Kyle did a bus trip to Nationals Park back in 2012, a game where ex-Phillie Jayson Werth happened to break his wrist in front of that group of traveling fans.
That spawned this famous quote, which came in the form of an email to the Washington Post after surgery:
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.
Kyle says it didn’t happen like that, explaining that Phillies fans were “applauding as he slogged off the field.” That doesn’t mean the group didn’t jeer Werth prior to the injury, but that’s different than ragging a guy who goes down with a serious injury.
I wasn’t there, so I don’t know, but Werth’s post-Philadelphia relationship with this fan base was strained from the start after he signed a $126 million dollar deal to leave the club back in 2010. He was mostly booed and sometimes cheered when he came back to town, sometimes making a snide comment or having a dumb encounter here or there. Whatever.
The fact of the matter is that Werth played a significant role in bringing this city its first title in something like 25 years, and that should be more than enough to get him on the Wall of Fame and/or earn the city’s admiration for all of time and eternity. If Jim Thome can get on the wall after two full seasons and two half seasons, surely we can find space for a four-year player and World Series winner.
Jayson Werth retires as the Phillies' all-time leader in postseason home runs (11) . . . Here is the entire list — pic.twitter.com/XsTPFpjOvs
— Bob Vetrone Jr. (@BoopStats) June 28, 2018
Ah yes, these were the days.
Jayson Werth announced retirement today. Werth had an .889 OPS for Phils from 2008-10. He averaged 29 HR, 92 R, 89 RBI, 18 SB those 3 years. Had 11 post-season HRS for Phils! Time for fans to get over a silly grudge and embrace the guy. A great Phillie. pic.twitter.com/HsyeS46WDc
— Glen Macnow (@RealGlenMacnow) June 27, 2018
unpopular opinion – booing Jayson Werth was always stupid. He hit 0.444 in the 2008 World Series.
Happy retirement, JDubs. pic.twitter.com/DmTzEi5P3B
— Life of a Philly Fan (@PhillyFanLife) June 27, 2018
So on and so forth. The guy was a big part of the 2008 and 2009 squads and played a key role during the Phillies’ most exciting era of all time. He should be celebrated in the same way we celebrate Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, and Chase Utley. That’s not to say he was as good as those guys, but I think people seriously undervalue what Werth did from 2008 to 2010.
And he took the money to go to Washington – so what? You would do the same thing. I don’t blame him one bit for accepting that offer.
Maybe it’ll take some time, but both sides will need to get over themselves and bury the fake hatchet. Werth deserves his night at the ballpark and a spot on the wall, and that’s the bottom line, because Stone Cold said so.