Tuesday night marks the first time Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth returns to Philadelphia since he signed with Washington this past off season after four successful seasons with the hometown Philadelphia Phillies. It is no secret around the league that Phillies fans are one of the more uniquely "expressive" fan bases in baseball.
While it is easy to think the default reaction from Philly will be a negative one towards the bearded right fielder, Werth is hoping the Philadelphia crowd remembers the good times.
"There's been a lot of emotions had here in this stadium with this team, and a lot of unbelievable moments, things that I'll always remember," Werth said. "Hopefully, the fans will remember the good times, even if it's just for one at-bat, and we'll go from there."
Positive thoughts? Yes. A little naive? Probably. Whole sections of visiting Phillies fans screamed, shouted, ridiculed and booed Werth when the Phillies visited Nationals Park earlier in the season and now he will be on their home turf. But it doesn't seem to phase Werth whose career really took off in Philadelphia and who sees Phillies manager Charlie Manuel as a "father figure."
"I really am looking forward to playing here, for better or for worse. You can't take away from me - you can't take away from us, what we had," Werth said. "It was a special time in sports history, let alone Philadelphia sports history. Hopefully I'll be remembered for the good times, and after that, I understand. I understand all bets are off. Where this team is, and where their fans are at, I mean, I get it. I'm only one man."
Werth might be only one man, but he will be the one man many will be watching intently Tuesday night.
(via Ben Goessling)