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

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