Phillies-Dodgers: Jayson Werth's Been a Bad, Bad Boy

I was in NYC yesterday. I know…how could I possibly visit the city of the Phil’s arch-rival so fresh off our losing series with them.

But if it’s any consolation, I wore my Phillies World Series jacket—the one with the big “P” over my left fully padded breast. And when a woman approached me and pointed to it, I was sure she wasn’t impressed with my cup size, but I thought maybe she’d compliment me on my team’s banner 2008 season. Instead she thought I played in the World Poker Tour. Oddly enough I didn’t know that existed. Can you tell there’s only one game for me?

And did I call it or what! Just as I whined that the Phillies lacked spirit, Jayson Werth ran the bases like the ghost of Phillies present. My dad tells me it was eerily familiar to the baserunning of the ghost of baseball past: Jackie Robinson. In 1954, he was the first player to steal his way around the bases in the NL in 26 years and he stole home 19 times in his career. One theft of the plate is tough, but I wonder why no one caught on during his stint? Answer: he’s a ghost, too.

Please don’t post that I think Jayson Werth is anywhere near the caliber of Jackie. But you can compare him to Garry Maddox who had four searing steals in a hot game against the Pirates 31 years ago.

And you can compare the two double steals he and his cohort Jimmy Rollins executed to the awesomeness of the Michael Bourn-Carlos Ruiz double steal two years ago that sent Carlos sliding across the plate like a penguin on an toboggan run.

Old Charlie shook up the lineup, and now that it worked, the speed-racer duo might just stick like a stuck accelerator pedal. And furthermore, I dub Davey Lopes the "Mr. Miyagi of base coaches."

Now, a straight up steal of home plate is just freaking cool. Although it’s never been done to me, it goes on my top 10 list of all time coolest plays ever. And Charlie Manuel said Jayson did that all by himself.

Last night J Dub was back having the time of his life. Business was a little slow in right field so he thought he’d run a special on baserunning. And he was having a good time being a bad boy. I’ve been a bad girl—I forgot to redeem my coupons at the checkout—please punish me. Forget my Jayson Werth blanket; I’ll wear out my Tivo footage of his rant around the bases by the weekend.

And I want to congratulate the cameraman at third base who caught that steal. He had the lens focused directly on Jayson’s backside. That’s my favorite view. If I was a camerawoman, my producer would have eventually said, “Why’s that camera still aimed at Jayson’s arse?”

Answer: “Because I’ve got a problem.”

But the game didn’t start out so well. I was hoping Chan Ho Park would take the mound like the first Korean pitcher in the majors who intended to put his country on the map. Instead, it felt like he was haunted by games passed when that 3-2 fastball soared right down the middle and was hit off the wall by Dodgers lead-off man, Juan Pierre.

Then Park pitched a 3-0 count to the second batter, and by the end of the inning had allowed two doubles and a run on 26 pitches. I could almost hear Dolly Parton singing, “Here we go again…,” but that’s not the type of singing that conjures Philly spirit.

That’s what I call a Seoul-crusher.

And that’s not a good omen when playing the Dodgers. They’ve been busy lately. The LAD flew in like the LAPD, ready to enforce what we already knew: a record 13 straight wins at home (losing only after Manny’s suspension) and they’re the most successful team in the National League in like...everything.

We started last night with a four-game losing streak with our leadoff hitters last in batting average and on base percentage, and second to last in runs scored in the league. But we, umm, have some really good-looking fielders?

Then Park came back in the second and struck out two in a one-two-three inning. But then they continued to hit him. The upside is, he didn’t hand out free passes to first like the Dodgers who’d been dealt a rotten deck in Monopoly. And the fact that we lead the league in bases-loaded walks proves we’re the best at monopolizing on misfortune.

And how about that pickle? Tom McCarthy told us Garry Maddox once started in center field and ended up closing a play at the plate. Last night Jayson Werth started the 9-2-6-4-7 rundown at second that was capped with a tag by Raul Ibanez. Did I say how much I love this game?

The other piece of good news is last night was dollar dog night—and I missed it. Need I say more?

The only thing I didn’t like about our victory was there was no Mitch Williams commentary after the game. Mitch and I are a lot alike. He likes to get inside the guys’ heads after the game and I’d like to get inside their pants. I’m sorry, was I thinking out loud?

The moral of the story is, Jayson Werth is now Casper’s mischievous sidekick on the base path, Jimmy Rollins got to contribute in a stirred up lineup, Shane Victorino started another hitting streak, and the fat lady sang her way to a 5-3 Phils victory. Only Turkey Hill Grand Slam ice cream is sweeter than that.

See you at the ballpark.


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