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Werth’s eventful return

May 4, 2011, 4:14 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Jayson Werth doffs his helmet upon stepping to the plate in the first inning.

PHILADELPHIA — From the moment he walked into Citizens Bank Park Tuesday afternoon, past the Phillies clubhouse he called home for four years and into the visitors’ digs for the first time in a long time, Jayson Werth was unquestionably the center of attention around here.

His every move was chronicled. His every action was greeted with a vocal response from the sellout crowd of 45,695, some negative, but many more positive. His every answer to every question about returning to Philadelphia in a Nationals uniform was scribbled down or recorded by the throng of reporters that hung on his every word.

And at the end of the night, Werth perhaps best summed the whole experience in two short sentences.

“I enjoyed it,” he said. “I enjoyed every second of it.”

Well, perhaps not the part where the Nationals lost, 4-1, to the Phillies. That couldn’t have been too enjoyable for the losing club’s $126 million right fielder, who on Tuesday experienced for the first time what dozens of others in Nationals uniforms have been experiencing for years.
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  1. Anonymous - May 4, 2011 at 4:31 AM

    If he really wants to turn things around for the Nats, he could pick up a hit or two once in a while. Just sayin' – it might be a start.

  2. masnstinks - May 4, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    Didn't see any of the game last night- sounds less than memorable anyway. Glad to see that Morse hit the ball – a ray of hope? We surely need one with this road trip. When was the last time Matt Stairs even had an at-bat? He used to be in Philly , too – was he acknowledged by fans at all? Too bad we were beaten by the likes of Pete Orr and Brian Schneider.

  3. sunderland - May 4, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    We were beaten by Cole Hamels, and the OF combination of Morse and Hairston. Orr and Schneider were just innocent bystanders. It's too bad the way Opening Day 2009 seems to supercede all thoughts about Phillies fans. I like them, like the way they are all in for their boys, the way the applaud and cheer once for Werth, then let him have it. When they were in DC last month, without the drunkeness of the chartered bus trips, they were loud and boisterous and a bit juvenile but otherwise enjoyable to watch. I expect there are plenty that don't share this viewpoint, but I like them.

  4. Doc - May 4, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    Nice interview, Mark.With a team like the Phillies, even ex-nats like Orr and Schneider look good.Add 3 #1 pitchers, in one year, to any team and you should be expected to beat the @#%t out of the competition.Our time will come!Gooooooooooooooo Nats!

  5. Sec 3, My Sofa - May 4, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    That was not Hairston's ball.

  6. sunderland - May 4, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    Agreed SofaSage, not Hairston's ball. But I can't help but think that maybe Ankiel would have caught up to it. Hairston got within a step or so.My point being that putting Morse in LF and Hairston in CF is accepting that every now and then stuff that should be caught might drop.

  7. Knoxville Nat - May 4, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    Agree with Sec 3, that ball should have been Morse's all along. Some one posted earlier that the Phillie announcers commmented that the ball would have been caught if Morse took a better route to it. Perhaps that is one reason why Morse is a frequent participant in the double switch move that Riggleman makes. The manager knows who our weak link in the outfield is and gets him out of there when the situation calls for it.

  8. PAY TO PLAY - May 4, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    Felipe Lopez is now available (LOL) as the Rays just DFA'd him. Its amazing how many teams have DFA'd or demoted guys who were on their Opening Day roster by this point in the season, then you have Rizzo who just doesn't want to make moves.Besides injuries, the Nats still have the same players from the Opening Day roster. How long before Gaudin, Slaten, and Stairs are gone.FP Santangelo had a great point last night about bringing up Bernadina for leadoff. This team is struggling in leadoff and Espinosa has to be moved back in the order. Why not try Bernadina? You have nothing to lose, except maybe STAIRS.The other question on the heals of RZim's surgery is LaRoche's slump at the plate related to his injury? If it is, then he is nothing more than a designated defensive player.Thoughts?

  9. Steve M. - May 4, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    2 class acts by the Phillies fans in one week!?!1st they start the USA USA chant when word spread that OBL was killed then they gave Werth a well-deserved standing "O"…….then they reverted back to their usual selves.See, JRoll will never forget how they boo'd him every time he fielded the ball and got to the plate when he called the fans "FrontRunners" and you know what, he is right. Once they start consistently losing, those phans will phold up their tents and stay away from Bad Citizens Park.PH the Phillies!

  10. Sec 3, My Sofa - May 4, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Ankiel… heck, Nook Logan would've broken in, run like mad, and made a spectacular diving catch.And wasn't he hitting .3-something toward the end, there?

  11. SCNatsFan - May 4, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    At this point of the season a .225 team BA is just unacceptable…. and watching mgt do nothing about it drives me crazy. DFAing a Stairs or Cora might not do much but send a message that everyone needs to produce or others will be given opportunities, and while I'm not a fan of making a move simply to make a move at some point we need to hear something more then "don't worry, it will get better". I'm tired of hearing about all the intangibles some of the players bring; how about some 'tangible' results from someone other then pitchers on this team…

  12. Sec 3, My Sofa - May 4, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    JRoll is a class act. Look up some of the things Mike Schmidt has said about the crowds there…he hated it.

  13. Steve M. - May 4, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    P2P/SCNatsFan, I am with you guys. Stairs has to go and Bernadina will certainly help in Rizzo's goal of "Athleticism" if nothing else.I am another that is shocked at this point that nobody has been "Bruney'd" off Giggleman's Island and I say that directed towards Rizzo. Again, find a kind and gentle way of showing Stairs the door like the ole injury of the gluteus maximus and put him on the 60 day DL.P2P's point on LaRoche is an interesting one to ponder. If LaRoche's injury is causing problems batting, Morse becomes your 1st baseman and Bernadina your left fielder. It would hurt on defense but not be felt in the offense at this moment.

  14. Big Cat - May 4, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    HRod looked pretty good to me. An easy 95-99. Wish they'd of brought him in to face Howard in the 7th. Oh well. Nats still very competitive, even with their high school hitting. Boy, opposing pitchers must mark the calendar for when they play us.

  15. Knoxville Nat - May 4, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    Big Cat,HRod looked pretty good to you? Dude was all over the place and was fortunate to get out of the inning when he did. Before he becomes a bigger contributor to the BP he will need to demonstrate much better control of his pitches than what we saw last night.

  16. PAY TO PLAY - May 4, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    Tom Boswell on Bryce Harper if you missed it yesterday and projecting in Washington June 2012:Thomas Boswell :Harper has exploded in his last 10 games since getting contact lenses, hitting exactly .500 (16 for 32) with six doubles, five homers and 13 RBI. He's had a six-RBI game and got on base all five times yesterday.His slash line after 23 games and 76 at bats is an amazing .355/.456/.697 and an OPS of 1.153. That is the hitting equivalent of what Strasburg was doing in the minors last year.How does it compare with other 18-year-olds in their first shot at A-ball?Ken Griffey, Jr. in 75 games at San Bernadino (A): .325/.431/.575. He was up to stay in Seattle at 19.Alex Rodriguez in 65 games at Appleton (A): .319/.379/.605. He also was up to stay at 19 after ripping up higher minor-league classifications for part of the year (.360/.411/.654 at 19 in the minors).Yes, you want to know about Pujols. He started later. He began in A-ball at 20 in Peoria where he played 109 games: .324/.389/.565. The next year he had 130 RBI at age 21 for the Cardinals.No, I can't find any other equivalents for 18-year-olds in A Ball who were this good in recent times. There must be some. I haven't found them. Mickey Mantle hit .383 and slugged .638 at Joplin at 18 and was in the Yankee outfield at 19. Ted Williams was in AA at 18 and in 138 games hit .291 and slugged .504. But at 19 at Minneapolis he "filled out" (if I remember the old stories correctly about him squeezing rubber balls in his hands 25 hours a day) and hit .366 in 148 games and slugged .701.Sure, Harper is hot right now which amps up the numbers some. B ut, man, if he keeps this up, look at the numbers. There is STILL no reason to get him to the majors (imo) before June '12, even if this keeps up at AA and eventually AAA. It didn't hurt Mantle, Williams, Griffey, A-Rod and others to put in a LITTLE time __100-to-200 games in the minors.But this is BY FAR the best news of the year for the Nats. Harper has stolen four bases, strikes out some, but also walks enough. Everything changes everything, but as of today, I'd say the Nats are 13 months away from having a developing star in their lineup who may be one of the best hitters in the game when he's 21 in '14. Seriously, even saying something like that is REALLY pushing it.But he's on fire. I really want the true dope on whether his eyesight wasn't so great before those contacts lens! – May 03, 2011 11:02 AM

  17. Big Cat - May 4, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    KnoxYou are right he was kinda wild. I guess I was talkin about his easy, smooth delivery. He also had a better breakin ball than I thought. He hadn't pitched in a long time and was probably amped up….being in Philly and all. When you are at 99, you can miss a little bit more in the zone. But you are right, the jury is still out on him

  18. JaneB - May 4, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    Why do we keep moaning about Werth and LaRoche need to get hits? Like they don't know it? Like Riggleman/ Rizzo don't know? Send them good vibes. At 7:00 SEE them hit. INTEND that they do, rather than sending grumbly "you loser" energy. I'm telling you, this stuff is weird science but it's REAL science. Might as well try it.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
x-WASHINGTON 86 63 -- 0
ATLANTA 75 76 12.5
MIAMI 73 76 13.5
NEW YORK 72 79 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 69 81 18.0
Through Tuesday's early games
x-Clinched division title
UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats 7:05 p.m.
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