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!

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