Werth feels bad for yelling at fan

Updated: July 9, 2010, 7:55 PM ET
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- Jayson Werth has Philadelphia Phillies fans crying foul.

Werth caught grief, but not the ball, after he snapped at a fan who snagged a foul drive to deny the Phillies a potential third out against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night.

Cincinnati's Drew Stubbs hit a foul ball down the line that was caught by a Phillies fan in the first aisle seat toward the field. The fan did not reach over the fence or interfere.

Werth yelled at the fan for blocking his attempt and could be seen mouthing a profanity toward him. The fan had a young son with him, who appeared frightened that Werth had screamed at his dad.

"There's been some backlash, I think," Werth said before Friday's game against the Reds.

Werth never actually apologized for mouthing off to the fan, noting it came "in the heat of the moment."

"I'm definitely in a different mind-set than I would be in a normal setting," Werth said. "I don't think I would have yelled at anybody like that if that wasn't the case. We got the game on the line. Guy comes up and hits a home run on the next pitch, and it's a pretty big deal."

The play came with two outs in the 12th inning of a tie game. Stubbs grounded out and Philadelphia went on to win 4-3.

"Obviously, I feel bad for the guy and the kid that were sitting there and the people around there," Werth said. "It was kind of out of character a little bit. But I don't feel bad about playing hard and going after balls in stands and stuff like that."

Philadelphia sports talk radio station 97.5 The Fanatic aired an interview on Friday that it said was with the fan, who was identified only as Pat and said he instinctively reached for the ball to protect his young son. He heard a smattering of boos after the play.

"I'm like, what just happened there?" he told the station. "I sat down and I was like, I can't believe this happened to me."

In the visitor's dugout, Reds manager Dusty Baker had an eerie recall.

"It kind of reminded me of Bartman a little bit," he said.

Chicago Cubs fan Steve Bartman leaned over the wall in left to catch a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NL Championship Series against the Florida Marlins. Bartman was blamed for Chicago's collapse that denied it a trip to the World Series.

Baker managed the Cubs in that series.

"That's the first thing that came to my mind last night," Baker said. "I was there. I felt terrible for us, but I felt also bad for him. That's kind of a natural reaction."

Not everyone feels bad for the fan. The Phillies' website had a link to the catch with the headline "Fan steals catch from Werth."

Werth was part of another foul-ball flap that made national headlines last year. Werth's foul landed in the hands of a dad who gave the prize to his 3-year-old daughter. She quickly tossed it back toward the field, and all her stunned dad could do was hug her.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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