Jayson Werth tells the Post he’s not joking

In this Redskins-obsessed sports community, it’s fair to say that many people locally haven’t paid close attention to the Nationals’ amazing September.

Jayson Werth blocks Thomas Jefferson in the presidents race - Photo by Chris TatemSo it’s also not surprising that when people hear about Jayson Werth’s attempt to interfere with the presidents race, many who weren’t there assume it was a scripted gag.

But as we’ve known since May, Werth again made it clear to the Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore that he is a serious member of the Let Teddy Win movement.

The self-proclaimed “last member of the Bull Moose Party” is passionate about putting an end to any remnants of what he saw as “an expectancy of losing,” and while he believes the team has turned the corner, he sees Teddy’s losing streak as a remnant of that mentality.

“It was a joke on some levels, but on some levels not,” Werth told Kilgore. “There’s an expectancy of losing there. It goes back to the first month of the season when we won two games in a row and [a reporter] asked me about the two-game winning streak. It’s like, ‘No.’ That whole thing had to stop. That had to stop in a big way. When an organization or a team is really young and is coming from many losing seasons, it starts to get ingrained. I’m not saying that I’m the one who changed it. It’s got to be a conscious effort on everybody’s part. But I definitely wasn’t complacent when I saw that happening.”

It’s safe to say that Werth won’t be interfering with the presidents race again, but here’s hoping our new favorite National doesn’t drop his membership in the Bull Moose party. If Werth can recruit more players and fans to the cause, and the team does well, perhaps the pressure will build for the Nationals to let Teddy win in the 2012 season.

Photo courtesy of Flickr member Chris Tatem

Jayson Werth: “It’s bigger than me, man. It’s bigger than me.”

Jayson Werth says its bigger than meThat Cat interferes with the presidents race at Nationals ParkThat Cat tackles Teddy Roosevelt in the Washington Nationals presidents raceThat Cat takes down Teddy Roosevelt in the Washington Nationals Presidents raceThomas Jefferson wins the Washington Nationals presidents race

Saturday’s presidents race coup attempt by Jayson Werth stirred up expectations for more 4th-inning fireworks during Sunday’s home season finale at Nationals Park.

After Werth proclaimed that ““If Teddy can’t win, then no one wins,” speculation was rampant that one of two things would happen: either the Nats would succumb to popular pressure, or Werth would make a third attempt to secure a Bull Moose victory on his own.

But just before Sunday’s first pitch, Werth was asked privately about his plans, and his answer revealed all readers need to know about the anti-Teddy conspiracy in the Nationals front office.

“It’s bigger than me, man. It’s bigger than me,” he said, shaking his head. “I gave it my best shot.”

Whatever talking-to Werth received from Nationals management, and despite any assurances he gave them, it was clear nonetheless when Sunday’s race began that they weren’t taking any chances on another coup attempt in the season finale.

As the presidents were being introduced, the Nationals trotted out That Cat to patrol the first base line, flexing his muscles as if to dare Teddy to try to cross his path. Momma Screech stood by as well, in case reinforcements were needed.

As added protection against another right field revolt, the Nats moved the finish line to the third base side. After Washington, Lincoln, and Roosevelt began their usual route, Jefferson came out and bolted the other way towards left field and the new finish line.

As That Cat took down Tom, Abe, and Teddy in succession, Thomas Jefferson cruised across the tape uncontested.

Tom’s victory moved him into an improbable and first-ever season-ending tie with Abe Lincoln for the 2011 presidents race crown. If not for Werth’s antics on Saturday, Jefferson would have had the opportunity to win the title outright.

Meanwhile, the team’s rebuke of Werth is a rude awakening for Teddy fans who had hoped for an end to the conspiracy. After 441 races, the Rough Rider will enter the 2012 season without a single win, and the powers that be at the Nationals appear hell-bent on keeping it that way.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video evidence that Jayson Werth acted alone

Jayson Werth interferes with the presidents race - Washington NationalsSources tell us that Jayson Werth’s ambush of Saturday’s presidents race was not scripted by the Nationals, and caught the team’s in-game entertainment and mascot team by surprise.

If there were any doubts, look no further than the new and unedited video below by our regular YouTube contributor lfahome, who caught the chaos from the finish line in all its glory.

From the way Werth and Rick Ankiel casually sauntered onto the field of play, to the way Werth had to chase Jefferson into the middle of the outfield, to the way he shoved TJ back to the ground when he tried to get up, to Werth’s despondent reaction when Teddy fell and stopped running, to P.A. announcer Jerome Hruska nearly cracking up while calling the race, to the moment Werth realized George Washington was still on his feet and attempted to trip him, to the panic by TJ’s “secret service agent,” who realized they’d gone over the MLB-allotted time, to the shock on Nat Pack member Katie’s face when Werth decided to take the tape himself, does anything about this look like the Nationals’ normally well-scripted routine?:

Check out that Nat Pack reaction one more time:

Finally, there’s Werth’s own non-comment when asked about it in the post-game press conference. “I can’t really comment,” Werth said. “When you stage a coup, it’s better to keep it quiet.”

Of course, Werth didn’t act completely alone. After failing in his first sabotage attempt Friday night, he recruited outfielder Rick Ankiel to join four bullpen pitchers and try to clear the path for Teddy.

In the face of those numbers, you have to give credit to the Nats. They are so committed to keeping the curse alive that they ad-libbed quite well, with Teddy taking a tumble in the outfield and Screech ultimately awarding the win to Werth (noted now in our standings).

But Werth appears undaunted. “If Teddy can’t win,” he said Saturday, “then no one wins in my vote.”

For a team that’s long been eliminated from playoff contention, this certainly adds intrigue to Sunday’s final home game at Nationals Park. Will Werth recruit more players to literally carry Teddy across the finish line? It doesn’t seem like the Nats have a say, and for that, Jayson Werth is officially the new hero of the Let Teddy Win movement.

Jayson Werth calls for a Teddy Roosevelt victory on Sunday

Jayson Werth - Photo APAfter trying to interfere on Teddy Roosevelt’s behalf for the second day in a row, Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth made clear his intentions.

“If Teddy can’t win, no one wins,” Werth said in the postgame press conference Saturday at Nationals Park, adding “I must be the last remaining member of the Bull Moose party, I guess.”

On whether Saturday’s ambush was planned, Werth said “I can’t really comment. When you stage a coup, it’s better to keep it quiet.”

Will the Nationals finally heed Werth’s wishes and let the team start the 2012 season without Teddy’s curse hanging over them?

“Let’s just say it’s Teddy Roosevelt’s last stand of the Rough Riders,” Werth said.

Sunday is their last chance this season to break the curse. What better gift on Fan Appreciation Day?

Photo/AP

Video: Presidents race chaos as Jayson Werth takes the tape

Jayson Werth interferes with the Nationals presidents raceWashington Nationals Bullpen Presidents Race InterferenceJayson Werth interferes with the Nationals presidents raceJayson Werth interferes with the Nationals presidents raceJayson Werth interferes with the Nationals presidents raceYou have to love Jayson Werth’s perseverance. A day after he teamed with the Nationals bullpen in a failed attempt to let Teddy win, the Nationals outfielder enlisted extra help to try it again.

When the race began Saturday at Nationals Park, Werth and center fielder Rick Ankiel were waiting in ambush.

Thomas Jefferson attempted to cut across the outfield once again, but Werth was waiting for him, and wrestled the sage of Monticello to the ground.

Meanwhile, four bullpen pitchers were intercepting George Washington and Abe Lincoln on the warning track in an attempt to clear the way for Roosevelt; but Teddy instead chose to join the melee, helping to force Abe Lincoln into the corner, where the bullpen pitchers awaited.

After clearing the way for Roosevelt, Werth could do nothing but watch as #26 ended up face flat on the ground himself.

With Teddy on the ground, and every contestant now down the for count, one bullpen pitcher could be seen pounding the outfield wall in frustration. Werth could only watch, and finally turned and crossed the finish line himself, arms outstretched.

It’s great to see Werth take things into his own hands on behalf of Teddy. Now Teddy just needs to take the ball and make something happen.

Sunday is Fan Appreciation Day, and marks the last presidents race of the season. If the last two races are any indication, the season finale should be a race to remember. Will Werth give it once last shot? Will Teddy capture win #1? Or will Jefferson catch Abe in the season standings?

I suspect it will be another race to remember.

Here’s the race as called on MASN. Finish line video coming later tonight:

Videos: Jayson Werth & the Nats’ bullpen pitchers interfere with Friday’s presidents race

Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth has made no secret of his disgust at the conspiracy that is the Teddy Roosevelt’s losing streak in the fourth-inning presidents race.

Washington Nationals Jayson Werth interferes with the Presidents RaceJayson Werth of the Washington Nationals Interferes with the Presidents RaceWashington Nationals Bullpen interferes with Presidents RaceOn Friday night at Nationals Park, Werth took matters into his own hands, staying on the field after the top of the fourth inning, and leading his own conspiracy of Nationals players who interfered on Teddy’s behalf.

With Abraham Lincoln in the lead heading towards right field, Werth stepped onto the warning track, jumping in front of the pack, and shoving first Abe and then George Washington to slow them down.

If that wasn’t bizarre enough, a half dozen members of the Nationals bullpen were waiting to storm the field right behind Werth, and again shoved George and Abe enough to slow them down; but Thomas Jefferson ran onto the grass and cut the outfield corner, evading Werth and the cadre of pitchers to break away from the pack and steal his fourth victory in a row.

(I haven’t been able to figure out which bullpen pitcher it was who managed to slam Abe into the outfield wall. Whoever it was is my hero for life.)

At race end, the presidents gathered at the finish line with Nats mascot Screech to pay a tribute to Nationals Executive VP Bob Wolfe, a former Atlanta Braves exec who is moving back to the Braves next season.

The signs, which spelled out “We will miss you Bob!,” led to a sudden burst of tweets wondering whether MASN play-by-play announcer Bob Carpenter was leaving the team.

Meanwhile, TJ’s win streak has pulled the founding father within one victory of 3-time champion Abe Lincoln with just two games to go. Expect fireworks this weekend as the presidents close out their season.

Two videos of the event, including this one from the MASN broadcast:

Fan video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: Teddy goes fishing, finds Marlin in the Anacostia

Apparently, Captain Andy Hillstrand of Discovery TV’s Deadliest Catch got to know Teddy Roosevelt on Saturday when he visited Nationals Park to throw out the first pitch.

Teddy Roosevelt with Captain Andy - Nationals ParkThomas Jefferson washington nationals presidents raceWhen the Nationals returned to take on the Florida Marlins Sunday afternoon, Roosevelt was nowhere to be found. As the presidents entered the field for their 4th inning race, Teddy appeared on the HD scoreboard. He was still out fishing for Marlin with Captain Andy.

“Me and @capt_andy went fishing today,” Teddy tweeted later. “I totally forgot about the race! Oops!”

The presence of Marlin in the Anacostia River wasn’t the only eyebrow-raising development in Sunday’s race. Thomas Jefferson took his third straight presidents race to suddenly make things interesting in the season standings.

With Abe Lincoln’s lead narrowed to just two games over Tom, the Nats will return to DC next weekend for their final three-game series.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome.
Fishing photo/Washington Nationals

Videos: Extra presidents race in 13th inning takes title away from Lincoln

Yesterday we reported that Abe Lincoln had clinched at least a share of the 2011 presidents race title, but on Saturday night at Nationals Park, the title was put back into doubt as a pitcher’s duel and a leprechaun conspired to achieve the impossible and actually knock two games off Lincoln’s lead.

Trailing Abe Lincoln in the standings by five wins with five games to go, Thomas Jefferson was hanging by a thread with only an outside chance at a tie for the season; but for just the eighth time in team history, the Nationals took a home game into the 13th inning, forcing a second official presidents race to be run in the middle of the 13th.

The Sage of Monticello jumped on the opportunity and notched two victories in one day, improbably moving within three games of Abe with four remaining. Lincoln, who thought he needed just one victory to clinch the title, now suddenly needs two.

Teddy Roosevelt is tackled by a LeprechaunTeddy Roosevelt is tackled by a LeprechaunThomas Jefferson wins extra-innings presidents race at Nationals ParkThe Nationals were celebrating “Half Way to St. Patrick’s Day,” with green hats, beer and Irish-themed festivities throughout the park, so it should not have surprised Teddy Roosevelt that a leprechaun was in the house.

Yet that didn’t stop the Rough Rider from running the presidents race carrying a box of Lucky Charms.

With the inebriated crowd chanting “Teddy! Teddy!” in the fourth inning, the leprechaun appeared from the Nationals bullpen and tackled Roosevelt as he turned the outfield corner, clearing the way for Jefferson to take his first victory of the night.

In the 13th, Teddy quickly separated himself from the pack, but failed to notice that the finish line had been moved for the extra-inning affair. George, Tom, and Abe raced counter-clockwise toward the third base finish line, leaving Teddy all alone in frustration at the conspiracy that robbed him of another victory.

The baseball gods have now conspired to give Thomas Jefferson a shot at knocking Lincoln off his perch. If TJ can pull off another win Sunday, it will set up an exciting final showdown next weekend.



Videos courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Teddy tries a little misdirection, Abe’s magic number is now 1

With just two home series remaining, Nationals’ racing president Thomas Jefferson is running out of time to catch Abraham Lincoln in the season standings.

Washington Nationals Racing President Teddy Roosevelt tries a presidents race misdirection playTeddy Roosevelt, meanwhile, is simply desperate to notch a single win, and on a brisk Friday night at Nationals Park, he pulled a trick out his hat that nearly worked.

Teddy jumped in front of the other presidents at the center field gate, and with the help of an orange cone and barricade stick, he redirected the presidents towards left field.

All followed suit without hesitation, and Teddy dashed toward the finish line.

Abe wasn’t fooled for long, though, and turned around quickly to begin his pursuit. Much to the crowd’s dismay, the Great Emancipator caught Roosevelt at the finish line to notch his 30th victory of the season and guarantee at least a share of his fourth consecutive presidents race season title.

The victory dropped Lincoln’s magic number to 1 for the outright season title. Thomas Jefferson, who was featured in today’s Social Studies DC Celebrities Without Eyebrows blog post, needs to reel off five straight wins for a chance at the tie.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Washington Nationals 2012 Schedule

Interleague highlights include New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays at home, Boston Red Sox on the road. Marlins now the Miami Marlins

The Washington Nationals today released their 2012 schedule, a late starter compared to previous seasons beginning on the road on Thursday, April 5 at Wrigley Field, followed by the home opener on Thursday, April 12 vs. Cincinnati. Highlights include a three-game interleague visit from the New York Yankees June 15-17, and holiday matchups against the San Francisco Giants (Independence Day) and Chicago Cubs (Labor Day). The Nationals are not at home on Memorial Day.

The Nationals receive three visits apiece from all National League East rivals, including seven weekend sets against the Philadelphia Phillies (May 4-6), New York Mets (August 17-19), Atlanta Braves (June 1-3, July 20-22) and the newly-named Miami Marlins (April 20-22, August 3-5, September 7-9).

The Nationals-Orioles interleague rivalry is resumed at Nationals Park May 18-20. The Nationals visit Oriole Park at Camden Yards from June 22-24.

The Nationals will also host a three-game interleague series vs. the Tampa Bay Rays, June 19-21, and will also make interleague treks to Boston (June 8-10) and Toronto (June 11-13).

You can view the full schedule here: 2012 Washington Nationals Schedule

George and the racing presidents commemorate 9/11

The Washington Nationals on 9/11 Remembrance DayThe Washington Nationals observed 9/11 Remembrance Day Sunday throughout the team’s 8-2 win over the Houston Astros. Many of the usual between-inning routines at Nationals Park were replaced by commemorative honors, videos, and tributes. Even the racing presidents showed solidarity, running their 4th-inning course wearing their new patriotic uniforms in single file behind our first president George Washington, who carried an American Flag from wire to wire.
Washington Nationals Presidents Race on 9 11

Video: Teddy turns on the racing presidents, and regrets it

It’s that time of the season, when, with only a handful of home games left, the race to the finish makes the competition desperate.

Racing President Teddy Roosevelt Knocks Out his fellow racing presidentsNationals presidents race pile upStephen LombardozziSuch was the case Saturday night at Nationals Park, when Teddy Roosevelt, still searching for win #1 in the Nationals’ presidents race, turned on the competition, trapping them in a pack against the outfield scoreboard and slamming them to the ground.

Unfortunately for Teddy, he didn’t knock them out.

After Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln hit the ground, they jumped back to their feet and chased down the Rough Rider, piling on en mass.

Teddy never recovered, and Thomas Jefferson took the tape to keep his hopes alive in the 2011 presidents race standings.

The National’s continued their tradition of embracing social media by hosting a group of bloggers on Saturday, as we were given the opportunity to meet September call-ups Brad Peacock, Chris Marrero, and Stephen Lombardozzi, as well as skipper Davey Johnson and members of the Nationals staff including Director of Minor League Operations Mark Scialabba and Sr. Director of Community Relations Israel Negron, who shared his enthusiasm over the team’s newly-announced sponsorship of the Washington Nationals Wounded Warrior Softball Team.

For the record, Lombardozzi joins the ranks of players who’ve thrown their support behind the Let Teddy Win movement, noting that he’s come to Nationals Park in previous seasons to sit in the stands. “I hope he wins,” Lombardozzi said. “I’m hoping he gets
a ‘W’ before the end of the season.”

Yes, when September call-ups arrive, hope springs anew.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: That Cat Returns to thwart a sure Teddy Roosevelt Victory

That Cat returned to Nationals Park Tuesday night, and as the mysterious feline is known to do, threw a wrench into the presidents race procedings.

That Cat tackles Teddy Roosevelt in the Washington Nationals Presidents RaceThat Cat tackles Teddy Roosevelt in the Washington Nationals Presidents RaceWith a crowd braving the rain to see Stephen Strasburg’s return to baseball, perpetual showoff Abe Lincoln jumped out to a big lead, but as Abe traversed the warning track, Teddy Roosevelt put on an uncharasteristic burst of speed, passing all of the presidents and waving goodbye as he took the lead.

“Teddy’s got a huge lead now. There’s no way he’s gonna lose,” proclaimed Nationals Park P.A. announcer Jerome Hruska.

The kiss of death, apparently.

As Teddy passed by the stands in section 134, That Cat pounced.

Teddy never saw what him him, and George stole the tape.

Slo-mo take-down video follows:


Videos courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: Teddy taunts the other presidents a little too early

Teddy Roosevelt in the lead, Washington Nationals Presidents RaceTeddy Roosevelt taunts Abe and Tom at Nationals ParkAfter yesterday’s embarrassing taunting by Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt was motivated to exact a little revenge on Labor Day at Nationals Park.

Unfortunately for Teddy, he was a little too aggressive.

With the racing presidents decked out in their holiday patriotic uniforms, Teddy jumped out to a quick start, and in an unusually fast-paced race, actually extended his lead as the presidents raced along the warning track.

But with the race barely more than halfway over, the Rough Rider decided to start rubbing it in.

With Teddy’s back turned toward the other presidents, his lead evaporated quickly, and the Rough Rider soon
found himself spun around and huffing
to catch up to the pack.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: In his Sunday best, Teddy nearly pulls it off

Teddy Roosevent nearly wins the presidents race at Nationals ParkDressed in their traditional Sunday garb, the Nationals racing presidents ran one of the closer races of the season Sunday at Nationals Park.

Teddy Roosevelt jumped to a quick start and held off his competition into the right field corner, but Abe Lincoln beat the Rough Rider in a sprint to the finish, turning to both block and taunt him right at the finish line.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

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