Two weeks ago, the Nationals made their rookies and assorted youngers strip bare from the waist up, wear white spandex and blue body paint, and ride a train to New York while dressed as Smurfs.
Since then, they’ve played 14 games, and won 11.
Weirdness, the message seems to be, pays off.
And for the past three days, the Nats went all-out on the weirdness. This was Washington Wizards circa 2006 weirdness, and yet the Nats kept winning, taking two out of three from a Braves team fighting for its playoff life and drawing within two games of .500.
Plus, it seems likely that both the weirdness and the winning will continue in 2012, when the Nats should have virtually all their key pieces back, plus a full year of Strasburg, plus older youngsters and an energized fan base. Plus more weirdness.
You’ve likely seen most of this, but I felt the need to draw together the weekend’s worth of weirdness.
It started early, as you can see above.
Next, of course, was the start of the Jayson Werth crusade to liberate Teddy. This was extensively chronicled at Let Teddy Win, and it was one of the weirdest things any pro baseball player has done in recent memory, seeing as how it involved Werth attempting to reason and/or wrestle with large mascots on the playing field. Friday was mostly non-physical, though this certainly brings back memories of the great non-violent protests throughout history.
Then there was Saturday, when Jonny Gomes wore this shirt onto the field before the game. From Reader Andrew:
Is it a coincidence that Jonny Gomes wore a “Choke” T-shirt? The Nats didn’t take BP on the field and he was the only Nats player that approached the Braves during their BP on the field.
I’d like to think it wasn’t a coincidence.
Before Saturday was done, of course, Werth was forcibly detaining presidents while his bullpen mates were slamming them into outfield walls. This doesn’t often happen at baseball games.
His quest may have failed — “It’s bigger than me, man. It’s bigger than me,” he later told Let Teddy Win — but the wins kept coming. Sunday’s win included a Michael Morse home run that led to the usual fun stuff, like the flying Ryan Zimmerman elbow drop, seen above, via Nats Enquirer.
Then Morse saluted the crowd, which included a man holding a rubber chicken, as captured by The Post’s Jonathan Newton.
Also, someone was wearing a Morse jersey that spelled out Morse’s name in Morse code, and had a Morse autograph.Via Cap City Chewy.
And then the Nats threw free stuff to the crowd, in honor of the final home game. Pudge Rodriguez saluted the fans, wearing a t-shirt from Saskatchewan, because basically everyone on the Nats wears goofy t-shirts from Saskatchewan. (Via Cathy Taylor’s home finale Flickr stream.)
Though Pudge’s t-shirt was likely overshadowed by Tyler Clippard’s. Addicted to winning, duh. Next year, but still.