It certainly looks like Jayson Werth has embraced his role as Citizens Bank Park villain, although the former Phillies right fielder played it straight when he met with reporters in the wake of the Nationals' 8-4 win on Wednesday night. Werth, who was booed before each of his at-bats, incited the sparse crowd that remained in the ninth inning when he retrieved a foul ball while standing in the on-deck circle, deked a throwing motion to the crowd, then tossed the ball into the Nationals dugout.
Here is Werth's account of the interlude, which should be read in his usual dry, amused monotone:
"Well, earlier in the game, I flipped a ball into the seats in right field to a fan and it bounced off her hands and landed on somebody elses lap, and then a Phillies fan reached into her lap and grabbed the ball and threw it back onto the field. So in the ninth, when I got the ball, I was going to flip the ball to a group of kids. Behind the kids were all these unruly middle aged men, who, to me, appeared to be snarling. It was the ninth, who knows, I kinda got the sense that they were intoxicated, but maybe not. So I was going to flip it to the kids, but then I thought maybe I shouldn't, because of the people behind those innocent little children. So I just flipped it in the dugout, and evidently that rubbed some people the wrong way. But after the events in right field, I just felt that maybe it was better to not throw it in the stands."
After Werth hit a two-run single to help ice the game, an interesting scene unfolded as a handful of fans in began chanting "Jayyyyyyy-sonnnnnn" in an attempt at mockery that felt a bit hollow given that the stadium was near-empty and the target in question had just helped secure his playoff-bound team a victory over a Phillies team that is now one game over .500.
"You can't take away what I accomplished here, what those teams did, my time spent here in this town, the endless free meals I got from fans and Philadelphians," Werth said. "It's just part of it. It's not really too upsetting. I'm perfectly fine with it."