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

The Washington Post’s Tom Boswell called Thursday’s game an exhilarating, exhausting, donnybrook that “staggers even the baseball imagination.” The Nationals 9-8 deciding game 5 playoff 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 took all three playoff races this season, with Teddy Roosevelt consistently bringing up the rear. 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.”

George Washington leaves Nationals presidents race, returns on a bicycle

Washington Nationals Racing Presidents Race George Washington cheats bicycleWashington Nationals Racing Presidents Race on bicyclesAfter stealing the Nationals’ first 2017 postseason presidents race on Friday, George Washington wasn’t taking any chances for Game 2 of the NLDS on Saturday at Nationals Park.

Another extra-long race (thanks to the national broadcast) appeared to leave Washington winded as the racing presidents approached center field, but it turned out to be yet another ruse.

After letting the other presidents pass him, the father of our country ducked into the center field gate and emerged aboard a bicycle.

The founding father then sped past Abe, Teddy, and Tom to steal another postseason win.

Teddy Roosevelt, meanwhile, lost his 85th consecutive race.

Video for Let Teddy Win by lfahome

 

Teddy Roosevelt almost wins in the playoffs, but Nats grounds crew intervenes

The Washington Nationals hosted the first game of the National League Division Series vs. the Chicago Cubs Friday night at Nationals Park, and the nationally televised playoff game schedule helped the team toy with fans before once again preventing Teddy Roosevelt from winning his first presidents race of the season.

Washington Nationals NLDS presidents race Teddy Roosevelt 1Washington Nationals NLDS presidents race Teddy Roosevelt 3Washington Nationals NLDS presidents race Teddy Roosevelt 5The extra long commercial breaks allowed the racing presidents to start their fourth inning race from the third base side and run the entire length of the outfield, twice the length of the typical presidents race.

So the Nats unleashed Teddy Roosevelt, and the hero of San Juan Hill ran circles around his competition. Literally.

From the back of the pack, the Bull Moose caught up to and ran a circle around George Washington, then Thomas Jefferson, and finally around Abraham Lincoln before pulling away toward the finish line.

But as Teddy approached the home stretch, members of the Nationals grounds crew ran onto the field and tackled the 26th president, extending his losing streak to 84 games.

On the national broadcast, TBS color commentator Ron Darling had some curmudgeonly words for the grounds crew members.

“Those Nationals employees must be millennials and not know their history,” Darling said. “They would not have taken the real Teddy down, I’ll tell you that.”


Video for Let Teddy Win by lfahome

Nationals Park to add specialty food items for 2017 playoffs

The Washington Nationals have added an extensive menu of fall specialty items to be available exclusively during the 2017 postseason beginning this Friday at Nationals Park. Here’s a rundown of what to expect, and where you can find it:
Washington Nationals Park Fall Classic Grilled Cheese Throwin Cheese menu

The Fall Classic Grilled Cheese
What is it: Grilled Cheese with braised short rib, baby arugula, pickled red onions, balsamic cherry jam and smoked Gouda on artisanal sourdough bread.
Where to find it: Throwin’ Cheese in section 114.

 

Nationals Park Maple Doughnut Croque MonsieurMaple Doughnut Croque-Monsieur
What is it: Virginia country ham, Gruyère cheese and maple béchamel on a griddled glazed doughnut.
Where to find it: Throwin’ Cheese in Section 114.

 

Nationals Park Cookie Dough Helmet

The Cookie Dough Helmet
What is it: Chocolate chip cookie dough topped with soft serve vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and mini chocolate chips in a souvenir Curly W helmet.
Where to find it: Breyers stands in Sections 115, 129, 136 and 310.

 

Washington Nationals Park Crab Pretzel postseason food concessions

The Crab Pretzel
What is it: A jumbo braided soft pretzel topped with jumbo lump cheddar cheese topping and Old Bay Queso.
Where to find it: Pretzel locations in sections 107 and 320.

 

Nationals Park The District Duel Jumbo Sausage

The District Duel
What is it: A
 foot-long half smoke sausage topped with latin braised beef and giardiniera.
Where to find it: Taste of the Majors in Sections 115 and 314.

 

Nationals Park Half Smoke Burger Biscuit Virginia Country Kitchen

Half Smoke Burger Biscuit
What is it: A seared smoked burger patty, cheddar cheese and spicy onion relish on a buttermilk biscuit.
Where to find it: Virginia Country Kitchen in Sections 130 and 315.

 

Nationals Park The Natitude Half Smoke Sausage Patty

The Natitude
What is it: A half-smoke sausage patty, crab mac & cheese, and crispy Virginia ham on a brioche bun
Where to find it: Grill Stands in Sections 110, 129, 141 and 211.

 

Washington Nationals Park Crab and Corn Chowder playoffs food concessions

The Lucky Catch Oyster Company “Shuckers”
What is it: A new portable cart serving:

  • Local Virginia oysters on the half shell with atomic cocktail sauce and pickled ginger mignonette
  • Lobster bisque with sourdough croutons and garlic chives
  • Corn & Crab Chowder (pictured) with organic corn, sweet potatoes, edamame, crabmeat, smoked bacon and cream

Where to find it: Good question. The Nats have not yet announced the location.

 

Nationals Park 2 foot long sausagesLocal Artisan Jumbo 24″ Sausages.

What is it: Your choice of three different 24″ jumbo specialty sausages (that’s right, two feet long) including:

  • St. Louis Style: – 24″ pepperoni & cheddar sausage topped with peppers, onions, mini cheese ravioli, and marinara.
  • Chicago Style: 24″ Italian sausage topped with Italian beef, giardiniera, and atomic horseradish aioli.
  • Milwaukee Style: 24″ bratwurst topped with beer bacon braised sauerkraut and crispy cheese curds.

Where to find it: Senators Sausage stands in Sections 108, 134 and 224.

 

Washington Nationals Park Bar CocktailsFinally, we can’t forget the beverage department, where the Nats will offer the new Cinnamon Apple Curveball Cocktail, featuring Smirnoff Vodka, Amaretto, and fresh Apple Cider garnished with a cinnamon stick and apple slice.
Where to find it: All bars serving liquor throughout Nationals Park.

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