Back in May, Jayson Werth professed his desire to see changes within the Nationals’ organization, up to and including the in-game entertainment. “Why doesn’t Teddy get to win?” he said, referring, of course, the President’s Race that takes place in the middle of the fourth inning each game, which Teddy Roosevelt has never won.
This weekend, the final homestand of his season in Washington, Werth has taken matters into his own hands. Friday night, Werth and a few relievers unsuccessfully tried to block the presidents other than Teddy. Saturday, he was more prepared.
After the fourth, Werth and center fielder Rick Ankiel lingered on the warning track in right center. Relievers poured out of the bullpen and waited in the corner. Werth targeted Thomas Jefferson, shoving him into the outfield grass, grabbing his nose and throwing him to the ground.
In the right field corner, the relievers created a jumble that ended with Teddy and Abe Lincoln strewn on the ground. None of the mascots could reach the finish line, and so Werth himself sprinted through the tape, raising his arms in the air.
“Let’s say it’s Teddy Roosevelt’s last stand of the Rough Riders,” Werth said. “If Teddy can’t win, then no one wins in my vote. I must be the last remaining member of the Bull Moose Party, I guess.”
The mascots sure did not seem prepared for the ambush. Werth was coy when asked if he had organized the attack with or without the team’s insistence.
“I can’t really comment,” Werth said. “When you stage a coup, it’s a better to keep it quiet.”