Jayson Werth was in town last weekend when the 2008 World Champion Phillies team was honored at Citizens Bank Park. It reminded fans of that glorious run and perhaps gave Werth the itch to get back on the baseball diamond.
Maybe just not a professional diamond.
The Washington Post has a fun story today about Werth suiting up and playing in a regular old men’s wooden bat league down in the Washington, D.C. area last month. It all started with a friendship Werth developed with Matt Mika who was injured in the shooting at a Republican Congressional baseball practice in June 2017. The two have kept in touch since and after Werth walked away from his career as a Major League ballplayer this June, he was looking to get some game action in to prepare for the Bluegrass World Series in Lousiville, Kentucky, in August where former MLB stars get together and play.
So Werth reached out to his friend about joining one of his games. Who is going to turn down a chance to see the Bearded One take on amateur pitching?
Werth had some funny things to say about the first non-professional field he’s played on in over two decades.
“The outfield’s kind of uneven, the infield’s not really level and the batter’s box, it felt like a two-foot hole where your back foot stands. The lights aren’t real bright,” he said.
And his quote to the Post about the pitching is pretty hilarious.
“The velocity of the opposing pitchers wasn’t what I’m used to,” Werth, who drew a walk his first time up, said with a laugh. “It took me a minute.”
But Werth didn’t go all Embiid-Dunking-On-a-Rando on them. He had some misses. He finished 1 for 4 with a home run and a walk.
And like Embiid playing at a local playground with randos, Werth made both teams’ and spectators’ days simply by being a good sport.
I always thought the dislike for Werth in Philly after he left the Phillies to play on an incredibly lucrative contract in Washington was misguided. All he ever did in Philly was win a championship and be a fun guy to root for.
Last we heard from Werth, he was telling us about how he’s already spoken to Bryce Harper about what playing ball in Philly is like. If Bryce doesn’t end up playing for the Phillies when he hits free agency, maybe Werth can always come back and join a Philly area wooden bat league?
Anyway, he can still put good wood on the ball as demonstrated in the below home run swing.
“He didn’t come here to walk.”
— Scott Allen (@ScottSAllen) August 9, 2018