MASN pulls a racing president bobblehead switcheroo

The MASN Broadcast truckBob and F.P. in the MASN Broadcast BoothRacing President Bobblehead SurgeryMASN's Byron Kerr and Ray KnightAstute watchers of Nationals broadcasts on MASN know that since the opening of Nationals Park in 2008, play-by-play man Bob Carpenter has displayed bobbleheads of the Nationals’ four racing presidents on a shelf behind him in the booth. What they may not have noticed is that just yesterday, the bodies changed.

MASN hosted a small group of Nationals bloggers at Nationals Park on Monday night, providing a behind-the-scenes tour and a chance to meet both players on the field and the team’s on-air personalities in the booth.

For this uniquely obsessed blogger, one thing immediately stood out on entering the MASN booth: The presidents had new bodies.

After this weekend’s Jason Werth bobblehead giveaway, MASN stage manager Joe Delpo decided to perform a little bobblehead surgery, taking the heads of the presidents and placing them on the more active bodies of Jayson Werth, Chad Cordero, Jose Guillen, and Nyjer Morgan.

In a bit of irony, Roosevelt’s head now sits on the body of Teddy-critic Jayson Werth.

Honestly, it’s a good look. Next season will have been 5 years since the Nationals gave away presidents bobbleheads (which now command a hefty premium on ebay). Perhaps it’s time to issue updated versions of the presidents in uniform, inspired by MASN.

Thanks to Jim Buckle of MASN, Chad Kurz of the Nationals, and the entire MASN crew for embracing the Nationals blogging community.

A birds-eye view of the presidents race

Abe Lincoln extended his winning streak to 4 games at Nationals Park Saturday night, as the Let Teddy Win blog was invited once again to take part in the team’s semi-annual blogger’s night.

Nationals Park video control room

Live coverage of the presidents race from the Nationals Park video control room

For most of the bloggers in attendance, the highlights were likely the myriad interview opportunities with Nats players and management, and the opportunity to cover the game from the press box; but for this Presidents Race Fan, the high point was reporting on the race from the video control room high atop Nationals Park, where the magic is created for the stadium’s live HD scoreboard.

Nationals Park PA Announcer Jerome Hruska calls the presidents race

And the winner is... Abe!!!

It’s safe to say that Nats Park regulars would be blown away by the sheer number of people and skill required to deliver the elaborate graphics and live in-stadium coverage of every race; and speaking of that coverage, those who believe the play-by-play is all scripted need only watch Nationals PA Announcer Jerome Hruska call it live as the race unfolds on the field below.

Unfortunately, down on the field it was deja vu for Teddy fans, as Roosevelt took a huge lead before his glasses fell off, and Abe Lincoln came from behind to win for the 4th night in a row. George Washington fell into the Geico Gecko at the finish line, marking the first time in presidents race history that the sponsor was taken down.

Before the game, I had a chance to speak to catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who guaranteed that he’d be behind the plate for Stephen Strasburg’s debut on Tuesday night. With 3 networks covering and over 200 press credentials issued, the buzz is building for that sellout game. Up in the press box, there was much speculation that Tuesday could be the night for Teddy to end his streak. We can only hope…

A special thanks to Nationals Senior Manager of New Media Chad Kurz for arranging the day.

Here’s the race as seen from the stands, courtesy of YouTube member lfahome:

And here’s the race as edited live in the booth and called by Jerome:

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