The Nats have clinched. Time to let Teddy win. For Jayson.

With ten home games remaining in the season, the 2017 presidents race crown remains up in the air, with George Washington and Abe Lincoln each within four victories of leader Thomas Jefferson in the standings. But one thing we know for sure:

Teddy Roosevelt doesn’t stand a chance.

Teddy Roosevelt Washington Nationals Presidents Race

Teddy Roosevelt is winded on an extra-long presidents race course, August 26

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle racing president Teddy Roosevelt

Teenage Mutant Ninja Teddy stops to gloat on 90s Night, August 13

Washington Nationals racing presidents vogue on Madonna's birthday

Racing presidents pause to Vogue on Madonna’s birthday, August 16

On Sunday, as Stephen Strasburg and the Nats were clinching their fourth NL East championship, Roosevelt quietly faded at the finish to lose his 73rd consecutive presidents race at Nationals Park.

We haven’t published full stories about every race this season, but we’ve continued to post summaries and videos after every race, and the narrative is worth revisiting. The Nationals revived their conspiracy against Theodore Roosevelt, and he is losing in spectacular and creative ways.

Teddy has been bowled over by Lincoln, battled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on 90s night, danced the Vogue on Maddona’s birthday, and been fooled by counterfeit currency on National Dollar Day.

He’s been distracted by the 2018 All Star Game logo, by fans in the stands, by Nats 50/50 raffle tickets, and by a book about Mount Rushmore on National Book Lovers Day.

And that’s just since the All Star break.

But now that the Nats have clinched, some fans are saying on social media that that’s enough. Harkening back to the 2012 season, when the Nationals won their first division, they say the Nats will now let Teddy win.

For others, letting Teddy win is a bad memory. They’ve reversed the curse concept, as they did in 2014 and again in 2016, saying that the Nats won’t win a playoff series if they let Roosevelt win.

To those fans, I point to Barry Svrluga’s column in Sunday’s Post, in which he chronicles Jayson Werth’s decision to sign with baseball’s losing-est franchise in 2010, and the team’s rise to elite status during the course of Werth’s seven-year contract.

Soon after joining the team, Werth become the most prominent member of the Let Teddy Win movement, lobbying and scheming to get the team to allow Teddy to win. “To me, the Presidents Race and Teddy Roosevelt are very symbolic of where this organization goes,” he said on ESPN in 2012. “It needs to be addressed. It needs to be answered.”

Entering the final year of his contract with the winningest record in baseball over the previous six seasons, Werth proclaimed “We did it” when I saw him in 2016.

Now Werth, who teammates call the heart of the franchise, faces what is likely his last opportunity to win a championship with the Nationals. Why on this occasion would the Nats decide to rub it in his face and turn Teddy into a loser again?

Dear Nationals. Let Teddy Win!

The presidents stop to admire the 2018 All Star Game logo:

Teddy stops to wave at former Nat Pack members in the crowd:

Abe pummels Teddy, then is attacked by a shark:

Washington fools the presidents with fake currency on National Dollar Day:

Teddy is distracted by a Mount Rushmore book on National Book Lover’s Day:

Abe distracts Teddy with Dream Foundation raffle tickets:

On 90s night, Teenage Mutant Ninja Teddy pauses to gloat:

Presidents dance The Vogue on Madonna’s birthday:

On extra-long extended course, Teddy gets winded:

Grounds crew enters field to tackle the presidents:

Video: Jayson Werth and Joey Votto chat about the presidents race

It can’t get much dumber than Yahoo!’s Sports Friends, but when Jayson Werth and Joey Votto chat at first base about the racing presidents, we have to listen in.

The authors decided to make Werth look clueless by calling Alexander Hamilton a president. Of course, followers know better, as Jayson Werth has always been among the more prominent members of the Let Teddy Win movement.

Video: Werth runs across the finish line. Teddy doesn’t.

As promised, here’s the full video of today’s presidents race, in which Jayson Werth busted across the finish line before the race began.

Perhaps Werth was trying to silently protest on behalf of the Bull Moose Party. Perhaps he was trying to set an example for Teddy. Either way, Roosevelt failed to deliver, cutting the outfield corner to take the lead, but then tripping short of the finish line.

Teddy is now the only racing president without a victory in 2012.



Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: Jayson Werth, still messing with the presidents race

As the Washington Nationals left the field after the top of the fourth inning today, right fielder Jayson Werth took the opportunity to once again interfere with the Nats’ presidents race.

Werth is an outspoken critic of the conspiracy that keeps Teddy Roosevelt out of the win column at Nationals Park, but this time chose a less disruptive way to protest, running through the finish line tape before the race began.

The Nat Pack recovered in time to reset the finish line. Roosevelt trailed early, but inspired by Abe’s behavior of the day before, decided to try the trick himself, cutting the outfield corner to take the lead from Jefferson.

Racing Presidents Jackie Robinson Day by Cheryl NicholsBut in the home stretch, Jefferson tripped behind Teddy, and Roosevelt toppled like a Domino, allowing George Washington to run past for the victory.

The racing presidents all wore #42 Sunday, as part of Major League Baseball’s Jackie Robinson Day.

More video to follow.

Photo courtesy Cheryl Nichols/DistrictSportsPage

Video: Jefferson slips Teddy and CM Punk’s trap as the presidents race is moved for 2012

If opening day at Nationals Park was any indication, it’s going to be a wild and exciting year on South Capitol Street.

A sellout crowd turned out Thursday afternoon to watch Gio Gonzalez pitch a gem in his Nationals Park debut, capped by a walk-off extra-innings Nationals victory that moved the team into sole possession of first place in the NL East. With the team having seemingly turned a corner, Teddy Roosevelt fans were hoping the Nats might use the occasion to finally Let Teddy Win.

Teddy Roosevelt and CM PunkWashington Nationals Racing Presidents get tied up in their shoelacesTeddy Roosevelt Washington Nationals presidents raceWashington Nationals presidents race Teddy Roosevelt Thomas JeffersonWashington Nationals presidents race photo finishDream on.

In a surprise move, the Nationals moved the presidents race to the left field/third base line and out of reach of the Nats bullpen, protecting the race against a repeat of last season’s attempted interference by players on Teddy’s behalf.

Roosevelt made a third inning appearance on the Nationals Park scoreboard with professional wrestler CM Punk. The clip showed the two sneaking up on Teddy’s napping opponents behind the centerfield wall, tying their shoelaces together, and then sneaking off (video below).

When the race began in the middle of the fourth inning, Teddy’s rivals George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln immediately tripped on their shoelaces and tumbled onto the warning track.

Roosevelt took off, hopping and skipping around the left field corner on his way to the finish line.

But the quick-thinking Jefferson was on his tail, running barefoot and carrying the shoes he slipped off as soon as he had discovered the scheme.

TJ caught Teddy as they approached the finish line, holding out his sneakers to break the tape and steal the first presidents race of 2012.

As for their move of the presidents race to the opposite side of the stadium, the Nats have so far been mum; but after the game, outspoken Teddy supporter Jayson Werth expressed his displeasure once again with the conspiracy.

“What’s the poor guy got to do to get a win?,” Werth said. “A great American president. Just a great American, period.”

An informal survey of fans in the stands suggested that season ticket holders are not happy with the move either.

The presidents have built a loyal cheering section along the right field and first base lines, home to the Nats’ largest season ticket base. All eyes will be on the field for the fourth inning Friday to find out if order will be restored.

Videos courtesy YouTube member lfahome

Jayson Werth: Teddy’s streak “Needs to be addressed”

Today over at espn.com, today’s flattering profile of the 2012 Nationals includes some choice words by Jayson Werth about the presidents race, and specifically the Let Teddy Win movement.

Jayson Werth disgusted that Teddy never wins the Presidents Race

Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth shows his disgust after another Teddy Roosevelt loss in 2011

Werth had been an outspoken member since arriving in DC last year, and twice attempted to interfere on Teddy’s behalf. Despite his failure, he clearly hasn’t given up the hunt, telling ESPN “I may be the last member of the Rough Riders.” 

“Teddy’s gonna have to win a race,” Werth said. “It just goes along with the whole expectancy of losing that was here when I got here. ‘The Nationals lost again?’ OK. ‘Teddy lost again?’ No big deal. It’s a parallel. People can laugh and say I’m out of my mind or whatever. Maybe I am. Who knows? …To me, the Presidents Race and Teddy Roosevelt are very symbolic of where this organization goes. It needs to be addressed. It needs to be answered.”

Jayson Werth tells the Post he’s not joking

In this Redskins-obsessed sports community, it’s fair to say that many people locally haven’t paid close attention to the Nationals’ amazing September.

Jayson Werth blocks Thomas Jefferson in the presidents race - Photo by Chris TatemSo it’s also not surprising that when people hear about Jayson Werth’s attempt to interfere with the presidents race, many who weren’t there assume it was a scripted gag.

But as we’ve known since May, Werth again made it clear to the Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore that he is a serious member of the Let Teddy Win movement.

The self-proclaimed “last member of the Bull Moose Party” is passionate about putting an end to any remnants of what he saw as “an expectancy of losing,” and while he believes the team has turned the corner, he sees Teddy’s losing streak as a remnant of that mentality.

“It was a joke on some levels, but on some levels not,” Werth told Kilgore. “There’s an expectancy of losing there. It goes back to the first month of the season when we won two games in a row and [a reporter] asked me about the two-game winning streak. It’s like, ‘No.’ That whole thing had to stop. That had to stop in a big way. When an organization or a team is really young and is coming from many losing seasons, it starts to get ingrained. I’m not saying that I’m the one who changed it. It’s got to be a conscious effort on everybody’s part. But I definitely wasn’t complacent when I saw that happening.”

It’s safe to say that Werth won’t be interfering with the presidents race again, but here’s hoping our new favorite National doesn’t drop his membership in the Bull Moose party. If Werth can recruit more players and fans to the cause, and the team does well, perhaps the pressure will build for the Nationals to let Teddy win in the 2012 season.

Photo courtesy of Flickr member Chris Tatem

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