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

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.

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