After Friday’s game, Jayson Werth responded to the furor over comments he made earlier this week. The short version: Werth claims he was misunderstood.
“What was said is ‘we need to make changes,’” Werth said. “Where it was taken from there, that’s totally out of my control, people that didn’t even hear what I said writing articles about different scenarios that have nothing to do with what I was talking about. Changes need to be made: we need to start winning ballgames.”
The kerfuffle started after Wednesday’s loss in Milwaukee that capped a 1-6 road trip for the Nationals. Werth expressed frustration with the team’s struggles. His comments included: “I’ve got some ideas obviously and some thoughts that I don’t really want to share with the world, but I think it’s pretty obvious what’s going on around here. I’m not going to get into it right now. It is what it is. It’s unfortunate.”
That led to a meeting Friday with manager Jim Riggleman. Neither Riggleman or Werth would reveal what was said (“It’s nobody’s business,” Werth said). But Riggleman didn’t believe Werth was implying the manager was the problem.
“What happened from the end of the game in Milwaukee until today had nothing to do with me,” Werth said. “That was just people making up stories and saying things that they don’t even know what they’re talking about. … Basically what I was saying is we need to start winning games.”
Also, Jerry Hairston explained his ejection on a strange play in the seventh where he flied out to center. Instead of running, Hairston stood in the box. Afterwards, Hairston said he called time out before the pitch and didn’t think pitcher Clayton Richard gave him time to get set in the box before he threw a pitch. Hairston is a former teammate of Richard and said the left-hander picked up the quick-pitch technique from Mark Buehrle of the White Sox.
All of it left Riggleman sprinting onto the field in a fruitless attempt to keep Hairston from being tossed.
“I love him and he’s a ball of fire,” Riggleman said. “But I knew when he didn’t run he was going to get ejected.”