After high expectations are dashed, even Abe Lincoln implores the Nationals to Let Teddy Win

Washington Nationals Presidents Race 5-30-2011Abe Wins.  Teddy far behind.Abe Lincoln supports Teddy?The “Let Teddy Win” buzz hit a fever pitch on Memorial Day at Nationals Park, with rumors spreading rampant that after high-level meetings in the Nats’ front office, a decision had been made to finally let Teddy win.

From the stands to the press box, from Twitter to even the Phillies’ TV and radio broadcasts, word was spreading to watch for a breakout race from Teddy Roosevelt.

Even outspoken outfielder Jayson Werth, who had refused to watch Sunday’s race, stepped out of the dugout and onto the field to see the big event.

Fans and reporters alike approached to say they had come not to see Roy Halladay and the Phillies, but to see Teddy take victory #1. Yes, everybody got the message.

Except Teddy.

In possibly the most disappointing performance in five years, Teddy ran wire to wire in last place, and failed to even finish.

Even showboat Abe Lincoln, after taking his 13th victory of the season, grabbed a Let Teddy Win sign from the crowd and held it up in support.

Nats management clearly doesn’t buy into the notion that Teddy must win to break the curse that keeps their team in the basement; but after roughing up Phillies ace Roy Halladay only to end up on the losing end of another 1-run game, why continue to tempt fate?

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Santangelo guarantees Memorial Day victory for Teddy

It appears that Jayson Werth may have lit a fire under Teddy and the Nationals.

Washington Nationals Presidents Race 5-29-11Werth’s call for Nats management to let Teddy Win drew the attention of NBC 4 and The Washington Post yesterday, in addition to a slew of online chatter; so all eyes were on Teddy at the start of Sunday’s race at Nationals Park.

Roosevelt had an unusually strong start, and surged mid-way through the race to take the lead into the home stretch. Rather than fade as usual, Teddy kept his momentum, but was passed by George Washington at the wire.

Werth did not come out of the dugout to watch.

In the wake of Werth’s public criticism, Teddy’s tweets included “Jayson I’m trying!,” and “Sooo close I could taste it today!! I’ve gotta good feeling about tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, on MASN’s TV broadcast, color commentator F. P. Santangelo upped the ante. “Teddy’s going to win tomorrow,” he declared after today’s race. “That’s my call, and I’m sticking to it.” He repeated the prediction later in the broadcast.

With Roy Halladay scheduled to take the mound for the Phillies Monday, Nats fans may need something to celebrate.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Vote for the Let Teddy Win pumpkin!

The Washington Nationals have announced the finalists for their annual pumpkin carving contest, and the final selections include a very familiar face.

The Let Teddy Win pumpkin is a finalist in the Nationals pumpkin carving contestLoyal blog reader Larry LaHaie’s “Let Teddy Win” pumpkins were selected by the panel of judges, and voting has been opened up to the fans at nationals.com.

Your vote could help win Larry a game-worn Adam Dunn jersey — a well-deserved reward for the ten hours he says he spent carving his personal Mount Rushmore into the face of a large autumn squash.

The Lansing, MI software engineer’s effort is all the more impressive given that he doesn’t even live in the DC area; but, he says, “I’ve just kind of fallen in love with the fans, the team (okay, not Elijah Dukes), the area, and the idea of baseball making such a triumphant return to D.C.”

“The contest is judged partially on Nationals’ spirit,” said LaHaie, “and I feel like rooting for Teddy is a great representation of that. If you root for the Nationals, how can you not root for Teddy? And vice-versa? Teddy’s going to prevail one of these days, and so are the Nationals.”

It’s hard not to cast your vote for that kind of spirit. Voting is open now through Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. ET, and fans are allowed up to ten votes per day.

Let’s make it a blowout victory for Teddy!

Lincoln holds off challengers to take his 3rd title as the Nationals racing presidents bid farewell to Stan Kasten

In the end, it was no contest.

After a back and forth month in which both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson made strong runs at first place in the presidents race standings, back-to-back repeat champion Abraham Lincoln held off all challengers in the final race of the season, pulling away for a convincing victory and claiming the presidents race title for the third year in a row.

More importantly, the race marked the fifth straight season of futility for #26, Teddy Roosevelt, who failed to deliver in the final home game for Nationals president Stan Kasten, the aleged architect of the anti-Teddy conspiracy.

Racing presidents farewell to Stan KastenNo sooner had Nationals mascot Screech declared Lincoln the winner, when he joined the presidents in holding up signs of appreciation for Kasten, who announced last week that he would be leaving the team at the end of the season.

During his five year tenure with the Nationals, Kasten has been both praised and criticized for his marketing of the team and the Nationals Park experience, including the now-famous 4th-inning presidents race. A Nationals Park farewell tribute was punctuated by a presentation of cupcakes to Kasten by Teddy Roosevelt.

The racing presidents will carry some compelling story lines into the off season. After three straight titles, is it fair now to declare this a presidents race dynasty for the Great Emancipator? With Kasten departing, will we see the team take a tougher stance on Abe’s cheating? Most importantly, with new management in place, will 2011 be the year the Nationals finally let Teddy win?

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome (whose video of Tuesday’s race was featured tonight on ESPN)

WTOP radio covers Teddy’s plight

Many people have asked today about the feature that ran this morning on DC’s WTOP radio in which Jim Riggleman was interviewed about the plight of Teddy Roosevelt.

If you missed it, you can listen here courtesy of WTOP.

UPDATE: A much lengthier piece ran later, and we will post the link to that as soon as it’s available.

Teddy returns to the scene of the crime, and it’s not pretty

It’s been more than a year since the Nationals racing presidents last appeared at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park — an infamous visit in which Teddy Roosevelt became a SportsCenter highlight when Pittsburgh Pirates racing pierogie Potato Pete took Teddy down in an open field tackle that ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt called “the greatest highlight I’ve ever seen.”

The presidents took the field at PNC Park once again this Labor Day weekend for a series of relay races vs. the pierogies, and by all accounts, Teddy was not about to let a renegade Pierogie take him down again.

On Saturday night, Teddy ran the anchor leg, and sure enough, he held the lead again in the home stretch, but the Pittsburgh mascots left nothing to chance, sending not one but two pierogies after him. Teddy was promptly flattened, keeping the presidents winless in their 3 seasons of visits to PNC Park.

A crazy night of milestones for the Nats and the presidents

Was it the moon?

The beautiful bright moon that hovered over the Nationals Park scoreboard wasn’t officially full, but what other explanation could there be for the 4 1/2-hour spectacle that unfolded Thursday night.

The night that had it all started with an awesome display by one young superstar-to-be and ended with a burst bubble about another.

In between, the game that saw 43 players pound out 30 hits over 13 innings was overflowing with personal drama.

Take your pick: Jordan Zimmerman’s return from Tommy John surgery, the roughing up of St. Louis Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter, Albert Pujols hitting his 400th career home run, then twisting his ankle in extra innings, Drew Storen blowing his first save, Roger Bernadina hitting his first home run at Nationals Park to tie the game in the 9th, Ian Desmond’s walk-off RBI in the 13th inning…

As if on queue, the Nationals racing presidents were prepared to match the drama step by step with a few oddities and milestones of their own.

In his 4th appearance this season, Teddy Roosevelt’s longtime nemesis “That Cat” appeared along the first baseline, dancing about in front of the stands during the 4th-inning presidents race.

Teddy jumped out to a big lead in the race, but when he spotted the panther, he veered off course to pummel him into the stands.

Thomas Jefferson took the tape.

As the game advanced into the night and the crowd thinned, the Bull Moose took to the stands to entertain the crowd.

In the 12th inning, Teddy parked in centerfield section 101, posing for photos with fans. When he was still there at the top of the 13th, we knew trouble was in store.

For the seventh time in presidents race history, the Nationals took a home game into the 13th inning, leading to that rare treat for presidents race fans:
a second official race of the night.

Apparently Teddy didn’t get the memo.

When Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln burst out of the centerfield starting gate, Teddy was still hanging out with fans in the stands. He jumped up from his seat and raced around the concourse, but didn’t make it to the field in time to compete.

In another milestone, George, Tom,
and Abe crossed the finish line in a dead heat. The race was too close to
call, and Screech awarded a first-ever
presidents race tie to Tom and Abe.

Here are two great videos courtesy of YouTube member lfahome, including a great capture of Teddy’s encounter with That Cat!

Teddy gets the royal treatment, sits out Fathers Day

With temparatures in the mid-90s at Nationals Park Sunday afternoon, Teddy Roosevelt, father of six, decided it would be a good opportunity to celebrate Fathers Day as so many dads do — by taking the day off.

Fathers Day at Nationals Park, by Joan JankowskiFor Sunday’s 4th-inning presidents race, George, Thomas, and Abe took to the hot and muggy outfield, but Teddy Roosevelt was in the stands on the first baseline, wearing a Hawaiian shirt and sipping a cold beverage from the Beltway Bar behind section 132, while getting fanned by two members of the Nat Pack.

The scene bothered Abe Lincoln enough that he gave up his lead to
stop and mock Teddy, letting Thomas Jefferson run by him to take the victory.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEhZ1wUOIQw]

Photo courtesy of Joan Jankowski
Video courtesy of YouTube member TheTeddyRoosevelt

Cast Your Vote: Teddy nominated for 2009 “This Year in Baseball” Awards

Postseason honors are few and far between for the Washington Nationals this season, but over at MLB.com, you can submit your vote today for two Nationals nominees for the 2009 This Year In Baseball awards.

Ryan Zimmerman’s nomination as 2009 Defensive Player of the Year will come as no surprise to Nationals fans; but the more dubious nomination comes in the “2009 Oddity of the Year” category, where among the choices is the July 31 take-down of Teddy Roosevelt by the Pittsburgh Racing Pierogies at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park.

Teddy was running anchor in a 4-team mascot relay race, when racing pierogie Potato Pete, who had not been participating in the race, entered the field and tackled Teddy to the ground.

On that evening’s ESPN Sportscenter, Scott Van Pelt called the incident “the greatest highlight I’ve ever seen”, and was likely the main reason this blog had it’s highest single traffic day ever:

Cast your votes now through December 11. Multiple votes are allowed.

Teddy Roosevelt “getting treatment,” will skip presidents race again.

The Washington Nationals confirmed today that racing president Teddy Roosevelt would be held out of tonight’s presidents race at Nationals Park, marking the third straight race without fan favorite Teddy.

Teddy Roosevelt in the Washington Nationals presidents raceA spokesperson for the team told us that Teddy re-aggravated his hamstring injury from a few weeks ago. “He is getting treatment and we hope he’ll be back in the race by the weekend.”

The mysterious injury was first revealed on September 6, when it was announced to fans at the Park that Teddy had been injured during pre-game warmups. Roosevelt returned the next night and competed in the next 4 races, looking good and even finishing first on September 8, only to be disqualified from that race for cheating. However, Teddy has not appeared since that homestand ended on September 10. Unconfirmed rumors suggest that the hamstring story is a Nationals cover up for a wardrobe malfunction.

Photo by Flickr member antisocialtory

Teddy Roosevelt returns, can’t hold lead

Barely 16 hours after the Nationals announced that Teddy Roosevelt was listed as “day to day” for the presidents race, visitors entering Nationals Park for today’s game vs. the Florida Marlins found Teddy waiting to greet them, giving the thumbs up sign to those inquiring about his health.

Sure enough, when race time came in the 4th inning, a very healthy-looking Teddy jumped out to a quick lead, drawing cheers from the 22,000 fans in attendance. Teddy looked good, but couldn’t hold on in the home stretch, as George Washington took his third race in a row to move into 2nd place in the season standings.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Teddy Roosevelt Scratched from Presidents Race, listed as “Day to Day”

Washington Nationals Teddy Roosevelt Scratched Injured Day to DayIn an unprecendented turn of events, the Washington Nationals announced during Saturday night’s game that racing president and fan favorite Teddy Roosevelt had been injured during pre-game warmups and would not participate in the presidents race.

With the Nationals trailing the Florida Marlins in the top of the 4th inning, the Nationals Park announcer said that Teddy’s status was “day to day.”

Sure enough, when the presidents race began, Teddy was nowhere to be seen.

It was “Pups in the Park” night at Nationals Park, with the Washington, DC Humane Society running its adopt-a-pet program for fans in the outfield picnic area, and dog owners invited to bring their dogs to the game. The sold out promotion filled up section 201, where Humane Society volunteers helped keep
George Washington Fire Hydrantan eye on the pets and their owners.

In keeping with the spirit of the evening, George Washington took the early lead in the 4th-inning race, and dropped a fire hydrant along the outfield warning track. Abe Lincoln tripped on the hydrant, leaving George with a clear path to another first place finish.

Photo of Teddy Roosevelt by Anthony Gualtieri
Video by YouTube member TheTeddyRoosevelt

Twitter turns out to be Teddy’s downfall

2009 has been a big year for the Washington Nationals Teddy Roosevelt in the world of social media, as the team has made Teddy its official voice on Facebook and Twitter.

But last night at Nationals Park, it turned out to be Teddy’s downfall.

Teddy had an early lead in the 4th-inning presidents race, then stopped on the outfield warning track to “update his Twitter page.” Those following Teddy26Nats on Twitter saw his update: “Im in the lead! no one can stop me!”

Faster on his fingers than he is on his feet, Teddy did managed to maintain the lead after his Tweet, but then as he hit the home stretch, our #26 stopped to Tweet again: im taking this all the way!!

That’s when Abe passed him for good.

Video by YouTube member lfahome

Teddy dresses as Santa for Christmas in July

Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt dresses as Santa Claus for Christmas in JulyIt was Christmas in July tonight at Nationals Park, with the U.S. Marines Corps Reserves on hand all weekend collecting toys for the Toys for Tots Foundation; and for a brief time, it appeared that the fans in attendance were in store for an early gift in the form of victory for Teddy Roosevelt.

But a day after Teddy failed to win even after tackling the other presidents, only the most optimistic of Teddy supporters could be convinced that the second half of the season would be different for #26.

Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt dresses as Santa for Christmas in JulyWashington Nationals mascot Screech provided a clue about what was in store when he appeared in a Santa Suit to take his customary place at the finish line.

When Teddy burst out of the centerfield gate in full Santa regalia, he looked unbeatable, staking a big lead as he approached the first base stands.

Unfortunately, Teddy has never been good at multitasking, and when he reached into his big red bag and began tossing Webkinz stuffed animals to the fans, the other presidents passed him by. Teddy never finished the race.

The 4th annual Toys for Tots drive continues for Saturday’s and Sunday’s games at Nationals Park. The U.S. Marines will be stationed at all gates to accept donations from gate opening until the end of the fourth inning. The toys collected will be distributed to non-profit organizations and pediatric wards in the D.C. metropolitan area.

Teddy please don’t curse Drew Storen!

Drew Storen Washington Nationals 26A day after picking closer Drew Storen in the first round of the draft, the Washington Nationals signed the #10 overall pick to his first contract and introduced him to the fans at Nationals Park.

In a young season that has already had more than its fair share of screw-ups, the quick signing and introduction was meant to show Nats fans that Nationals management can get things right.

So what the heck were they thinking when they put their new pitcher in uniform #26?

#26 is, of course, Teddy Roosevelt’s number…
a number which the Nationals avoided issuing
Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt wears #26, the same number issued to first round draft pick Drew Storento any player this season… a number which, frankly, should be retired until Teddy Roosevelt breaks the curse and wins the presidents race.

Hasn’t this organization had enough bad luck? Wearing #26, Teddy has easily been the most snakebitten National of all.

Lest you think the number has nothing to do with it, remember that the last Nationals player to don #26 gave Teddy a run for his money. It was outfielder Wily Mo Peña, the slugger with the .205 batting average who hit a whopping two home runs for the Nationals last season before being chased out of town.

Why curse the new kid?

Last night, Storen got a first-hand introduction to Teddy’s travails as the newest National was on hand to throw out the first pitch. In the 4th inning, the crowd went wild as Teddy broke out to a huge and seemingly insurmountable lead, but Teddy stopped just short of the finish line to pull out a sign for the cameras welcoming the new #26 to Nationals Park.

Oh Teddy…

AP photo by Gerald Herbert
Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

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