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The fan who grabbed that foul ball from Jayson Werth speaks out

Jul 13, 2010, 1:32 PM EDT

Well, he was interviewed, anyway.  His story — which you can read here — is that he was just trying to protect his kid from the foul ball raining down from the sky.  Some of you took that position when it happened.  As a father I kind of doubted it — your first impulse is to cover your kid or grab your kid if you’re trying to protect them from danger; I think this guy wanted the souvenir — but it’s his story and that’s fine.

My take on this remains that both Werth and the fan were wrong. The fan should have gotten himself (and his kid) out of the way for what should have been obvious to him as a playable ball, and Werth obviously overreacted.

Read the end of the guy’s interview though, and you’ll probably end up coming down more on his side than Werth’s, even if you were wavering on the point. Seems his kid is a big Werth fan and since the incident he has been all quiet and weird.  Which is the same way I imagine I would have been acting if Alan Trammell or Batman or B.A. Baracus or someone like that bitched out my Dad in front of 40,000 people back in 1984.

  1. Saintblitzkrieg - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    Werth should just man up, apologize (i am not aware if he did or didn’t) and then send the kid a jersey and an autographed ball. Yes the fan was out of place, but I guess you can see his reasoning. If I had a kid, id probably do the same given the circumstances.
    But what Werth said is uncalled for. Everytime the ball is hit that close to the fans, you should expect it, regardless if it is your own fan. But Werth is a professional and he is paid for it, therefore he should act like one regardless of who is wrong here…
    The only reason Werth has a job is because of the fans paying to come and watch these athletes. Be a professional Werth, and man up.

  2. ThatGuy - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    I believe I read a story were Werth says he overreacted and he was sorry.

  3. Utley's hair - Jul 13, 2010 at 2:11 PM

    Both were in the wrong. While the guy should have gotten out of the way, there was no reason for Werth to spew like that. Okay…get angry, but the language and verbal bitchslapping–especially in front of the kid–was uncalled for.

    And Werth did not apologize. He said he got caught up in the heat of the moment, has gotten over it and moved on, but no apology.

  4. Jonny5 - Jul 13, 2010 at 2:13 PM

    I can’t stop laughing. B.A. Bitching my dad out on national TV telling him he’s a dumbass…… That’s too funny, and yes it could change a kids whole view of how great pops is, or was……. IMO, Werth did over do it. I mean in retrospect it was a foul ball here, not a home run. And I’m a big fan.

  5. eddie49 - Jul 13, 2010 at 2:21 PM

    When the ball crosses into the stands, it’s anybodys ball. In the excitement of the moment, most people would go after the ball. Werth was wrong to cuss out the guy in front of his kid, although he did say later he may have over-reacted. Just as Bartman was right to chase the ball, so was this guy. It’s a GAME. I know it’s life and death to some, but it’s a GAME. The fans are there to have fun. I’ve been to hundreds of games, mostly at Fenway Park, and I wish I could have gotten close enough to catch a ball. Werth should give the kid an apology and an autographed ball and show him he is worthy of being a little kids hero, and that his dad didn’t ruin the season for the Phillies.

  6. Boo Hoo Florio picked on your team - GET OVER IT - Jul 13, 2010 at 2:28 PM

    Anything to get out of an apology, eh?

  7. Ditto65 - Jul 13, 2010 at 2:35 PM

    IUf they didn’t want the guy to catch that ball, they shoulda moved the seats outof the way. Werth was wrong to cuss him out. Stay Classy, HBT.

  8. andrewlw - Jul 13, 2010 at 2:55 PM

    I agree they are both wrong, but I’d say the fan is more wrong then Werth. I’m not a Dad, but I don’t see why he thinks a) catching the ball is the safest way for him to prevent his son from being hit. b) that he has a better chance of catching it the Werth who in addition to being a major league outfielder actually has a glove on.
    I don’t know the kids story, but when I was 10 I would not simply stare at a ball until it clocked me in the head. I’d probably try and catch it myself or get out of the way and a kid who is a big baseball fan most likely thinks a similar way.
    As for the damage done to the kid mentally by having one of his heros yell at his Dad, The Dad or someone else can show him the articles where Werth said he regretted it and explain to him it was a heat of the moment thing. Something a 10 year old should grasp. Parents yell at their kids, most of the time they regret it after. Similar situations happen all the time in regular life. It’s not like he stood there and gave it to him for 30 seconds.
    They’re season ticket holders, so they’ll be back and will probably run into Werth again and he will likely apologize based on his comments.

  9. andrewlw - Jul 13, 2010 at 2:56 PM

    I agree they are both wrong, but I’d say the fan is more wrong then Werth. I’m not a Dad, but I don’t see why he thinks a) catching the ball is the safest way for him to prevent his son from being hit. b) that he has a better chance of catching it the Werth who in addition to being a major league outfielder actually has a glove on.
    I don’t know the kids story, but when I was 10 I would not simply stare at a ball until it clocked me in the head. I’d probably try and catch it myself or get out of the way and a kid who is a big baseball fan most likely thinks a similar way.
    As for the damage done to the kid mentally by having one of his heros yell at his Dad, The Dad or someone else can show him the articles where Werth said he regretted it and explain to him it was a heat of the moment thing. Something a 10 year old should grasp. Parents yell at their kids, most of the time they regret it after. Similar situations happen all the time in regular life. It’s not like he stood there and gave it to him for 30 seconds.
    They’re season ticket holders, so they’ll be back and will probably run into Werth again and he will likely apologize based on his comments.

  10. Freedoms Friend - Jul 13, 2010 at 2:58 PM

    I have a seven year old daughter, and my first thought when I saw the video was, ‘He stopped the ball from hitting his kid.’ Any parent who has taken a child to a baseball or hockey game, especially in the minors where you are closer to action, understands that.
    I don’t blame Werth for having competitive drive and wouldn’t expect him to understand what was going on with the fan. But he needs to put a lid on it and control himself. If he wants to play without fans around, he can go play Legion ball.
    Werth did say that he felt bad but never apologized and did not, as far as I know, reach out to the guy and his kid and give him a ball or a jersey or invite him to the clubhouse before or after a game. He should do that.

  11. ugotz472 - Jul 13, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    Werth you are simply worthless, chewing out some kid’s dad over a lousy foul ball?? It’s only a game my friend! Was that play/ball a game changing/momentum type play that would of changed the entire game?? The fans are who pay your salary and according to rumors this kid was very much a fan of yours, which since you chewed out his pops, now I wouldn’t know what he thinks of you! For once can these athletes think of someone else besides THEMSELVES??

  12. Seattleite - Jul 13, 2010 at 4:24 PM

    Whether or not the fan was in the wrong, I can understand why Werth reacted the way that he did. It was a mistake and it’s forgivable. But that certainly doesn’t make it right, and I think it was wrong for Werth to react that way and he really does owe this guy and his son a personal apology.
    But I think the larger question here is where are the Phillies on this one? Shouldn’t they apologize to the fan if Werth doesn’t have the common sense and decency to do so? Or better yet, shouldn’t they be making Werth apologize?

  13. Old Gator - Jul 13, 2010 at 4:27 PM

    I wouldn’t worry about the kid. Assuming his dad is your average paterfamilias, in years to come the kid will arrive at a realization that Dad is Dad and a schmuck in a silly uniform who cussed his dad out in a petulant little hissy fit was something between an asshole and a bobblehead.
    .
    Which is as it should be.

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