In the summer of 2016, National Journal reporter Josh Kraushaar stumbled upon the scoop of the century. Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth’s seven-year $126 million contract appeared to contain an unknown perk: His own private security force dedicated to protecting his fragile, fragile ego. These Blackwater-esque foot soldiers patrolled the stands under cover of regular old ushers to neutralize the threat of “WEEEEEEERTH-LEEEEESSSS” chants.
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) June 29, 2016
The Washington Free Beacon had stumbled upon the story when two of its reporters were escorted from the stadium by police on May 23, a 7-1 Mets victory—their second expulsion in a three-game stretch. Werth is not the only one to take umbrage at the particular way that Mets fans express themselves. Leslie Brett, wife of Hall of Fame Royals third baseman George, called us the worst around, which made their World Series victory—and our agony—all the sweeter.
“The reaction of the fans was kind of awesome because there were some pretty obnoxious ones that just were riding the players. And it felt like it was good karma for us,” she told the New York Times. “I got a kick out of it.”
If Mrs. Brett wanted to know why Mets fans are as surly as we are cocky, she could ask her husband to tell her about the Pine Tar Incident. Brett had to deal with the pin-striped embodiment of smugness for one July afternoon in 1983 and lost his mind. Imagine if he had to spend every moment of his baseball existence surrounded by this mindset.
What she should not do is pick up a copy of So Many Ways To Lose: The Amazin’ True Story of the New York Mets—the Best Worst Team in Sports by former GQ editor Devin Gordon.
“It’s incorrect to say our dear boys invent new ways [to lose], because ‘invent’ implies volition,” Gordon says. “The Mets discover ways to lose like the Titanic discovered an iceberg.”
Look no further than the “Yo La Tengo” ball, which should be in the Hall of