Werth Talks (But Not Much About His Beard)
Spoiler Alert: He said little about his gnarly beard.
“I think everybody knows the situation. It’s no secret. But really, I’m focused on playing baseball and being part of another championship season.”
Q: Do you look at the numbers Bay and Holliday got this offseason and think how attractive it could be for you on the open market?
A: I think their situation is a little bit different from mine. I think I’m a season away from something like that, so really I’m just focused on having a good season and being part of something special here again. Really, these guys in here, I’ve been with them, this is my fourth year here, so it will be interesting to see how it goes, but these guys are great guys and just coming to work every day with my teammates and my friends, that’s what it’s all about — coming in, working hard and playing the game of baseball. That’s what Im focused on.
Q: Are you open to talking about an extension during the season?
A: We’ll have to see. That’s what I’ve got an agent for. They handle all that stuff. My focus is the Philadelphia Phillies and the guys in that clubhouse and the city of Philadelphia and winning another championship.
Q: But you wouldn’t completely shut the door on talks once the season starts?
A: This is the first time I’ve been in a situation like that, dealing with a long term deal and extensions and all that. This is the first time I’ve had an opportunity at that. So we’ll deal with that as it comes, but it’s not something that I’ll be focused on. Really, I’m here to play baseball and play the game hard and play the game the right way and win.
Q: Is this where you’d want to be or are you curious to see what else is out there?
A: That’s a loaded question. I think at this point I’m not really prepared to answer that question nor have I even thought about.
Q: Any talks yet?
A: Very preliminary. More conversations than anything. Nothing really.
Q: Do you see how much the Phillies are spending and wonder if there will be room for you on their payroll?
A: I haven’t really thought about it. I know that how much they are spending is an issue, and I think it’s always an issue, no matter what the situation is. I definitely think that will play a part of it going forward. But again, that’s something that my agent and the team will work out, and hopefully it will work out and I’ll be in Philadelphia for a long time and continue to play with these guys. A lot of these guys are signed up for a few more years at least. The game of baseball is weird like that. Guys come and go, but our situation here, we’ve had a lot of guys stay and a lot of guys sign up for a long time. I’m already a part of something special and have been the past few years. To continue that would be awesome. Just going forward, we’ll have to see what works.
Q: You see how upset Cliff Lee and Pat Burrell were to leave. How do you balance feelings for the organization and being compensated fairly?
A: It’s a tough situation. You look at Aaron Rowand. Aaron Rowand would have loved to be here the past couple years as well … It’s a tough situation and for me to sit here and talk about, I don’t know if I have the words to explain the whole situation really.
Q: Do you feel any allegiance to the Phillies because they took a chance on you a few years ago?
A: I’m going to answer that one very carefully. I’m not going to get into a situation where — it’s tough to say right now. Spring Training starts tomorrow, and yes I am very, very grateful for what they’ve done for me. Pat Gillick and Charlie Manuel and even Ruben. It’s an interesting situation, for me to be in, for me to describe, for you to describe what I’m trying to say. I don’t want to be sitting here blowing smoke or anything like that. I love the Phillies, I love Philadelphia, I love playing here, I love my teammates.
Q: Anything you’d like to improve upon this year?
A: Stolen bases – I think there are more opportunities to steal more bases. I think this is Davey’s last year — don’t quote me on that, but I think that’s the case – I want to gain as much knowledge from Davey as I can. In my mind he’s the best first base coach in the history of baseball and if I can take away as much from him over the course of this season, I think that’s one are I definitely want to take advantage of and continue to get better.
Q: You want to steal more bases. Speed is a big part of your game. Do you worry the hair piece is going to slow you down?
A: I’m not wearing a hair piece.
Q: No, the beard.
A: No, I’m not worried about it.
Q: Will you taper down for the season?
A: I’m not sure.
Q: It’s attractive.
A: Thank you.