So the Mount Rushmore of Baseball Mascots has a new member. The Washington Nationals have unveiled a fifth Big Headed President to participate during the 4th inning stretch President’s Race, and it’s William Howard Taft, former President and Supreme Court Justice. While Zachary Taylor and Franklin Pierce reportedly made the short list, the Nationals preferred to exploit the historical rivalry between their lovable loser, Teddy Roosevelt and his hand-picked successor, Taft.
History tells us that Teddy came to hate Taft so much that he formed the Bull Moose Party to oppose Taft and thus open the door to a Woodrow Wilson Presidency. Were it not for Teddy’s grudge, we may never have had a League of Nations or a Wilson Bridge connecting Virginia and Maryland to the south. Can you imagine the traffic on the Beltway if Wilson had never won? Thank goodness for the Bull Meese!
While the choice of Taft may seem inspired at first glance, not everyone believes that our 27th President made a successful public debut this week. To everyone’s surprise, it seems that Taft has been on a diet the past century and is in regular season condition to take on Washington’s Biggest Loser (no, not John Boehner – Teddy!). The sports world was stunned to meet a skinny and fit Taft.
For the 2nd time in 100+ years, Taft’s benefactor turned bitter enemy, Theodore Roosevelt, has taken exception to Taft’s election and he’s ready to weigh in about it.
An Open Letter to the Lerner Family (owners of the Washington Nationals):
I am writing to you today to express my objection to the selection of the newest participant in the 2013 Washington Nationals President’s Races, William Howard Taft. While I had initially given my ascent, I must withdraw my support based on troubling questions surrounding President Taft’s surprising lack of girth. I believe that I was misled about his foot speed in order to gain my approval.
I believe that I have been a good soldier for several years supporting the team. My epic losing streak in the 4th inning races took the pressure off the team as it suffered through consecutive 100 loss seasons. Fans at the ballpark could transfer their sympathy for the perennial losers on the field to me and my perennial losing ways. For one half inning of every home game, loyal Nats’ fans could think about poor Teddy and his losing instead of their own misery of losing, stuck watching Lastings Milledge drop a fly ball in the sun, or Wily Mo Pena strike out, or Elijah Dukes ignore a court order. I was a good soldier and I took one of the team.
I appreciated that you gave me the right of refusal when the addition of Taft was initially considered. You were sensitive to my concerns that his back stabbing political reputation would bleed over onto the ball field. As a tenured mascot, I deserved to be consulted and I thought you were listening.
However, the William Howard Taft that I was led to believe would be competing against Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and myself in a race of speed and endurance was a 330-pound, out of shape, lumbering cow who once was stuck inside his own White House bathtub. This is the character I expected to race and this is why I agreed to accept him in our costumed fraternity, even though his likeness is not and will never be carved on Mount Rushmore like me.
Instead, the William Howard Taft that was introduced at the recent Nationals’ FanFest event bears no resemblance to the man I knew. The Taft I saw at FanFest was svelte, trim and ready for competition. I will admit that his head was as big as I had remembered, but his chiseled body below the neck was a shock and frankly, not natural. There is no way he achieved that condition without banned substances or surgery. No way.
Lerner Family, this Thin Taft is an affront to the history of our great nation. While it is possible that Taft hid some miracle weight loss under his Supreme Court robe all those years, it is highly unlikely. Every child with a 4th grade education knows that Taft was rotund and morbidly obese. I expected 81 opportunities this season to outrun Fat Taft. Instead you caved to the idealism of Thinness and have presented us with this imposter.
I have considered that the organization means to provide healthier role models for the fans. I understand that the 7th inning stretch is an insufficient exercise period and that Michelle Obama is applying pressure to replace ballpark half-smokes with locally grown fruits and vegetables. But like the magazine models with their airbrushed perfection, a Skinny Taft creates an unattainable body image in the minds of impressionable fans. Shouldn’t we be supportive of all different body types? Let Taft be Taft and allow his belly to spill over his belt the way it was intended.
I admit that I agreed to include Taft in our little Rushmore group of mascots, but I did so under false pretenses. Taft should be fat. I am tired of being your Loser Whipping Boy. It is high time that this franchise embrace historical accuracy over modern day political correctness. Unless you plan for me to start losing again every game, every race, I suggest you add some poundage to the character.
If you cannot agree to my request, I will have no choice but to publicly call for mandatory Presidential Mascot drug testing for the presence of weight loss enhancers and HGH. No one could be that thin, that fast, with such an enormous head. He looks like a white Barry Bonds out there, and no one likes Barry Bonds.
Why do you hate me?
Newly Appointed Executive Director and Spokesmodel
Little Feat singing Fat Man in the Bathtub