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

Video: Racing presidents commemorate George Washington’s 1775 appointment

George Washington Nationals Racing Presidents saluteGeorge Washington Nationals Racing President 1775On June 15, 1775, the country’s fledgling Continental Congress commissioned George Washington to be commander in chief on the Continental Army.

George Washington Nationals Racing Presidents race winOn Wednesday afternoon at Nationals Park, the Nats racing presidents reenacted the event to commemorate its 241st anniversary.

With Herbert Hoover sitting out, Tom, Abe, Teddy and Bill started the race from the centerfield gate, but they were stopped by George Washington, who emerged from the bullpen dressed in his traditional period costume.

George proceeded to lead his colleagues in a series of military drills, culminating in a trick when he encouraged them to stand on one foot.

As the presidents tried balancing, George took off for the finish line.

Video for LetTeddyWin.com by lfahome

Who to root for in the Nationals’ presidents race? Fangraphs breaks it down

For everybody who ever claimed “the Nationals always lose when Teddy wins,” the baseball stat geeks over at FanGraphs have attempted to create the definitive analysis of who to root for in the Nats’ presidents race.

Nationals Racing President George Washington

If you’re Bryce Harper or Jordan Zimmerman, you should root for George Washington, according to FanGraphs

Using data compiled here at the Let Teddy Win blog, sports reporter Zachary Abate has analyzed our data beginning in 2013 — the first year after the Nats allowed Teddy Roosevelt to win, as well as the first year president William Howard Taft joined the mix.

During that time, Abraham Lincoln has won the most races, and the Nationals have won 61% of home games. After FanGraphs added run differential and player stats to the mix, Abate concludes that George Washington is the president to root for.

His reasons: The Nats win the most games and have the biggest run differential when George wins. Even more impressive: Bryce Harper also has the highest batting average and Jordan Zimmermann has the lowest ERA when George wins.

Which president is the worst for Harper? “Honest Abe” himself, Abraham Lincoln.

Bryce Harper Presidents Race stats
As for cause and effect, it’s not quite as clear. Perhaps George is more inspired by what’s happening on the field? To know for sure, FanGraphs would have to break down production before and after the 4th inning race.

But that’s the beauty of baseball. Advance presidents race stats are apparently just in their infancy.

And Teddy? Yes, it’s true. The Nats’ winning percentage is lowest when the Rough Rider wins the race, despite a positive run differential per game that’s second only to George. In other words, it seems Teddy has the worst luck.

Read the full analysis here.

Video: George Washington plows Tom, Abe, Teddy and Taft

Nationals Racing President George WashingtonWith only seven races in the books for 2013, George Washington has established himself as Nationals Park’s new 4th-inning enforcer, a role historically owned by “Honest” Abe Lincoln.

If there was any doubt before Friday night’s race, it was quickly erased soon after the racing presidents were introduced. Washington was last to emerge from the centerfield gate, but as the field raced along the warning track, George surged ahead chased down Jefferson, Lincoln, Taft, and Teddy in succession, knocking each to the ground.

After crossing the finish line, the father of our country pimped for the crowd.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

George Washington wins first presidents race in over a month

Mitt Romney take note.  A lot can change in a month.

Nationals Presidents Race George Washington Wins Teddy LosesOn August 3, George Washington held a commanding lead in the 2012 presidents race standings; but that was before Abraham Lincoln went on his trademark late summer tear. A winless month left the father of our country mired in third place, riding the second longest losing streak in presidents race history.

Alas, Teddy Roosevelt’s record remains safe for now, as the Labor Day crowd saw Washington win his first presidents race in over a month to keep the season standings tight heading into the final weeks of the season.

Tight, that is, for everybody except Teddy Roosevelt.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

George Washington fails to deliver again on Fathers Day

Nationals fans approached Fathers Day with an heightened level of excitement Sunday as the Nationals took an eight-game winning streak into their series finale vs. the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park.

What followed was a series of disappointments, from the rain that dampened the stands, to uncharacteristic lapses in pitching and defense, to yet another Fathers Day no-show by George Washington.

Washington Nationals Presidents Race in the rain on Fathers Day 2011Team officials have denied it for years, but it’s no secret the presidents race result has been fixed on occasion. We don’t call this blog “Let Teddy Win” for nothing.

So it’s fair to ask the question: Why has the father of our country NEVER won a presidents race on Fathers Day?

Washington Nationals Presidents Race in the rain on Fathers Day at Nationals ParkIn the middle of a rain-soaked fourth-inning Sunday at Nationals Park, it was Teddy Roosevelt who got the crowd to its feet, cutting the outfield corner and hanging onto the lead through most of a tight race, only to go off course and lose the lead at the finish.

But it was Thomas Jefferson and not George who stole the victory. After winning the previous four consecutive
races, Washington finished last.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Presidents race on bicycles to kick off final homestand of the season

The Washington Nationals returned to town Monday night for their final homestand of the season, and while the Nationals have guaranteed their spot at the bottom of the National League East standings, the race to see who will win the 2010 presidents race crown remains tight to the finish.

Nationals Racing Presidents on BicyclesThis homestand marks the finish to Fan Appreciation Month at Nationals Park, as the team has lined up a slew of promotions and giveaways for the Nationals Park faithful who head out to see the team one last time this season.

The racing presidents did their part to kick things off with a stunt we hadn’t seen before. In Monday’s 4th inning, they made a dramatic appearance
aboard red bicycles.

The stunt was in recognition of Capital Bikeshare, a new bicycle sharing service with 110 locations throughout Washington, DC. Capital Bikeshare employees were in attendance at Nationals Park Monday night, after celebrating their inaugural ride on Sunday to launch the new service.

With just ten home games to go, George Washington kept it interesting by pulling away to take another victory, and close within three games of 2-time defending champion Abraham Lincoln in the standings.

Photos courtesy of Flickr member ddotphotos

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