Video: Racing Presidents issue challenge to Mark Grace

The Washington Nationals’ racing presidents are fond of taking on racing mascots from other teams, but Wednesday night at Nationals Park, they issued their first challenge on record targeting an opposing team’s broadcaster.

Washington-Nationals-Racing-Presidents-challenge-Arizona-LegendsMark GraceThe broadcaster in question was Diamondbacks color analyst Mark Grace, who was covering the game for FOX Sports Arizona.

Grace is one of the four “legends” portrayed in the Diamondbacks Legends Race, which was introduced just over a year ago. In a blatant appropriation of the Nationals’ own shameful gimmick, Grace has yet to notch his first victory.

Last season, the Nationals mascots challenged the new Legends to visit Nationals Park. With the mascots a no-show, the presidents turned their attention to the press box, holding signs that said “Come Race Us Grace!”

Grace stood up in Nationals Park broadcast booth and waved his arms, saying “You want a piece of this, fellas?” With one game left in the series, an appearance on Thursday is not out of the question.

Videos courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Let Teddy Win makes the DC Stereotype Map

DC Stereotype Map - from LivingSocial's Social Studies DC blogSocialStudies, the DC-focused blog produced by daily dealmonger LivingSocial, today published the DC Stereotype Map, their own extremely blunt take on the map of DC, with Wards and neighborhoods replaced by stereotypes.

Notably, Nationals Park’s small corner of southeast DC is labeled not as the Navy Yard, but as “Let Teddy Win.”

I didn’t know we had become a stereotype, but the folks over at DCist called that one out as being particularly solid. What’s that they say about being the last to know?

Rather wisely, LivingSocial published the map without commentary, leaving the discussion to the community.

Introducing the Teddy Roosevelt Loss-O-Meter

The-Teddy-Roosevelt-Loss-o-MeterHere at the singularly obsessive Let Teddy Win blog, we get asked a lot about the presidents race, and with Teddy Roosevelt approaching 400 consecutive losses in the merciless Nationals ritual, there’s been an unusual amount of interest recently not just in the standings, but in the number of losses by Teddy.

In recent weeks, well-intentioned sources ranging from The Washington Post to Major League Baseball have incorrectly added up Teddy’s losses, thinking that Teddy had reached the 400 mark.

In fact they were relying on the historical Presidents Race Standings on this blog, but counting wins by Teddy’s opponents, rather than losses by Teddy.

The confusion stems from this: On occasion, including twice this year, the race has been declared a tie. In such cases, two presidents are granted a “W” in the standings, but of course, giving Teddy two “Ls” for one race would be cruel and unusual.

As there was clearly an information void, we had no choice but to fill it. Hence the all-new Teddy Roosevelt Loss-O-Meter, which will persist in the Let Teddy Win margin forever more. We will do our best to make sure it is updated within a day of every race.

We have high hopes that the Nats will Let Teddy Win one of this weekend’s races, but as you can see, barring that occasion, Teddy will actually have a shot at loss #400 on Independence Day.

Video: Let Teddy Win on The Today Show

Alert YouTube member lfahome spotted and captured his own video being featured during Len Berman’s “Spanning the World” segment on this morning’s Today Show on NBC.

The video includes the Let Teddy Win contingent cheering Teddy during his June 1 disqualification for riding a Segway.

From around the web: Jeers, tributes, proposals for Teddy

Racing president Teddy Roosevelt’s Memorial Day red herring apparently generated enough interest to inspire even more national outrage over Wednesday’s disqualification.

Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt is disqualified by mascot Screech for riding a SegwayFollowing reports from prominent sites including Sports Illustrated, Yahoo! Sports, CBS Sports, and NBC Washington, a number of prominent and not-so-prominent bloggers weighed in Thursday with jeers, tributes, and at least one proposal for Teddy Roosevelt.

Dayn Perry of FanGraphs.com offered a warning
to Nationals mascot Screech
, reminding the presidents race judge what the great Teddy Roosevelt does to “lower-evolved varmints who
get between him and what’s his.”

DC public relations and marketing professional Mike Holden yesterday offered a novel proposal
for the Nationals, suggesting in his blog that the team hold out a Teddy victory in exchange for season ticket sales. Of all the theories and suggestions I’ve heard for letting Teddy win, this one may be both the most creative and most lucrative for promoting the team.

Poet and Nationals fan Dan Creeden of Scaggsville, Maryland was inspired this week to publish a poem and a song about Teddy’s quest. Creeden blames Abe Lincoln for the bias against Teddy, citing jealousy (“Teddy has a cute bear named after him and Lincoln only has Logs.”). He followed a riff on the classic “Casey at the Bat” with a rewrite of Elton John’s “Benny and the Jets” called T-T-Teddy and the Nats.

Anthony Schneck of Sportsology offered his own spin on Teddy’s disqualification, noting that “contestants may not use Segways during the race because Segways are the universal symbol for douchebaggery.”

Brandon Stroud of the With Leather Blog asks “Why would they do this to a GEICO President? Is it because he was in the Progressive party?”

Finally, David Brown of Big League Stew points out what we failed to note here Wednesday — that Teddy has tried cheating with a Segway before, but failed to come in first.

Did the Nationals create a red herring on Memorial Day?

The disappointment over Teddy Roosevelt’s Memorial Day loss is still stinging not just the Natosphere, but also the National press, with Yahoo! Sports and even the Philadelphia Inquirer joining the ranks of news media wondering why the Nats haven’t let Teddy win.

Which raises the question: After nearly 400 consecutive losses, why were expectations so high on Monday?

The rumors that the Hero of San Juan Hill would take his first victory on Monday appear to have started in the press box. Could it be that the Nationals planted this story as a red herring?

Teddy Roosevelt Loses the Nationals Presidents Race on Memorial Day

Despite widespread expectations of victory, Teddy Roosevelt finishes a distant 4th on Memorial Day at Nationals Park


The catalyst, no doubt, came Friday night when outfielder Jayson Werth called for the Nats to Let Teddy Win, and picked up steam on Saturday, when the Nationals’ star player started clearly watching the race with anticipation, and disgust.

But something happened on Sunday, and unlike many Nats rumors, this one started in the press room, as newspaper, radio, and TV journalists all started reporting that Monday could be Teddy’s big day.

Washington Nationals Broadcaster FP Santangelo on MASN

Nationals color man F.P. Santangelo: "Somebody set me up good.


Nationals TV color man F.P. Santangelo guaranteed a Memorial Day victory on the air. Washington Post blogger Dan Steinberg published his ten reasons why Teddy could win on Memorial Day. Teddy’s quest was previewed on local news stations around DC, and Danny Rouhier of 106.7 The Fan devoted extensive time during the Nats pregame show to “inside information” suggesting that Teddy might win.

Rumor has it that the inside source was none other than the Nationals PR department. We don’t know whether the Nats seriously considered letting Teddy win on Monday, but it’s apparent that they wanted the press to think so.

On Tuesday’s broadcast, Santangelo apologized. “I got to check my sources,” he said, “I was almost sure that Teddy was going to win yesterday. I got some bogus information, partner. Somebody set me up good.”

You and me both, F.P.

At least one Teddy hopeful remains undeterred. On Tuesday night, Jayson Werth stayed in the dugout, but watched the presidents race closely. You have to keep the faith:

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Dan Steinberg explains why Teddy’s going to win on Monday

Could Monday be the day we’ve all anticipating — even begging for — for nearly five years?

In tonight’s Sports Bog over at washingtonpost.com, the always-on-the-ball Dan Steinberg spells out ten reasons why Teddy Roosevelt could win the presidents race on Memorial Day.

In addition to the vocal opinions of Jayson Werth and the reactions we’ve chronicled here, Steinberg points out many other reasons it makes sense for the team from a Marketing standpoint to let Teddy win on Memorial Day.

I’ll add another: It could take an event of Great Bull Moose proportions to steal the thunder from Roy Halladay and the Phillies.

Whatever happens at Nationals Park tomorrow, I know I’ll be there to see it. Here’s hoping FP’s prediction comes true.

Jayson Werth shows disgust as Nats fail to let Teddy win

Nationals Presidents Race 5/28/2011Jayson Werth disgusted that Teddy never wins the Presidents Race

Abe Cheats

On Friday night, a Nat Pack member helps Abe cheat. Teddy has been disqualified for similar antics, but Abe gets a pass every time.

Abe Cheats Button from LetTeddyWin.comA day after revealing his displeasure that Teddy never wins, Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth clearly held hope that the Nationals had listened.

As George, Tom, Abe, and Teddy began the presidents race Saturday afternoon, the Nationals’ 126 million dollar man moved to the top of the dugout steps in anticipation. Werth watched the race until it became clear that Teddy had no chance, then turned back to the dugout and waved in disgust.

The open disdain demonstrated by Werth was noted immediately by Nats followers across Twitter, and by the MASN broadcast team, who replayed the brush off in the bottom of the 4th inning.

Overnight, Werth has brought a spotlight onto the nearly five-year shut down of Teddy by Nationals officials who persist in denying any conspiracy.

What pushed Werth to suddenly “come out” Friday night in favor of letting Teddy Win? Perhaps it was that night’s race, which may have been the most blatant example ever that the Nats will help Abe cheat at the expense of Teddy Roosevelt.

Lincoln was dressed as pro wrestler Randy “Macho Man” Savage, and halfway through the race, his hat fell down over his face, blinding the 16th president.

No sooner had the hat slipped than a member of the Nationals mascot team raced onto the field and helped push Abe to the finish line. Race judge Screech turned the other cheek and failed to disqualify “Honest” Abe, who was awarded the victory.

Screech has disqualified Teddy for a myriad of reasons, including unnecessary roughness, cutting the corner, and even running when he should be walking. Lincoln, who has a track record of pushing and shoving his way to victory, has never been disqualified.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome.

Jayson Werth joins the “Let Teddy Win” movement

Reporters who cover the Nationals have been buzzing about Jayson Werth’s comments following Wednesday’s game in Milwaukee.

After the outfielder’s suggestions that things had to change drew a mix of speculation and ridicule from the press, Werth chose to clarify after tonight’s game at Nationals Park.

As reported by Mark Zuckerman at Nats Insider, Werth pointed to the attitude both on and off the field. “”There’s more to it than [just needing to win games],” Werth said. “If you want to start talking about it, we can talk about it. I mean, why doesn’t Teddy get to win?”

We agree, Jayson! If the team wants to avoid a culture of losing, then why continue to perpetuate a great U.S. president as both a representative of the team, and a comical, lovable loser? It’s time to Let Teddy Win!

Vote for the Let Teddy Win pumpkin!

The Washington Nationals have announced the finalists for their annual pumpkin carving contest, and the final selections include a very familiar face.

The Let Teddy Win pumpkin is a finalist in the Nationals pumpkin carving contestLoyal blog reader Larry LaHaie’s “Let Teddy Win” pumpkins were selected by the panel of judges, and voting has been opened up to the fans at nationals.com.

Your vote could help win Larry a game-worn Adam Dunn jersey — a well-deserved reward for the ten hours he says he spent carving his personal Mount Rushmore into the face of a large autumn squash.

The Lansing, MI software engineer’s effort is all the more impressive given that he doesn’t even live in the DC area; but, he says, “I’ve just kind of fallen in love with the fans, the team (okay, not Elijah Dukes), the area, and the idea of baseball making such a triumphant return to D.C.”

“The contest is judged partially on Nationals’ spirit,” said LaHaie, “and I feel like rooting for Teddy is a great representation of that. If you root for the Nationals, how can you not root for Teddy? And vice-versa? Teddy’s going to prevail one of these days, and so are the Nationals.”

It’s hard not to cast your vote for that kind of spirit. Voting is open now through Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. ET, and fans are allowed up to ten votes per day.

Let’s make it a blowout victory for Teddy!

WTOP radio covers Teddy’s plight

Many people have asked today about the feature that ran this morning on DC’s WTOP radio in which Jim Riggleman was interviewed about the plight of Teddy Roosevelt.

If you missed it, you can listen here courtesy of WTOP.

UPDATE: A much lengthier piece ran later, and we will post the link to that as soon as it’s available.

Racing legends follow familiar pattern – Let Grace Win?

In June, the Arizona Diamondbacks announced plans to introduce a new attraction to home games at Phoenix’s Chase Field. At the end of the 5th inning, four 10-foot tall foam-headed “legends” would race around the ball park in uniform.

In July, just before the All Star break,
the characters were revealed.

Given the short history of the team, they all hail from the D-Backs’ lone World Series championship roster from 2001.

Arizona’s legends (Luis Gonzalez, Matt Williams, Mark Grace, and Randy Johnson) are now the MLB’s second race (after the Nationals’ own racing presidents) to be based on real people.

Having been away traveling recently, I was planning to write about the new Legends Race during the Nats next road trip, but the Nationals forced the issue with their two August series vs. Arizona.

Last week, the racing presidents — at least the Diamondbacks facsimiles of them — made an appearance against the Legends at Chase Field in Arizona, and Diamondbacks play-by-play announcer Daron Sutton held up a cardboard cut-out of Teddy’s face with a sign that said, “Even I could beat Mark Grace”.

The Arizona Diamondbacks Legends are issued a challenge by the Washington Nationals racing presidentsThis week the Diamondbacks arrived
at Nationals Park but the racing legends stayed at home;
so on Saturday night (after a botched attempt on Friday the 13th), the presidents held up signs asking “Where Are The Racing Legends?”

Perhaps the signs should have said “We are the Racing Legends.”

With the huge popularity of our own Rushmores, it was inevitable that another team would attempt to duplicate the formula, and it appears that the Diamondbacks have gone to school on George, Tom, Abe, and especially Teddy.

Sure enough, with just a month of races under their belt, poor Mark Grace, who is currently the D-Backs color analyst for the FOX Sports Arizona baseball broadcasts, seems to be following the path of Teddy Roosevelt.

And Gracie isn’t just 0-for-24. In the first month, he’s been distracted by Silly String, held up by Darth Vader, blocked by Kung Fu Panda, and generally bullied around by the competition.

Arizona Diamondbacks Legend Race Mark Grace has inspired a site Let Grace Win

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the icing on the cake was the near-instant appearance of a blog at LetGraceWin.com.

Remarkably, the website made its debut on the same day that the first race was run, when Mark Grace was still one of three winless legends.

How did the site’s creator, Jeff Summers, know that Grace was destined to play the role of lovable loser?

Summers, a technology executive, web designer, and longtime Diamondbacks blogger, says he didn’t know. He says he became a fan of the Let Teddy Win blog when his daughter discovered it, and has become a student of Teddy’s travails. “I religiously look to it to see if today is finally the day Teddy wins,” he said.

“During the first race, Los Angeles Dodger outfielder Manny Ramirez disrupted the race throwing a towel at Grace causing a distraction costing him a win,” said Summers. “The LetGraceWin site started out just describing ‘Towel-gate.’ Each night something seemed to happen causing yet another loss.”

“I seldom if ever miss a home game so the fans knew I would know who won the race,” Summers added. “It wasn’t just who won, they also wanted to know how they won.”

A longtime student of the game, Summers attributes Grace’s misfortune to the “Cubs curse,” since Grace spent most of his career with the famously cursed Chicago franchise.

“I keep thinking he can’t go winless forever, can he?” Summers asked. “But after seeing the challenges of Teddy Roosevelt I’m more than a little frightened at what I have ahead of me.”

Teddy fans from Ft. Worth, Texas invade Nationals Park

Teddy Roosevelt cheering section at Nationals ParkA huge and lively group of Teddy Roosevelt fans from Texas led a cheering Nationals Park crowd of 21,767 on Thursday night as Livan Hernandez and the Washington Nationals completed their first series sweep of the season.

No matter where you sat in the Park, their cheers were hard to ignore. Even play-by-play man Bob Carpenter took
notice on the MASN broadcast.

The Hillwood Middle school 8th grade class cheers for Teddy Roosevelt at Nationals ParkThe group included 90 students and their chaperones from Hillwood Middle school in Ft. Worth Texas.

Their U.S. History teacher, Brian Ketcham, stumbled across LetTeddyWin.com in 2009, and showed it to the kids as they were planning their 8th-grade trip to Washington.

Let Teddy Win fans from Hillwood Middle School, Ft. Worth, Texas“We let the kids vote on shirts for the trip,” Ketchum said before the game. “I showed them the blog and they thought it was hilarious. So, they voted for the Roosevelt shirt. We want to cheer on Teddy very loudly.”

And loudly they did, as cheers of “Let’s Go Teddy” and Let’s Go Nationals” reverberated from Upper Deck section 232 throughout the
Random Acts of Red - Texas Teddy fans invade Nationals Parkgame’s final 5 innings.

On Thursday, the group visited the White House (where they ran into the POTUS), the National Zoo, the Holocaust Museum, and the National Archives — all before heading to Nationals Park, but group member Blake Emery declared their Nationals Park visit “the greatest night ever” — a sentiment that seemed to be shared by many.

They are chronicling their adventures at coachketchum.com.

More from Let Teddy Win Night at Nationals Park

Cathy over at WeLoveDC.com has a terrific recap of Let Teddy Win Night, including some fantastic and funny photos by Chris Rief.

After reading the article, click through to Chris’s Flickr photostream for a great slide show that’s also a wonderful tribute to Nationals Park.

Photo by Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie

Abe Lincoln takes on the “Let Teddy Win” fans

Nationals Park Empty StandsTeddy Roosevelt fans were out in force tonight as WeLoveDC.com sponsored its first “Let Teddy Win” night at Nationals Park, complete with a private ballpark tour, pre-game rally, presidents race trivia contest, food, prizes, and rally for our favorite racing president.

With an otherwise cold, damp night
Let Teddy Win Babyattracting the smallest crowd in Nationals Park history, it felt at times like a private party.

Among the reported 11,191 in attendance were presidents race rooters young and old, and of course Teddy signs everywhere, particularly during the 4th-inning presidents race.

The rain had stopped well before the first pitch, but Teddy Roosevelt took no chances, racing while carrying an umbrella from start to finish.

The umbrella was too small to cover Roosevelt’s giant head, but not too small to slow him down, and Abe Lincoln raced past him to move back into a tie with Tom for the season lead.

A huge contingent of Teddy fans met Abe with boos at the finish line, and Abe climbed into the stands to confront them, but was escorted off the field as the crowd chanted “Let Teddy Win.”

It was great to meet and enjoy a game with so many readers. Thanks to Cathy and the crew at WeLoveDC.com for sponsoring a terrific night at the park.

More photos to follow (if you have photos to share, let me know!).

Video courtesy of YouTube member and intrepid presidents race fan lfahome

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