In DC, Zac Boyer noted the Wizards this week will "make their first appearance in the playoffs in six years" after a "slow climb back to respectability for what had been one of the league’s most hapless franchises" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 4/16). Also in DC, Mike Harris writes under the header, "Wizards Have Moved To Head Of DC's Class." Regarding the Wizards, Nationals, Capitals and Redskins, Harris wrote, "Let’s say a year or so ago, if someone had written the Wizards would be at the top of the heap among those teams, it would have triggered a good chuckle." The "woeful Wizards, now looking down with grins" at the other three teams (WASHINGTON TIMES, 4/17).
HOLD THAT THOUGHT...: In DC, John Feinstein notes Capitals Owner Ted Leonsis met with team VP & GM George McPhee on Monday after the team missed the playoffs, but Leonsis said that he "might take up to two weeks to decide what to do." Feinstein: "Talk about leaving people twisting in the wind." McPhee built a team that has "sold out virtually every game at Verizon Center the past five seasons," and has "earned the right not to be left wondering what his future holds." Beyond "common decency," McPhee and coach Adam Oates "deserve to keep their jobs" (WASHINGTON POST, 4/17).
ORIOLES MAGIC? DC-based WNEW-FM's Chris Lingebach noted an Orioles billboard featuring CF Adam Jones, 1B Chris Davis and 3B Manny Machado has been "strategically placed along I-295 in Maryland" just before the DC border. The billboard, promoting the "phone number fans can use to purchase tickets, went up last Thursday." This is an example of MLB "viewing the Washington-Baltimore corridor as a shared market" (CBSLOCAL.com, 4/15).
BLOOD DIAMOND: In Phoenix, Paola Boivin notes the D-Backs at 4-14 are off to their "worst start in franchise history." Boivin: "Accountability, anyone? With all due to respect to a man who has had a nice string of successes as a general manager, this one is on Kevin Towers." But D-Backs Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick yesterday "offered his support of Towers." Kendrick said, "You have to look at the people who are your leaders and their overall body of work. Kevin's got a real significant body of work. Most of his career he's had real success and has had success here" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/17).