A 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
to 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.
AP photo by Gerald Herbert
Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome