Once a Phillies Fan Favorite, Jayson Werth Hears Only the ‘cheers' With Nationals

A key member of the Phillies' 2008 World Series championship team will return to Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday night.
Carlos Ruiz will be in town with the Seattle Mariners for a quick, two-game interleague set.
Ruiz was a backbone performer behind the plate on some of the best teams the Phillies ever assembled. However, at 38, he is no longer the same player he was during his prime in Philadelphia. He comes to town playing just part time and hitting .115.
Nonetheless, Ruiz, always a fan favorite, will most definitely get a nice reception when he returns to Philadelphia. Jimmy Rollins got it. Chase Utley got it. Ruiz will get it.
Ruiz isn't the only member of the '08 champions to come through town this week.
Jayson Werth, a regular visitor with the NL East rival Washington Nationals, was back this weekend and he capped his visit with two home runs Sunday.
Unlike Rollins and Utley - and Ruiz on Tuesday night - Werth doesn't hear a lot of cheers when he returns to Philadelphia. Part of that is the perception that he jilted Philadelphia when he became a free agent after the 2010 season. That could not be farther from the truth. The Nationals offered Werth $126 million, about $80 million more than the Phillies did. The Phillies were looking to spend their money in other areas of the roster and knew their offer would be dwarfed on the open market. Werth had no choice but to take the money and leave. Anyone in his spikes would have done the same thing. 
But that's probably not the reason Werth is often booed in Philadelphia.
The boos rain down on him because he encourages them with his performance - people don't boo bad players - and his quiet love for playing the villain's role.
Werth plays the role of villain quite nicely against his former club. Sunday's two-homer game raised his career totals to 22 homers (his most against any foe) and 76 RBIs against the Phils.
Like we said, only good players get booed.
"All I hear is cheers," Werth said after the Phils trumped his two-homer day in a 6-5, 10-inning win Sunday. "There's a lot of love going on out there."
Including his four seasons with the Phils, Werth has 67 career homers at Citizens Bank Park. Only Ryan Howard (198), Utley (129), Rollins (94) and Pat Burrell (76) have more. All were key members of the 2008 World Series title team.
"I've always liked hitting here, liked playing here," Werth said. "It's a hitter's park, good batter's eye."
Next season will be the 10-year anniversary of that 2008 team's feat and there will likely be a fete at Citizens Bank Park. A number of players from that club are already retired and others are close, so the turnout of members of that team would likely be pretty good.
But two weeks shy of his 38th birthday, Werth plans on being too busy to attend the ceremony next year.
"I'm probably going to have a game that day," he said. "I would think that since I was on that team I'd probably be a part of that celebration. But maybe not next year. Maybe like the 15-year or the 20-year for sure."
There is one way to ensure Werth's attendance at next year's anniversary party.
This is the seventh and final year of his contract in Washington. He is a free agent after this season. 

Stranger things have happened.

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