"Stephen Strasburg, Va." plan ends badly
Surely you remember last week's much-hyped plan to rename Strasburg, Va. "Stephen Strasburg, Va.," yes? After every sports blog in the world wrote about this plan, and after it landed in the pages of The Washington Post and in several other very mainstream outlets, the valley had been soiled.
The mayor told The Post's J. Freedom du Lac that he only wanted to rename the town for a week. But by that point, there were too many outlets generating too many stories about how this town was set to rename itself permanently, based only on a Web site created by an ESPN.com writer and an ambitious media-hungry 21-year old town council member.
Well, the rest of the council don't play that. Even a scaled-back movement to "honorarily rename" the town, whatever that means, fell through.
When the scenario described in the resolution landed in front of the panel to decide on the temporary name change, it was Councilman Don Le Vine who addressed not only the resolution itself, but also the method by which it was brought into the public eye.
"The process was flawed and must not set a precedent. My major concern is that this episode might weaken the absolutely essential principle that no one person speaks for the town council of Strasburg except a majority of this council," Le Vine said.
Le Vine then spoke on the events that unfolded between Friday and Tuesday, when members of the mass media knew about the resolution to temporarily change the town's name before most of the council.
"It is bad governance for any person in authority to publicly give the impression that any action by the council is certain until the appropriate vote is taken. This is especially true in the current environment of instant worldwide communications," Le Vine said.
So what happened next? The resolution was amended so that Strasburg would still receive a Pride of Strasburg award, would still be invited to throw out a first pitch for the Strasburg Express of the Valley Baseball League and would still be honored with a "Stephen Strasburg Day" if he comes to collect his reward. Just no re-naming of a 250-year old town.
"I feel kind of like that umpire [Jim Joyce] who called that young man safe [in a near-perfect game last week], I don't know what to do, but I agree with Mr. Le Vine's comments and support his change," said Councilman Scott Terndrup.
The comments after the story are as great as you'd guess. You simply must read the full story. It's town politics at its finest. Also, I don't put great odds on Strasburg ever collecting his award.
June 10, 2010; 12:01 PM ET
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