Orioles Bird takes out racing presidents, struggles with Taft

Baltimore Orioles Bird Tackles Nationals Racing PresidentsBaltimore Orioles Bird Tackles Nationals Racing Presidents William Howard TaftBaltimore Orioles Bird Tackles Nationals Racing PresidentsBaltimore Orioles mascot “The Bird” made his annual appearance at Nationals Park Tuesday night as the Nats took on the Orioles in the “Battle of the Beltways.”

The creatively named mascot has been known for disrupting the presidents race in the past, but Tuesday marked the first time the Oriole had ever faced five presidents at once.

As the fourth inning race began, The Bird charged at the racing presidents along the outfield warning track.

The Bird made quick work of front-runners George Washington, Abe Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt, but charging behind was big Bill Taft, who proved to be more of a load than anticipated.

As the Oriole struggled to pull down the portly Chief Justice, Thomas Jefferson slipped by and raced ahead unobstructed for the victory.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

The Orioles’ Adam Jones weighs in on Teddy and the racing presidents

Baltimore Oriole Adam Jones is a Washington Nationals Presidents Race Teddy Roosevelt fanBaltimore Orioles star center fielder was warming up before Saturday’s game at Nationals Park, waiting for the Nationals to finish batting practice, and chatting with teammates about the Nationals’ racing presidents.

“Teddy never wins,” Jones asked. “Why doesn’t Teddy ever win?”

Jones, as it turns out, is a Teddy Roosevelt fan. He doesn’t miss the presidents race when the Orioles play the Nationals, knows about Jayson Werth’s attempts to help Teddy Roosevelt last season, and has a problem with the injustice served out nightly to the great president and war hero.

“They need to let him win,” Jones told me.

For Jones, the presidents race is a realization of a childhood misunderstanding.

“When I was like 5 years old, I thought they really held a race to determine who was going to be president,” he said. “I thought ‘that’s crazy,’ but I actually thought that’s how we picked the president.”

Jones’ memory triggered a novel suggestion. “I’d like to see them get some real presidents out there,” he said. “Have George W. race Obama. Who do you think would win that race?”

Jones sported a Let Teddy Win button until it was time to take the field, leading MLB.com to suggest that Jones’ homer Saturday was just following Teddy’s motto: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

Orioles Adam Jones takes BP with presidents race Let Teddy winBaltimore Orioles Adam Jones Let Teddy Win

Orioles Adam Jones supports Teddy Roosevelt in the Washington Nationals Presidents Race by wearing a Let Teddy Win button

Photo/MLB.com

Video: Teddy Roosevelt pummels the Orioles’ The Bird

Nationals Teddy Roosevelt tackels the Baltimore Orioles Bird Teddy Roosevelt Baltimore Oriole Bird Nationals Presidents RaceTeddy Roosevelt Pummels Baltimore Oriole Bird NatsWith the Baltimore Orioles in town, Teddy Roosevelt was looking for The Bird to show up, and finally got his wish Saturday night.

Teddy and the “creatively”-named Orioles mascot have a contentious history, but The Bird appeared ready to make peace as the fourth-inning presidents race began.

With Teddy rounding the outfield corner carrying a big lead, The Bird appeared on the first base line holding a “Go Teddy” sign.

But Teddy would have none of it.

With a sellout crowd of 42,331 cheering Teddy on, the site of an unprotected Bird was just too much for the Hero of San Juan Hill to resist.

He veered off course and put a highlight reel tackle on the mascot.

The Battle of the Beltways continues Sunday at Nationals Park.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Washington (George, that is) returns to winning ways, Orioles Bird expected Saturday

The Orioles Bird did not make an appearance as expected during the presidents race for Friday night’s kickoff of the annual Battle of the Beltways.

Washington-Nationals-Presidents-Race 5-18In the fourth inning, the racing presidents mixed things up, running toward the third base side, but the Bird’s absence was no help for Teddy. George Washington easily passed a tired Roosevelt before doing jumping jacks at the finish line.

Teddy was quick to make excuses for his poor outing. “Still hurting a bit from last night,” he said via Twitter, but #26 promised he’d be ready to go on Saturday.  “Rumor has it a certain Bird will be visiting…”

Abe Lincoln forces 3-way tie to end homestand

A day after cheating his way to the finish line, Abraham Lincoln followed a more traditional path to victory, coming from behind to take the tape today as the Nats wrapped up their homestand vs. the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park. Orioles mascot The Bird once again failed to make an appearance.

With the Nats hitting the road tomorrow, Abe’s victory ensured that George, Thomas, and Abe would enter the month of June on an extended 3-way tie for first place — something we’ve never seen this late in the season.

Teddy Roosevelt, sadly, remains the only president without a win.

Inspired by Nyjer Morgan, Abe throws a fit of his own

The crowd at Nationals Park wasn’t paying too much attention during Saturday’s presidents race at Nationals Park.

The race began just moments after Nats centerfielder Nyjer Morgan singlehandedly allowed an inside-the-park home run by throwing a fit instead of chasing after a ball he should have caught to end the Orioles 4th inning.

Abe Lincoln pushes Teddy Roosevelt to the Ground - Washington Nationals presidents raceOne pitch and one out later, the crowd of 30,000+ was still on its feet and buzzing about the oddity they had witnessed as the presidents race began.

Teddy Roosevelt took an early lead, but Abraham Lincoln, upset about falling to 3rd place in the presidents race standings, took a cue from Nyjer Morgan and threw a little fit of his own.

Chasing Teddy from behind, Abe dropped him to the ground, then turned to go after the other presidents.

After slamming Tom into the stands, he pranced across the finish line and climbed into the crowd to celebrate.

For the first time since Nationals Park opened, the Orioles mascot “The Bird” failed to make an appearance for the interleague race.

His Nationals counterpart Screech, who allegedly judges the presidents race, was a no show himself, failing once again to disqualify “Honest” Abe despite blatant cheating.

Nyjer Morgan photo by Cheryl Nichols/Nats News Network

Orioles Bird disrupts presidents race, misses Jefferson

The Oriole Bird vs. the Nationals Screech in the mascot Battle of the BeltwaysThe annual “Battle of the Beltways” between the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles kicked off Friday afternoon as Nationals mascot Screech took on the creatively-named Orioles mascot “The Bird” in a series of challenges including arm wrestling and free-throw shooting at DC’s ESPN Zone.

The last time we saw The Bird at Nationals Park, the Orioles mascot was lying in the warning track after Teddy Roosevelt knocked him out cold . The Bird had to wait a year, but tonight sought his revenge, ambushing Teddy in the home stretch of the 4th-inning presidents race.

The Bird took on the presidents like tackling dummies, bringing Teddy, Abe, and George to the ground in one swift move; but Jefferson steered clear of the pile-up, and The Bird failed to chase him down.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Teddy knocks the ‘O’ out of the Oriole Bird

After last night’s episode in which the Oriole bird tackled Teddy Roosevelt, our 26th president wasn’t going to leave anything to chance.

Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt knocks down the Baltimore Orioles Bird at Nationals Park.Today at Nationals Park, Teddy spotted the orioles mascot right out of the starting gate, ran after him and promptly slammed The Bird into the outfield wall, taking him down and out of the action. We’ve rarely seen Teddy so motivated.

In fact, the Bull Moose acted with such efficiency that he was able to spin around and rejoin the race, giving the other presidents a run for their money and almost catching George. Washington took his second presidents race of the series, pulling him into a tie for 2nd with Thomas Jefferson to finish the homestand.

The racing presidents are back in action June 2 when the Giants come to town.

Photo courtesy of James Littlefield.
Video by YouTube member DCSportFan

Baltimore Orioles Bird tackles Teddy Roosevelt

For Teddy fans, the question entering this weekend’s “Battle of the Beltways” series between the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles was whether we’d see an escalation of last year’s rivalry between racing president Teddy Roosevelt and the creatively-named Orioles mascot “The Bird.”

In the first game Friday night, Nationals mascot Screech prevented any funny business by fighting The Bird early in the game, and getting the O’s mascot escorted out of Nationals Park before it had any chance to interfere with the presidents race, which George Washington took at the wire.

Tonight, it was Teddy who grabbed the early lead. The crowd roared as the presidents raced down the home stretch, tasting a first-ever victory for #26; but those who were in the stands last June felt an uncomfortable sense of déjà vu. There was the Oriole Bird, appearing out of nowhere in the foul territory. There would be no tripping this time. Not leaving anything to chance, The Bird tackled Teddy to the ground.

One consolation for Teddy: The Bird got his. George Washington was right behind and leveled Teddy’s attacker.

Video courtesy of Bree Stevens

Screech and the Oriole Bird to kick off Battle of the Beltways at ESPN Zone

The Oriole Bird vs. the Nationals Screech in the mascot Battle of the BeltwaysThe hot-hitting Washington Nationals return to Nationals Park tomorrow to kick off an 11-game homestand that should feature plenty of fireworks, starting with the world champion Philadelphia Phillies and ending Memorial Day weekend with the “Battle of the Beltways” against the Baltimore Orioles.

As he did last season, the Oriole Bird will spend the weekend in DC for the Baltimore series, and this year will kick off its visit with a battle against Nationals mascot Screech at DC’s ESPN Zone. On Friday, May 22, from 4:00 to 5:00pm, Screech and the Oriole Bird will take each other on in basketball, horse racing, air hockey, arm wrestling, and an egg race, with a trophy presentation to follow.

The two mascots will then head to Nationals Park for the series opener. No word yet on whether The Bird will be seeking revenge against Teddy Roosevelt for last season’s grudge match defeat.

Misspelled Washington “Natinals” jersey auctioned for $8,000

The Washington Natinals Ryan Zimmerman sports a uniform misspelled NatinalsWhen the Nationals issued misspelled uniforms (spelled “Natinals” instead of Nationals) to two players on April 17, the blogs jumped on it, but I don’t think any of us thought the story would still be making news two weeks later.

In fact, with the team getting off to such a rough start, the Washington Nationals’ uniform mistake has gotten more national coverage than the team itself. National sports news, numerous talk shows, and even the Today Show siezed on the misspelled uniform as symbol of the team’s early ineptitude.

The day Tony Kornheiser called for somebody to be fired, Majestic Athletic, which provides the team’s uniforms, was forced to issue a public apology for the mishap.

Washington Natinals Misspelled t-shirtTo their credit, the Nationals have not hidden from the gaff, and used the opportunity to offer up the now-famous mistakes at Saturday night’s annual Washington Nationals Dream Foundation gala. The misspelled jersey worn by Adam Dunn fetched $8,000 — the highest price of the night.

But was the whole “misspelled” uniform a mistake? Not according to CafePress, which now has on display “Natinals” jerseys and shirts with the caption “No ‘O’ In Here,” a great reminder that at least we’re not the Orioles.

Post’s Stephen Hunter calls for Nationals fans to turn against the presidents race

With Manny Ramirez and the Los Angeles Dodgers arriving at Nationals Park tonight for another free T-Shirt Tuesday, Nationals fans are holding out hope that the homestand which begins today can help erase their painful memories of the last two home series in which the Nationals were dominated by the Mets and Rockies.

Stephen Hunter of the Washington Post thinks we should hate the Washington Nationals presidents raceIn today’s Washington Post, film critic and author Stephen Hunter writes about the pain and disappointment of following a losing team. Calling himself “an expert on baseball hurt,” Hunter argues that baseball is “just a toothache,” and the only way to cope is to learn to hate. Choosing the object of that hate is the beginning of the mission.

While Orioles fans have a ready-made villain in owner Peter Angelos, it’s not so obvious for Nationals fans. With no history, no curses, and no larger-than-life monstrous personalities to target, Hunter has concluded that Nationals fans must find something else to hate passionately, and his target of choice is the presidents race.

Hunter calls the team’s racing presidents “charmless, awkward, silly, sexless and pointless,” and is encouraging Nationals fans to channel their frustrations by nurturing vitriol against Teddy and his endless quest for victory.

I’ve always enjoyed Stephen Hunter’s writing, but on this point, I think he is deluded by his years of baggage as an Orioles fan. Hunter argues that hatred gives baseball fans purpose and a mission. I’m all for hating the Mets and Phillies, but do we need to hate our own team? A small pocket of presidents race haters has shown up here in the comments and on “About Me” page. What do you think?

Photo by flickr member Ron Hogan

Teddy Wins!

Teddy Wins unsanctioned presidents race vs. Orioles Bird at Nationals ParkTeddy Roosevelt had never won a race at Nationals Park (at least not without being disqualified for cheating); but tonight a packed house got to cheer as our beloved #26 came from behind and crossed the finish line to claim victory in a 1-on-1 grudge match vs. The Bird from Baltimore.

It was a night of firsts, starting with the first Washington Nationals home game since July of 2006 not to feature an official presidents race. The “unsanctioned” event was announced only yesterday, after Teddy was tripped by the Orioles mascot, robbing him of a presidents race victory.

Nationals Park Scoreboard Statistics for Teddy Roosevelt and the Orioles BirdWith the outfield scoreboard displaying the two contestants’ vital statistics (Moustache-span: 2.5 ft), the racers were introduced and Teddy appeared from the centerfield gate draped in an American flag. The Bird got a huge jump out of the gate, but Teddy quickly turned on the afterburners. As they raced past the centerfield wall flashing “TED-DY,” Teddy passed The Bird to run away with it in the home stretch.


It was the unquestioned highlight for Nationals fans in an otherwise depressing 9-1 loss to the Orioles. No, this one doesn’t count in the standings (if there was any doubt, it was removed when the “The Presidents Racing Association of America” announced the fact shortly after the race), but one can hope that Teddy’s come-from-behind victory will serve as momentum and inspiration.

Photo courtesy of flickr user The West End
Video by YouTube users theblackdog2071 and 3031oaktown

I’m sick about Teddy and I need your help!

Nationals Park will be rockin’ with Teddy Roosevelt supporters tonight, which is why I am beside myself that I can’t be there. I’ve been sick at home, hoping to recover, but it’s clearly not happening.

Washington Nationals Teddy vs. the Baltimore Orioles BirdTonight is the grudge match — an “unsanctioned” race between Teddy Roosevelt and Baltimore’s Bird in the middle of the 4th inning of tonight’s “Battle of the Beltways” at Nationals Park. The challenge was issued by Teddy after The Bird tripped him in the home stretch of last night’s presidents race.

I really have a feeling that Teddy’s going to win this thing, and I want to be there to witness him cross the finish line a legitimate winner. The game should be a sellout. Imagine 42,000 fans cheering Teddy across the finish line and putting the Baltimore Oriole to shame.

Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt. There are so many questions. Will there be an actual presidents race, or will there only be this “unsanctioned” showdown? What tricks does Teddy have up his sleeve for The Bird? Will Teddy win? If he doesn’t, will the fans ever let That Bird back into Nationals Park?

Sadly, I have to watch from home. I’m counting on all of you to cheer for Teddy, and to be the eyes and ears of the presidents race blog. Wear your Teddy t-shirts and wave your Teddy signs. Bring your cameras and camcorders and share the results tonight. Most of all, have fun! Go Nats! Go Teddy!

After tripping incident, Nationals’ Teddy Roosevelt challenges The Bird to “unsanctioned race” on Saturday.

Washington Nationals vs. Baltimore Orioles Battle of the BeltwaysThe over 35,000 fans who packed Nationals Park for the opening game of the “Battle of the Beltways” series between the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles were treated to a spectacle of presidential proportions on Friday night.

Teddy Roosevelt’s supporters were out in full force, with Teddy signs throughout the stands and chants of “Teddy, Teddy” heard on a number of occasions. The fans were not disappointed when the 4th inning
Washington Nationals presidents race - Teddy is tripped by The Birdpresidents race kicked off, as Teddy Roosevelt took a commanding lead out of the gate and drew cheers as he rounded the warning track in right field.

Even the Baltimore Oriole mascot jumped onto the field to cheer for Teddy as he approached the finish line. Or so it seemed.

As Teddy Roosevelt neared the finish, The Bird stuck out a claw and tripped him, sending him reeling onto the dirt, as George Washington and the other racing presidents flew by. George took the victory and a bow as Teddy and The Bird scuffled along the baseline.

One inning later, a “press conference” was shown on the outfield high-definition scoreboard, announcing a grudge match between Teddy and The Bird. Teddy challenged The Bird to an “unsanctioned race” to be held during the 4th inning of Saturday night’s game between the Orioles and Nationals.

This unsanctioned event was then promoted repeatedly throughout the evening. It makes one wonder what surprises are in store for Saturday night.

Video of race and “press conference” by YouTube member QuakerWildcat:

The Washington Nationals are clearly pulling all the stops to make this a big weekend. Washington Nationals Saturday night moviesIn addition to the special presidents race between Teddy and The Bird (which the announcer described “the race of the century”) on Saturday night the Nationals are kicking off Nationals Park Saturday Night Movies. On select Saturday nights throughout the season, the Nationals will play a feature film after the game on the high-definition scoreboard. Concessions and parking will remain open during the movie, and fans are encouraged to move to any open seat on the 3rd base side of Nationals Park (presidential seats excepted).

But the big attraction is clearly the race itself. Let’s all show up on Saturday night prepared to root for Teddy Roosevelt as he takes on The Bird in this “unsanctioned” event. It’s sure to be a really good show.

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