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.

The Real Problem with Willy Mo Peña

Lost amid the all-star headlines yesterday was the news that the Washington Nationals’ beleaguered left fielder Wily Mo Peña was likely headed to the disabled list.

Wearing Teddy's Number 26, Wily Mo Pena grounds into a double play.  Flickr photo by MissChatter.The 26-year-old would-be slugger might very well be the biggest disappointment for the Nationals in a season choc full of disappointments. Touted as an everyday middle-of-the order power hitter when GM Jim Bowden acquired him from Boston, Peña has instead hit an embarrassing .205 this season with just two home runs and 10 RBI.

Now an MRI has revealed that Peña has been playing with a small tear in his left rotator cuff and a frayed labrum in his left shoulder, something the Nationals should have diagnosed much earlier. Bowden pointed to this discovery as “certainly the main reason” that Peña has not performed, but just to be safe, may I suggest that the Nationals made another mistake that could be affecting Wily Mo’s play.

Teddy Roosevelt Jersey T-Shirt Number 26When the Nationals brought Peña here from the Red Sox, they changed his uniform number from 22 to 26, the number previously worn by pitcher Ramon Ortiz.

Surely Wily Mo asked for the number he’d worn while with the Cincinnati Reds, but if he’d been paying attention, he might have noted that the #26 is already owned by the most cursed member of the Nationals for the last 3 seasons: Teddy Roosevelt.

In an organization that has had more than it’s share of bad luck, Teddy has easily been the most snakebitten of all. Until Teddy’s run of bad luck clears up, the organization might think about keeping #26 set aside just for him.

My advice to Wily Mo: Rest that shoulder, and when you come back, ask for a new number.

Photo of Wily Mo Peña courtesy of Nationals blogger Miss Chatter.

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 Roosevelt/Stan Kasten interview on ESPN’s First Take

CORRECTION: I had originally thought this would air Friday, but it aired this morning on ESPN2:

Nationals’ president Stan Kasten says in the interview that the presidents race is not fixed, and that “it’s inevitable” that Teddy will win. He also hints that there may be more 1-on-1 races in Teddy’s future like his recent race against the Orioles Bird.

Video of Last Night’s Presidents Race

From Vimeo member Ed, here’s a new video of last night’s T-Shirt Tuesday presidents race in which Teddy took a huge lead, but suffered a wardrobe malfunction near the finish line:

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,102 other followers

%d bloggers like this: