighter that’s come out of this city in the last half century and they’ll tell you about the place above a bodyshop on Capitol Hill. That was Finley’s Gym.

But proprietor Jim Finley shut down after a squabble with the gym’s landlord in 2001 and just dropped out of the local fight scene. But Finley, 81, told me last night he’s readying the basement of his Temple Hills home to make it as welcoming to fighters as his old club was for so many years.

The fight game is as strong as ever in this city, headed by the Peterson Brothers and their respective races for world titles. It’ll be interesting to see if Finley can attract talent to his new place like he did to the old one. And I wonder if he’ll have all those marvelous fight posters hanging up.


Boxing also takes up this week’s Cheap Seats: The most popular fighter on the local scene, Jimmy Lange, is trying to extend his renown beyond the Beltway again. The Great Falls-reared junior middleweight, best remembered for a turn on the NBC reality show, “The Contender,” is fighting in Greensboro, N.C., in a couple weeks after years of fighting exclusively as a headliner on well-received and well-attended cards at the Patriot Center. Lange’s 33 years old as he begins what he says is a push for a world title. It’s going to be rough. As Georgetown coach and WTEM sportstalk host John Thompson likes to say, “Father Time is undefeated!”


Somebody has posted an “Open Letter” to Mayor Fenty cataloguing a few of the problems facing athletes and coaches in D.C. public schools, and trying to guilt the chief executive (“you did attend Wilson High School”) into fixing things.

The anonymous letter writer argues that the city’s transfer policies are crippling school athletics. I couldn’t agree more. These rules are the loosest in the country, and allow kids to change schools every year for any reason, including just to play for a better team.

There have been ridiculous abuses of these freedoms, such as when nearly all of Coolidge’s best football players, including current Tar Heel and future pro defensive tackle Marvin Austin, were recruited to Ballou by a former Coolidge assistant a few years back, and thereby created a city championship squad overnight.

That couldn’t happen in any other public school jurisdiction in the U.S.

And this sort of free agency shouldn’t be allowed here. But there are so many other issues facing the schools that the transfer policy as it applies to sports never gets any play. Folks should understand that when Eastern, as it did last year, cancels its football season because it can’t get enough players — a situation that can be blamed directly on the transfer rules in this city — that affects a lot more than just the kids who wanted to play football. It kills the school band, the cheerleaders, the revenues coming in from ticket sales and concessions, the pride the students have in their school, and on and on.

But it’s unlikely to be fixed anytime soon. The disastrous state of DCPS sports drove Athletic Director Troy Mathieu to quit his job after less than one year. Yet even if he’d stayed on, things wouldn’t have changed. Mathieu once told me he didn’t think changing the transfer rules was a priority. I’m not sure what his priorities were.

The city’s now in the middle of a national search for Mathieu’s replacement. The open letter writer begs Michelle Rhee and Adrian Fenty to stay close to home, and suggests they lure former Wilson AD and baseball coaching legend Eddie Saah out of retirement to take over city sports. I think that would be great for DC, and bad for Saah. This place is a mess.


The undefeated and disrespected D.C. Divas get on the bus tomorrow for Somerville, where on Saturday they’ll face the Boston Militia in the Eastern Conference championship of the IWFL. It’s a trip they wouldn’t have had to make were it not for the BCS-ish screwjob the league did on the Divas. Somehow, the computer ranking service used by the IWFL dropped D.C. from the #1 ranking to the #2 spot AFTER the conference semifinals, thereby costing the Divas home field advantage, and costing owner Paul Hamin untold concession and ticket revenues. Show the league they did you wrong, Divas!


Story tips? Wanna Play the Feud? Tube amps for sale? Send to: cheapseats@washingtoncitypaper.com.