In my last post, I dropped in a little note about Jered Weaver and the end of his Angels days. I didn’t know at the time that anything was official, I had just read a couple of items stating the team wasn’t planning on bringing him back. On Saturday, Weaver made it official by thanking Angels fans via his Twitter account. We later learned he had signed a 1-year deal with the San Diego Padres for the upcoming season. There’s not much else I can say about Weaver that I didn’t already cover in the last post but I did fail to talk about what clearly is my favorite moment involving Weav and that would be the no-hitter he threw against the Minnesota Twins at the Big A.
Two takeaways from that wonderful night: The first is an interesting one because he hadn’t played much at the position but Mark Trumbo was the starting (and finishing) 3B for the Angels that night . Trumbo grabbed a couple of foul pops near the railing and also made a nice play early on a bunt attempt. Secondly, and I’m not sure why I remember this so vividly, was Twins 1B Chris Parmalee’s at-bat late in the game. Just seemed like one of those that could cause trouble and almost did as Parmalee hit a rocket down the left field line that went just foul. You need a lot of good things to happen for a pitcher to complete a no-hitter or perfect game and you also need a little bit of divine intervention and Weaver got a little bit of both that night. It was a wonderful night for a local kid that had been brought up by the organization and the capper was not only seeing Torii Hunter squeeze the last out in RF but seeing the Weaver family reaction, in particular his dad’s…that was icing on the cake. Thanks again, Weav!
On a side note:
- I’ve always been a big fan of Andrew McCutchen. Even after having a ‘down’ year in 2016, I believe McCutchen is still one of the prime players in Major League Baseball. So much so that last year I was asked to partake in a Sporting News poll of the 50 best players in baseball for 2016 and I had him pretty high on my list (of course I had Mike Trout at #1). The guy had to deal with trade rumors all winter and now we’ve come to learn he’s being transitioned to right field instead of his familiar center field position. It got me thinking about Torii Hunter when he was moved to RF as an Angel back in 2010. The Angels brought Peter Bourjos up to patrol CF and the kid could flat-out fly and cover some serious ground. It brought about one of my favorite quotes from Torii that I still bring up periodically and it was after watching Bourjos run the bases and cover ground in the outfield, Hunter said “he reminds me of a young me.” Ah, Torii…I love ya but you never flew that fast. I bring this up because I believe during the time in which this decision was being reached, Mike Scioscia and Hunter at least had some conversations about it because the move was happening during the season (and truth be told, Torii must’ve covered 40,000 miles in CF the first couple of months of 2010 after being flanked with Juan Rivera in LF and Bobby Abreu in RF). While it’s a difficult pill to swallow as a veteran, Hunter put his pride aside and made the move and did so as the professional we’ve all known him to be. Andrew McCutchen is cut from the same cloth as Hunter. He loves this game, he loves his team and city and most importantly, he wants to win and if a little bruising of the ego or pride is the price he has to pay for things to get back on track in Pittsburgh, McCutchen’s going to do it. I’m hoping he gets back to where he was prior to 2016, at or near the top of the list of best all around players in the game of baseball.
- Crazy little story coming out of New York this weekend in regards to the Yankees “win” over reliever Dellin Betances in arbitration. I’m not getting in the middle of the entire exchange but I will mention that I’ve never really been a big fan of the arbitration process in MLB. It has to be the only system in place that essentially says when you lose, you still win. Back in the early 70’s, owners voted to institute the arbitration system in hopes of keeping players from holding out during contract renewals (reserve clause was still in play at this time). I remember talking to my dad about this years ago (in ’74, he was in the middle of his stretch with the Royals) and at that time, he knew free agency for players was on the horizon…maybe not during his finals days as a player, but eventually. Of course, he was right and free agency/arbitration clearly changed the business of baseball. Ken Rosenthal, whom I respect and admire for his work/work ethic, had a write up today about the Yankees/Betances situation and more specifically, about the arbitration process that’s still in play today. I think Ken’s right, it is amazing that in today’s game, where everything seems to be numbers based, there isn’t a more efficient way of dealing with players with 3-6 years of service time.
- Hall of Famer Goose Gossage reported to Yankees camp this week. If you don’t know about Goose and his spring training arrivals, I’ll just say he’s a very shy man that rarely speaks his mind. Here’s his 2017 entrance…enjoy!!
The World Baseball Classic is coming up and I’d like to know your thoughts on the event. Personally, I don’t get too jacked up about the WBC because it seems contrived…but that’s just my take. You can comment on here or shoot me an email and with you permission (and actual participation), I’ll post some of the comments I receive. Thanks in advance.
As always, feel free to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image photo by: Kelvin Kuo – USA Today Sports
Livin’ the dream…