We know that most of the fans were thrilled with Teddy’s win, but what did the players think?
“I am so glad Teddy won so we can stop talking about Teddy,” said Ryan Zimmerman, who has previously called the Teddy losing situation a distraction. “People get more excited for a mascot race than a game. Yes, I’m excited Teddy won. I’m ecstatic.”
Stephen Strasburg had a similar sentiment.
“It’s a mascot race,” he told me. “It’s definitely not the main event.”
While Strasburg and Zimmerman make valid points, you can understand why there may be perception that the presidents trump the on-field action. Teddy’s long awaited victory caused the crowd to go nuts, and few people had a better view of the reaction than the guys in the bullpen.
“It was pretty cool to see the crowd get into it,” Ryan Mattheus said with a laugh. “It looks like they might like the Presidents Race more than us!”
Mattheus was joking about the fans preferring mascots over the players, but he was serious about the fact that Teddy didn’t need any help, especially not from the Phillie Phanatic.
“Teddy should have won on his own,” he said, shaking his head. “I don’t think he needed help from the Phanatic. He definitely could have won it on his own.”
Drew Storen agreed.
“I think Teddy would have gotten the job done,” he told me. “I don’t think he needed the assistance. But he got the job done, he got the victory. On paper that’s all that matters, right?”
Strasburg took the contrarian’s view when I asked him if Teddy could have crossed the finish line without help.
“Probably not with the start that he had,” he said with a straight face.
“But you never know,” he continued. “Sometimes you think with the race and stuff that he’s not supposed to ever win. But now he’s got one, so we’ll see when he wins the next one.”
If there is one thing that was unanimous, it was that winning is a good thing.
“I think I said last year that it’s going to be tough to win without Teddy winning,” said Jayson Werth, who has been one of Teddy’s biggest supporters. “But I guess he was waiting for us.”
Added Strasburg,”I think it complements everything we’ve done on the field, him winning his first one, so hopefully we can take that success into the postseason.”
As for those who are talking about today’s victory being a curse to the Nats, Mattheus put that thought to bed immediately.
“I think it’s going to take our winning to a whole new level,” he said.
That’s a very exciting thought.
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