“The age of miracles,
The age of sound,
Well there’s a golden age,
Comin’ round, comin’ round, comin’ round.”
-”Golden Age,” TV on the Radio, 2008.
I think I’m falling into a trap where a post that starts with an epigraph identifies potential profundity in what follows. Either that or I want everyone to be aware that I’m so hip and with it that I can quote songs by cool underground bands that haven’t been particularly cool or underground in several years.
Neither is this post truly about booing Jayson Werth. I’m puzzled by why someone with even a modicum of intelligence and empathy who’s paid attention at all to the situation would hold Werth’s signing with Washington against him. A friend of mine who’s a huge Werth fan sent me a text message during last night’s game, apoplectic about the Phillies fans in Washington who were booing Werth and holding signs calling him a mercenary or worse, all the while cheering Cliff Lee, who took a richer contract, per year, than did Werth.
The fact is that Washington offered Werth a contract that, based on his age, past performance, and other offers available, the Phillies would have to be crazy to match and Werth himself would have to be crazy to turn down. Likewise, Lee was willing to sign for well below market value, and the Phillies would have been crazy not to sign him. There ought not to be any normative value to that chain of events, and I’m not sure what people are thinking when they make normative statements about it.
The fact is, also, that I’m absolutely sick and tired of talking about Jayson Werth, who, as a former Phillies outfielder, is only marginally more relevant to the Phillies in 2011 and beyond than other former Phillies outfielders, such as Jason Michaels or Michael Bourn. Or Sliding Billy Hamilton. So let’s move on past the SEO-friendly title.
I’ve already made clear how I feel about booing former Phillie stars, and how blessed we’ve been to watch this particular vintage of Phillies baseball, but I’d like to revisit Werth’s departure as an example of sport’s equivalent of recycling: the Brian Clough approach.
Continue reading On Booing Jayson Werth, Forest Fires, and the Brian Clough Approach