Jayson Werth talks about his time in jail for reckless driving

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Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth recently completed a five-day jail sentence in Fairfax County, Virginia for a reckless driving charge. He talked about his experience with Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post and it’s well worth a read if you have a few minutes:

In his first public comments addressing his conviction and jail sentence, Werth recalled that story and reflected on an experience he never expected. The jail time did not change him, he said, but it did add perspective, both deep and practical. The experience left him with a more acute appreciation of friends, family, teammates and fans. It implanted a newfound desire to volunteer at local charities. It gave him, to be clear, a full grasp of Virginia’s driving laws and penalties. He seemed penitent, if not necessarily remorseful. He is eager to keep the lessons and leave the rest.

“It’s a time in my life that I’m glad it’s behind me,” Werth said in a telephone conversation Wednesday night. “I’ve had time to reflect on the whole thing. I want to talk about it one time, and kind of lay it to rest. I’m ready to put it behind me. I’ve learned my lesson. I don’t recommend the experience I had to anyone, really. It’s not something that was fun. It’s not a destination you would choose.”

By the way, that story about an inmate getting Werth’s autograph in jail? It was legitimate.

Werth ultimately didn’t feel like he “put anybody in danger” despite going 105 mph in a 55 mph zone, stating that there was “no one around on the Beltway.” Of course, that doesn’t justify his actions and it seems like he learned something from the experience and will try to be a better member of his community moving forward. That’s a pretty good outcome.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).