Sometimes, you just can’t quit hating someone. For the recently retired Jayson Werth, that someone is his longtime NL East rivals in New York.
Werth spent some time in Toronto and Los Angeles, but the bulk of his career took place in the NL East. He rose to prominence with the Phillies, and then signed a 7-year mega contract with the Nationals, where he spent the final seasons of his time in the majors. Notably, both of those franchise are rivals with the New York Mets.
So when Werth was looking for a new baseball home last offseason, he was willing to play anywhere. Literally anywhere. Except, according to Werth himself in a recent interview, the Mets.
According to Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post, who listened to Werth’s appearance on Howard Eskin’s Philadelphia sports talk show, Werth said, “..so I took matters into my own hands and I called every team but one and tried to get a job. The only team I didn’t call? The Mets. I wouldn’t play for them.”
What’s especially interesting about this piece is how upset Werth was with his former representation, super-agent Scott Boras. In the interview, Werth mentioned that he was advised to wait it out when he was given offers in November, but then when Spring Training came and he started reaching out to teams on his own, he was told they were unaware he wanted to continue his playing career.
Werth was understandably upset finding out his own agent hadn’t been marketing him to teams, but Boras’ company has a different side to the story. According to them, Werth’s representation made it very clear to teams that Werth considered himself an available free agent, but they received no offers.
It’s not clear where the disconnect is, but Werth was incensed enough to fire Boras over it, and he of course eventually went on to retire after a short minor league stint earlier this season. Boras claims they have documented evidence that they did their due diligence, but Werth’s retirement is likely the end of the story.
One other interesting note from Janes’ article is Werth’s stance on analytics in the sport. He goes off on the place of sabermetrics in team building.
“They’ve got all these super nerds in the front office that know nothing about baseball but they like to project numbers and project players. ...I think it’s killing the game. It’s to the point where just put computers out there. Just put laptops and what have you, just put them out there and let them play. We don’t even need to go out there anymore. It’s a joke.”
These are harsh words from a guy who earned over $100 million playing a sport that’s supposedly being “killed.” Old-school baseball guys may not love losing their jobs to men and women who never played professionally, but it’s hard to argue with the results when looking at the current juggernauts of the sport.
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