While fans in Philadelphia certainly have mixed feelings towards Jayson Werth after his departure from the Phillies for a most lucrative of contracts with the Nationals a couple winters back, the guys he spent all those years in the Citizens Bank Park dugout with and won a WFC alongside still respect the guy.
Charlie Manuel included. And that respect is most certainly mutual.
Phillies beat writer David Murphy wrote about a moment during the Nationals-Phillies game the other night when the Nats realized they clinched the division in the middle of the ninth inning and Werth looked over to the Phillies dugout and saw Charlie. It's a great nugget.
For a brief moment, their eyes met: one man headed back to the
postseason, the other to an early October vacation. The rest of the
stadium faded away. Werth nodded at his former manager. Charlie Manuel
"I was basically just saying thank you," Werth said. "I look over,
and I see him, and I was pretty excited about what was going on, but it
also made me realize kind of how I got here. Charlie Manuel was
definitely a big part of that."
I'm not one of the people who boo Werth for taking more money and security from the Nationals. Most of us normal folk probably would have done the same. It's moments like the one written about above that remind you that Werth was one of the key players in the beautiful run that culminated in 2008 with a parade down Broad Street and a certain right fielder with a Hulk hand with a beer in it.
It's easy to reminisce about the magic of 2008, and that's likely something we'll always harken back to until a new team creates a similar magic. But as Jimmy Rollins says in the linked-to story, there's never going to be another first time for us.