Teddy Roosevelt gives up lead to antagonize Phillies fans

Teddy Roosevelt stops in the Washington Nationals Presidents RaceWashington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt challenges the Phillies Phanatic“Take Back the Park” weekend continued on Saturday afternoon as a near-sellout crowd filled Nationals Park to see the Nats take on the Phillies.

As expected, buses from Philadelphia were lined up outside the Park, and the fans they brought made a lot more noise than they had the night before. Most notable were the taunts from the stands behind former Phillies outfielder Jayson Werth, who acknowledged the jeers with a tip of his cap before crushing a three run homer to break the game open in the fifth.

Teddy Roosevelt too had a chance to silence his critics, taking a big lead into the home stretch of the afternoon’s presidents race.

But Teddy spotted a fan with a sign along the first base line, and was inspired enough to stop cold and display it for the whole stadium to see.

The sign read “Teddy Can Beat the Phanatic!” The opportunity to antagonize the Phillies fans was too much for Roosevelt to resist.

On this day, even die hard members of the Let Teddy Win movement couldn’t find fault with Teddy’s priorities.

Video courtesy of Miss Chatter

Racing Presidents help christen “Natitude Park,” but Nats still don’t Let Teddy Win

Natitude on display at Washington Nationals Natitude ParkNatitude hastagPresidents race with NatitudeGeorge Washington wins the presidents race at Nationals ParkWhen the Washington Nationals introduced their much-misunderstood “Take Back the Park” program in February, and followed it in March with their 2012 Natitude marketing campaign, they put a lot on the line.

In shining a spotlight on past indignities, team president Andy Feffer left little room for error.  A poor start by the team or an overwhelming invasion by Phillies fans, and the Nats marketing team would be under major heat.

On Friday night, the Nationals doubled down on their brash marketing approach, renaming the stadium “Natitude Park,” and passing out “Our Park” signs to fans at the bottom of the stands.

Like it or not, the Nationals relentless marketing had an impact, as the term “Natitude” passed even “DC” and “Mitt Romney” among trending topics in the DC Twitterverse.

With group ticket sales curtailed, Phillies fans were dispersed throughout the ball park, and various attempts to start Phillies cheers were quickly drowned out by a packed house of Nats fans who clearly got the message, repeatedly drowning out the Phillies cheers every time they started.

The racing presidents ignited their Natitude by running through a giant hashtag to start their fourth-inning race. Apparently George Washington brought more Natitude to the table than his opponents, running away with the victory.

Before the game, rumors were flying from inside the stadium that the Nationals might let Teddy win if the game was a sellout.  It wasn’t, but it’s still very possible for Saturday afternoon, when the busloads arrive from Philly.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Nats release tickets to Phillies series for DC fans only

The Washington Nationals will begin taking registrations this morning for single-game tickets to just one home series — the May 4-6 games vs. the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park.

The catch? You have to live in DC, Maryland, or Virginia.

The move was announced this morning on MLB.com, where the Nats have posted a registration page to request your tickets.

Phillies fans at Nationals ParkNats CEO Andy Feffer explained that the move was a response to the busloads of Phillies fans who’ve filled Nationals Park from advanced group ticket sales, and engaged in disruptive behavior.

“For several years now, our fans, everybody, have been screaming about the number of Phillies fans that invade our park when we have a series here at Nationals Park,” Feffer told MLB.com’s Bill Ladson. “Frankly, I’m tired of seeing the Phillies fans in our ballpark in Washington more than anything. We sat down as a group and we said, ‘You know what? It’s time to take our park back in Washington and get our fans in this park.’

Fans who register for tickets here will get an email with an invitation to purchase up to 8 individual tickets. The registration information used must match the billing address for your payment card, which must be in DC, Virginia, or Maryland.

The series includes the Nationally-broadcast ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game on May 6.

Great move Mr. Feffer!

The Phillies Fan Controversy

Yesterday was the biggest traffic day in our blog’s short history, surpassing even that notorious date in 2009 when Potato Pete leveled Teddy Roosevelt in Pittsburgh, and the way today is trending, the record may fall fast.

Why all the excitement? Wednesday night’s appearance of a super-sized John F. Kennedy certainly drew a ton of attention, but the headline that followed last night stirred the pot to a degree not usually seen in our harmless little world.

Quite a few Phillies fans, as it turns out, have taken offense.

After being named Worst Sports Fans in America this month by GQ Magazine, some of the Phillies’ faithful are crusading to correct what they see as an unfair stereotype.

So when I published Phillies Fan Ejected for Punching Thomas Jefferson, I was pilloried for jumping to conclusions.

Well, pilloried might not be the right word, but the boo-birds did come out of the woodwork, calling it bullsh–, calling me an ass and a jerk, calling DC fans classless and drunks, and otherwise generally dishing the brotherly love.

Yes, the headline was intended to be provocative. But even though Bob Carpenter had said on the MASN broadcast that it was a Phillies fan, and all evidence supports the allegation, I noted in the write-up that the fan in question was not, in fact, wearing Phillies gear.

Will anybody step forward to verify the fan’s identity? As the comments continue to pour in here, the question has since been taken up by discussion forums up and down I-95, plus Dan Steinberg’s DC Sports Bog, Half Smokes, and Yahoo’s Big League Stew (which contributed the photo illustration above).

Or as a fan on MLB.com pointed out, “Maybe it was just a fan trying to finally get Teddy Roosevelt a win in the race.”

UPDATE:
Confirmed.

Phillies fan ejected for punching Thomas Jefferson during presidents race

It wasn’t a complete invasion, but busloads of Philadelphia fans were among the 24,875 at Nationals Park Thursday night to see Cliff Lee and Jordan Zimmermann go at it in the final game of the Nationals’ series vs. the Phillies.

Phillies fan reaches from stands, hits Nationals racing president Thomas JeffersonThe notorious boo-birds have earned a reputation for importing disruptive behavior to Nationals Park, and Thursday night was no exception, as the local MASN broadcast caught a spectator reaching into the field of play during the fourth-inning presidents race.

The fan appears to be reaching for a high five, then cocks his arm and slams Thomas Jefferson squarely in the face:

The fan wasn’t wearing team gear, but can there be any doubt where he’s from? UPDATE: We’re told that Nationals Park security “swarmed” him and immediately ejected him from the park.

After getting hit, Jefferson spun around but maintained his balance. Teddy Roosevelt was nearly able to take advantage and grab the victory, but he was outpaced by Abraham Lincoln in the stretch.

UPDATE: Confirmed.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Presidents to race Ringling Bros. clowns Wednesday night

When the Philadelphia Phillies come to Nationals Park, the clowns usually follow, and Wednesday night will be no exception.

The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus hits town this week with a 17-show run beginning Thursday at the Patriot Center. To kick off the festivities, the troupe will be in attendance tomorrow night as the Nationals take on Roy Halladay and the Phillies.

The Ringmaster will sing the national anthem, and Ringling’s famous circus clowns will take on George, Tom, Abe, and Teddy in the 4th-inning presidents race.

Let’s hope Teddy doesn’t find the clowns too distracting.

George Washington pays tribute to The Masters

On the opening day of the Masters golf tournament, George Washington and the Nationals’ racing presidents decided to pay tribute with a little 4-man golf scramble during the 4th-inning presidents race this afternoon at Nationals Park.


Emerging from the centerfield starting gate with golf ball and club in hand, George went first, hitting the ball down the outfield warning track, then handing the club to Teddy for the second shot.

With the other presidents concentrating on golf, George seized the opportunity to bolt for the finish line, and won the race uncontested.

The Nationals’ victory today over the Phillies was not quite as easy but even more sweet. Ryan Zimmerman’s late-inning RBI double enabled the team to head to New York with a first victory under the belt.

After disastrous starts the previous two Aprils, the embarrassing outpouring of Phillies fans for Monday’s opener, and poor pitching performances in the first two games, the Nats had a major PR problem brewing; but victory cures all ills. As they hit the road, the Nats are just a game under .500, and Teddy is just one win behind the presidents race lead.

Video by YouTube member lfahome

Teddy is disqualified for “Unauthorized Use of a Feline”

It was a beautiful night at Nationals Park, with a game time temperature of 73 degrees and a crowd of 17,153 on hand to watch a classic pitchers’ duel between the Nationals’ John Lannan and the Philadelphia Phillies’ Pedro Martinez.

With the Nationals up 1-0 in the 4th inning and Lannan cruising through the World Champions’ batting order, it seemed the only thing that could make the night better would be a victory for Teddy Roosevelt.

That CatTeddy tried a little too hard.

As George Washington sprinted out to an early presidents race lead, Teddy recruited his onetime nemesis That
Cat
to join the race.

The now-familiar panther slammed
Abe Lincoln into the outfield wall, then
chased down George Washington and knocked him to the ground, before finally putting the block on Thomas Jefferson, leaving Teddy Roosevelt with an uncontested path to the finish line.

A biased Nationals Park crowd cheered Teddy’s apparent victory, but Screech quickly stepped in to issue the disqualification for “Illegal Use of a Feline.”

Contacted after the race, Screech responded “”Teddy brought that cat with him onto the field, it was an unfair advantage, he told that cat to tackle George Tom and Abe!! Cheating = DISQUALIFIED!””

Abe quickly got up off the ground to cross the tape and steal Teddy’s thunder, leading us to ask whether judge Screech and racing president Abe are in cahoots. After all, Abe has been known to cheat from time to time, but when was the last time he was disqualified?

And the in-game play-by-play:

Video by YouTube members lfahome and TheTeddyRoosevelt.
Finish line photo by Flickr member melanie.phung

Teddy imitates Nats bullpen and collapses

Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt collapsesToday at Nationals Park, Teddy Roosevelt did a nice impression of the home team Washington Nationals, staking a big lead and giving his cheering fans much hope, only to collapse in the home stretch.

For the home team, the collapse came at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies, who scored the game-tying and go-ahead runs on an 8th-inning fielding error by second baseman Anderson Hernandez.

Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt collapsesThe difference with Teddy was that the collapse was literal.

After taking a seemingly insurmountable lead out of the outfield turn, Teddy hit the home stretch, stopped and keeled over.

With Teddy on his knees and members of the Nat Pack rushing to his aid, George, Tom and Abe raced by, with Abe narrowly claiming the victory.

Stan Kasten with Mayor of Nats Town Jeff and Colleen ShermanCongratulations to season ticket holders Jeff and Colleen Sherman, who were honored today as the “Mayors of Nats Town.” Jeff and Colleen (and their fabulous monkey) never miss a game in section 128, and are great friends of the Let Teddy Win blog.

A well deserved honor!

Videos courtesy of YouTube member lfahome and TheTeddyRoosevelt

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.

Nats get first victory of the season — Not so for Teddy

On a beautiful spring night at Nationals Park, 20,000 fans witnessed a display of the Washington Nationals new power as they grabbed their first victory of the season tonight in an 8-2 drubbing of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Alas, Teddy Roosevelt did not join the Nationals in the win column.

Thomas Jefferson trips in the Washington Nationals presidents race, but is granted the victory.Unlike opening day, Teddy did participate in the presidents race from start to finish. Our #26 actually built an early lead and had a clear path to the finish line, but Abe Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson passed him in the home stretch, with Abe appearing to cross the tape first as Jefferson fell at the finish line (or was he tripped by Abe?).

The close finish was initially called for Abe, but after video review it was announced that the win was granted to Thomas Jefferson.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user philliefan99
Video by YouTube member Rockthered8

Teddy plays the spoiler on opening day at Nationals Park

The largest crowd in Nationals Park history showed up today to witness an opening day game that was filled with promise, but was ultimately jinxed both on and off the field.

On the field, some fine performances by the young Nationals roster were eclipsed by dropped balls, errant throws, and hit batsmen, leading ultimately to a 9-8 loss at the hands of the world champion Philadelphia Phillies.

Meanwhile, Teddy Roosevelt fans who eagerly anticipated the 4th inning President’s Race were dissapointed when Thomas Jefferson emerged alone from the center field gate to grab a big lead from the start.

Opening day presidents race - Teddy waits in the stands for Thomas JeffersonWhen Abe Lincoln and George Washington followed him out, several paces behind, the question on everyone’s mind became “Where the heck is Teddy?”

The answer came after Jefferson turned the outfield corner, where Teddy was waiting for him in the stands along the 1st base line. Jefferson paused, and Teddy presented him with a bouquet of red balloons in honor of Jefferson’s 266th birthday (who knew?).

That Cat tackles Thomas Jefferson during the opening day presidents race at Nationals ParkThat’s when “That Cat” emerged from behind Teddy, jumped from the stands, and tackled Tom.

Lincoln and Washington ran past him, with Abe easily taking the tape for the first official presidents race victory of 2009.

Teddy never got out of the stands.

That Cat is no stranger to the Nationals presidents race, having first interfered last season, when he attacked Teddy in April and again in June.

Could it be that the panther has joined forces with Teddy to undermine the other presidents? Has Teddy given up on winning to simply play the spoiler? If the reaction of fans around me was any indication, this would not be a popular move. The fans want a clean race. They want to see Teddy get a shot at victory in 2009!

The 2009 season is underway.

Photos courtesy of Flickr user afagen and Luis Albisu

Stan, has it come to this already?

Stan KastenOMG.

Only one day into the season and Nationals president Stan “Nats Town” Kasten is on the radio in Philadelphia this morning inviting Phillies fans to come down to DC for the Nationals’ opening series vs. the Phillies at Nationals Park!.

My lord. I want the team to fill its coffers, but how about doing a little better job marketing right here in DC before stooping so low! Kudos to Dan Steinberg at D.C. Sports Bog for bringing this to the attention of Nationals fans.

Stan, we love the plan, but this is not the way to win the hearts of DC fans.

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

Presidents Race Results: The Readers Take Over

Washington Nationals Presidents Race at Nationals Park, by flickr member K GiffordGreetings from Italy, where I am unable to attend the Nationals six-game homestand that starts tomorrow vs. the Phillies and Reds. Rather than recruit somebody to update the blog during this stretch, I’ve realized the best thing to do is to let you the loyal Let Teddy Win readers take over!

Going to the game? Please leave a reply on this blog post with your reports describing what happened in the presidents race (be sure to mention the date). Got photos? Add them to the Flickr presidents race group. When I return I will update the Presidents Race Standings page with all the results!

Photo by flickr member K Gifford

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