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Rick Snider: No joke: Let Teddy win the Nationals' Presidents Race

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Sports,MLB,Nationals,Rick Snider

Forget winning the NL East title and World Series for a moment. The Washington Nationals have one last task before providing the District with its first baseball postseason since 1933.

Let Teddy win.

Yes, it's an old, tired subject born of more than 500 losses. The Nats have turned one of our greater presidents into a joke. And for all the smug denials by team officials, sources over the years confirmed Teddy intentionally loses.

It's a disgrace.

But the waning days of the season would be the perfect time for Teddy to cross the tape first. Well, the seventh game of the World Series would be the absolute best time, but that's impossible to plan. The team's greatest season since coming to Washington (and who cares what they did previously in Montreal) should reward fans with Teddy winning.

A recent "E:60" report re-ignited passion among Teddy fans. Sen. John McCain even called for a congressional review into the dishonest race of the four presidents every fourth inning of home games.

"Theodore Roosevelt is one of the great presidents in history," McCain told ESPN. "I've been paying a lot of attention to the fact that one of the truly great presidents in history has never won a race. I'm outraged. That's why I'm calling for congressional hearings to right this horrible wrong."

It was hard to tell if McCain was serious given his deadpan delivery, but then White House chipped in, too. Given President Obama is a Chicago White Sox fan his opinion doesn't count, but maybe he can ask for U.N. observers to keep the race fair.

McCain called Teddy's losing: "One of the more traumatic experiences I've had as I watch my hero, my childhood idol, being treated in such a cavalier fashion."

Yes, finally, a political heavyweight agrees with my past arguments that Roosevelt was one of our great presidents, hence his image on Mount Rushmore with fellow racing presidents Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and should be treated with more respect. While not saying Roosevelt was the fourth best president, he certainly ranks in the top second handful.

Roosevelt was the youngest president ever at 42 following William McKinley's assassination in 1901. The Nobel Prize winner led the Rough Riders' charge up San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War while later earning the Medal of Honor. Roosevelt even survived an assassination attempt and continued his speech 90 minutes despite blood staining his shirt.

But a whole generation of young Nats fans think Roosevelt must have been another political joke given his automatic losing. It's not funny anymore.

Let Teddy win as a tribute to the great season the Nationals delivered regardless of their postseason fate. Teddy and the late president deserve it. So do fans.

Examiner columnist Rick Snider has covered local sports since 1978. Read more on Twitter @Snide_Remarks or email rsnider@washingtonexaminer.com.

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