On opening day, Teddy Roosevelt breaks presidents race losing streak with help from an unlikely ally

Nationals Presidents Race Opening Day Abe Cheats Teddy WinsNationals Presidents Race Opening Day Abe Cheats Teddy WinsNationals Teddy Roosevelt Masters Green JacketOn a frigid opening day at Nationals Park, the Washington Nationals reversed course from last year and decided to let Teddy win, as racing president Theodore Roosevelt kicked off the season by snapping his multi-year, 86-game losing streak.

The MLB’s new pace-of-play initiatives leave little wiggle room for presidents race shenanigans, but the Nationals managed to squeeze in their fair share while Mets pitcher Jacob DeGrom warmed up for the bottom of the fourth inning.

Abe Lincoln parked himself on the sidelines under section 134 as Teddy, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson began the race. Teddy fell behind the pack entering the home stretch, but that’s when the Great Emancipator, who so often has been TR’s nemesis, jumped out and clocked both George and Tom, clearing the way for a Roosevelt victory.

After he crossed the finish line to the cheers of the sellout crowd, a Secret Service Agent handed Teddy a putter. The Bull Moose than tapped in a putt on a makeshift hole and was handed a green jacket to commemorate today’s opening round of the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia.

Video for Let Teddy Win courtesy of lfahome

Data visualization guru maps Nationals presidents race results, and it’s a beautiful thing

Every year at about this time, as I prepare to archive another year’s racing president standings, I ask myself whether it’s worth it to continue the blog. Then I meet somebody  — a loyal reader who’s a team employee or a descendant of Teddy Roosevelt. Or somebody like Mike Cisneros comes along.

Cisneros is a data visualization guru. He’s head of data visualization at Evince Analytics, and waxes poetic about the art on his personal blog. When Cisneros saw the conclusions drawn by Reddit user Constant Gardner11 yesterday, utilizing ten years of data compiled here at the Let Teddy Win blog, he decided a visualization was in order.

And while it’s a beautiful thing, a few mistakes were made. Roosevelt’s epic losing streak lasted seven seasons — not five (we did not publish race-by-race results for 2016-2017, but the standings are here). And Teddy’s historic first win was not in the playoffs, but on the final day of the 2012 regular season.

And so, feeling both inspired by the beautiful and creative use of our data, and also weirdly compelled to continue to set the record straight, I’ll see you on opening day.

Washington Nationals Racing Presidents Results Data visualization

Ten years of Washington Nationals Presidents Race Data as visualized by Mike Cisneros

Yankees fan runs the numbers, concludes Nats fans should root for George, opponents should root for Teddy

On Tuesday, Reddit user and Yankees fan Constant_Gardner11 posted a detailed analysis of presidents race results during the Nationals Park era, using data we’ve collected here at Let Teddy Win. His conclusion: Nats fans should root for George Washington. Nats’ opponents should root for Teddy.

The many comments from the Reddit community show that conspiracy theories about Teddy Roosevelt remain prominent in the public eye. Of course, rooting for Teddy may be a moot point, since the powers-that-be in the Nationals front office have clearly decided never to let Teddy win again. The Bull Moose went winless last year (which didn’t seem to change the team’s playoff luck), and has lost 86 straight entering the 2018 season.

His analysis:

 

In perfect game 5 metaphor, Nats racing presidents trade leads in lengthy, confusing obstacle course

The Washington Post’s Tom Boswell called the Nats’ final playoff game of 2017 an exhilarating, exhausting, donnybrook that “staggers even the baseball imagination.” The Nationals 9-8 deciding game 5 loss to the Chicago Cubs was a marathon filled with improbable and confusing twists and turns that were hard to process for many in attendance.

So in retrospect, the evening’s fourth inning presidents race seems perversely appropriate.

George Washington Nationals Racing President Playoffs NLDS Game 5George Washington Nationals Racing President Playoffs NLDS Game 5 obstacle courseThe race that seemed to go on forever began all the way on the third base side of the field. Abe Lincoln took an early lead, but struggled when the presidents encountered the first challenge on this obstacle course, a “dizzy bat spinning” contest.

Thomas Jefferson emerged with the lead as they approached the next obstacle, but the dinosaur in left field did little to get in the way.

Next, a shuttle run set up in right field proved a challenge for Tom and Teddy, but our first commander in chief George Washington sailed through it to take his first lead heading to the final obstacle.

If the crowd on hand wasn’t confused yet, the folding table in front of the finish line likely did the job; but George leaped over it to take the tape as the other presidents gave up and left the field for the final time in 2017.

George won all three races this postseason, with Teddy Roosevelt bringing up the rear each time. Roosevelt finished the season 0-for-84, and like the Nationals and their fans, will have to wait until 2018 for a chance at redemption.

Video for Let Teddy Win by lfahome

Washington Nationals Fans revive #Natsride hashtag to help each other get home after Thursday’s late playoff game

Natsride Car with PlayersUPDATE: On Thursday, Pepco parent Exelon has funded an additional hour of operating time for the Metro. Times have been updated below. 

The Washington Nationals return to DC Thursday for a deciding NLDS playoff game 5 vs. the Chicago Cubs. However, with an announced start time of 8:08pm, just over 4 hours before the last northbound train departs from the Navy Yard/Ballpark station, fans who rely on Metro face the possibility of choosing between sticking around for a late or extra-innings clincher and getting home at all.

As soon as the game time was announced, fans began using the Twitter hashtag #NatsRide to connect with fans who planned to drive and are willing to share a ride home in exchange for sharing the cost of parking and gas.

The system was created in 2016 by our friends at the TalkNats blog and was a huge success when the Nationals faced a similar late weeknight game. Fans with cars used it to share the cost of driving. Fans reliant on Metro used it to find transportation home.

To take advantage, simply use the #NatsRide hashtag in a tweet and be sure to include the name of the neighborhood you’re trying to get to after the game.

The last Green line train to Greenbelt will depart the Navy Yard station at 12:22pm. The last Green line train to Branch Ave will depart the Navy Yard station at 12:48pm.

Video: Fans sacrifice rubber chicken outside Nationals Park in advance of pivotal NLDS playoff game 4

Washington Nationals Jobu Rubber Chicken Sacrifice 1Washington Nationals Rubber Chicken Sacrifice 1Washington Nationals Rubber Chicken Sacrifice 3After Monday’s come-from-behind victory by the Chicago Cubs over the Washington Nationals in the National League Division Series playoffs, fans gathered outside Nationals Park in Washington at noon Tuesday to try to do their part to exorcise the team’s playoff demons.

Nationals fan “Rubber Chicken Man” Hugh Kaufman led the ancient kaporos ritual as he has “dozens of times” since the team came to Washington in 2005.

“We’ve been doing this since 2005 when our backs are to the wall,” Kaufman declared to more than a dozen fans and Nationals employees gathered in front of the stadium. saying that the Nats “have always won at least one game after we do a chicken sacrifice.”

Kaufman brought an autographed baseball from the 1924 Washington Senators (the last DC team to have won a World Series), a Jobu doll “to help the bats get rid of their fear and wake up,” and a Tanner Roark bobblehead, as Roark is scheduled to pitch game four.

Kaufman then thanked the crowd. and swung the rubber chicken above his head.  “Take all the bad juju from the Nats,” Kaufman said. “Putting it in the Chicken.”

Kaufman then did the deed, those assembled wished the team good luck, and dispersed for lunch.

After 2-1 playoff loss, fans plan chicken sacrifice Tuesday outside Nationals Park

Nationals Rubber Chicken Man

Washington Nationals fan and “Rubber Chicken Man” Hugh Kaufman

For the first time in more than two years, there will be a chicken sacrifice at Nationals Park.

Longtime readers are familiar with the ritual performed by Hugh Kaufman, aka the Washington Nationals’ “Rubber Chicken Man,” whenever the team has run into a string of bad “juju.”

“There hasn’t been a chicken sacrifice in the two years that Dusty has managed the Nats.” Kaufman said Tuesday after the Chicago Cubs took a come-from-behind playoff victory from the Nationals, “but our backs are to the wall and there has been a tsunami of bad juju raining down on us.”

So Kaufman plans to do the deed at noon outside the Nationals Park centerfield gates, and is inviting fans to join him.

Jobu Vudu Doll

Kaufman brought a Jobu doll and a Gio Gonzalez bobblehead to Saturday’s Game 2 victory.

The last sacrifice came mid-season 2015, after a string of injuries and losses had dropped the Nationals out of first place. The 2016 season was the first the team had gone all year without a chicken sacrifice, and until today, it appeared they might go sacrifice-free two years in a row.

Kaufman, who fans may recognize from his seats right above the Nationals dugout, has conducted sacrifices that preceded winning streaks many times since 2005. His sacrifices were called on by former manager Davey Johnson, and by pitcher Gio Gonzalez, who has been known to wear a “Chicken Mode” t-shirt in honor of Kaufman.

“Jobu might be there also,” Kaufman added, “to help wake up our bats again as he did on Saturday night.”

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