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The Nationals rode into the 2013 season on a tsunami of optimistic #Natitude. After posting the best record in baseball last year, the Nats generated spring training headlines like “5 Reasons the Washington Nationals Are Ready to Win the World Series in 2013.” But by the end of June, they were the worst-ranked defensive team in the National League. Their offense, by every category, also sucked. The team ended the season in second place in the NL East, but by most measures, the 2013 Nats were a disappointment.
Except for Jayson Werth. All season, the Nats’ werewolfish right fielder consistently displayed a certain—not charisma, per se, but weirdness aplenty. His rotating mish-mash of walk-up songs, which included the theme music to Game of Thrones, made his teammates’ Top-40 claptrap look wan. His minimalist interview tactics at times approached performance art—in one post-game discussion, he described his sixth-inning home run thusly: “I don’t know. It went far. It went over the fence. I don’t care. Let’s go.”
The highlight of the entire Nats’ season came courtesy of Werth after a June loss to the Phillies, when he used a cannibalism metaphor to describe the mentality of a professional baseball player. “That’s all part of being a big leaguer,” he said. “You’ve just got to do it. You’ve got to show up tomorrow ready to eat somebody’s face.”
Here’s to more face-eating in 2014, Jayson.