When Jayson Werth sign with the Nationals for $126 million dollars this offseason, it was pretty obvious what the tradeoff he was making was. He was giving up the opportunity to play for a winning team, whether it was here or in Boston or wherever, to get the big payday from a Nationals team that knew they had to overpay to make a splash. And hey, for $126 mil I can't blame the guy. He does already have a ring after all...
Still, that doesn't seem to have made it any easier for Werth, who sounds pretty frustrated with the way things have gone down there in Washington. Before last night, the Nationals were mired in a 1-8 streak, the team is in last place in the division and six games under .500. Part of it is due to injury, but the Nats have taken a step back this year and Werth doesn't like it. When asked what the Nats needed to do to turn things around, Werth was cryptic in his answer.
I've got some ideas obviously and some thoughts that I don't really want to share with the world. But I think it's pretty obvious what's going on around here..... A lot of these guys are still learning and we’ve got to make sure that they continue to develop regardless of winning or losing because I think that’s important for the future of this club. But things need to change."
Much of the DC media took that to mean he wasn't a fan of the job Nationals' manager Jim Riggleman was doing. So, Riggleman had a meeting with Werth to find out exactly what he meant. According to the manager, he was just upset.
"He's been around a lot of winning, and we're not winning right now," Riggleman said. "I think there are other players who are frustrated. Jayson is becoming one of the voices of the ballclub with his experience in the game. He expressed that frustration."
Werth said his comments were taken out of context.
"Changes need to be made. We need to start winning ballgames," he said. "We need to start hitting the ball. We need to do what we've got to do to win games. That's all it was. What happened from the end of the game in Milwaukee til today had nothing to do with me. That's just people making up stories and saying things they don't even know what they're talking about."
Werth wouldn't be the first former Philly athlete to go to DC and run afoul of the local media.