Results tagged ‘ Jayson Werth ’

Sabotaging the Phanatic?

The Nationals broadcasters last night suggested a player or two in the Washington dugout might have been involved in the Phanatic’s four-wheeler stalling before the game. Jayson Werth swears it wasn’t him.

QUESTION: The Nationals broadcasters were talking like you might have been involved in some sabotage?
WERTH: It was already done by the time I got over there. I tried to help him out a little bit. I’m not very mechanical.

QUESTION: So you’re not one of those guys fixing his cars in the winter?
WERTH: What’s that called when you hijack a car?

QUESTION: Hotwire it?
WERTH: I don’t know how to hotwire anything. No, I didn’t have anything to do with it unfortunately. It would have been funny if I did. (laughs) I watched the video and he’s sitting there talking to me, “I can’t get the thing to start.” It was funny. I saw it. It was hilarious. The whole thing was funny.

Werth Doesn’t Take Back E-Mail, But Forgives and Forgets

Jayson Werth smiled and shook his head this afternoon when a reporter reminded him about the e-mail.

“You say the damndest things when you’re lying in a hospital bed post-op,” he said. “They’ve got some pretty good medicine. But I don’t necessarily take back what I said.”

Werth played for the Phillies from 2007-10, helping them win the 2008 World Series, 2009 National League pennant and four National League East championships. But Phillies fans have been booing him since he signed a seven-year, $126 million deal with the Nationals in Dec. 2010.

He said some of those fans crossed the line May 6 when they jeered and mocked him after he broke his left wrist during a game at Nationals Park. Werth had surgery May 7 at the Mayo Clinic, and almost immediately sent an e-mail to The Washington Post. In it he wrote, “After walking off the field feeling nauseous knowing my wrist was broke and hearing Philly fans yelling ‘You deserve it,’ and, ‘That’s what you get,’ I am motivated to get back quickly and see to it personally those people never walk down Broad Street in celebration again.”

Werth said today he has cooled off completely since he fired off the e-mail. He also said he contacted some of his former teammates and members of the Phillies organization soon after the e-mail hit the Internet.

“It was a few guys I have a world’s worth of respect for,” Werth said. “I contacted them and said, hey, no disrespect. I explained the situation.”

Werth wouldn’t say, but those conversations probably went something like this: It’s not you, it’s those fans in the stands that heckled me.

“You go through something like that. You’re pretty bent out of shape about the way it went,” said Werth, who was one of the most respected and well-liked players in the Phillies clubhouse while he was in Philadelphia. “As time goes on you don’t feel as strongly. I’ve definitely been contacted by a lot of people from Philadelphia, fans I’ve come to know and love over the years. They’ve reached out to me. For what it’s worth, you learn to forgive and forget.

“I’ll finish that with saying that I would not give back any of my time I spent here in Philadelphia. They were some of the most sacred years of my life. There is a mutual respect for this town and these people, and especially those guys over there (in the Phillies dugout).”

Who Are The Phillies Really?

It is May 8. The Phillies are 30 games into the season, and they are last in the National League East.

They have not been in last place this late in a season since July 8, 2005.

Thirteen times the Phillies had a chance to move to .500. They lost eight times. Six times they had a chance to move over .500. They lost every time. This is a team that boasts Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels in its rotation. It has Jonathan Papelbon as its closer. It has Hunter Pence, Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco and Carlos Ruiz in its lineup.

Last place.


Pick up or Shake Up?

“Sometimes, there’s just no answers. We’re in that area right now where I don’t have any answers.” – Jimmy Rollins.

The Phillies came within one out from suffering their second shutout loss in four games (and their third shutout loss in eight games) in last night’s 5-1 loss to the Padres. After today’s series finale against the Padres, the Phillies play three games against the Diamondbacks in Phoenix and four games against the Cubs at home before hitting the road for six games against Atlanta and Washington.

The Phillies are in the middle of a stretch of 20 games in 21 days with 16 of those games on the road.

They are 7-8 this season, while the first-place Nationals are 12-4 and the second-place Braves are 10-5.


The Others …

It’s ugly, folks.

The Phillies have scored just eight runs in four games. Their 2.0 runs per game average and .492 OPS each rank 29th in baseball. (Only the Twins are worse in both categories.) The Phillies also have just four extra-base hits, which is last.

Charlie Manuel sounds more than a little concerned about his team’s inability to hit the ball hard, and it’s easy to see why after watching these last four games.

But it got me wondering how many other hitters would sell their first-born child for a multi-hit game right about now?


Werth Thinks Pence Is A Good Fit

Jayson Werth was relaxing in the Nationals clubhouse this afternoon with Magnus, his four-month-old Great Dane, when Hunter Pence’s name came up.

“I’m happy for Hunter,” Werth said. “That’s an enviable position to be in. I know firsthand what that’s like.

“Immediately, when I heard it I thought about him going from Houston to Philadelphia. I don’t know how much fun they were having over there (in Houston), but I do know how much fun those guys have over there, what that clubhouse is like, the chemistry, the camaraderie. I know how well a guy like that will fit in. I immediately thought about how much fun he was going to have. I’m happy for him. He’s a good player.”

Werth knows Pence a bit from being on the 2009 National League All-Star team. He said he has spoken with Pence a couple times since his arrival in Philadelphia.

“He seems like a good fit,” he said.

So no more wistful thoughts about Philadelphia or how it should have been him? The Phillies essentially got Pence because they did not find anybody to replace his production in right field. They started the season with Ben Francisco before moving to Domonic Brown.

“Not really,” Werth said. “It was more like, I knew what he was about to get himself into. It kind of made me smile.”


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Werth Is Back

Jayson Werth is back in Philadelphia.

Cheer or boo? Hey, let’s vote!

Update: Werth heard mostly boos as he walked to the plate in the top of the first inning, but he tipped his cap as he stepped into the batter’s box. Automatic standing ovation. Werth heard more boos as he ran to right field in the bottom of the first, but as he got closer he received another standing ovation.


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It’s Not 2008 Anymore

Charlie Manuel expressed deep concerns about his offense before last night’s 6-3 loss to the Brewers.

Where’s the pop?

He mentioned Chase Utley, Jayson Werth and Pat Burrell in a lengthy discussion. Utley is hurt, Werth is in Washington and Burrell is in San Francisco. Each of them had high on-base percentages, and each of them knew how to work counts. They also could drive the ball. The Phillies certainly have been missing that lately. The Phillies have just nine extra-base hits since April 9, which is last in baseball. (The Cardinals are first with 42. The Marlins are second-to-last with 14.) Those numbers are a bit misleading because some teams have played nine games in that span while the Phillies have played seven. But here’s what is not misleading: the Phillies also have a .290 slugging percentage in that span, which is last in baseball.

The Phillies, whose 38 extra-base hits for the season rank 25th, have a serious power outage.

But before folks say, “It’s a long season,” remember, it’s Manuel expressing these concerns.

“I know people are going to say, ‘Well, you’ve got the starting pitching.’ Yeah, that’s part of it,” Manuel said. “But at the same time, usually when you talk about a World Series team or something like that, you’re talking about a top-notch team. I’m not saying we don’t have that, but we could have it. It’s going to take some work. We’ve got to improve in some areas, and we’ve got to hope our players live up to their career averages and their career performances.”

A couple random thoughts:

  • When is John Mayberry Jr. going to get a start? Raul Ibanez has started every game this season. Ben Francisco has started all but one. Ibanez has hit .189 (7 for 37) in his last nine games. Francisco has hit .111 (2 for 18) in his last five. The Phillies are facing left-handers Randy Wolf and Chris Narveson the next two games. Mayberry has been great off the bench, but he’s got to play to stay sharp. Manuel expressed his concerns countless times this spring about his outfield’s defense. He lamented the fact yesterday his corner outfielders haven’t hit for power. Mayberry can play defense and hit for power. Throwing him out there at least once a week wouldn’t seem to be the worst thing in the world right now.
  • One second Danys Baez is pitching in a big spot — replacing J.C. Romero and remaining in the game to face Greg Dobbs on Friday —  the next second the Phillies are bringing in long man Kyle Kendrick in a tie game and Baez is the last man standing in the bullpen. How quickly things change.
  • Who knows if this is just a rough stretch for the offense or not, but what if this is who the Phillies are? Say they are a light-hitting team. You can’t look around and say, “Well, here’s an obvious way to upgrade the lineup.” Manuel just has to hope things return to normal and Utley comes back and stays healthy. Otherwise they’re really going to need the rotation to be superheroes.


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Werth Wins It

Phillies fans booed. Jayson Werth homered.

He went 2 for 3 with a double, home run, RBI, walk, stolen base and two runs scored in last night’s 7-4 victory over the Phillies.

“I was kind of waiting for it,” Werth said of the boos. “Once I got it, it was kind of funny.”

Werth had some interesting things to say before and after the game.

Here’s a taste:

  • “One of the things that (Charlie Manuel) told me throughout the season last year was – you mentioned Jim Thome. When Thome was (a free agent), he wanted to stay there (in Cleveland) and play there and Charlie said, ‘If you give up the big deal and stay here I’ll never speak to you again.’ That was one of his life lessons for me. There was a few of those.  I learned a lot about life, love and baseball from Charlie Manuel. There was a lot of good times there.”
  • “I think that was more going back to when they traded Cliff before the 2010 season,” said Werth, asked about comments he made in the offseason that made it sound like he is upset with the Phillies for choosing Cliff Lee over him. “That was more to do with that. If we would have had Cliff last year it would have made things a lot different. Baseball is a business. I understand all that. I think whatever was interpreted and said, the meaning was, ‘Hey, we could have had Cliff all year.’”
  • “When we played against Manny Ramirez, Charlie was always yelling at Manny,” said Werth, who was told Manuel plans to give him some crap when he’s in the batter’s box. “I’ll take that as a compliment.”
  • “Obviously, any time you hit a home run you are going to have some satisfaction. Was it extra special against those guys? Probably a little bit. I was trying to perform well for Charlie. He hasn’t seen me play in a while.”


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You Miss Jayson Werth

Charlie Manuel is looking forward to trash-talking Jayson Werth today at Nationals Park. I’m sure a few Phillies fans are, too. But I’m sure a few more will cheer him when they invade Washington this week for a three-game series against the Nationals.

Werth played a big part in resurrecting the franchise.

Everybody knows Werth left the Phillies in December to sign a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Nationals. The Phillies offered him a guaranteed $48 million, which would have jumped to $60 million if they exercised a 2014 option. Some people seem offended Werth signed with Washington. Numerous fans have asked me, “What’s the difference when you’re talking about that much money?”

My answer is always the same: The difference is $78 million.

If somebody offered me $126 million and somebody else offered me $48 million, 10 times out of 10 I’m taking the $126 million. Why? Because the difference is $78 million. Maybe you think that makes me greedy. I just think that makes me honest. If we’re really being honest, the Phillies needed to offer Cliff Lee $120 million to return to Philadelphia. If they had offered him $100 million he would be in New York or Texas right now. Lee deserved every penny he got. He shouldn’t have accepted less. Yes, he took less money to return to Philadelphia, but he didn’t take $78 million less. The Yankees reportedly offered him a guaranteed $148 million, or $28 million more than the Phillies.

The Phillies had to get into Lee’s ballpark to bring him back. The Phillies never got into Werth’s ballpark, so it’s impossible to blame him for taking the much, much better deal.


The good news for the Phillies is Ben Francisco has played well in right field through the season’s first nine games. But there is no question Werth did an excellent job as an everyday player from late 2008 through last season. Here are the reasons why you miss Werth:

  • He had an .889 OPS from 2008-10, which ranked 23rd out of 182 players in the big leagues.
  • 87 home runs (14th).
  • .513 SLG (21st).
  • 277 runs (21st).
  • .376 OBP (24th).
  • 181 extra-base hits (26th).
  • 34 game-winning RBIs (27th).
  • 53 stolen bases (34th)
  • 4.46 pitchers per plate appearances (1st).
  • 25 assists (6th among rightfielders).
  • .989 fielding percentage (6th)
  • .875 zone rating (8th)

I know one big knock is he hit terribly with runners in scoring position last season. No argument there. Werth hit .282/.380/.506 overall in his four-year career with the Phillies. He hit a horrific .150/.335/.274 SLG with RISP from Apri 5 – Sept 4. last season.

Ouch. But he hit .298/.418/.508 with RISP from 2007-09, and .333/.438 OBP/.481 SLG with RISP from Sept. 5 through the end of the regular season. I think his resurgence with RISP in the last month of last season coincided with him hiring Scott Boras as his agent. I think Werth stressed out the first five months, and he finally relaxed once he knew Boras would take care of him.

Boo him or cheer him this week? If you boo, boo him because he plays for a division rival, not because he took a monster deal.

You know you would have done the same.


Update: Getting some great feedback on this. Many fans say they are more upset Werth has taken a few digs at the Phillies since he left, saying the Phillies are getting old, etc. True, true. But I’ve gotten enough how-could-he-take-the-money e-mails that I felt compelled to say, “Really?!?!”


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