The Classical: “Now is the perfect time to let Teddy win”

Independent sports website The Classical today published an interview and profile of baseball’s greatest injustice — the conspiracy that prevents Teddy Roosevelt from winning the Washington Nationals’ presidents race.

Writer Aaron Gordon explores why the Nationals promote the race as “the main event,” and suggests that now is the perfect time to let Teddy win.

More video: ESPN visits Let Teddy Win & surveys NL players about the racing presidents, plus Teddy’s takedown

If there was any doubt that the Nationals are a hot national sports story, consider the hour-long Baseball Tonight pregame show preceding ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball coverage of Nats vs. Phillies.

ESPN - Nationals Presidents RaceJust a few minutes were devoted to the Phillies, while segment after segment focused on DC-centric topics, from Bryce Harper to the Nationals starting rotation to the team’s “Natitude” and “Take Back the Park” campaigns.

And yes, they even took the time to poll players around the league on the appeal of the Nationals’ racing
presidents:

After calling the fourth-inning presidents race, ESPN play by play man Dan Shulman references his visit earlier in the day to the Let Teddy Win website:

And our usual finish line video from regular contributor lfahome:

Canine Teddy fan wins Fan of the Game at Pups in the Park

If the 2012 elections were held today, Teddy Roosevelt has an early “leg up” on the canine vote.

Cachucha the pug of Adams Morgan at the Nationals Park Pups in the Park Day photo by Johanna DiazAdams Morgan pug Cachucha brought her owner Johanna Diaz to Nationals Park for Saturday’s “Pups in the Park” day, decked out to support her favorite racing president, Teddy Roosevelt.

Cachucha took the pre-game parade seriously, sporting an elaborate “float” that included a Teddy Roosevelt bobblehead doll mounted on her back.

“She was really hoping her float would give him an edge for a win,” said Diaz.
Let Teddy Win Dog T-Shirt“She was soaking in the glory of being on the field, and sending some good vibes for Teddy.”

Sadly, the pups simply proved to be a distraction for Roosevelt, but Cachucha got a consolation prize: She was featured on the HD scoreboard and voted fan of the game by the Nationals Park crowd.

“Teddy has always been her favorite,” added Diaz. “If she could wear a monocle, she would.”

With three more Pups in the Park promotions scheduled for this summer, perhaps Cachucha can start a whole canine cheering section for our favorite president.

…and if a float isn’t your dog’s thing, there’s always the Let Teddy Win T-Shirt for dogs (above).

Nationals Park photo courtesy of Johanna Diaz

Video: Jayson Werth, still messing with the presidents race

As the Washington Nationals left the field after the top of the fourth inning today, right fielder Jayson Werth took the opportunity to once again interfere with the Nats’ presidents race.

Werth is an outspoken critic of the conspiracy that keeps Teddy Roosevelt out of the win column at Nationals Park, but this time chose a less disruptive way to protest, running through the finish line tape before the race began.

The Nat Pack recovered in time to reset the finish line. Roosevelt trailed early, but inspired by Abe’s behavior of the day before, decided to try the trick himself, cutting the outfield corner to take the lead from Jefferson.

Racing Presidents Jackie Robinson Day by Cheryl NicholsBut in the home stretch, Jefferson tripped behind Teddy, and Roosevelt toppled like a Domino, allowing George Washington to run past for the victory.

The racing presidents all wore #42 Sunday, as part of Major League Baseball’s Jackie Robinson Day.

More video to follow.

Photo courtesy Cheryl Nichols/DistrictSportsPage

Is there a legal remedy to Let Teddy Win?

This morning WTOP radio’s Brennan Haselton raises a critical question for the Let Teddy Win movement in advance of today’s home opener: Does Teddy have a legal remedy vs. the Nationals?

Haselton features input from WTOP Capitol Hill correspondent Dave McConnell and American University law professor Stephen Vladeck, among others. “Teddy really is a victim here,” Vladeck proposes, “and the question is why can’t the law provide him with a remedy?”

It’s a fascinating question and a great piece of journalism, so I’ll even forgive Haselton for getting Teddy’s loss count wrong. After all, Teddy’s streak could end today. Listen Now.

UPDATE: Haselton’s feature was awarded the DC Society of Professional Journalists Award for Best Radio Feature of the year, with the Judge’s Comment: “Haselton telescopes humor, history, baseball and politics into must-listen radio. The kind of audio treat that brings smiles.”

Jayson Werth: Teddy’s streak “Needs to be addressed”

Today over at espn.com, today’s flattering profile of the 2012 Nationals includes some choice words by Jayson Werth about the presidents race, and specifically the Let Teddy Win movement.

Jayson Werth disgusted that Teddy never wins the Presidents Race

Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth shows his disgust after another Teddy Roosevelt loss in 2011

Werth had been an outspoken member since arriving in DC last year, and twice attempted to interfere on Teddy’s behalf. Despite his failure, he clearly hasn’t given up the hunt, telling ESPN “I may be the last member of the Rough Riders.” 

“Teddy’s gonna have to win a race,” Werth said. “It just goes along with the whole expectancy of losing that was here when I got here. ‘The Nationals lost again?’ OK. ‘Teddy lost again?’ No big deal. It’s a parallel. People can laugh and say I’m out of my mind or whatever. Maybe I am. Who knows? …To me, the Presidents Race and Teddy Roosevelt are very symbolic of where this organization goes. It needs to be addressed. It needs to be answered.”

MLB Network: Presidents race predictions for 2012

Intentional Talk - Chris Rose & Kevin Millar issue presidents race predictionHosts Chris Rose and Kevin Millar gave a shout out to the blog Monday as they issued their predictions for the 2012 presidents race on The MLB Network’s “Intentional Talk.”

Rose predicts an 0-81 campaign for Teddy, but Millar was more optimistic, predicting that 2012 will be a big year for the Bull Moose Party.

Presidents Race predictions at 2:15:

Vote for the Racing Presidents pumpkins

Racing President Pumpkins - Nationals Pumpkin ContestThe finalists have been announced for the Washington Nationals annual pumpkin carving contest, and once again, the racing presidents have been well-represented.

Last year, reader Larry LaHaie’s “Let Teddy Win” pumpkin took the grand prize. Will the presidents triumph again? Voting is now open at Nationals.com until Thursday, Nov. 3 at 2:00pm.

How will you celebrate Teddy’s birthday?

Tomorrow is Teddy Roosevelt’s birthday. How will you be celebrating?

Last week, blogger Laura Leu got into the spirit with these homemade Mount Rushmore presidents cupcakes:

President cupcakes - baked by Laura Leu

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.

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 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

Today’s man on the streeet: Thomas Jefferson

Each Thursday, the DC-focused blog SocialStudiesDC interviews a DC resident to get a slice of DC life, asking them what they are thankful for.

Today the blog took an unusual twist on the man-in-the-street interview and featured a more well-known resident,
the Washington Nationals’ own racing president Thomas Jefferson.

For the record, Tom is thankful to still be ahead of George Washington in the standings (as if Teddy doesn’t even count).

SocialStudiesDC is published by daily deal site LivingSocial, and recently featured Let Teddy Win on the DC Stereotype Map.

According to managing editor Eliot Stein, the team at LivingSocial loves the Let Teddy Win movement and blog, so presidents race followers might do well to keep an eye on this relative newcomer to the DC blogosphere.

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