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story.lead_photo.caption Former outfielder Jayson Werth said on a Philadelphia-area podcast that sabermetrics is killing the game of baseball.

Former outfielder Jayson Werth, who said he was "done" with professional baseball in June, has this advice for front-office types who use sabermetrics to determine the paths of franchises: It doesn't compute.

"They've got all these super nerds, as I call them, in the front office that know nothing about baseball but they like to project numbers and project players," Werth, who wouldn't use the word "retirement" when he left the game June 27, told the Howard Eskin Podcast for WIP-FM, 94.1, in Philadelphia.

"I think it's killing the game," Werth said. "It's to the point where just put computers out there. Just put laptops and what have you, just put them out there and let them play. We don't even need to go out there anymore. It's a joke."

Werth, 39, was playing with the Class AAA Tacoma Rainiers -- batting .206 with 4 home runs and 19 RBI for the Seattle Mariners' affiliate -- when he said he had "no regrets" to stop playing. He finished his 15-year career as a .267 hitter with 229 home runs and 799 RBI, mostly with the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies, with whom he won a World Series in 2008 and was an All-Star selection in 2009.

"When they come down, these kids from MIT or Stanford or Harvard, wherever they're from, they've never played baseball in their life," Werth told Eskin. "When they come down to talk about stuff like [shifts] ... should I just bunt it over there? They're like, 'No, don't do that. We don't want you to do that. We want you to hit a homer.' It's just not baseball to me.

"We're creating something that's not fun to watch. It's boring. You're turning players into robots. They've taken the human element out of the game."

Werth, known for his long hair, big beard and aggressive style during his playing career, is not the first to launch a verbal assault at baseball "nerds." Hall of Famer Goose Gossage ranted against the same thing in 2016.

"It is a joke," Gossage said then. "The game is becoming a freaking joke because of the nerds who are running it. I'll tell you what has happened, these guys played rotisserie baseball at Harvard or wherever the [expletive] they went, and they thought they figured the [expletive] game out."

Unique choice

Brad Boxberger already has a cool walk-up theme -- "God's Gonna Cut You Down" by Johnny Cash. Now the Arizona Diamondbacks' closer is set to add one of the most creative jerseys in Major League Baseball, for one weekend only.

ESPN's Darren Rovell on Thursday reported Boxberger will become the first MLB player to use emojis on his nameplate during a game. The special uniform will be worn during Players Weekend games against the Seattle Mariners on Aug. 24-26 at Chase Field in Phoenix. The T-shirt and jersey also will be available for purchase.

During Players Weekend, MLB players and coaches are allowed to have nicknames in place of their last names on the back of their jerseys. Some Diamondbacks players got creative with their nicknames last season, including Archie "Hollywood" Bradley and Nick "Slick Nick" Ahmed. Others, like starting pitcher Zach Greinke, stuck with the traditional nameplate.

Boxberger's emojis will be of a box and a cheeseburger.

Sports quiz

How many MLB organizations did Jayson Werth play for?

Answer

Six: the Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals and Seattle Mariners. Werth broke into the majors with Toronto in 2002.

Sports on 08/11/2018

Print Headline: Werth not very high on 'super nerds'

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