Sure, this is 24 hours late, but Jayson Werth’s flying grit-gumption escapades around the base paths to beat the Cubs in 10 innings on July 4 merits an extended look, complete with screen shots and bad jokes.
It started with Werth on second base. Before he went any further, he clutched his head, making sure all those accumulated years of baseball wisdom and knowledge and toughness and that certain je ne sais quoi were still in there.
“I like to think that just my presence, just me being here, has helped the team,” he said last month, in a bit of foreshadowing. “I realize I haven’t done offensively what I’m capable of doing. There’s more to the game than just that.”
Like, for example, stealing third when the Cubs middle infielders decide to entirely ignore you. And then offering an enthusiastic hand slap.
“I just you know, took advantage of the situation,” he would later tell Debbi Taylor.
And then sprinting home on a wild pitch from Carlos Marmol, leaping full-on into the waiting embrace of Ian Desmond.
Well, after making a funny face first, I should note.
“What did you see there with Marmol, Jayson?” Taylor would later ask.
“Well, I wasn’t hittin’,” Werth wisely answered. “I don’t know what Pudge saw. But you know, I just got a good jump and took advantage of the situation.”
Anyhow, then it was party time. And before any good party, you’ve got to make sure your hair is correct. You don’t see too many guys brushing back their locks after a walk-off scrum. Not sure what Bernadina is doing, exactly.
Werth, though, wanted some more Desmond hugging.
Desmond must be a good hugger.
Then it was time for Debbi. Werth seemed happy to answer her questions. Or, something.
“This team was a little banged up today but you guys didn’t let that affect you at all, did you?” she asked.
“No, no, you know, that’s part of it,” he said. “You go through the season, guys get banged up. That’s why we’ve got bench players. We’ve got a good group of guys, we’ve got great bench players, we’ve got a great team. It’s gonna be fun in Washington.”
“And finally Jayson, this is the final week before the All-Star break, ” she said. “What do you think about the way the team is playing, especially here at home in front of these fans?”
Bear in mind, these fans were the same fans that had been booing Werth for the past three or four days. But no matter.
“We’ve been playing great at home,” he said. “These people keep coming out and supporting us. I see good things from this team. We just need to keep playing good ball and get to the break and look forward to an awesome second half.”
Then he raised his arms to the crowd and was off.