Phillies fans up in arms over Ken Rosenthal’s new avatar

MLB on FOX reporter, baseball writer, and MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal has used a photo of himself with the Phillie Phanatic as his Twitter avatar for more than a year, and it just rubbed some Nats fans the wrong way.

So self-styled “Nationals Overtweeter” @JackoBeam challenged Rosenthal to consider a Nationals-themed avatar instead for 2013.  Rosenthall’s response: “Try me.”

Ken Rosenthal Racing Presidents Twitter Avatar

JackoBeam called on fellow Nats fan Allan Petersen (Twitter @ambp77) to come up with an alternative. Petersen, who maintains a Tumbler feed devoted to Photoshopped images of the Washington Nationals, went to work, inserting both Rosenthal and new racing president William Howard Taft into a finish line photo, embellished with Rosenthal’s trademark bow ties.

Rosenthal approved.

“#Nationals fans were tired of my old Avatar showing me and the #Phillies Phanatic,” Rosenthal Tweeted. “I challenged them to come up with a new one. They did!”

All in good fun, right?

What followed was almost instant assault by Phillies fans (most of whom apparently did not watch the NL Playoffs). Here’s just a sampling of responses in the first hour, and they just keep coming…

@MannicM @Ken_Rosenthal congratulations on losing the respect of millions of phillies fans and gaining that of the 10 nats fans :-P

@MikeCorson @Ken_Rosenthal as a Phillies fan, I am now annoyed

@joejaws75 @Ken_Rosenthal perfect. When they finish behind the Phillies don’t switch back we don’t want you. #natsfansarefrontrunners

‏@beef5669 @Ken_Rosenthal Wait the #Nationals have fans?????

@Rodeojones000 @Ken_Rosenthal Additional proof that Nats fans are whining babies. It’s like giving in to 5-yr-old who cries for candy at the supermarket.

@Eric_Devlin @Ken_Rosenthal go back to the phanatic! Those chumps in Dc aren’t real fans

@Rodeojones000 @Ken_Rosenthal A better avatar would have been you injecting PEDs into their cheating, 21-game-winning pitcher.

@Woody2219 @Ken_Rosenthal Wash can’t sell out that stadium w/out the Phillies coming to town. Let’s not forget their over paid/rated rf. werthless!

@JFusfield @Ken_Rosenthal Phanatic > racing presidents. We all know this

‏@formtackling @Ken_Rosenthal nationals have fans?

‏@Woody2219 @Ken_Rosenthal u can change ur avatar, but everybody knows who the best mascot is. DC will always b 2nd best to philly!

‏@mager_ryan @Ken_Rosenthal lets make this clear the nats have one great season and think there #1 us phillies fans ran this division for the past 7 year

‏@RiOTMaK3Rx09 @Ken_Rosenthal typical to jump on the #Nats bandwagon now like the rest of their “fans”. You’ll be back Kenny!!! #Phillies4Life

@beef5669 @Ken_Rosenthal Ken did you see last years playoffs? All the #National fans still had tags on their hats and jerseys so the can be returned.

@seedanwrite @Ken_Rosenthal Nats fans just started watching baseball like five months ago- why care about them?

@LiamJ55 @Ken_Rosenthal all five #Nationals fans?

@BallBagSteve @Ken_Rosenthal if nats fans asked you to jump off a bridge would you? Come on ken, ur better than that. Nats are fake fans anyway

‏@ScotLarrimore @Ken_Rosenthal “Nationals Fans?” There’s more than one?

‏@neenerburns @Ken_Rosenthal Nats fans will always find something to whine about. 95% of the time, it has to do with the Phillies. #newrivalry

‏@kcwacko @Ken_Rosenthal I don’t know Ken we have 50,000+ every nite at the bank . We have another 8,000 at wash. They only have 10,000 fans max

@mattyjoneill @Ken_Rosenthal thats bogus! They win one year and u change it, BOGUS! #philsaresleeperthisyear

@11thFloorZack @Ken_Rosenthal couldn’t you have at least let a real fanbase choose the picture? Like fans that actually attend their playoff games?

@phillyaws @Ken_Rosenthal no way they could come up with a photo of a full stadium

‏@BigDaddy_NOLT @Ken_Rosenthal as the phillie phanatic zooms past them all on his quad to steal the victory! #phillies

@3Sculli @Ken_Rosenthal the “Phillie Phanatic” u mean and I guess the 18,000 Nats fans are proud now!

and one voice of reason:

@EthianD @Ken_Rosenthal I must admit, the new avatar is pretty awesome…even if u are a bandwagon jumper! #traitor #longlivethephanatic

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!

Confirmed: It was a Phillies fan

We can put the controversy to rest. Tonight at Nationals Park, I spoke to usher Jasmine Holloway, who was in charge of Section 135 Thursday night when the fan was ejected for punching Thomas Jefferson in the middle of the presidents race.

“He was definitely a Phillies fan,” Jasmine told me. “He was just wearing a black shirt, but when he got here, he sat with a bunch of friends who were wearing Phillies gear.”

Jasmine said she had just recently shown him to his seat when he got ejected. “He didn’t show up until the third inning,” she said. 

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

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