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

Video: George Washington makes Lincoln look foolish

Since the team moved to Nationals Park in 2008, Abe Lincoln has been the president to beat, taking 46% of all races through a combination of aggressive tactics and suspicious bursts of speed in the stretch.

Washington Nationals racing president George Washington watches as Abe Lincoln fallsBut this week, George Washington, having finished second in the standings for three straight years, seems to have received a wake-up call, taking three of four races in similar fashion, with Abe-like bursts of speed.

On Tuesday night at Nationals Park, it was the George and Abe show once again. With Lincoln in the lead, Washington burst past him at the turn.

Abe, desperate to catch up, put on a burst of his own, but couldn’t catch the founding father, and fell flat on his face trying.

With the final month of the season looming, it appears notice has been served. If Abe Lincoln wants to continue his dynasty, he’s going to have to work for it.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

After high expectations are dashed, even Abe Lincoln implores the Nationals to Let Teddy Win

Washington Nationals Presidents Race 5-30-2011Abe Wins.  Teddy far behind.Abe Lincoln supports Teddy?The “Let Teddy Win” buzz hit a fever pitch on Memorial Day at Nationals Park, with rumors spreading rampant that after high-level meetings in the Nats’ front office, a decision had been made to finally let Teddy win.

From the stands to the press box, from Twitter to even the Phillies’ TV and radio broadcasts, word was spreading to watch for a breakout race from Teddy Roosevelt.

Even outspoken outfielder Jayson Werth, who had refused to watch Sunday’s race, stepped out of the dugout and onto the field to see the big event.

Fans and reporters alike approached to say they had come not to see Roy Halladay and the Phillies, but to see Teddy take victory #1. Yes, everybody got the message.

Except Teddy.

In possibly the most disappointing performance in five years, Teddy ran wire to wire in last place, and failed to even finish.

Even showboat Abe Lincoln, after taking his 13th victory of the season, grabbed a Let Teddy Win sign from the crowd and held it up in support.

Nats management clearly doesn’t buy into the notion that Teddy must win to break the curse that keeps their team in the basement; but after roughing up Phillies ace Roy Halladay only to end up on the losing end of another 1-run game, why continue to tempt fate?

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Abe Lincoln pays tribute to Randy “Macho Man” Savage

Nationals racing president Abe Lincoln tribute to Macho ManNationals racing president Abe Lincoln paid tribute to Randy “Macho Man” Savage, who died last week while the Nats were on the road.

Lincoln entered the race from the centerfield starting gate dressed in some of the professional wrestler’s famous trademark gear, including a huge cowboy hat, wild black and yellow sunglasses, and a championship wrestling belt.

Unfortunately for Abe, the hat fell over his face midway through the race, but our 16th president managed to yank off the hat and stumble past the other presidents at the finish line.

Note: Nationals intrepid PA Announcer Jerome Hruska fell ill, and in-game host Clint Khoury stepped in to call both the game and the presidents race, doing a nice job in Jerome’s absence.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: Teddy knocks out showboating Abe Lincoln

After watching Abe Lincoln take 8 of the last 10 presidents races, the Great Emancipator got a little cocky, but Teddy Roosevelt decide to take things into his own hands on Sunday at Nationals Park.

Washington Nationals Presidents RaceAfter jumping out to a quick start, Lincoln turned around to taunt the other presidents, but Teddy caught up and slammed the Great Emancipator into the outfield scoreboard. Abe came up limp and failed to finish, as Thomas Jefferson pulled away for the victory.

In a post-race tweet, Teddy declared “How you like me now Abe? You won’t get in my way anymore!”

The Nats are mum regarding the extent, if any, of Honest Abe’s injuries.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Photo Finish

In one of the closest presidents races in Nationals Park history, all four presidents ran neck and neck for nearly the entire length of the race on Saturday at Nationals Park. As they approached the finish line, George faded and Abe Lincoln put on a burst of speed as Tom and Teddy dove for the tape.

Lincoln has now won five of the last six races to take over the top position in the standings.

And that finish again, in Slow Motion!:

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Lincoln holds off challengers to take his 3rd title as the Nationals racing presidents bid farewell to Stan Kasten

In the end, it was no contest.

After a back and forth month in which both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson made strong runs at first place in the presidents race standings, back-to-back repeat champion Abraham Lincoln held off all challengers in the final race of the season, pulling away for a convincing victory and claiming the presidents race title for the third year in a row.

More importantly, the race marked the fifth straight season of futility for #26, Teddy Roosevelt, who failed to deliver in the final home game for Nationals president Stan Kasten, the aleged architect of the anti-Teddy conspiracy.

Racing presidents farewell to Stan KastenNo sooner had Nationals mascot Screech declared Lincoln the winner, when he joined the presidents in holding up signs of appreciation for Kasten, who announced last week that he would be leaving the team at the end of the season.

During his five year tenure with the Nationals, Kasten has been both praised and criticized for his marketing of the team and the Nationals Park experience, including the now-famous 4th-inning presidents race. A Nationals Park farewell tribute was punctuated by a presentation of cupcakes to Kasten by Teddy Roosevelt.

The racing presidents will carry some compelling story lines into the off season. After three straight titles, is it fair now to declare this a presidents race dynasty for the Great Emancipator? With Kasten departing, will we see the team take a tougher stance on Abe’s cheating? Most importantly, with new management in place, will 2011 be the year the Nationals finally let Teddy win?

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome (whose video of Tuesday’s race was featured tonight on ESPN)

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