Doris Kearns Goodwin on getting Teddy and Taft together

Doris Kearns Goodwin Teddy Taft Racing PresidentsHistorian, author, and baseball fan Doris Kearns Goodwin appeared on CBS Sunday Morning to discuss her new book “The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism.”

Goodwin talks about her favorite president, Theodore Roosevelt, and of visiting Nationals Park and realizing her dream of getting Teddy and William Howard Taft to stand together.

Seamheads.com & SABRmetrics expert says dump Taft, Let Teddy Win

The folks over at Seamheads.com know a thing or two about baseball, having authored 90 books about the subject. So the Washington Nationals might do well to pay attention when Seamheads managing editor, baseball author, longtime MASN contributor and SABRmetrics expert Ted Leavengood offers some advice for getting the season on track.

Seamheads Ted LeavengoodOn Thursday at Seamheads.com, Leavengood makes the case that the Nats messed up their juju by introducing new racing president William Howard Taft for the 2013 season, while turning Teddy Roosevelt into a perpetual loser once again.

“What must be accepted,” Leavengood writes, “is that the Natinals (sic) have violated the first rule of Juju. You don’t change the narrative when your team is winning.”

Citing The Juju Rules by Hart Seely, Leavengood argues that the prescription is simple. “The first step must be to have Teddy win again. He must win by running directly over William Howard Taft. That may be enough, but if not then Taft must be shipped out to Syracuse. The Nationals need to get down to the business at hand and it is all about Teddy.”

You can find some of Leavengood’s books on Washington baseball here.

Chicken sacrifice planned for noon Thursday at Nationals Park

In response to Davey Johnson, Rubber Chicken Man Hugh Kaufman Sacrifices a chicken at Washington Nationals ParkChicken Sacrifice at Nationals Park dugout - Chicken ModeIn an effort to break the team’s losing streak, Washington Nationals “Rubber Chicken Man” Hugh Kaufman will perform a ritual sacrifice of a rubber chicken in front of the Nationals Park center field gate at noon on Thursday.

Kaufman has performed the ritual many times since 2005, whenever he determines that the Nationals have hit a streak of particularly bad luck. Last season, chickens were sacrificed after a string of injuries to the team’s catchers, and again after the Nationals lost Game 3 of their playoff series vs. the Cardinals. Just ten weeks ago, Kaufman was called into service by a Washington Capitals fan to help end their own losing streak.

Kaufman, who inspired Chicken Mode t-shirts, also plans to burn sage on Thursday, to honor a postgame request by outfielder Jayson Werth. “Somebody was talking about Phil Jackson the other day,” Werth said after Wednesday’s loss. “We need to call him up, have him come in and burn some sage or something. We’re not very feng shui.”

No word on whether Jackson will make an appearance, but the ritual will be open to the public.

Teddy’s Presidents Race Win Makes Most Buzz Worthy Moments of 2012

Yahoo Buzz-Worthy Moments of 2012 - Teddy Roosevelt WinsWhat does Teddy Roosevelt have in common with Honey Boo Boo, Gangnam Style, and Binders Full of Women?

They all made Yahoo!’s new video tribute to the Most Buzz-Worthy Moments of 2012.

Watch the video at Yahoo! News (including the Blog’s finish line video by regular contributor lfahome).

Racing Presidents named Best On Field Promotion of 2012

Nationals racing presidents win best on field promotion from GameOps.comThe Washington Nationals presidents race has been named Best On Field Promotion in Sports for 2012.

The award is bestowed annually by Gameops.com, a web site which connects sports teams and event producers with ideas and tools for on-field promotions. This is the third time that the Nats’ racing presidents have nabbed the award, having taken the prize in 2007 and again in 2009.

Gameops editor John Cudo, who works for the Cleveland Cavaliers and spent 7 years as the mascot for the Minnesota Timberwolves, has written frequently about the racing presidents, and follows it via the blog, which he called “a season long tutorial on how to keep a promotion you do every night interesting.”

Petraeus and Broadwell: Teddy fans

David Petraeus throws out the first pitch at Nationals Park on Military Appreciation Day September 9, 2012 (AP)

David Petraeus throws out the first pitch at Nationals Park on Military Appreciation Day September 9, 2012 (AP)

Turns out General David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell were members of the Let Teddy Win movement. According to a new article by Dave Kindred, Petraeus, a known fitness freak, was asked about Teddy before a planned visit to Nationals Park on the team’s Military Appreciation Day in September.

Communicating through Broadwell, Kindred asked if Petraeus would be doing one of those segments where he coaches Teddy Roosevelt before the race. Broadwell told Kindred that Petraeus “insists he won’t coach unless the Nats let Teddy win.”

So that’s one thing that worked out well for them this fall.

Teddy Roosevelt speech spurs Nationals to Game 4 victory

Mark DeRosa Man in the ArenaFollowers of this blog are familiar with Teddy Roosevelt’s famous “Man in the Arena” speech, in which Roosevelt praised the virtue of those who strive for greatness even in the face of failure. Arizona Senator John McCain read from the speech in a recent ESPN profile of the Let Teddy Win movement, and quotes from the speech have long been available on our t-shirts.

On Thursday night, the Nationals faced elimination in the National League Division Series playoffs, and so veteran infielder Mark DeRosa chose the occasion to read Teddy’s words to the team before the game.

DeRosa, the only member of the Nationals with an Ivy League degree, told reporters that he reads the speech to himself before big games, but this was the first time he read it out loud.

“I wanted to say something that brought the whole team together, a band of brothers,” DeRosa said.

“With our backs against the wall, I wanted to say something that brought us together, a little band of brothers to go out and fight and see what happens,” he told The Post later. “I feel that was fitting.”

“Epic,” Drew Storen added. “The stuff movies are made of.”

So you don’t have to look it up, here it is:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

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