(Taft looks like he means business. Photo: politico.com)
Many baseball fans have secondary or even third-tier teams that they kind of root for in the event their number-one club isn’t in the race to a World Series. For me, it’s often clubs that have been beaten down for a long time…I find an easy kinship with those franchises and particularly their fan bases because as a Brewers fan, I know well what it’s like to be kicked in the head by your favorite team, nearly every year. Thus, I am down with the fans of the Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates, among others to various degrees. I respect those fan bases for sticking with their teams in the midst of so much losing and misery. Especially for KC and Pittsburgh, there hasn’t been much winning in a long time (read: far too long). Hopefully the Pirates can break out of their funk this year, and if they can drop the Cardinals, well that’s killing several Redbirds with one stone, or something. Anyway, in addition to those franchises already named, I’ve been a fan of the Nationals ever since they arrived in D.C. because that franchise has seen a lot of trouble and D.C. finally got back in the MLB game after not having a team for decades and decades. Brewers fans probably know of the Nats’ Racing Presidents, but both the Nationals and Pirates have knockoffs of the Brewers’ almighty Racing Sausages, and according to this information right here, they will be racing against each other in Washington this coming week for the sixth straight season.
I was unaware of this competition that directly pits the Racing Presidents (Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and now an ominous-looking Taft) against the Racing Pierogies (Oliver Onion (not a bad name), Sauerkraut Saul (ok), Jalapeno Hannah (stretching it…), Potato Pete (sure!) and Cheese Chester (dumb)). I can’t begrudge any of these teams copying the Crew’s Sausage Race but the only one I recognize as truly legitimate in my infinite wisdom is the Racing Presidents, mostly because they seem to get the spirit of the event more than most and because they do it up right with properly built costumes, not something cheap, crass or overly corporatized (looking at you, Twins, with the Target dog). I suppose the D-Backs have an all right thing going with their oversized player likenesses and the ‘Legends Race’. The Astros have racing Taco Bell sauce packets…fail.
According to the Nationals, Teddy chased the Pierogies around in the inaugural competition, ‘wielding a large aluminum foil fork and knife’. Two years later, ol’ Teddy was ‘TKO’d by Potato Pete’s flying tackle’, the video of which is linked and pretty hilarious. I think it’s cool that these mascots meet up for friendly sparring matches every year. It’s good craic at least, and ties the two cities together in an interesting way. They are only four hours apart, after all. Apparently the Brewers do bring the Racing Sausages to Pittsburgh at least once a year and the Pierogies visit Miller Park, but do they bring them to D.C. for a race too? They should, and they should broadcast these meetings on TV so more people can enjoy them. It’d only be proper to have the Presidents visit Miller Park and vice versa. Of course, the home team’s mascots should win or it’d be a shame, but this particular video features savage hits on cardboard ‘un-sausage’ racers that are more NFL than casual get-together. Seriously, you gotta see what this fockin’ Pierogi does to the fake Chorizo. Brutal.
(The original gangstas. Photo: Baseball-brains.com)