Vernon Wells

A piece I wrote when Vernon Wells made his first trip back to Toronto with the Angels.
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Last night was Vernon Wells’ return to Toronto, after being traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the last off-season. I didn’t watch the game, but I heard all about it afterward. Vernon got a standing ovation, and then homered off the first pitched he saw.

Good for him. Despite his short-comings on the field, Wells was always a hard-working and charitable guy within the city. He was good to the fans, gave a lot of money to charity, and was just generally a nice guy. He deserves to be treated well by the Toronto fans, and I thought the standing ovation was a pretty classy move.

But, while I was on Twitter last night, I decided to scroll down through all the tweets mentioning Wells (he was trending). After a certain point (see: any tweet mentioning him before yesterday), they were all about how terrible he’s playing this season. The dichotomy was pretty amusing. At the top, they were all similar to ‘Classy guy, good player, I wish him well’, and lower down ‘Wells fucking sucks, he couldn’t hit a beach ball, trade him for some baseballs and a hat’.

And it’s kind of sad, because he really does suck. I mean, he puts up decent numbers, HR and RBI-wise, but he’s only hitting .208 on the season. He’s on pace to finish the season somewhere around 25/65, and for a guy who makes the amount he does, that’s just not acceptable. Last season, he did good. Hit .273, with 31 HR and 88 RBI. That’s what allowed the Jays to unload his ridiculous contract on the Angels. If they’d thought he’d be hitting .208 at this point in the season, there’s no way that trade gets made.

So, I don’t really have a point in this piece. I guess what I’m trying to say is it’s interesting how things change between players and fans, once the player is traded. When he played in Toronto, Vernon Wells was vilified often by the fans, due to the lack of production in relation to the amount of money he made. Now that he’s an Angel, all their fans hate him, and he gets a standing ovation in Toronto. It’s a very strange thing.

Later.

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