A Call to Action from Nats Fans: Stop Booing Jayson Werth

Photo courtesy of
‘W Is for Werth’
courtesy of ‘Kevin H.’

There was a call to action from fans at Saturday’s Nats U clinic at the ballpark – stop booing Jayson Werth. That call to action couldn’t have come at a better time seeing as a few fans decided it was better to chant “Jayson Werthless” directed toward the Nationals right fielder Saturday night during the MASN Post-Game Show.

The call to action came to fruition after Nats blogger Miss Chater posed a question for the Nats U team of panelists. Her question, in short, was regarding Werth’s recent slump. Nats third base coach Bo Porter was quick to defend Werth.

Porter’s defense was clear: You are not in our clubhouse. It’s true. Fans do not see what goes on behind the scenes no matter how invested in the game they happen to be. The season is a marathon and not a few series of games here and there. A player’s success each year is not determined by a singular series with a particular team, but rather the season’s total on the whole.

Photo courtesy of
‘Jayson Werth 9′
courtesy of ‘RMTip21′

Porter continued to explain that fans are finding excitement in Michael Morse and Danny Espinosa’s All-Star caliber play this season. He attributes a great deal of those performances to what Werth has done behind the scenes in the clubhouse as a mentor. That’s what fans don’t see when Werth strikes out.

The call to action is a simple device in this case. The fan who stood up to speak on behalf of Werth is a mother. She shared her parental knowledge in the wake of Werth’s slump: everyone needs a little love and positive reinforcement is the best way to help someone out of a dark spot. If kids respond well to positive reinforcement then why won’t a ballplayer?

While it is understandable that Werth is getting poor treatment from a handful of fans, that doesn’t excuse the action. It’s disrespectful. Booing a player for giving up an inside the park  home run (like Nyjer Morgan did last year) might be grounds for temporary booing. However, if a player is contributing on and off the field as a quality team member, booing is not warranted.

Stay classy, Nats fans, and have faith. Despite his bias toward the team, Porter remains optimistic. He believes Werth’s numbers will reflect his success in seasons past. So he’s hitting below his career average .270 right now. Porter believes Werth’s numbers will highlight a .270 average by the season’s end.

No matter what the numbers show, though, there’s no excuse for excessive and continued booing.

Rachel moved to DC in the fall of 2005 to study Journalism and Music at American University. When she’s not keeping up with the latest Major League Baseball news, she works on making music as an accomplished singer-songwriter and was even a featured performer/speaker at TEDxDupont Circle in 2012. Rachel has also contributed to The Washington Examiner and MASN Sports’ Nationals Buzz as a guest blogger. See why she loves DC. E-Mail: rachel@welovedc.com.

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23 thoughts on “A Call to Action from Nats Fans: Stop Booing Jayson Werth

  1. That’s nice that Bo Porter stuck up for Werth and he’s right, I’m not in the clubhouse. I’m in the stands, spending my own money and taking time away from doing something else. If I feel like booing him when he lets another called third strike go by, I’ll do it.

  2. I understand people’s frustrations with Werth at the plate. They are obvious and apparent. He needs to start producing, no doubt about it. The fact I was simply trying to convey is that booing doesn’t do anything. In my opinion, I find booing detrimental to the park-going experience. What does booing actually accomplish besides bringing a negative attitude into the ballpark? Sure, Werth is slumping right now. But it’s not like he’s doing it on purpose. He’s getting paid to do a job and isn’t doing it well right now. That’s a fact. But booing isn’t the answer. That’s all I was trying to say.

  3. Well, if I was there when Werth bounced into a game ending double play with the tying run on third I would boooo that result from a highly paid player for sure. Would I boo him as he walks up the plate to start an at-bat? Probably not. Would I taunt him from the right field bleachers. No. Would I stick around after the game to chant “Jayson Werthless”? Definitely not.

    The contract they gave Werth was absolutely awful. He’ll never come close to producing at the level that warrants that salary. And the duration is so long that it could affect our ability to pay Zimmerman, Espinosa, Strasburg and the rest of our young nucleaus down the line. While in most cases I don’t think booing the home team at the ballpark is warranted I will continue to express my disgust for Werth around the water cooler or at the bar. He’s an albatross. We were smart enough not to sign Soriano to a long term deal then undid it with this blunder…

  4. DC needs to stop being such a horse $#%@ sportstown full of soft fair-weather fans. This guy has been absolutely atrocious. Not only can he not hit a lick, he has also made some horrendous plays bare handing balls in RF. Shoot, for my $ Bryce Harper, at 18, would be a vast improvement in RF. He’s that good. Werth stinks. Let the booing commence.

  5. I guess I’m confused b/c I thought Werth was signed to play RF and bat in the middle of the order. If I’d have known we were getting a $126M coach & clubhouse mentor, I wouldn’t have booed. My bad guys.

  6. I think Jayson needs to shorten up his swing up ,cock his hands back further , flex his knees a little more , keep his right shoulder up and level, use a short step to keep his eyes on the same plane and start attacking the first pitch that is often grooved ,forget about pulling the ball for now and start stingin’ the outside pitches that are so frequent to right field.Hit the ball square and let the pitch supply a lot of the power.

  7. I agree with Jeff II. Like father, like son. I’ve lost my patience. I’ve waited well over half my life for baseball to return to Washington and I get this. Jason needs to take a break, sit out a game or two. It will do both him and his team good.

  8. I agree also with Nate. Batting is the meat and potatoes, locker room coaching and encoragement the desert.

  9. Watch how he plays the game. He seems lazy, and he’s always the last one out of the dugout to get into position between innings. If he showed that he was actually interested in the game and not just lolly-gagging around, then perhaps it would be okay for the fans to support him. But what does he care? He’s locked up his $30,000 per at-bat and obviously feels no need to take his own job seriously.

    As a season-ticket holder, I will boo him as often and as loudly as I can because I’m not booing just him, I’m booing the organization stupid enough to hamstring their own future by giving an over-the-hill flash-in-the-pan player superstar money.

  10. well the games over and how did Jason do. As they say, “The same old, same old :( “. But always a win vacates any players ability to get a win. .500 mid-season!

  11. I agree with Brad. After Thursday’s loss to the Cubs, I sent a full page letter to the Nats Front Office. For $126 million, he can at least appear to try as hard as the ball kids. While I won’t resort to booing, I also won’t support a team that supports a player with such a pathetic attitude.

  12. Yeah, don’t boo Werth, boo the GM for giving him that contract. They should’ve know it helps to bat after Rollins, Victorino, Utley, & Howard

  13. Comments #7 and #12 hit the nail on the head. Also, I hope Bo Porter realizes that if he thinks Werth will end up at .270 by the end of the season, that means he’d need to hit .343 in the second half if he gets 250 more at-bats this year. A 3 day break isn’t going to induce that kind of performance. If he’s that great in the clubhouse, that’s fine. You can still bench him. That will give him more time to focus on the clubhouse and let someone else create some production in right field.

  14. Booing is not appropriate, the accepted response to strike outs and double plays are chants of “Werthless”.

  15. Come on with this nonsense. Figures that it was written by a Cubs fan. Accepting of mediocrity for over 100 years.

  16. I am not really in what people make because you get what you can get out there. Werth is a complete mess at the plate with an awful approach.

    If it is not just taking 3rd strikes right down the middle or constantly leaving guys on base in RBI situations but Werth has made numerous frivolous errors in the OF.

    Instead of being humble or recognizing his sub par play to the fans, we get quotes like this one.

    “Boo me, cheer me, whatever” Or “Im just going to play my game”

    He has not earned any good will from the fans yet and although the Werthless taunts are tasteless, Booos are totally appropriate.

  17. Right on Mac G. He’s not a very humble person. He’s in denial about his problem. He should just admit he is in the biggest slump of his career and move on to working himself out of it. I’m not thrilled with the signing but agree if an employer is crazy enough to pay you 3 to 4 times more than ur worth that is the employers bad. I have lost patience and wish to hear no more from the organizatuon about Mr. Werth.

  18. He is what he is. He’s a player that had a couple “decent” years with a great team. He’s not a difference maker and never will be. He’s a 5 or 6 hitter on a GOOD team. Trust me, I’m a Phillies fan and have watched him for years. Its not going to get much better. He’s going frustrate the heck out of you. He’s a lazy, crybaby that moans about everything. Blame your GM, he’s the idiot that gave Werth Superstar type money. We laughed here in Philly when we heard that. What was your GM thinking? He a barely above average player, at best! And yes, you absolutely have the right to boo him and should do just that. He’s stealing your money!!

  19. Rachel,

    How else are fans supposed to express their displeasure for his play aside from booing? If I’m not doing my job I hear it from my boss, my clients, etc. The fans have every right to boo. After all, they do pay his salary. And if the fans don’t boo or express their frustrations to management or Jayson, they will continue to be a terrible franchise with no emphasis on winning. Don’t feel sorry for Jayson, he couldn’t care less for The National Fans. He chased the money!!