Racing Presidents Are Not Inspired by Angels

With Angels in town this week, the racing presidents have been anything but.

On Monday night, our favorite mascots upped the ante in the quest to win the presidents race when Teddy Roosevelt and George Washington all but mugged Abraham Lincoln in the outfield, allowing Tom to take the victory. This just one night after Teddy was hip-checked into the outfield wall by Thomas Jefferson.

washington nationals presidents race teddy and abe tripping thomas jefferson.Tonight Abe Lincoln got his revenge on a seemingly trusting Teddy. Yes, Honest Abe himself joined forces with Teddy by setting up a trip wire to take down George and Tom. Of course, Abe then pushed Teddy aside to take his 21st presidents race of this young Washington Nationals’ season.

If this is the sort of behavior inspired by the Angels, I can’t imagine what will happen when the Orioles come to town on Friday.

Photo by flickr member Bullneck.

Abe Lincoln is Finally Beaten By Teddy… Literally !

It’s beginning to get ugly.

During the presidents race last night at Nationals Park, Teddy Roosevelt and George Washington decided to take things into their own hands.

Fed up with Abe Lincoln’s winning streak and increasingly arrogant showboating, Teddy and George wasted no time last night, knocking down Abe before he even reached the GEICO logo in centerfield, and giving him a beat-down as Thomas Jefferson ran uncontested to the finish line.

Abe did not finish the race and his condition is unknown. With five games left in the current homestand, one has to hope this doesn’t escalate any further.

Thomas Jefferson hip checks Teddy Roosevelt

It’s fairly safe to say that Teddy Roosevelt has nobody but himself to blame for his presidents race losing streak. Time after time, our beloved #26 has fallen short but taken the loss, kept his head up, and come back the next day to try again (sometimes try a little too hard).

That’s why yesterday’s display seemed so out of place. On Sunday at Nationals Park, Thomas Jefferson, never known to be a cheater himself, gave the bull moose a serious hip check as they ran across the outfield warning track. Abe Lincoln once again turned on the afterburners to claim a sweep of the Nationals’ home series against the Texas Rangers.

It seems unlikely, but could it be that the other presidents are starting to see Teddy as a threat?

Video by YouTube member ffwdrob.

Kangaroo Distracts Teddy from Presidents Race Victory

On Saturday night at Nationals Park, Teddy took a lead into the right field turn, but lost that lead when he ran into the corner of the outfield and emerged with a toy kangaroo. Abe Lincoln dashed by and won the race as Teddy attempted to hop to the finish line. I missed this spectacle and can’t quite explain the kangaroo. Does anybody have photos?

UPDATE: Video by YouTube member VelocityAtrocity:

New Scoreboard Walk Is Quite the Distraction for Teddy

Last night a crowd of over 30,000 welcomed the Washington Nationals back from an extended road trip and were treated to a 14-inning thriller capped by another walk-off game-winner by Elijah Dukes. The game was the first of the year to feature two presidents races, a treat reserved for faithful Nationals fans who stick it out when the game goes for more than 13 innings at Nationals Park.

Unfortunately, Teddy was the one president who saw only one race last night. When George, Tom, and Abe emerged from the centerfield gate in the 4th inning, Teddy Roosevelt was caught on the high-definition scoreboard carousing in the upper deck with some female Nationals fans. He was participating in the grand opening of the new Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk, a lively bar area located behind the scoreboard in right center field.

Abe, meanwhile, took a huge lead and stopped to do jumping jacks at the finish line, crossing the tape in time to secure the win.

Thanks to YouTube user natan1401 for capturing it on video.

In Praise of the Ben’s Chili Bowl Half-Smoke

I must admit that I was among those uninformed who just didn’t get it.

Don’t get me wrong. When it was first announced that the new Nationals Park would feature Ben’s Chili Bowl among the restaurant concessions, I was pleased. I’d always wanted to pay a visit to the legendary Ben’s, but despite best intentions, had yet to do so.

The crowd in front of Ben’s Chili Bowl at Nationals Park on opening night.

Plus, I figured anything we could call our own and help make Nationals Park a uniquely DC experience was a good thing.

Then I got my first glimpse of the famous Ben’s half smoke chili dog on opening night, along with the horrific lines at the the Ben’s Chili Bowl stand behind the 3rd base line, and thought this doesn’t look that special, and certainly can’t be worth the wait.

Well, let the record state that I am now officially a convert. I took a group of people
from my office to Nationals Park on a chilly May evening, and from our perch that night in section 418, I indulged in my first Ben’s Chili Bowl half smoke (all the way, of course). Perhaps it was the altitude in the upper right field gallery, but I felt a little closer to heaven.

A Ben’s Chili Bowl half smoke “all the way” (with chili, cheese, onions, and mustard) has been a staple of each subsequent visit to Nationals Park.

A word to the wise: If you’re heading the the park an want to indulge yourself, don’t be intimidated by the long lines at the Ben’s Chili Bowl stand. You can get yourself an authentic Ben’s half smoke at ANY “Nats Dogs” stand or cart throughout the stadium.

Extra napkins recommended.

Photos by flickr users Scott Ableman and stvmasters

Fred Malek, Teddy Roosevelt Fan

Fred MalekFred Malek (www.fredmalekblog.com) is well known to long-time supporters of DC baseball, having led a team of local investors in a bid for ownership of the Washington Nationals. Now, in addition to his many other day-to-day responsibilities, Fred Malek is once again in the news as national finance committee co-chair of John McCain’s presidential campaign.

Still a steadfast Washington Nationals fan, Fred Malek revealed before the season that he is a fan of Teddy Roosevelt and the Nationals’ presidents race. Malek recently agreed to share his thoughts about the Washington Nationals — and about Teddy Roosevelt’s prospects for entering the real president’s race.

Q: Have you been to Nationals Park and what do you think of it?

Fred Malek: It’s a jewel of a stadium. As a baseball fan and as a long-time Washingtonian, I feel in my heart that this stadium is one of the proudest accomplishments of our community. It’s a wonderful place to watch baseball. I will predict that one day soon the Washington Nationals will host the All-Star Game. Hopefully, also the World Series. Of course, the next step for the stadium will be giving it a permanent name. I doubt I’ll realize my lifelong dream of having a stadium called Fred Malek Field.

Q: How do you get to Nationals Park? Metro, Nats Express, or Valet parking?

Fred Malek: I drive and find what I can.

Q: What grade would you give the Lerner family as the new owners of the Washington Nationals?

Fred Malek: I’d give them an “A.” Of course, I wish I was on the winning team for the competition to own the Nationals. It was a pleasure to work with a visionary leader like Mayor Tony Williams and all the members of my Washington-based ball group team. That said, I am pleased that the team is in the hands of strong local owners like the Lerner family, with a solid team president like Stan Kasten. I’m also satisfied with the way the management team has kept salaries under control. Runaway salaries are a big issue in baseball today. The Washington Nationals are proof that you can have a team with a lot of heart and will to win, but with respectable salary levels. Not many teams can boast that. As far as individual players go, I think Ryan Zimmerman is someone they need to hold on to forever. They can build a future around that kid.

Q: What would you do differently if you ran the team?

Fred Malek: That’s easy: I’d mandate that Teddy win. If he doesn’t, I’d probably fire Abe, George, and Tom, and have Teddy just compete against the Geico Gekko.

Q: The Washington Post called you “one of Washington’s ultimate insiders.” If that’s the case, can’t you arrange for Teddy to win?

Fred Malek: I can do lots of things in politics, business, and philanthropy. But inspiring Teddy to greatness? That’s something even I can’t do.

Q: Do you think big-headed Teddy could have a chance as a write-in candidate in the 2008 general election?

Fred Malek: My guy is John McCain. And his guy is Teddy Roosevelt. So how about just putting big-headed Teddy on the ticket? I’d be for that, but first he has to show at least one victory. In politics and business alike, we don’t reward failure.

Fred Malek Article on DiggPhoto of Fred Malek from fredmalekblog.com.

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