Werth awoke from surgery today and could think of nothing better to do than email Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. It seems the $126 million right fielder didn’t like what he heard coming from Phillies fans after he broke his wrist while attempting to make a sliding catch in the sixth inning:
In an e-mail to the Post, Werth said Phillies fans in right field at Nationals Park taunted him as he walked off the field Sunday night. And he will remember them during his rehab.
“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 wrote.
Get over us, you weirdo.
I guess Werth didn’t hear the 400 or so folks, spread over two sections (some of whom were with our group, some not), applauding as he slogged off the field.
You see, I recall it happening a bit differently than how Jayson described it. But hey, what do I know? My mind was clouded with a few beers. Surely I wasn’t thinking clearly, the way a person who was writhing around in pain after snapping their wrist would be thinking clearly. Surely the mind concerns itself with picking out exact phrases, from select individuals, seated 150 feet away, under such circumstances. Surely Werth was concentrating on distinguishing a few select lines out of what was largely an entire stadium, packed to the gills with NATITUDE, applauding him on his unfortunate trek to the dugout.
Surely he heard what he heard.
Surely. Surely! SURELY!!!!
To understand the dynamic between Werth and Phillies fans seated in right field last night, we must rewind. We must go back to happier times for Mr. Werth.
Like the first through fifth innings.
As expected, Werth received a less than warm welcome from those of us seated in right. The $126 million man would walk out to his position, invariably look up at the crowd, and receive a mix boos and taunts, though few were vulgar or nasty. Mostly it was just jeers.
On one occasion, after looking almost longingly at his former approvers, Mr. Werth turned back around and waved his hand at us as if to say, “to hell with you.”
Another time, after being serenaded with Jayson Jayson Jayson chants, Werth reached above his shoulder, with what he now calls his good arm, and tugged at his jersey, just above his name, in a manner similar to how an NBA player from 2004 would pop the logo. Or whatever that move was called.
There were other subtle gestures befitting a hundred-millionaire eager of approval.
We booed and cheered those.
Then Placido Polanco and his aging elbows ambled to the plate.
He took the first pitch.
The second offering, a 94 m.p.h. fastball from Jordan Zimmerman, was lined to right field, in the direction of our sparring partner.
Werth did that half slide-catch thing he does so well.
The ball got loose.
We cheered. Quite lustfully, actually. Werth had botched the play.
A few hundred Phillies fans, most of whom had been tailgating for three hours, cheered the outfielder’s misfortune… and the hit for the home(?) team. It was only then that we realized Werth had more than dropped the ball.
He was hurt.
Most got quiet. Many of us turned over our shoulders to find the TV monitor so we could see what had happened. Werth quickly – impressively – regrouped and walked off the field.
Were there a few sarcastic cheers from folks who had a few too many? Probably. Did people yell things at Werth as rolled on the ground? Maybe. I didn’t hear it. Mostly, the reaction was respectful. And that same observation was shared with me by a few local media folks who were also in attendance.
Back to Werth’s butt-hurt comments for a moment: It takes a special type of vindictive douchebag to, following wrist surgery, fire off an email disparaging an entire fan base. But, quite honestly, it’s about what we expected from Werth.
Looks like things have just kicked up another notch in this new rivalry.