This post was written by Justin Klugh, lead writer for the Phildelphia Phillies blog That Balls Outta Here. After watching Jayson Werth play for the Phillies since 2007, Justin has a few things to tell Red Sox Nation about the outfielder. For my opinion on Werth, head over to That Balls Outta Here and give it a read. Enjoy!
I’ve already described my view of our relationship: Like neighbors who periodically hear each other having sex, but only bump into each other when we happen to be taking out the trash at the same time.
Hell, back in early summer, I was all up in your house, banging pots and pans together, putting things back where they didn’t belong, and generally leaving the place a horrific mess when B-Dogg got back from his honeymoon.
But here we are, crossing lines again, and intersecting at the corner of “Free Agency” and “Fate.”
I’ll be honest, I was rooting for you guys this year. But you play in a division with the Yankees, so it is really easy to root for every other team. I’m sure you know by now that the Yankees-Rays-Sox revolving door of playoff spots will probably let you through in 2011, so don’t look at 2010 as a failure. Just a break.
Trust me, if it was between not making the post season at all, and getting embarrassed by a team that needed all 162 games to get there… well, we all suffered on the east coast this year. Let’s leave it at that.
But now, Red Sox Nation, we are sending our boy Jayson Werth off to his first day at Free Agency High School. He’s appreciative of us, sure, but he also is demanding we drop him off a block from the school so his friends won’t see. He’s got way too much gel in his hair as he prepares to be courted by an undoubtedly significant number of exotic, provocative new teams.
And you appear to be the first in line to try and get in his pants. So it’s probably best we have a little chat.
First of all, don’t interfere with the ball.
I don’t know how much a problem that is in Fenway, but he really, really hates it when people touch his baseball. Like that kid in class whose completely silent until you accidentally pick up his favorite pen and then he just loses his shit.
There is no line Jayson won’t cross when it comes to this, so it’s best not to test him.
Secondly, the beard. Yeah, we don’t know either. But he showed up with it at Spring Training and we aren’t the kind of fanbase whose going to chastise a guy for dressing up like a serial killer. But it’s a pretty bad-ass soupcatcher, and its even got its own Twitter account, so that’s going to be one of the things we miss the most. It’s an even more impressive feat when you consider how far it had to come.
Thirdly, performance. Jayson’s streaky. With him and Raul Ibanez in the middle of the lineup, it made for extremely hot or wildly frustrating afternoons. We might as well have called them the… “Streaky Brothers.” Or I don’t know, something actually clever. I assumed I would come up with something while I was typing.
Just be patient. When he swings and misses at a pitch ten feet outside the strike zone, he’s going to look a little silly. He’ll probably inadvertently fall to one knee and look up at the sky, totally humiliated. At least in Philly, he had Ryan Howard in front of him and he could look way less ridiculous by comparison, as Ryan had probably swung at a pitch twenty feet above the strike zone just a few minutes prior.
But if you’re looking for offense, you’ve found it. He looks like a skinny dude, especially since he wears a comically oversized uniform, but he’s somehow hiding a shit-ton of power underneath it. That, and he’s got speed, defense, and Mega Man’s buster cannon for an arm. He is the definition of a five-tool player, and he deserves the contract he will probably not get from us.
He will not be hard to accept into the fold. Rumors over here indicate a mild amount of sense in the Phillies procuring Jeff Francoeur, which is so disgusting, I have to rinse my mouth out with hydrogen peroxide every time I mention it. Francoeur’s never been really “liked” in Philly, so that transition could be a challenge on both sides, if it indeed such a toxic transaction took place.
But Jayson is easy to like. He’s got talent, power, and personality. He doesn’t make excuses, and often doesn’t need them. He clawed his way up from a bench spot to become an everyday player and an All-Star, and guys can’t/don’t do that without being totally awesome at least part the time.
So, if you guys are the one for him, then know you are in no way getting hosed, cheated, or screwed. You’re getting a guy whose only real reason for leaving us is our lack of money tied up in other places (WOOO! RYAN HOWARD ‘TIL 2016! THAT IS SUCH A GOOD IDEA!!!!)