Videos: Taft competes with Teddy for Twitter followers, Abe slams him with a folding chair, and more

The cheating is getting out of hand in the Nationals presidents race, and if that sounds like nothing new, the difference vs. previous years is that now even Teddy isn’t getting disqualified.

Nationals Tweetup Taft vs TeddyTaft tackles Teddy at Nats tweetupAbe Lincoln hits William Howard Taft with a Folding ChairAbe Lincoln hits William Howard Taft with a Folding ChairOn Tuesday and Wednesday nights at Nationals Park, Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft escalated their 100 year-old war, taking each other out as race judge Screech looked the other way.

The Nationals sponsored a #VoteNats Tweetup on Wednesday evening, and the team’s longtime face of Twitter Teddy Roosevelt paced the field, holding up a sign as he approached the finish line reading “#voteNATS Tweetup ’13 Follow me @Teddy26Nats.”

But Taft was trailing close behind with his own sign, and slammed the Rough Rider to the ground, taking the victory and holding up his own sign saying “No Teddy, they should follow ME @NatsBigChief27.”

Taft’s antics were simply revenge for the previous night, when Teddy had enlisted the help of longtime nemesis Abraham Lincoln to take Taft out of the competition.

On Tuesday, “Honest” Abe sat out the race — literally. When the race began, Lincoln parked himself on a folding chair on the warning track by the Nationals bullpen.

Teddy Roosevelt tore out of the starting gate and slapped hands with the Great Emancipator as he race by the bullpen.

Lincoln then stood up, folded up the chair, and swung it right into the oncoming Taft.

With the Chief Justice flattened to the ground, Abe unfolded the chair, stood on it, and taunted his victim. No disqualifications were issued.

Here’s Teddy’s victory from Tuesday night:

And Taft’s take down of Teddy on Wednesday:

I was not around for the race on the 27th, but here is the video, in which Lincoln apparently celebrated the anniversary of the decommissioning of Route 66:

Taft Gains on Teddy in race to Mt. Rushmore

Racing president Teddy Roosevelt reaches IllinoisRacing President William Howard Taft reaches IllinoisRacing president William Howard Taft gained ground on Teddy Roosevelt late Friday evening as they both crossed the Illinois line after just one day of their race to Mt. Rushmore.

The Big Chief followed Teddy in tweeting from the border just before sunset, nearly 700 miles from the day’s starting point.

In a Nationals-sponsored Twitter contest, fans have been asked to use the hashtags #VoteBill or #VoteTeddy to show support for either Taft or Roosevelt. Teddy shot out to an early lead, but voting has been light, meaning a Taft comeback isn’t out of the question.

Given that one randomly selected user of each hashtag will win a private mascot appearance with that racing president, a vote for Taft right now is
carrying pretty nice odds.

Teddy is first to Indiana, maintaining 3x lead over Taft

Teddy Roosevelt in Indiana, beating Taft to Mt. RushmoreWilliam Howard Taft National Historic SiteRacing president Teddy Roosevelt appears to be making excellent time in his race to Mt. Rushmore, tweeting that he beat rival William Howard Taft to the Indiana border just after 5:00pm Friday.

That’s nearly one third of the driving distance from Nationals Park to the South Dakota landmark on just the first afternoon.

Taft, meanwhile, stopped in Cincinnati to visit his boyhood home.

Teddy continues to get triple the fan votes as his rival Taft in the corresponding Twitter contest, but at just 100 fan tweets as of Friday evening, one has to wonder whether the Nationals mascot team had higher expectations from their newly fabricated rivalry.

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 learns you can’t run and Tweet at the same time

Nationals Ignite Your Natitude TweetupWashington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt participates in the Nats tweetupWashington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt participates in the Nats tweetupWashington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt participates in the Nats tweetupWashington Nationals Racing Presidents Vote for Bryce HarperJackson Fleischauer and Corbin Haviland hold the presidents race finish lineThe Nationals celebrated the first “Ignite Your Natitude Tweetup” at Nationals Park Tuesday night, as the team kicked off its final homestand before the All Star break.

Among the near-sellout crowd were over 700 Twitter users who RSVP’d to the event, filling section 140 and collectively doing their part to bring local cellular networks to their knees.

Participants who registered in advance via Twitter were treated to a variety of surprise gifts and experiences, from posters to t-shirts to opportunities to leave their seats and rub elbows with Stephen Strasburg and yes, Teddy Roosevelt.

The 26th president participated by tweeting before and after the 4th-inning race, and by posing with tweetup participants afterwards.

Unfortunately, Teddy tried to tweet during the race as well.

When the gates opened, TR emerged carrying an oversized Curly W cell phone.  He surged ahead to a huge lead, which he held into the home stretch.

But then he tried tweeting.

Fans following @Teddy26Nats saw Teddy’s tweet as he approached the finish line looking at his phone:

This is it, I’m soo close! I’m winnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

And with that, the Hero of San Juan Hill tripped and executed a face plant along the first base line.  Abe stole the win.

The team continues to use the racing presidents to promote All Star voting, and Tuesday night enlisted the Rushmore Four to hold signs up after the race imploring fans to use hashtag #BryceIn12 and cast their vote for Bryce Harper in the MLB “Final Vote” contest.

The effort to get out the vote has certainly had an impact on young Nats fans Jackson Fleischauer and Corbin Haviland, who won the opportunity to hold Tuesday night’s presidents race finish line. All they had to do was fill in 10,000 paper All Star ballots.

Yes, ten thousand. Congrats Jackson and Corbin. Well deserved!

Finish line video below, but first, Bob Carpenter’s call (he was a bit confused):

Finish line video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: Teddy goes fishing, finds Marlin in the Anacostia

Apparently, Captain Andy Hillstrand of Discovery TV’s Deadliest Catch got to know Teddy Roosevelt on Saturday when he visited Nationals Park to throw out the first pitch.

Teddy Roosevelt with Captain Andy - Nationals ParkThomas Jefferson washington nationals presidents raceWhen the Nationals returned to take on the Florida Marlins Sunday afternoon, Roosevelt was nowhere to be found. As the presidents entered the field for their 4th inning race, Teddy appeared on the HD scoreboard. He was still out fishing for Marlin with Captain Andy.

“Me and @capt_andy went fishing today,” Teddy tweeted later. “I totally forgot about the race! Oops!”

The presence of Marlin in the Anacostia River wasn’t the only eyebrow-raising development in Sunday’s race. Thomas Jefferson took his third straight presidents race to suddenly make things interesting in the season standings.

With Abe Lincoln’s lead narrowed to just two games over Tom, the Nats will return to DC next weekend for their final three-game series.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome.
Fishing photo/Washington Nationals

Video: Did Teddy give up at the finish?

Presidents Race photo finish - Washington NationalsPresidents Race photo finish - Washington NationalsTeddy Roosevelt seemed to have victory in hand Sunday at Nationals Park.

In one of his more inspired races, #26 overcame a bad start, working his way to the front of the pack with a burst of speed around the right field corner.

Teddy had the upper hand in one of the tightest presidential finishing packs ever, but he seemed to pull up at the end, taking a crooked angle towards the finish line as George barely edged Abe in a photo finish.

After seeminly handing the race to Washington, Teddy tweeted “This is your dayyyy….George!” Hardly the rallying cry Teddy’s fans are looking for.

Video: Lobster runs onto the field, takes down Teddy

On Wednesday afternoon at Nationals Park, the hero of San Juan Hill ran into an ambush he never could have anticipated.

Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt attacked by Luc the LobsterRacing down the home stretch during the 4th-inning presidents race, a large, costumed Luc the Lobster dashed out of the stands and flattened the Teddy Roosevelt before the big Bull Moose knew what hit him.

What the red menace was doing at Nationals Park remains a mystery, but our best guess is that it had something to do with Wednesday being the opening day of the 64th annual Maine Lobster Festival.

After the race, Teddy tweeted “Ok you wana be like that? I see how it is. Luc the Lobster 1 – Me 0.”

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome.

Teddy goes after Thomas Jefferson in the outfield

Presidents race watchers knew what to expect when the fourth inning rolled around Saturday night at Nationals Park. Teddy Roosevelt said it all just before race time.

Washington Nationals Presidents Race: Teddy Tackles Jefferson“No more wins for TJ, your streak ends tonight! Mwhahaha,” Teddy tweeted from his account @Teddy26Nats.

After winning seven of the last eight races, Jefferson was poised to pass Teddy once again when the Bull Moose turned and slammed the Sage of Monticello into the outfield wall. Jefferson fell to the ground, his hair ripped by the impact.

Lincoln dashed by for his first victory since before the All Star break.

NOTE: Followers of the outfield scoreboard tally might have noted a discrepancy vs. our own presidents race standings. The Nationals scorekeepers have not credited George (or anybody) with a victory for July 10 — the last race before the all star break. We’re hoping the Nats will make the correction soon. In the meantime, we’re sticking with our count as a reflection of the true # of races this year.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome.

Video: Teddy sends That Cat to stop George Washington

George Washington, Abe Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson in the Washington Nationals Presidents RaceWashington Nationals Presidents Race: That Cat tackles George Washington as Teddy Roosevelt looks onRacing president Abe Lincoln leaps over That Cat to take the presidents raceWith George Washington coming off a recent 4-game winning streak and challenging Abe Lincoln for the season lead, Teddy Roosevelt decided he’d seen enough.

While George was taking an early lead in Tuesday’s 4th-inning race at Nationals Park, Teddy was waiting in foul territory, hiding in ambush along with long-time presidents race conspirator That Cat.

With George entering the home stretch, the t-shirt-clad panther lept out at Teddy’s urging, knocking our first president soundly to the ground. Lincoln, who was running close behind, made a nifty leap over the cat to jump into the lead.

“You been winning too many races lately George,” Teddy tweeted, “and I was tired of hearing about it!”

Abe and Tom didn’t seem to object, holding hands and skipping together at the finish line, but Abe crossed first and was awarded the victory.

And the slo-mo version:

Videos courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Wrestler John Cena pumps Teddy up to tackle Orioles Bird

The largest crowd at Nationals Park since opening day was rewarded richly Friday night after an hour-long rain delay postponed the start of the game.

John Cena gives Teddy Roosevelt a presidents race pep talkTeddy Roosevelt chases the Orioles Bird, who takes the lead in the presidents race at Nationals ParkTeddy Roosevelt tackles the Orioles Bird during the presidents race at Nationals ParkChildrens Chorus of Washington at Nationals ParkThe Nationals continued their torrid offensive streak with the 7th win in a row, and Teddy Roosevelt, despite losing the 4th-inning presidents race, delivered a satisfying blow to a longtime nemesis.

Following Tuesday night’s appearance at Nationals Park, WWE wrestler John Cena appeared Friday in a series of scoreboard video segments with Teddy Roosevelt, teaching Teddy his “You Can’t See Me” moves, and pumping up the Nats’ perennial loser both literally and figuratively in preparation for a visit from the Baltimore Orioles and their not-so-creatively named mascot, The Bird.

Before the game, The O’s fowl cheerleader pranced around Nationals Park like he owned the place, trying with little success to incite the smattering of Baltimore fans in attendance.

When the presidents race began, The Bird jumped out in front of the presidents, threatening to steal the thunder from the home town mascots; but with Teddy chasing closely behind as they turned the right field corner, the partisan crowd cheered in anticipation of what was to come.

Teddy put his newly-learned wrestling moves to use, catching The Bird and taking him down with a satisfying blow.

“You can’t see me O-bird!,” Teddy tweeted. “No WAY I was gonna let you win the race tonight!”

The antics would have to be satisfaction enough for Teddy’s long-suffering fans, who then watched George Washington blow by for the win.

A special nod to members of the Childrens Chorus of Washington, who did an amazing job with the National Anthem Friday night, and could be heard chanting the most beautiful chorus ever of “Let Teddy Win! Let Teddy Win!” from the 400 level during the presidents race!

Video to follow.

Presidents race on tandem bikes, Teddy issues a challenge

Fans who braved the cold and volatile weather at Nationals Park Saturday were rewarded with the Nats’ first victory of the season — a dramatic affair that included a hail storm and two weather delays, spectacular defensive plays, heroics, and a rare suicide squeeze.

While new regulars Rick Ankiel, Danny Espinosa, and Jayson Werth were giving long-suffering Nats fans new reasons for hope, Teddy Roosevelt again failed to deliver in the 4th-inning presidents race, falling short after being paired with Abraham Lincoln in yet another team race — this time aboard tandem bicycles.

Teddy and Abe had the lead heading into the right field corner, but failed to negotiate the turn and watched as George and Tom passed them to take the tape in the season’s second race.

Within moments of walking off field in defeat, Teddy sent a message to his Twitter followers:

“That’s it!!”, he wrote. “That is the last time Abe loses a race for me! Tomorrow I’m challenging him mono e mono!” (sic).

Sounds like we can expect fireworks Sunday in the final game of the series.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

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

Voting open for Clint’s new Nationals Park co-host

Nationals Park in-game host Clint Khoury has drawn more than occasional scorn from those purists who think the stadium hype during games distracts from the baseball at-hand. If you fall into that category, then it appears you are due either for some relief, or for double the pain, depending on your perspective.

The Washington Nationals have opened up voting for the new co-host at Nationals ParkFans at Saturday’s Washington Nationals exhibition game vs. the Baltimore Orioles were asked throughout the night to vote via text message for the new Nationals “co-host,” with profiles of the three contestants — all women and all beauty pageant veterans — repeatedly shown on the giant HD scoreboard (photo courtesy of fellow Nats blogger Miss Chatter).

Now the Nationals have opened the voting to the general public, with votes being accepted online now through Tuesday, April 14, at 3:00pm.

Kate MichaelKate Michael could have the inside track on local votes, as she has been an emerging personality in DC media for several years, and knows a few things about promoting herself on the internet. The former Senate staffer and Miss District of Columbia threw out the first pitch at a 2007 Nats game (alas, quite weakly), and represented DC in the Miss America 2007 pageant. She boasts a personal web site, a separate blog called K Street Kate, and over 700 followers on Twitter. Her enthusiasm for new media could barely be contained on a recent episode of internet talk show The District Dish:

Guerin AustinGuerin Austin is a former Miss Nebraska USA (2004), and for what it’s worth appears to have become blonde only recently.

The self-proclaimed “military brat” claims to have moved over 20 times, and is a former competitive figure skater with a degree in broadcast journalism and experience as a TV journalist and host.

What Austin lacks in DC connections she appears to make up for in “emcee” experience on a variety of television shows. Her demo reel gives a pretty good sense of what she’d be like as Nationals Park co-host:

Yolanda MakleYolanda Makle is the only one of the three contestants who has experience with the Nationals, having spent last season as a member of the Nat Pack while juggling a full-time job as a telecommunications engineer (I caught this photo of Makle during the 7th inning stretch at last season’s Nationals Park 70s Night).

The striking DC mother of two is another pageant circuit veteran, having represented Puerto Rico in the 2006 Miss United States pageant and currently holding the title Ms. Belleza Latina 2009. She is an active volunteer in the community, has a blog and boasts just a handful of followers on Twitter.

Makle’s community service, DC roots, love of sports, and experience on The Nat Pack might otherwise make her a favorite in my book, but I don’t think I could cast my vote for somebody who openly calls Abe Lincoln her favorite racing president. Ouch.

Online voting ends Tuesday, April 14, at 3:00pm, with the winner to be announced at the Nationals game vs. the Marlins on Friday, April 17th.

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