The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Tony Kornheiser, Mike Wise and John Feinstein on Jayson Werth

(By Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Current and former local sports columnists did not agree with Jayson Werth’s decision not to speak with the media after Tuesday night’s season-ending Nats loss.

Tony Kornheiser, on ESPN 980: “Their number one hitter for average was Denard Span. Their quality, veteran leaders who were playing were Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche. And they combined — in a playoff series — [to go] 4-for-54. That’s why Jayson Werth didn’t want to talk to the press. I’m gonna give credit to LaRoche, because he did. Jayson Werth hid. Said I don’t want to talk to them. You know, let me pose for another gnome. Or let me look around so that I can see how great I am in the galaxy, because I can hit a baseball. But he didn’t want to talk.

Mike Wise, on Twitter:

Mike Wise, in his column:

Let’s also not excuse Werth’s “leadership.” I’ve come around on his value to this club on and off the field after early reservations about his physical frailty and his surliness at times in the clubhouse. But you don’t speak to reporters on the last night of the season, instead ducking out and leaving your teammates to answer for their surprising loss?
Nuh-uh, that’s not leadership.

John Feinstein, in his CBS Sports Radio Minute:

“Often, when an athlete ducks the media in defeat, fans defend him, saying he doesn’t have to talk to the media. Actually, yes, he does. Because he owes it to the fans, who — wait for it — pay his salary.

“On Tuesday, 24 members of the Washington Nationals and their manager handled their crushing loss to the San Francisco Giants like men, showing up to talk about the loss. The one exception was Jayson Werth. This is nothing new for Werth, who’s only being paid $17 million a year, and apparently doesn’t think he has any responsibility to those who pay his salary, other than to play well. Of course, Werth failed miserably at that when it mattered, too, hitting .059 against the Giants. At least he was consistent: Worth-less on the field, and off it.”