You have seen it before, countless times probably. A player gives four strong years to a team, including a round of postseason heroics that contribute heavily to a World Series win, before moving on and signing with another team as a free agent upon the completion of his tenure. That, of course, fills the vacated fan base with vitriol. So angered are they that they feel it necessary to show the player that he is not only unwelcome in his former stomping grounds, but that he is also unwelcome in his new home. They accomplish the latter by buying up every right-field seat for each meeting between the two teams so that they may tell the player personally. Methinks, however, that this scenario is more a case of not knowing what you have until it is gone – a phenomenon that seems to have most recently affected fans of the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth.
Werth, who ended his run with the Phillies after signing a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Nationals in December 2010, has since incurred the wrath of those who would not have him back.
That wrath has never been more apparent than it was last night when the league’s classiest baseball fans went out of their way to show Werth how much he is missed. But in dealing with their grief over Werth’s departure, Phillies fans seem to have pigeonholed themselves into the second stage of the Kübler-Ross model – anger. Continue reading