By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Jayson Werth’s relationship with Phillies fans has taken a considerable turn for the worse since he left the team, and signed a long-term deal with the Washington Nationals. An event last night at Citizen’s Bank Park probably cemented Werth’s reputation as an enemy.
While Werth was in the on-deck circle during Wednesday night’s game, a foul ball rolled to Werth’s feet. He grabbed the ball, and then acted as if he was going to throw the ball into the stands to fans. Instead, Werth tossed the ball into the Nationals dugout.
Werth provided the following explanation to the Washington Post:
“Earlier in the game, I flipped a ball in the right field seats to a fan. It bounced off her hands and landed on somebody’s lap. A guy reached over, a Phillies fan, reached over into her lap, grabbed the ball and then threw it back on the field.
“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. After the events in right field, I felt it was better to maybe not throw it in the stands.”
Fans were not happy, and booed Werth at the time. This morning on 94WIP, fans continued to express their displeasure.
Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell wasn’t buying Werth’s excuse, and provided his own thoughts on the former Phillies right fielder. “Well, it’s a seven letter word Angelo [Cataldi], and the first letter is “A” and the last letter is “E”!,” Rendell told 94WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and The WIP Morning Show on Thursday.
“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,” Rendell said. “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.”
Werth also promised last year that he’d do whatever it took to prevent another parade down Broad Street. As a player on a rival team in the same division, that seems like it is a reasonable goal, but was met with ire in Philadelphia.