|Jayson Werth isn't terribly popular in Philly these days. (US Presswire)|
Former Phillie Jayson Werth hasn't enjoyed what you would call an amicable parting with fans in the City of Brotherly Love. The hostilities reached new heights on Wednesday night when Werth appeared to tease fans by fake-tossing a foul ball into the stands before depositing it safely out of reach in the Nationals dugout.
Here's how Werth explained his decision, the consequences of which will surely be felt for generations to come (Washington Post):
“So in the ninth when I got the ball, I was going to flip the ball. There was a group of kids. Behind the kids there were these unruly middle-aged men that to me appeared to be snarling. It's the ninth. Who knows. I kind of got the sense that maybe they were intoxicated. I was going to flip it to the kids, and then I thought, maybe I shouldn't, because of the people right behind the innocent little children there.
“So I just flipped it in the dugout. Evidently, that rubbed some people the wrong (way). After the events in right field, I felt it was better to maybe not throw it in the stands.”
Sounds fine to me, but it does not, presumably, sound fine to former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell. Rendell, who is famously an intense fan of Philly sports teams, appeared on 94 WIP and had this to say about Werth and his depriving the people of a cowhide orb (CBS Philly):
"Well, it's a seven letter word . . . and the first letter is 'A' and the last letter is 'E'! I mean, Jayson Werth is a complete ass! You're right, the fans did make his career. We made him a star, and we got him that contract. Players are nuts. The fans are great to Jayson Werth. Even Donovan [McNabb], he had some difficulty with the fans, but he acknowledged how great Eagles fans were when it came to winning or losing games. And this is the same guy, Jayson Werth, compare him to what Cliff Lee said about Philly fans, or what Cole Hamels said, this year, about the Philly fans. It's nuts! I think he's got to be a little off kilter."
I get that Rendell is playing to the gallery and indulging in a bit of sports populism, but, no, the fans did not "make his career." Werth made his career by being good at baseball. It was also Werth's being good at baseball that got him that contract, not braying and aggrieved Philly ticket-holders.
The real takeaway, though, is that a rather accomplished and noteworthy politician just called Jayson Werth an a--hole. When that happens, we all win.
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