In my story in today's Post, Jayson Werth mentions longevity as one of the reasons for optimism that 2011 will be a blip, not the start of the long slide. "I got six more years on this contract," he said, "and I plan on playing after this contract."

Werth will be 39 when his current contract ends, but it was not the first time Werth had brought up his desire to play a long career. Last year, in early August, Werth sat his locker in Colorado and explained his future plans. He anticipates remaining a regular starter for the duration of this deal. Even if not, Werth said, he believes he will hang as a bench player.

And he has family experience to draw from.

"My grandfather [Ducky Schofield] played 19 years in the big leagues," Werth said. "I've always planned to have that same career. I've always wanted to play a long time. Like, as a little kid, I thought that was pretty interesting.