Remember last year how Phillies fans came down to Washington en masse for a couple of series against the Nationals? About how no one in Washington except the accountants were happy with it? About how it was a symbol of just how bad Nationals baseball was that fans from an opposing team would travel and take over the Nationals’ very own ballpark? Well, Jayson Werth went on a radio show today and assured Nats fans that that won’t happen again:
“That’s gonna change quick. I think you guys are gonna see. The owners are on board, and Mike Rizzo’s done a good job. The reason those people come over here is they don’t have a chance to watch their team in Philadelphia. And as soon as we start filling the seats here with Nats fans, those people are gonna go away and we’re gonna regain home-field advantage. And I’m looking forward to that day, for sure.”
That’s admirable. And I really do hope that Werth helps instill a fresh new attitude about the Nationals in their hometown. But if he thinks that’s going to do anything apart from inspiring Philly fans to try even harder to buy out the seats to the first Nats-Phillies series in Washington next season he’s crazy. If anything, tickets in CBP will be even harder to come by then they were last season, what with Cliff Lee and all. And with Werth drawing this line in the sand, you just know that there are thousands of Philly fans who will be eager to cross it.
By the way: that first series is April 12th through the 14th. Get your credit cards and bus tickets ready, Philly fans!
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will opt out of his contract shortly after the World Series concludes. Cespedes, who earned $17.5 million for the 2016 season, has two years and $47.5 million remaining on his deal which includes an opt-out clause.
That Cespedes plans to opt out isn’t surprising as he’s almost certain to get a better contract entering a weak free agent market. He hit a terrific .280/.354/.530 with 31 home runs and 86 RBI in 543 plate appearances for the Mets this past season.
It remains to be seen how the Mets will deal with potentially losing Cespedes. They can pick up a $13 million club option for Jay Bruce, but he performed terribly after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. The Mets could also go after free agents Jose Bautista or Mark Trumbo. Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto will handle the other two outfield positions.
Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that former Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant won the 2016 Hank Aaron Award in their respective leagues.
Ortiz, 40, flourished in his final season, batting .315/.401/.620 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI in 626 plate appearances during the regular season. His .620 slugging percentage, 1.021 OPS, and 48 doubles led the majors while his 127 RBI led the American League. Ortiz also won the Hank Aaron Award back in 2005.
Bryant, 24, is the likely winner of the National League Most Valuable Player Award as well. He hit .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI over 699 plate appearances. He also led the league by scoring 121 runs. Bryant is the first Cub to win the Hank Aaron Award since Aramis Ramirez in 2008.
Last year’s winners in the AL and NL, respectively, were Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper.