Looking back on the 2010 season there are a few moments that stand out. There’s Doc Halladay’s perfect game, clinching a 4th consecutive division crown, and again Halladay becoming the second pitcher in postseason history to pitch a no hitter. Among all those historic feats the bearded entrance that Jayson Werth made into Clearwater also makes the list. His beard was the talk of the town.
Philadelphia is labeled a tough sports town. If you hadn’t noticed it takes a strong minded individual to make it here. If you don’t fit the bill well then you’re probably going to get run out of town. Just ask Scott Rolen or Billy Wagner. A tough town that falls in love with tough players. We want players who play hard, earn their money, and produce. And bringing home a World Championship can’t hurt. So it’s fairly easy to see why Philly “loved” Jayson Werth, and it wasn’t just because of the beard.
Loved not love, because in the offseason Werth jumped at the dollar signs when he signed a 7-year deal worth $126 million with the lowly Washington Nats. Yes I realize the notion that bashing a man for “taking the money” is ridiculous because we would all do it yada, yada ,yada. Dare I bring up the illustrious Clifton Phifer Lee!? Okay so that is no exactly fair because Lee is beyond comparison, he is on his own planet in Philly. Just wait till April 2nd at CBP when Lee makes his debut, again, in a Phillies uniform. I won’t be missing that!
But anyway back to Werth. I bring up Werth only for the point of saying I’m sick of hearing about him. That may sound like a contradiction of sorts but what’s the point of even mentioning the former until April 12th. Whether we like it or not Werth is gone, he’s rubbing shoulders with Obama and I can tell you for a fact that he misses us more than we miss him. Have you seen his Nats promo for the upcoming season? Let’s just say thrilled is not the word. But seriously, no more ex-right fielder talk. I’m done after this.
In 2008 Jayson Werth rejuvenated his career in Philly. Slowed by wrist injuries early on in his career he was out to prove the critics wrong. Gillick found a guy given up on by the Dodgers and struck gold. In 2009 Werth enjoyed his best season in the majors hitting 36 HR’s while driving in 99 RBI’s and phans from every corner of CBP adored his sweet swing. With speed around the bases and in the field, cannon of an arm, and sweet hair it was easy to love what he brought to the team.
2010 was a season to be forgotten for Werth. He proved to be if anything incredibly streaky and not the clutch hitter we had been so accustomed to seeing. At times it seemed as if Werth was already gone. With runners on base Werth was dreadful, as in .186 avg. dreadful. His season wasn’t completely a waste statistically; he did end up with a career high in doubles with 46. The only thing is he never seemed to get a hit when we really needed it.
If was obvious from the end of the season that Werth was out the door. Werth wanted paid and Rube wasn’t in the business of dishing out $126 million on a soon to be 32 year old right fielder, or giving him a 7-year contract. Amaro had bigger plans in mind, plans which involved a certain pitcher coming back to his rightful place. When it all boils down to it, Werth or Lee? That is a no brainer to me, I am fully confident in our lineup without #28. I think Francisco is going to prove to be a viable replacement until top prospect Dom Brown is ready to crack the lineup.
Will it be hard to replace Werth’s production in the 5 hole? Honestly this lineup is still dangerous, fully capable of leading the league in runs. With a healthy Jimmy, Polly, Chase, and Howard there is no reason to expect a drop off in production. With the lack luster performance last year from the offense I anticipate bigger and better things. Regardless of the Phour Aces, run support is crucial to winning games and the Phillies offense will provide plenty of it.
Okay so phinally lets put an end to all the Werth talk until April 12th when the Phillies head to D.C. and let’s all agree on one thing. On May 3rd when Werth makes his return, he returns as the enemy. Yes I agree he deserves respect for the 4 great years he gave us and for the 2008 title so he gets the customary introduction cheer. After the first pitch game on, prepare to be on the wrong side of a tough town Jayson. I guarantee you that at that moment I won’t be missing Jayson Werth anymore, but he’ll be missing us.