For the first time in quite a while I made my way back to Woodbridge, the area where I grew up. I did not go to shop at Potomac Mills nor did I go to eat some veal marsala at Roma. I did not go to revisit my childhood. I made my way back home because I heard on MLB Network, during Quick Pitch, that the Nationals’ grizzled RF Jayson Werth was in town for his rehab assignment with the Nats Single-A affiliate, the Potomac Nationals.
With a ball in my hand and P-Natitude in my heart, I got in my truck to see the progress Werth has made since injuring his hamstring. Let me be the first to tell you that Werth appears to be locked and loaded. He went 1-2 in the game with a hard-hit single (pictured above). Watching him warm up and watching him in the outfield revealed that he appears to be comfortable on the field and whatever discomfort he may or may not still be feeling is not slowing him down at all.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Werth on the Potomac Nationals was his presence. It is easy to feel the championship-caliber veteran presence Werth has to him when he plays in DC. But it is significantly more evident in the more intimate Pfitzner Stadium. Every time the ball left the barrel of a Salem player’s bat, you could hear Werth shouting in RF on how to field the ball. Whenever he walked back to the dugout, he was accompanied by the young CF, Michael Taylor, who was listening to Werth as if he were listening to a coach.
This is the kind of player Werth is. As much as he is a competitor on the field, he is also a mentor to the young talent that we can expect to know over the next few years. We all see his contributions on the field. We see the clutch hits, the home runs, the walk-offs, the long and collected at-bats, the beard, and his winning mentality. What many do not see is his off-the-field presence that is worth almost as much as his contributions on the field. It is for this reason that I would love to see Werth serve as a coach to this team when he retires from playing.
After the game, Werth delighted a lot of fans by talking with them and signing pretty much anything people put in his face. So Werth and I have crossed paths yet again and I was able to shake hands with the legend. I also managed to get a ball signed for a great friend of mine. Yes, the benefits for going French with the Werth mask keep pouring in!
Rest your weary heads Nationals fans, Werth will be back in no time and, from the looks of it, he will be back with a vengeance.
It is no mystery that Jayson Werth is a player of interest for every Nationals fan whether it is for good reasons or bad.
All of us are forever grateful for the walk-off solo shot in Game 4 last postseason and for the joy of seeing that golden beard for 162 games (barring injury). We all also see the impact he has on young players like Bryce Harper who practically idolize Werth for good reason. Despite all of these great things, Jayson Werth seems to maintain a reputation amongst a lot of fans for being somewhat cold and arrogant.
As I was sitting in the bar of my hotel knocking back a nice Sam Adams, I had a nice long talk with the bartender. I asked him if he served drinks to any of the Nationals since I knew a few of them are staying or have stayed in this hotel. He told me that he served drinks to Roger Bernadina last week prior to him leaving to represent the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic. From there we talked about the different players on the team and when Werth came up, he said he heard that Werth is “kind of a jerk.”
This is definitely not the first time Werth has been accused of this. Earlier on Friday, some fans were calling him arrogant since it is so tough to get his autograph while various other players like Ian Desmond sign so consistently. But it’s time to go ahead and clear the air on Jayson Werth.
I have met Werth once before. He stopped in his Porsche to sign autographs after a game where he went 2-4 and the Nationals won. When I met him, he signed my authentic Werth jersey and was nothing but nice. Now I am here at Spring Training and have had multiple experiences with Werth where he was a lot of fun and very social. I will even go as far as to say that Werth has the most personality out of every player on this team.
On Tuesday, Werth interacted with fans as he was walking between the batting cages and the field. We all had a good laugh when I told him his beard was awesome and that he was an inspiration to men with beards everywhere. Knowing his reputation, I was a little nervous about how that would go over. But my fears were put to rest when I heard Werth start laughing loudly followed by a friendly “thank you buddy!” I found out later on that he had stopped to sign after the game for a few fans.
On Friday he walked out of the ballpark while on his phone, hung up when I called and came over to sign. He made it clear that as much as he would love to sign for everyone, he wouldn’t have time. However, he stayed for a few minutes and managed to sign for just about everyone. In fact, there were two occasions where he began to walk away and then came back to sign more autographs for fans who weren’t able to get him initially.
Now for the sake of being fair, Werth can be a touchy guy. If the Nationals lose a game or Werth made a few mistakes, don’t expect him to be Mr. Happy. The guy is a pure competitor. He is in it to win it. Also, as this blog found out in 2011, he does not respond well to being photographed. In other words, the man is human.
We all have our quirks. We all have things we do not like. If people were to violate our quirks, would we necessarily respond well? Not really. So why should we expect Werth to? If we work really hard and play our hearts out but end up coming short, would we be in a good mood? Not really. So why should we expect Werth to be? I think a lot of people fail to realize that no matter how famous or talented these players may be, at the end of the day, they are just people like you and me. Werth is no exception to this.
After all of my experiences with Werth, I can honestly say that he does not deserve the negative reputation he appears to have gotten from some Nationals fans. And I am basing this only on the experiences I have had with him. I have also heard from numerous sources that he is a great guy. But their stories and experiences are not mine to tell. But what I can tell is that based on all of my experiences with him, he is a very nice and lively guy who does show a lot of dedication to the fans and, more importantly, the Washington Nationals ball club.
It would be nice if his reputation reflected that and who he truly is instead of these gross misconceptions about the man.
I know, I know…
Where have we been? Are we alive? Are we dead? Was the result of the Nationals 2012 playoffs too hard to bear? Does our planet needs us? All will be answered– later.
But first here are some photos of two Philadelphia Phillies fans kissing the NQ Apprentice, Dr. W, while wearing a Jayson Werth mask. Apparently chicks in Philly continue to want to make beard with Jayson Werth.
Basically, the story behind this is there is no story. One day Dr. W declares he is going to try and get some Phillies fans to come all the way from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. to give him a kiss while wearing a Jayson Werth mask. I was like, “Okay, knock yourself out.” With the Nationals out of the playoffs I lost the will to blog. He could have blogged about two tortoises having a three-way with Wilson Ramos’ cup and I wouldn’t have cared.
But a few days later, here we are– it has come to this. Incredibly he got two Phillies fans to come down to D.C. and show their secret devotions and inner-Philly fantasies. They drove all the way from Philly to prove it. Glory!
For their hard work and dedication, they get to make blog. Thanks ladies. To my apprentice: never wear that again. You look like a serial killer.
Finally back on blog after a week of family issues and marital bliss hell. Usually I would feel bad missing out on so much Nationals stuff and events, but after the Nats lost to the Cards in St. Louis 12-4 and then 8-0 at Nats Park, I really didn’t feel the absolute need or desire to jump on blog and talk about the Nats taking a s**t on the field in front of everyone.
Let’s face it: the Nationals haven’t been playing playoff baseball. It is more like they are teaching a clinic on public defecation. Sloppy mistakes, dropped balls, bad base running, crappy pitching and no hitting. Stupid mistakes. Hardly worthy of the NL East Champs. I will go as far as to say the Nationals have been completely lucky and that includes Tyler Moore’s winner in the first game. It is only by the grace of God the Cardinals have been close to equally as sloppy.
The Nationals are in serious need of a game changer (no, not Jason Marquis) and on Thursday night in a sold out sea of red, the Nationals might have gotten it. In the bottom of the ninth with the score tied 1-1, David Wells stepped into the box and after six minutes and 13 pitches, Wells took the 13th offering from St. Louis reliever Lance Lynn and deposited it in the left field bullpen for a walk-off homerun, a 2-1 victory and a ticket to a final Game 5 showdown with the defending World Series Champions.
Of course, Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth did all that last night and not David Wells, but Wells did attempt to support “his boy Jay” on the TBS postgame by sporting some gnarly Werth dreads (picture above).
Well if the Nats were looking for a Manny Acta-ish “spark” then certainly Werth provided it. It is hard to believe the momentum is not with Washington going into Friday night’s game with a sold out crowd and a remarkable playoff game win under their belts. They even survived the bush league antics and calls of Jim Joyce who is known for f**king up the program. But looking over this series and seeing how the team has played, you’ve got to wonder and worry if Lady Luck just happened to stop by for a one night stand once again.
Jayson Werth and the team certainly don’t believe that is the case and they’ll get to prove it on Friday night. It has all come down to one game. ONE game. A win they advance to face the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS. A loss and– they stay home. One game. Honestly, I believe if the Nationals can win tonight, they will advance over the Giants and to the World Series.
Major props to Adam LaRoche who added the other solo home run in the game, Ross Detwiler who stepped in and stepped up and held the Cards in place and of course, our nemesis, Werth for his amazing walk off blast, the first postseason walk off in franchise history.
One more game, boys, one more game. Your destiny is before you. Time to take it.
We hear about it all the time: some unfortunate fan got hit by a foul ball. Though we hear about it through the media and word of mouth, we strangely rarely know a person who actually got hit. It is sort of like a “Have you ever seen a baby pigeon?” sort of thing or actually meeting someone who actually saw Pink Floyd in concert in their heyday.
During the Nationals 6-2 loss to the Brewers on Sunday, the NQ had one of our moles in the crowd (our apprentice, Dr. W) and you can say his day at Nationals Park was a bit unusual as he earned a two hour trip to Urgent Care thanks to a Jayson Werth foul ball. The following is his words and all photos are his:
So back in March I received the Sunday Funday pack where you get all of the home Sunday games. Today against the Brewers just so happened to be the last game in my Sunday pack and quite possibly the last game I will go to all year. Unfortunately, my last game ended abruptly starting in the 3rd inning. In a game tied up at an exhilarating score of 0-0, Jayson Werth stepped up to the plate following a Chien Ming Wang double that ignited the “Natitude” of everyone at the ballpark. As Werth was battling to get a hit, he hit a foul ball directly to Section 136, Row CC, the very section and row I happened to be sitting in. As I watched the ball soar through the air right towards me, I prepped myself to finally catch my first ever foul ball. To make things even better, my first foul ball would have been from the man with the golden beard.
Just to inject some of my own stupidity to this posting, I love the “Golden Beard” description. I plan on home brewing some beer of my own and I think I’m going to call it “Golden Beard Lager” or something like that.
I reached out my left hand to make my best attempt to catch the ball, however it bounced off my hand and flew 3 rows back. I was taken aback by how much getting hit in the hand by a foul ball actually hurt as it jammed part of my ring finger. As everyone was making a big deal of how much it must have hurt considering the loud sound the ball made as it hit my hand, I noticed blood dripping down my hand. Due to the amount of blood, the Washington Nationals crew escorted me to the first aid room where they wrapped up my hand and determined that I would need stitches. They sent me back to my seat and eventually returned to give me a bag full of goodies as a way of saying “Sorry, this happened and we hope you feel better.” In other words: “Please don’t sue us.”
Here are some more photos of the post-carnage:
My day only got better from there. After the 4th inning, I exited Nats Park on the way to Springfield, Virginia to urgent care to get my hand x-rayed and get the webbing between my fingers stitched up. As I got to the emergency room, I was pleasantly surprised to realize that every single nurse there was smoking hot! The doctor was a babe too! I almost found myself looking forward to having needles stuck in my hand and having them sew the skin between my fingers back together.
The NQ will have to send some official NQ thongs to this doctor’s office– as thanks.
Now I sit here with my hand taped up with stitches and all as my Filipino friend types what I am dictating to him. (This guy sucks). I am very grateful he is helping complete this post. Oh yeah, in case anyone was wondering, no I did not get the foul ball! Some people a couple rows behind us managed to receive the ultimate prize of a Werth foul ball that deflected off my now-injured hand and landed in their possession. I have one thing to say to them: YOU’RE WELCOME!
I guess a thong should go to the Filipino friend as well.
Needless to say, Dr. W this morning feels like a million bucks and he is flaunting his injury and his goodie bag around headquarters like he came off a mountain with the Ten Commandments.
Free beer cups, pitcher, shirt, a playoff hat and a hard to find Strasburg Debut DVD, who wouldn’t be happy?
But I know what this is really about. This is Werth’s retaliation for the time he yelled at me to stop taking his photo, but I took one anyway. This is the Fort Sumter in the war with our nemesis. He can’t abuse our staff like that– only I can abuse my staff like this! This is war, Werth! War!
I do have to say I have been going to Nationals games since 2005 and Dr. W has only been going for little over a year and he has the most bizarre crap happen to him.
The Force is strong with this one– just not in the webbing of his hands.
We haven’t done a “Nationals Cutlines” on the blog in such a long time, but the NQ Apprentice, Dr. W, begged and begged and begged that one be put up again so here we are. For those of you just entering the theater, here are the rules:
- We post a photo.
- You make a caption for the photo.
- Post it in the comments on the blog or on Twitter.
- We post the best captions.
- We sit back and bask in the glory of such an original idea.
Today’s photo comes from Dr. W and is eerily similar to a Cutline in the past also involving Jayson Werth. He seems to dig the kids.
@stephaniekays: Look, kid, I used to have glasses, too. But I got contacts and grew my beard in, and now all the ladies love me!”
@ctatem: Deal, or no deal, I got CF this inning.
@natsfan20: “Werth: Howdy there! My name is Mr. Beard?” Kid: O.o
@jonfeng1: No, I’m not a real werewolf.
@sherry327: My mom told me never to talk to strangers.
@CaliTrappedinDC: “You mean to tell me that you have grass, and you do not eat it?”
@12stringr: Werth: Pleased to meet you Mr. President!
@TheNatidude: You must be Urkel!
I have to admit, the Mr. President crack got me laughing.