We’re about to have a World Series presidents race, and Teddy needs to win

Nationals Park is hosting its first World Series game Friday, and the national spotlight on all things Nats has never been brighter. So when the fourth inning arrives, if the team knows what’s good for them, they’ll make sure Teddy Roosevelt wins the presidents race.

Washington Nationals Teddy Roosevelt Racing Presidents Race SignsThe superstitious among us will point to Teddy’s season trajectory, which eerily mirrors that of the team. Teddy lost his first races of the season, and floundered into late May, but then ran off a five-race winning streak starting May 24 and dominated the field from that point forward and taking the season title. Sound familiar?

In the playoffs, the Nationals’ lone loss in five home games came during the NLDS, when the team inexplicably allowed Thomas Jefferson to cross the finish line first. It was the only postseason presidents race that Teddy Roosevelt didn’t win.

Now, consider the trajectory of the entire franchise. Among the worst teams in baseball from 2006 when the presidents race was first introduced, the Nationals finally had a breakout year in 2012. Over the next seven seasons, the Nationals became an elite team, winning their division four times, but still getting tagged by some as losers for failing to advance past the first round. Teddy, too, broke out in 2012, winning his first race after going winless for 6 1/2 years.

The Nats won their division again in 2014 and 2016, when Roosevelt won the presidents race season title, but much like the Nationals themselves, Teddy couldn’t shake his image as a lovable loser.

Former Nationals star Jayson Werth openly complained that the team needed to let Teddy win because Teddy represented the wrong image for a winning team. You can’t build a winning culture, he argued, around a lovable, grinning, happy-go lucky loser.

“The Presidents Race and Teddy Roosevelt are very symbolic of where this organization goes,” Werth said on ESPN. But what if Werth was right while getting it all wrong?

The Nationals spent much of the decade as the feared juggernaut of the NL East, with nothing but early exits from the playoffs to show for it. Now, through a remarkable season-long makeover, the team has emerged as the quintessential lovable, happy-go-lucky, confident sub-500 team who snuck up on the world, and on Friday bring a 2-games to none World Series lead home to Nationals Park.

They did it with group hugs. They did it with dugout dances. They did it with childrens songs about baby sharks. And looking at the numbers, perhaps they did it with the help of Teddy. Perhaps it’s finally time to recognize that there could not be a better model for the ethos of this team than a confident, happy, grinning, and winning racing president Teddy Roosevelt.

Racing presidents honor Jason on Friday the 13th

Nationals racing presidents as Jason for friday the 13th by Cheryl NicholsA five game losing streak is a pretty scary thing for Nationals fans, but on Friday night at Nationals Park, the Nats racing presidents upped the ante, emerging from the centerfield starting gate wearing “Jason” masks to honor Friday the 13th.

Whatever they did, it worked, as Nats pitcher John Lannan helped break the streak and send all the bad luck the way of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

After the race, the presidents attempted to display a message for the Diamondbacks, but didn’t manage to coordinate the signs. More to follow…

Video courtesy of YouTube member shmaggie23.
Photo courtesy of Cheryl Nichols/Nats News Network

Natsfest and Winter Caravan Schedule Announced

The Washington Nationals today announced the schedule for their 2010 “Winter Caravan”, in which members of the team will tour the Washington, DC area to meet fans and promote the upcoming season before heading south for spring training.

Participating players and front office staff include new acquisitions Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, Brian Bruney, and Matt Capps; manager Jim Riggleman; and players Adam Dunn, Ryan Zimmerman, John Lannan, Nyjer Morgan, Josh Willingham, Tyler Clippard, and Craig Stammen. Prospects Danny Espinoza, Ryan Speier, and Drew Storen will also participate in the first 3 days of activities. Nats broadcaster Rob Dibble will moderate the sessions.

The 10-stop tour will run from January 27th to January 31st, culminating in the second annual Natsfest on January 31st at Nationals Park.

Wednesday, January 27
11:00am – 12:00pm
Unity Health Care’s Southwest Health Center, Washington, DC
Meet-and-Greet and Book Donation

1:00pm – 3:00pm
Hard Times Cafe, Arlington, VA
Autograph Session

5:00pm – 7:00pm
Build-A-Bear Workshop, McLean, VA
Autograph Session

Thursday, January 28
12:00pm – 1:00pm
Ben’s Chili Bowl, Washington, DC

2:00pm – 4:00pm
USO of Metropolitan Washington Warehouse, Ft. Belvoir, VA
Care Package Assembly

6:00pm – 8:00pm
Potomac Nationals Pfitzer Stadium, Woodbridge, VA
Autograph Session

Friday, January 29
1:00pm – 4:00pm
Hot Stove Luncheon hosted by David Gregory,
Nationals Park, Washington, DC (Ticketed Event)

5:00pm – 8:00pm
Washington Capitals Game, Verizon Center, Washington, DC
Autograph Session

Saturday, January 30
11:00am
Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC
Atrium Visit with Patients

1:30pm – 3:30pm
Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex, Landover, MD
Press Conference and Skills Demonstration & Autograph Session

Sunday, January 31
11:00am – 4:00pm
NatsFest, Nationals Park, Washington, DC (Ticketed Event)

If the second annual NatsFest is as good as the first, it will be a guaranteed good time for Nats fans. Expect long lines for to get autographs and take photos with Nationals players, but fans will otherwise roam freely in Nationals Park, tour the clubhouse, participate in question-and-answer sessions with the likes of Stan Kasten, Mike Rizzo, Jim Riggleman and George Will, and even take your shot in the Nationals batting cages for a $1 donation to the Nationals Dream Foundation. Nationals Season Ticket Holders will receive up to four complimentary tickets per account and additional tickets should be available soon for purchase at Nationals.com.

Teddy Roosevelt Scratched from Presidents Race, listed as “Day to Day”

Washington Nationals Teddy Roosevelt Scratched Injured Day to DayIn an unprecendented turn of events, the Washington Nationals announced during Saturday night’s game that racing president and fan favorite Teddy Roosevelt had been injured during pre-game warmups and would not participate in the presidents race.

With the Nationals trailing the Florida Marlins in the top of the 4th inning, the Nationals Park announcer said that Teddy’s status was “day to day.”

Sure enough, when the presidents race began, Teddy was nowhere to be seen.

It was “Pups in the Park” night at Nationals Park, with the Washington, DC Humane Society running its adopt-a-pet program for fans in the outfield picnic area, and dog owners invited to bring their dogs to the game. The sold out promotion filled up section 201, where Humane Society volunteers helped keep
George Washington Fire Hydrantan eye on the pets and their owners.

In keeping with the spirit of the evening, George Washington took the early lead in the 4th-inning race, and dropped a fire hydrant along the outfield warning track. Abe Lincoln tripped on the hydrant, leaving George with a clear path to another first place finish.

Photo of Teddy Roosevelt by Anthony Gualtieri
Video by YouTube member TheTeddyRoosevelt

Teddy and the Nats pause to celebrate Earth Day

Tonight the Washington Nationals celebrated Earth Day at Nationals Park by effectively conserving energy for nine innings.

Washington Nationals Earth Day Presidents RaceBy scattering their six hits over an efficient 2 hours and 30 minutes, the home team wasted an equally efficient seven shutout innings by starter John Lannan. With the score tied 0-0, the door was left open for the Atlanta Braves to out-conserve them in the 9th inning, converting a single hit into victory with a game-winning walk.

Teddy Roosevelt got into the act during the 4th inning presidents race. After taking an early lead, he slowed down to celebrate Earth Day with the fans, passing out the armful of green hats and beads he’d been carrying; but Abe flew past and claimed the victory.

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Ash

Washington Nationals’ Teddy Roosevelt to Race in Marine Corp Marathon Sunday

Teddy Roosevelt will run in Sunday's Marine Corp MarathonThe Washington Nationals have announced that racing president Teddy Roosevelt will participate in the 33rd Annual Marine Corps Marathon this Sunday, October 26 at 8:00am.

Sunday’s race happens to be the day before Teddy Roosevelt’s 150th birthday, and if he completes the marathon at his typical racing speed, he might not finish until Monday’s celebration. The team notes that Teddy hopes to show everyone that it is not about winning or losing, but it is about finishing the race.

Teddy will also appear at the Marine Corps Marathon Press Conference tomorrow, Friday, October 24, in support of all race participants.

The Marine Corps Marathon start line is at Route 110 near the Arlington Memorial Bridge Overpass, at 8:00am Sunday. Bring your Teddy Rally Signs!

Recurring story lines for Teddy and the Nationals

The Washington Nationals returned to town last night for the last homestand of the 2008 season, hoping to erase the memories of a long road trip in which they went 2-7 and were swept by the Florida Marlins. They found just what the doctor ordered: the powerful New York Mets hanging onto a slim division lead in the final weeks of the season.

New York fans don’t need to be reminded that they suffered a historic collapse at this time last year. With a seemingly insurmountable lead over the Philadelphia Phillies in late September, the Mets lost 5 of 6 games to the Nationals and missed the playoffs. With the pressure on once again, John Lannan one-hit the Mets last night to cut their division lead over the Phillies to just a half-game. If you love a recurring story line, the next two nights at Nationals Park should be grand.

Teddy Roosevelt is obviously a fan of recurring story lines as well. As this video by blog reader Rebecca Prowler shows, Teddy sprinted to a strong start last night in the fourth-inning presidents race. It was a clean race, but Teddy ran out of steam and Abe Lincoln took his record 45th win of the season.

The fireworks should continue tonight at Nationals Park with free T-Shirt Tuesday, and tomorrow with the big St. Patricks Day celebration and exciting young pitcher Shairon Martis on the mound. Hope to see you there!

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