Video: Backwards presidents race fails to deliver for Abe or the Nats

Washington Nationals racing presidents new starting lineWashington Nationals Racing Presidents trip running backwardsThe Washington Nationals haven’t dared tweak anything about the presidents race since their backwards race earlier this week kicked off a mini winning streak.

So it was no surprise when the racing presidents took off from the wrong direction once again in the final race of the homestand, wearing their Sunday finest.

Abe Lincoln made his strongest charge of the season, surging past as Teddy and Tom tripped in the outfield; but there was no stopping George Washington, who took the tape for the fifth day in a row.

Sadly, the Nationals couldn’t take advantage, dropping the homestand finale 5-2 before 36,457 fans.

Expect the presidents race to return to “normal” when the Nationals return May 7.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: George wins as presidents race backwards again to support Nats win streak

Nationals Presidents race reverse direction patriotic uniforms starting lineBaseball takes its superstitions seriously, and so apparently, the Washington Nationals will run the fourth inning presidents race in reverse, with George Washington winning, as long as the Nats’ winning streak continues.

The presidents started running in reverse on Thursday in an attempt to break the team’s bad luck. On Saturday, the Nats won their third straight game, and once again, the backwards race winner was George Washington. The presidents wore their patriotic uniforms for the nationally televised game.

If form holds, Sunday’s race to wrap up the homestand will begin on the usual first base finish line. Don’t bet against George.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: Fans sacrifice a chicken, presidents race runs backwards to end Nats losing streak

Washington Nationals Rubber Chicken Sacrifice Burn SageWashington Nationals Rubber Chicken SacrificePresidents race runs backwardsNationals rubber chicken man sacrifice breaks bad luck
With the Washington Nationals coming off a 4-game losing streak, and the red hot Cincinnati Reds coming to town, fans, players, and team officials alike pulled out all the stops Thursday to exorcise whatever demons were plaguing the team.

At high noon in front of the Nationals Park center field gate, fans gathered as the Nats’ self-appointed “Rubber Chicken Man” Hugh Kaufman sacrificed a chicken after burning sage to help break the bad juju, performing the Kaporos ritual then slicing the chicken’s rubber head off as it was held by Caps superfan Jenn Rubenstein.

Video of the ritual below courtesy of the excellent report at DC Sports Nexus.

On the field, Manager Davey Johnson shuffled the lineup, inserting Steve Lombardozzi in the two spot and moving Jayson Werth to cleanup. But it was pitcher Gio Gonzalez, who took on the cause of Chicken Mode last season, who emerged as the star of the game, pitching a one hit gem.

In the fourth inning, the mascot team took their superstitions to a new level, running the presidents race in reverse for the first time in history.

Starting from the usual finish line in foul territory, William Howard Taft got the best start of his short racing career. Taft hung onto his lead until the Rushmores were approaching the new finish line at the centerfield gate, but he simply ran out of gas, and George Washington took the win.

That’s right. It seemed that the Nats were willing to try anything to change the team’s luck Thursday, but they still didn’t let Teddy win for the first time in 2013.


Photos and video courtesy of Hugh Kaufman and Luis Albisu

Nats get superstitious with presidents race direction

Baseball is known for its superstitions, and nothing brings out the eccentric behavior like a good losing streak.

Day Game presidents raceWhile Nats fans are preparing a chicken sacrifice Thursday at noon, the mascot team has been doing what it can to change the team’s recent fortunes.

On Wednesday afternoon, the powers that be who run the fourth inning presidents race moved the finish line to the third base side for the second day in a row. The racing presidents ran along the left field warning track, in the opposite direction of their usual path. The team tried a similar tactic last season, switching directions only when the Nats lost, but the system was soon abandoned.

Rather than move the finish line, Nats brass should be more concerned with the race results. George Washington won again on Wednesday, keeping Teddy Roosevelt winless for the season. Teddy’s historic October victory as the Nats tied up their first winning season was said to have broken a long-standing curse. Why would they now not let Teddy win?

Photo of Wednesday’s race courtesy of Joan Jankowski

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