It’s going to be a weird scene at Nats Park tonight for two reasons: 1. Jayson Werth is facing the Phillies for the first time since he signed his mega-deal with the Nats; and 2. Because it’s the Phillies in Washington, the park will likely be full of Philly fans invading the place like they did last year.
Which has me thinking that we have a two-tiered ethical question:
1. Is it acceptable to boo the guy who left the team for a ridiculous contract that your team never would have ever offered him?; and
2. Even if the answer is yes, is it acceptable to boo him in his own home park which you and several thousand of your friends happen to be invading?
It seems to me that booing Werth would more acceptable if he somehow truly spurned the Phillies, but the kind of money the Nats gave him was insane. Ruben Amaro would have been making a huge mistake to offer Werth that kind of cash, so Phillies fans should have a hard time holding it against him.
Likewise, it’s one thing to come to another team’s park like the Phillies fans do en masse — hey, if Nats fans don’t like it they can buy more tickets — but to boo in that park, on potentially dubious grounds?
Hmmm … it’s times like this when we need Emily Post to weigh in.
Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.
Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.
Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:
I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.
The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.
Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.
Jim Leyland also got in on the action:
Go Puerto Rico.