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Ibanez Busts a Slump; Werth Continues His

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, May 04, 2011 07:50 AM | Comments: 32
Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

—Citizens Bank Park

Raul Ibanez was happy. There’s really no other way to describe his mood after ridding himself of an ugly 0-for-35 slump that had people believing he was finished as a ballplayer. Ibanez himself never had thought that way, although you couldn’t blame him if he did. His teammates wouldn’t let him think that way.

“These guys have been really supportive and almost to a man, guys have come up and say ‘hey, I’ve been there, I know what that’s like.”

Even Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond couldn’t believe that Ibanez has slid into such a funk. Desmond gave Ibanez a tap when he got to second base, and told Ibanez he looked it up before the game to see how bad it had gotten.

“I can’t really put the feeling in words…it was a big relief,” said Ibanez after a 2-for-4 night.  “The only way I have to function is to pretend it never happened, and move forward.”

Maybe Raul himself can act like this never went down, but every Phillies fan was literally counting the hours, minutes, and seconds until he hit the bench. But as Charlie Manuel says, the only way to beat a slump is to keep playing through a slump.

“It’s what you gotta do, you gotta grind it out,” Manuel said. “When the going gets tough, you gotta get tough with it. You gotta keep swinging…and do a lot of praying and things might happen for you really. You get yourself in there and you get yourself out.”

Now, this clearly does not spell the end of trouble for Ibanez. Two hits against one of the oldest, and slowest, pitchers in baseball is not a feat. It’s merely a cleansing for Ibanez, and he’ll take that. It’s time to start anew. No longer is Raul, in his mind, 2-for-38. He’s 2-for-4 and ready to get hot, just when the Phillies are looking for some offensive threats.

Ibanez, ever the soft-spoken optimist, had some fun with his breakthrough night. “You feel better when you hear other guys have gone through it, but at the same time you don’t wanna hear. Cause I didn’t even think that it was possible, really.”

“It’s kinda hard to do,” he said with a chuckle. At least he’s smiling. It’s been a while since he’s done that. And hopefully, that hot streak is on it’s way.

WERTH GOES 0-FER in RETURN

If you watched the game, you witnessed the mixed reaction for Jayson Werth turn into a full-fledged ovation as he stepped to the plate in the first inning. Home plate umpire Brian O’Nora gave him a second to address the crowd by sweeping off home plate. Werth would tip his cap, take a few seconds to soak it in, and then, get down to business.

Werth would face Cole Hamels four times and would reach base by way of walk, his only trip to the bases on Tuesday night. In four of the last five games, Werth has gone hitless. His average is down to .226.

Many believed he would be booed in his return to Citizens Bank Park, and for a short time he was. However, the Phillies faithful understand the choice he made (or at least they should) and gave him a standing O anyway. So while he’s now the villain, the fans did the right thing and acknowledged him for the four years he served in Philly. It was a fine gesture.

In the bottom of the inning, when he took his familiar spot in right field, he tipped his cap again to the crowd, and again received a hearty clap from the 45,000-plus in attendance.

All-in-all, it was a win for the Phillies fans. They got to cheer for a guy they called their own for four seasons, and one who played an integral part in bringing a championship back to the city, and then watched him go 0-for-3.

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1710 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 193 bfo_33

    Avatar of

    Phils fans are getting soft – two feel good fan reaction stories in one week! Happy Werth got the ovation he deserved, now feel free to boo.

    Even happier that Ibanez got a few hits last night, but not convinced he can turn on a 92 mph fastball yet. Hoping he and the rest of the crew play well enough to hold off on Brown until he’s ready. Nice to see Cole go 9 with a little run support (must be the goatee). Beating the teams you are supposed to, play 500 against the good teams is a nice recipe for the playoffs.

     
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    BFO, he did hit a 90mph 4 seamer in the 7th inning for the RBI double, so he was able to catch up to that. But I know what you’re saying. Small sample size.

     
  • Posts: 0 Rabid Philly Sports Fan

    The Philly Phaithful made me proud….they booed, but then cheered Werth and I think it is another class act performed by the Fans of Philly. From now on, Jayson gets only boos from now on, he is the enemy, but the memories are timeless.

     
  • Posts: 1190 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    Glad to see the fans there gave Werth an ovation. Shows that we’re not ungrateful ba$tards.

     
    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      but Manny, arent you happier to see Raul break his slump!?

      Seriously, the Werth thing was cool to see. He deserved it, even if he’s not well liked by the media. The fans adored him and gave him that. Now its onto the boos.

       
  • Posts: 2071 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    Even the schlubs on WIP this morning were giving Jayson some props, can you imagine?
    I am excited to see him tomorrow night and even more so to witness another Raul Ibanez hit would be really cool.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    I was right on the money about the older days in sports. Magic Johnson was talking on a show last night about sports. He brought up the Phillies because of what they have done with this core group. They asked him about Werth. I was shocked Magic knew who Werth was. When the reporter said Werth took all the money to leave and go to the Nats. Magic said what I have been saying. He shook his head and said these guys today are not built from the same cloth. Money is gleaming on there eyes. He said 125 million is alot but wouldnt you rather take less to win rings. Why play in front of an empty crowd. Thats why I loved sports back then. I could not get enough. I still watch the Phillies but not every pitch. I turn it on every few innings. Lets face it the old days in sports are gone. Its all about the dollar…Just look at the NFL…S c r e w the fans…

     
    • Posts: 2071 Brooks

      Avatar of Brooks

      Jeff, sometimes your sentiments hit the spot and this is one of them. I too don’t really understand what the difference is between say 8 mil a year and 16 – I mean, at what point do you say you have enough?

      Rings are too difficult to come by – you will be remembered by your rings, by the championships – the lore that will accompany The Phils in the early part of this century will live long after the money is all spent.

      I won’t begrudge anyone who believes that they need to take that much money when they can but, there is a special quality about the guys in red – and this team is leaving a terrific stamp on the game that will outlive us all.

       
    • Posts: 193 bfo_33

      Avatar of

      The biggest difference between athletes now and 50 years ago is that the athletes finally have some leverage. Before, players were completely beholden to the owners, who tossed them out as soon as they could find a cheaper version who could generate the same income.

      In 1959, Mantle had an off year – only batted 285 with 31 hr, 75 rbis. Since he was making the obscenely high amount of $72k (which was a good salary, but didn’t set you up for life, wasn’t anything near what he actually brought in the gate or merchandise), for his poor performance, the Yanks wanted to cut his salary by $15k. Mantle had two choices – accept or retire. They finally worked out a deal where Mantle only got a $7k cut (almost 10% of his salary). Do you really think Mantle accepted because his love of the Yanks or the fans? Did the Yanks really need that extra $7k they striped? Did they drop ticket prices, or bring in more talent with it? No, it was strictly a power move.

      It’s easy for Magic to state that Werth is a sell-out – no one was going to pay him more than the Lakers were anyway. Do I think Werth is worth $126M? No, and am glad the Phils didn’t come close to that. We’re not talking about a few dollars, though – the Nats offer was double any other on the table. His next several generations are set for life. I would sacrifice a ring or two for that security.

      The game of baseball is perfect, the players and owners are not. Both are out to make money. It works out best for the fans when the two groups have equal power. In pro sports right now, baseball has the best balance.

       
  • Posts: 3087 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    I still don’t get why someone would boo a player that helped a team win 4 division titles, two pennants and a World Series…

    Why??? Just because he took the money…..money that you and I and everyone else would have taken if it was offered to us?? He gets booed for being smart?

    Jayson Werth didn’t do anything to any of us…but for some reason, Phillies’ fans feel that he was wrong for leaving, for taking care of himself and his family.

    I’m glad he got the nice ovation that he did last night. And it clearly showed that he was grateful forit.

     
    • Posts: 0 Sandy Taint

      I think he would have been able to take care of his family (I love when millionaires use that line) with the money the Phils offered… he just was hurt by all the trade talk last July at the deadline.
      Doncha think he would have enjoyed playing at the bank instead of the empty park in D.C.?

       
    • Posts: 1126 betasigmadeltashag

      Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

      I am pretty fed up with people everywhere saying he took the money like everyone would. you all do not speak for me, an more is not always good. I have taken less money for a better life style and job I enjoyed more granted a few thousand dollars a year is not 8 million a year, not everyone in this world is money motivated. I know if the the job offered me a million dollars more I would probably take it.
      but if I was making 7 milllion and someone offered me 10 for a worse life experience I would not take it. And in the baseball world you can make more money playing for a better team for majority of your career after your career.

       
      • Posts: 193 bfo_33

        Avatar of

        So you are fed up with people assuming what you’d do, then assume that Werth is having a worse life experience? Maybe it’s totally money based, maybe he wants the challenge of building a fanbase, want’s to be “the Guy” (which won’t happen in Philly as long as Howard and Utley are here),…. there could be a thousand other reasons, none more valid than the other. Plus, DC is a similar city to Phila (not like he went to Cleveland), with some advantages.

         
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Gentleman, you have to look at it like this: Jayson Werth wanted to stay here and the Phillies gave him a very low offer compared to other teams. What comes into play is the players union. If The Phillies offer $66 million and the Nationals offer $126 million, there is no way the players union will allow him to walk away. Why?

    Because if he takes it, it drives the price up for future stars to get contracts. Werth’s deal acts as a basis now for players. When a team now looks in free agency for players, they can’t use Werth’s $66 MM deal, they now have to look at a deal twice that size, meaning others down the line – and the players union itself – will reap the benefits. As we know with unions (and I dont want to step on any toes here) but it’s basically to suck as much money out as possible. They’re big and strong and have a lot of pull. I honestly believe that was the reasoning behind it.

    Now I’m sure when Werth compares the two and is offered double – yeah it’s a lot of scratch – he might look at it as a snub by the Phillies. Why do the Nats think I’m worth this much while the Phillies think it’s this much. So perhaps on a personal level, he felt obligated to stick it to the Phillies for offering him something very low.

    But I believe the players union had A LOT to do with it.

     
    • Posts: 5559 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      I said this before-
      I have absolutely no problem with anyone bettering themselves and their family. As Chuck points out, I would do it too. I also have no problem believing he felt unappreciated by the Phillies FO, and would not have accepted their offer even if he did not get such a huge payday, and again I have no problem with that.

      But your theory about responsibility to the Players Union is a completely unacceptable reason for leaving to me. Not saying it didn’t happen, in fact I’m sure played a part. I’m saying he does not owe anything to fellow or future players on other teams, he does owe his former fellow TEAMMATES everything. Sure it helps the future players on his team too, but did it help the current and older guys? Rollins, Lidge, Ibanez, Halladay, Polly, even Utley. These guys aren’t in their mid 20′s- there is no big payday waiting for them, only a chance at immortality by way of another WFC. What about Charlie and Dubee, etc? There exists a very short window of opportunity here, and possibly taking that away from the guys that have been loyal to him, for the sake of the Union???? I’m sorry that is not acceptable under any circumstance. Family, fine. The freakin Union- No that thought just burns me up.

       
      • Posts: 193 bfo_33

        Avatar of

        I thought someone named lefty would be pro-union.

        Depending on your philosophy, helping the union helps all major leaguers, or it just distributes some money from owners to union management.

         
  • Posts: 3087 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    The bottom line is Werth was offered almost double what the Phillies offered. DOUBLE. Yeah….the sold out park in great, but, Sandy Taint, if you were in Werth’s shoes you would have done the same thing.

    And, Pat, I agree…..the player’s union DID play a big role. Like it or not.

     
    • Posts: 5559 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      I choose “NOT” and if you think about it, I believe you would to.

       
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Lefty, I agree it’s BS, but it is what it is. Money creates power, and the more money guys like Werth get, the more leverage the union will have in the future. That in turn means more power in negotiating.

    Now, if the Nats ponied up $90 million to the Phillies $66 million, there might have been a different outcome. But I’m pretty sure the union WILL NOT allow you to leave $60 million on the table. It’s 2 contracts in 1 basically.

     
    • Posts: 5559 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      I repeat-

      It burns me up! As in- boils my blood, as in- if true, I will boo him too, and I never do that.
      (I dare anyone to construct a sentence more poorly than that)

      This is one ledge I cannot be talked off of. I hold my ground. If you do it for the security of your family for generations to come, fine. Any Union reason is more than BS, it’s unacceptable on any level.

      @BFO- I am physically left-handed, and was called Lefty because I was a pitcher 40 years ago, but that’s the extent of my Lefty”ness”.

       
    • Posts: 573 Bruce

      Avatar of Bruce

      Is Werth’s agent, Scott Boras involved in your conspiracy theory for players’ Union involvement? ;-)

      Hey, Boras is the best MLB agent in the business and has made multi- millionaires of players many times over. So long as there are owners opening their deep pockets in this business of give and take, players will reap the huge benefits as well their agents.

      The difference between what the owners of the Phillies and Nats offered to Werth is $2 million when it comes to the average salary per year (Phillies’ $16 million to Nats’ $18 million). Of course, Werth accepted a 7 yr contract as opposed to Phillies’ offer of 3 years with a 4th year option. To me, it’s all about the market establishing a value on a player and abetted by the owners’ willingness to open their vaults in bidding against one another.

       
  • Posts: 3087 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    I would say that a raw nerve has been hit in Lefty.

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    I don’t think the Union had anything to do with this at all. I am going too boo Werth because I don’t like him personally. I didn’t like the way he hired Boras in the middle of a pennant race last year when he was playing lousy and I don’t like the crack about he was under appreciated and how the the Phils could have afforded both he and Cliff Lee. He actually said that. Oh yeah? Further, I don’t like his standoffish and aloof demeanor. He seems like a jerk to me.

    Are these good reasons to other people? I dunno. He may be avery nice man but I’ll never know. What I do know is that I don’t need that much money to be happy and I can’t fathom how someone would wanna play in a sh@thole for 20m a year or whatever instead of playing in a place that would make him happy and give him a chance to win for maybe 15m a year. Not sayin that team was the Phillies, but as Gary “The Glove” Payton once said, “just how many yachts can you ski behind?” I don’t expect for anyone to see it my way but I’m all coffeed up and I felt like posting.

    The Dipsy

     
    • Posts: 573 Bruce

      Avatar of Bruce

      Dipsy; I seldom agreed with your thoughts but on this one I DO! The repetitious argument in defending Werth by one poster here (presumably a BIG fan of Werth) that “..for taking care of himself and his family..” is a bit ludicrous. Especially when were are looking at the obscene amount of $126 million for a player that is not on the same level of talent and greatness of players who are labled as future Hall of Famers. What really motivates someone like Werth is in one word..GREED.

       
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    If his object in baseball, or with this contract in particular, is to make as much money as possible can, then OK. I understand him. But he should also understand that his contract exemplifies what a lot of people think is wrong with pro sports. Hey, I actually blame the Gnats more than I do Werth. Its just a turnoff. I am just a common man.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 5559 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    “There is no way the Players union would allow him to walk away”????

    Really???
    I’m trying to envision that conversation.

    “Mr Werth first we want to thank you and your agent for coming to New York (or wherever their offices are) today on such short notice, can we get you a drink?
    “No I’m fine, got the Harley parked in a loading zone out there, can we just get it?”
    Certainly, but first allow me to introduce you to R. L. Beansworthy of the firm Beansworthy, and Swanson. “Hello” Mr. Beansworthy is our attorney and he is here in case there is any misunderstandings or messiness.
    “Huh??”
    Mr. Werth we have decided that since you will not take the Nationals offer and are going to stay and play in Philadelphia for half the salary that we are kicking you out of baseball forever.
    “You’re doing what?
    Yes you see we’ve planted a seed with our friends in the FBI showing that you personally threw the World Series in 2009.
    ” This is crazy, I’m outta here, ”
    You can leave Mr. Werth, but you can never suit up again. And if you try to, we’ll prove your wife and children were also involved with the known gambler Mr. Rothstein Jr.
    “F. this , I’ll take the Nationals offer”
    Okay then we have a deal?
    “Yeah whatever, I’m worried I might get a ticket in the loading zone”

     
  • Posts: 1190 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    Excuse me but a 60 MILLION dollar difference is pretty damn significant, and if you’re a rational human being you take those extra 60 million. Invest that and it multiplies.. or save it for your kids and grand kids… or give some to your favorite charity… 60 million dollars is just too much money for anyone to leave at the table.

    I cannot fault Werth for doing that. Now, if the difference was substantially smaller, other factors would play in. But 60 MILLION BUCKS difference!? C’mon people!

     
    • Posts: 5559 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      Of course I take it. But not because of pressure form an outside source.

       
    • Posts: 1190 Manny

      Avatar of Manny

      Side note: I doubt that the union had any significant role in his decision to go to the Nats. It was just the amount of money… too good to pass up.

       
      • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

        Avatar of Pat Gallen

        Manny, you’re probably right, however, they probably kept him from saying yes in the first place to whatever the Phillies offered, pretty much assuring the deal he got would be much higher. I truly believe the union ha something to say about sweetheart deals.

        The only reason they didn’t make a fuss about the Lee contract is because it still made him the highest paid pitchers by annual value. so on the surface its still a great contract.

         
    • Posts: 3087 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      Exactly, Manny. People need to get a grip. Anyone that was presented with a similiar situation would do the same thing.

      And….@ Bruce…. The “one poster” you refer to is probably me. Am I a “BIG fan of Werth” as you say?? Yeah, I like the guy, like what he did for the Phillies. He doesn’t bother me nor does his decision to take the contract bother me. And I respect his being “aloof”. Why is it necessary for him to cozy up to everybody?? His being quiet somehow makes him a bad guy??

      But I’m defending him because, like Manny says, “if you’re a rational human being you take those extra 60 million.”

       
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Well Olbanez got a hit i say one hit because the other one should of been caught. I guess after enough bats just about anyone will eventually connect an get a hit. Sorry to say that about Raul but for now that’s the way i see it.

     
 
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