Today on "Nats Talk Live" following Washington's 2-0 win over Colorado I received a call from a listener who was concerned that Jayson Werth's body language was sending a bad message to the fan base. "He looks like he doesn't care," said the caller. "He plays with no obvious enthusiasm." A caller last night said he thought there must be some animosity between Werth and his teammates, based again on body language.
The callers were restating what I've heard from several other fans both on-air and on the concourse. I've responded by pointing out one basic fact.: Jayson Werth's body language is no different today than it was when he was wearing a Phillies' uniform, a Dodgers' uniform, a Blue Jays' uniform, or a Single-A Frederick Keys/Double-A Bowie BaySox uniform as an Orioles' farmhand.
It's who he is.
He's not a rah-rah guy. He's not a clown. He's not a glutton for attention. His body language is what it is, to borrow a popular cliche. There's no reason for him to assume a different persona than he's always had simply because a number of fans want to see him smile, or strut, or do whatever he deems inappropriate. I get that. If you thought what you'd seen when he was with Philadelphia was an act, it clearly was not.
Perhaps the four days off for the All-Star Game will recharge his batteries. I hope so. I've had scouts tell me they think he's hurt, and is playing through the pain to justify his contract, which would be mistake. He's not driving the ball like he's done in the past, and I can't help but recall that in 2005 a wrist injury derailed him for several months. That turned out to be a split tear of the ulnotriquetral ligament, and it took quite some time before it was diagnosed. I'm no doctor, but it may be worth taking a look at that again.
Werth isn't a kidder, nor is he an actor. Don't concern yourself with his body language. It's not going to tell you a thing.