June 4’s got to be feeling a little slighted right now. That was the day that many in the media speculated would be the major league debut of highly-touted pitching prospect Stephen Strasburg, which caused a run on tickets for the Friday night game against the Cincinnati Reds.
Then the team made the official announcement that Strasburg’s first game would be June 8, meaning June 4 is simply a Friday night game that a much larger than average number of people now have tickets to.
Something special could still happen at Nationals Park that night (throw a no hitter, Livan!), but why leave that to chance? There’s a way the Nats front office can restore a little dignity to that date and ensure that game has meaning again for some of the fans who still choose to attend — Let Teddy Win!
Whoever came up with the idea to have Teddy Roosevelt never win the Presidents Race at Nats games is a marketing genius. I don’t know if that was the plan from the beginning or if Teddy just hadn’t won one of the first few races and the marketing team decided to keep it that way, saving it in their back pocket for a special occasion. Or maybe the plan is to have Teddy never, ever win. Regardless, it’s become a part of Nats subculture and it’s brilliant.
The Nats don’t owe anything to anyone who bought tickets to the June 4 game on speculation that it might be Strasburg’s MLB debut. The team never made any official statement about when he would debut until naming June 4-6 and June 8-10 as possible dates last week, and then coming out with the June 8 announcement this week.
But it never hurts to pleasantly surprise your customers. Granted, a Teddy win is not in anyway a Strasburg debut, but it’s still something that some will proudly say they were there in-person for. Really, other than an amazing on-field performance, what better way is there to reward those in attendance for this non-Strasburg start than with something that’s just as rare as Pitching Jesus?
Perhaps the Nats already have Teddy’s first win planned for some special occasion down the road. If not, I hope they’ll give a June 4 Teddy win some thought. Teddy would finally get to have his day and June 4 would get to feel special again too. It’s win-win — and then Teddy can go right back to losing every race.