Three streaks extended at Nationals Park

The red hot Washington Nationals pulled off another come-from-behind victory today at Nationals Park, keeping their homestand perfect and extending their current winning streak to an improbable six straight games.

Teddy Roosevelt extends his losing streak in the Washington Nationals presidents raceIn the 4th inning presidents race, Teddy Roosevelt looked like he was about to break a streak of his own, taking the lead into the final turn. It looked like he had the victory in hand, but Teddy’s lack of experience crossing the finish line first proved to be his undoing. Teddy leaned forward to break the finish line tape a good 20 paces too early, and as he stumbled forward, Tom and Abe passed him from behind. When all was done, Teddy’s losing streak and Abe’s winning streak were both extended by another game.

Having swept the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves at home, the Nationals now welcome the slugging Philadelphia Phillies to Nationals Park on Monday for a three-game series. With a sunny, 80-degree forecast for Labor Day and a late afternoon start, I can’t think of a better way to end the summer holiday season.

Photo courtesy of flickr member afagen

Racing Presidents Run Hurdles to Honor Olympics

Teddy Roosevelt hurdles in Sunday's Olympic-inspired Washington Nationals Presidents RaceIn their last home game to be played during these 2008 Olympics, the Washington Nationals pulled out all the stops to stage an Olympics-inspired presidents race during the fourth inning Sunday at Nationals Park.

If Saturday night’s race-walk didn’t impress you, then the sight of our favorite 10-foot tall racing presidents jumping over hurdles certainly had to. That’s right — hurdles.

In a scene reminiscent of a previous Olympiad, Abe Lincoln, who has whipped the competition this season, emerged during the race introductions wearing Michael Johnson-inspired gold running shoes. Teddy Roosevelt and Abe Lincoln each ran the anchor leg of a hurdle relay which was confined to the outfield. Abe beat Teddy to the finish, and was declared the winner along with teammate George Washington. This is the first time a joint victory has been awarded in presidents race history.

I hope at least one of you readers captured this memorable spectacle on video.

Photo courtesy of flickr member Liliang

Abe Lincoln Clinches 2008 Presidents Race Title

Abe Lincoln clinched the 2008 Washington Nationals Presidents Race title last night at Nationals ParkTeddy Roosevelt took an early lead last night in the Nationals Park presidents race, but as has happened so many times this year — both to Teddy and the Nationals — he was unable to finish and speedster Abe Lincoln won handily.

Abe’s 34h victory of the season assured him of the 2008 Washington Nationals presidents race title. With no more than 80 official president races to be held this season (Teddy’s June grudge match vs. the Orioles Bird was “unsanctioned” and the playoffs are …unlikely), Abe now has a 23 game lead over George Washington with only 22 home games remaining.

Abe’s first presidents race title comes thanks to a suspicious surge of speed this year. Since Thomas Jefferson won in 2006 and George Washington won in 2007, Teddy Roosevelt will enter the fourth presidents race season in 2009 as the only racing president who has not won a season title.

Is it fair to say that Teddy is due? Maybe Abe will let up a bit and give Teddy a chance at late season victory and some momentum to carry into next year.

Photo courtesy of flickr member afagen

Teddy Gives Up Lead, Turns to Chase Panther

Teddy Roosevelt, Washington Nationals Presidents RaceThe air was thick with anticipation last night at Nationals Park as over 32,000 filled the stands for Teddy’s T-Shirt Tuesday. As Teddy Roosevelt’s faithful poured into the stadium, many were disappointed to find that the team had given out all 10,000 free “Run Teddy Run” t-shirts nearly an hour before game time.

The skies were clear, the weather was warm, and the always popular New York Mets were in town to kick off a six game homestand; but make no mistake about it. The attraction drawing so many fans on this Tuesday night was the Bull Moose, who was looking to continue the racing presidents’ unbeaten streak on their T-shirt Tuesdays.

Washington Nationals Racing President Teddy Roosevelt Gives Up Lead to Chase PantherWhen the fourth inning presidents race began, Teddy’s fans were rewarded as he jumped out to a huge lead and maintained it throughout the race.

As Teddy neared the finish line, it appeared that he might actually pull this one out, but he suddenly stopped short and turned around. His frequent nemesis, a panther wearing a “That Cat” t-shirt, appeared near the right field corner. Teddy turned, apparently conflicted between chasing the panther and chasing the finish line. He chose the panther, and Abe raced by him to steal yet another victory from our beloved #26.

The panther is becoming a frequent visitor to Nationals Park. After first attacking Teddy in April, it returned in June wearing the t-shirt and chased Teddy down from behind. Then, just 2 weeks ago, it returned to chase Screech into a collision with Teddy.

Teddy Roosevelt Fans at Nationals ParkThat Cat is quickly becoming Teddy’s Moby Dick.

We spotted some Let Teddy Win t-shirts as soon as we walked by the ticket booth and met many more of the blog readers at the pre-game rally and again after the presidents race down by the first base line.

It was great to meet all of you, despite sharing Teddy’s 173rd consecutive loss.

Lincoln unfazed as Uncle Slam joins the presidents race.

For the Washington Nationals’ last game before the All Star break, the team today welcomed Potomac Nationals mascot Uncle Slam to Nationals Park to cheer on the team and participate in the Nationals presidents race for the first time. Unfortunately for Teddy fans, the extra competition did nothing to slow down a juggernaut called Abe Lincoln.

Potomac Nationals Mascot Uncle SlamFor those unfamiliar with Uncle Slam, he is the mascot for the Washington Nationals’ Class A minor league affiliate Potomac Nationals, which play just a short drive down I-95 in Prince William County Virginia. It was a timely appearance. With the Nationals away until July 29, the next two weeks are the perfect time to check out some of your future Nationals at intimate Pfitzner Stadium. The current roster includes such top prospects as pitcher Ross Detwiler and first baseman Chris Marrero, and rehabbing Nationals such as Ryan Wagner. Even Ryan Zimmerman is expected to get two rehab starts next week with the P-Nats.

As for the presidents race, Teddy came out in front and was followed by Uncle Slam, but as has become so common this season, Abe Lincoln turned on the afterburners to pass everybody before they reached the finish line. Abe’s seventh straight victory marks a first-ever homestand sweep of the presidents race. Teddy, Tom, and George all need to hit the training room over the all star break if they are to have any hope of catching Abe this season. Maybe Teddy should ask Abe what he’s been eating for breakfast.

Photo: Scott Ableman

Abe goes for homestand sweep Sunday at Nationals Park

Washington Nationals fans filled the stands Saturday night to watch pitcher Collin Balester’s inauspicious Nationals Park debut vs. the Houston Astros.

Despite the home team’s recent string of misfortune, it’s good to see the weekend crowds consistently topping 30,000 regardless of opponent. Great weather has certainly helped, and by now Washingtonians are figuring out that parking at Nationals Park is easy and getting to the stadium is a piece of cake whether driving or taking Metro.

Abe Lincoln extended his presidents race winning streak on Saturday at Nationals ParkUnfortunately Saturday night’s presidents race offered no drama for Teddy fans. Abe Lincoln remains on a tear and showed no signs of letting up, chasing Thomas Jefferson from behind and taking the lead in the stretch to keep his streak alive. Teddy Roosevelt did not appear to even try.

Sunday marks the last game before the All Star break and Teddy’s last chance at presidents race glory for several weeks. If Abe wins, it would be his 7th straight and a first-ever presidential sweep of an entire homestand. Somebody’s got to stop him. Why not Teddy? The weather should be good and tickets are available, so Teddy fans — I hope to see you all cheering him on tomorrow at Nationals Park!

Photo by flickr member afagen

Teddy runs the wrong way, Abe takes 5th straight.

Tonight’s sunset over the Anacostia River turned the sky a beautiful shade of pink over the left field wall at Nationals Park.

Perhaps that’s why Teddy Roosevelt chose to run in that direction after taking the field for the 4th inning presidents race.

As George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abe Lincoln raced along the right field warning track, Teddy headed left and never made it to the finish line, stopping to engage a ball girl along the way.

Back across the field, Abe was making quick work of George and Tom, bursting ahead to extend his winning streak to 5 straight (and skipping across the finish line), and with only two games to go before the all-star break, raising the possibility of a first-ever homestand sweep of the presidents race.


Video by YouTube member SchwartzVideo

Teddy Nearly Steals T-Shirt Tuesday Victory from Abe

It was free T-Shirt Tuesday tonight at Nationals Park, and the stands were filled with 10,000 Nationals fans wearing free Abe Lincoln t-shirts.

Based on the results from the previous T-Shirt Tuesdays, Abe had to be the prohibitive favorite to run away with tonight’s presidents race, but when the middle of the 4th inning arrived, it was #26 Teddy Roosevelt who jumped out to the big lead, which he extended as he rounded the warning track into the home stretch along the first base line.

But as Teddy approached the finish line, he lost his shoe, tripped and fell. Abe came charging from behind and hurdled over Teddy to claim his 24th presidents race victory this season.

George, Tom, and Abe have now all held serve on their free T-Shirt Tuesdays at Nationals Park. Unfortunately we have to wait another month for Teddy’s big night. Let’s hope his shoes are tied tight on August 12.

Abe’s T-Shirt Tuesday Kicks Off Nationals Homestand

Tuesday night the Washington Nationals return to town to face the Diamondbacks and Astros in a couple of series that promise great weather, light summer traffic, and some big promotions at Nationals Park.

The Nationals are in need of some home cooking after a brutal week which netted as many devastating injuries as team victories. For loyal Nats fans, it seems like an eternity since Nationals Park was packed and rocking for the team’s last home series against the Baltimore Orioles.

Washington Nationals Racing President Abe Lincoln at Nationals ParkRegular readers don’t need to be reminded that this is Abe Lincoln’s T-shirt Tuesday. The first 10,000 fans to enter Nationals Park on Tuesday will receive a free Washington Nationals Abraham Lincoln T-Shirt. Given his recent record, it’s doubtful that Abe needs any help to win the presidents race, but it should be noted that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson won on their free t-shirt nights, so the pressure is now squarely on Abe.

The homsetand will also feature Friday night fireworks, Hispanic Heritage night, and another free movie Saturday night after the game on the Nationals Park HD scoreboard. As for the presidents race, it’s hard to imagine how our racing presidents could top the excitement of the last homestand. After a week that featured kangaroos, president-on-president violence, sabotage, grudge matches, and an “unsanctioned” victory by Teddy Roosevelt, it was good to get a week off. I’m assuming that Teddy has gotten over it as well and will not be working with the grounds crew on Tuesday.

Photo by flickr member jsmjr

Racing Presidents Are Not Inspired by Angels

With Angels in town this week, the racing presidents have been anything but.

On Monday night, our favorite mascots upped the ante in the quest to win the presidents race when Teddy Roosevelt and George Washington all but mugged Abraham Lincoln in the outfield, allowing Tom to take the victory. This just one night after Teddy was hip-checked into the outfield wall by Thomas Jefferson.

washington nationals presidents race teddy and abe tripping thomas jefferson.Tonight Abe Lincoln got his revenge on a seemingly trusting Teddy. Yes, Honest Abe himself joined forces with Teddy by setting up a trip wire to take down George and Tom. Of course, Abe then pushed Teddy aside to take his 21st presidents race of this young Washington Nationals’ season.

If this is the sort of behavior inspired by the Angels, I can’t imagine what will happen when the Orioles come to town on Friday.

Photo by flickr member Bullneck.

Abe Lincoln is Finally Beaten By Teddy… Literally !

It’s beginning to get ugly.

During the presidents race last night at Nationals Park, Teddy Roosevelt and George Washington decided to take things into their own hands.

Fed up with Abe Lincoln’s winning streak and increasingly arrogant showboating, Teddy and George wasted no time last night, knocking down Abe before he even reached the GEICO logo in centerfield, and giving him a beat-down as Thomas Jefferson ran uncontested to the finish line.

Abe did not finish the race and his condition is unknown. With five games left in the current homestand, one has to hope this doesn’t escalate any further.

Thomas Jefferson hip checks Teddy Roosevelt

It’s fairly safe to say that Teddy Roosevelt has nobody but himself to blame for his presidents race losing streak. Time after time, our beloved #26 has fallen short but taken the loss, kept his head up, and come back the next day to try again (sometimes try a little too hard).

That’s why yesterday’s display seemed so out of place. On Sunday at Nationals Park, Thomas Jefferson, never known to be a cheater himself, gave the bull moose a serious hip check as they ran across the outfield warning track. Abe Lincoln once again turned on the afterburners to claim a sweep of the Nationals’ home series against the Texas Rangers.

It seems unlikely, but could it be that the other presidents are starting to see Teddy as a threat?

Video by YouTube member ffwdrob.

Kangaroo Distracts Teddy from Presidents Race Victory

On Saturday night at Nationals Park, Teddy took a lead into the right field turn, but lost that lead when he ran into the corner of the outfield and emerged with a toy kangaroo. Abe Lincoln dashed by and won the race as Teddy attempted to hop to the finish line. I missed this spectacle and can’t quite explain the kangaroo. Does anybody have photos?

UPDATE: Video by YouTube member VelocityAtrocity:

Teddy Blows Relay Race vs. Pierogies in Pittsburgh

A change of venue momentarily appeared to have been the key to Teddy Roosevelt’s first victory, but the bull moose blew it on the road last night in Pittsburgh.

Washington Nationals' racing presidents Teddy and Tom with racing pierogie Jalapeno Hanna at PNC ParkAs expected, the Washington Nationals racing presidents made their first road trip with the team to appear with the racing pierogies at the Pittsburgh Pirates’ PNC Park.

The series kicked off last night with a relay race pitting Pittsburgh’s own racing pierogies vs. Washington’s racing presidents. George Washington led off the race for the presidents and handed off to speedster Abe Lincoln who, in typical fashion, sprinted ahead of the field, ensuring a solid lead for racing president Thomas Jefferson to hand to anchor runner Teddy Roosevelt for the final leg.

That’s where it fell apart.

Instead of running straight down the first base line for the easy victory, Teddy mugged for the crowd and started up the ramp in right field corner. Those precious wasted seconds were all that was needed for the racing pierogies to steal back the lead. Teddy figured it out too late, making a run for the finish line but falling short of Jalapeno Hanna, who gave the racing pierogies the win.

Photo courtesy of Angela Calo

Abe Lincoln Says “This is Why I’m Hot!”

The Let Teddy Win GirlsThe temperature on the field for Garrett Mock’s major league pitching debut today at Nationals Park was over 100 degrees, and despite the repeated sound of “This is Why I’m Hot” by MIMS over the stadium P.A., the Nationals were anything but, giving up another early lead and failing to threaten a comeback.

The only people who didn’t appear slowed by the heat were the Let Teddy Win girls, who could be heard cheering all game throughout Section 407, and racing president Abraham Lincoln, who’s been on fire for more than a month and has won six of the last nine presidents races. Abe dashed passed the other presidents today and won by a comfortable margin, taunting the other presidents as he turned and stepped backward across the finish line. Teddy, meanwhile, appeared to be saving his energy for Monday night.

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