“Pitching-Good Days-Bad Days”
The first locker stall in the Padres clubhouse, usually reserved for veterans, is empty.
Jered Weaver is gone, headed to retirement.
We hardly knew him here, but we knew all the things he did before he got here.
When last seen here, he was booed off the mound in the aftermath of an ugly 8-run first inning in his last start.
His body broke down on him. First neck issues, that spread to his shoulder, that robbed him of velocity.
Then hip issues, that impacted his back and his mechanics.
I felt bad for Weaver in his last start before heading to the disabled list.
Padres fans were cruel as he got blasted in that final start.
Velocity gone. Ball movement non existent. And it was over just like that.
But there’s so much more to Jered Weaver, that this (0-5) record and inflated ERA in San Diego.
He was a workhorse for the Angels over a decade long span.
He pitched with a fury to his personality. He won 150-games in the regular season. He rang up big strikeout totals. He had some spectacular ERA’s for the Halos.
He was everything a high lst round pick was supposed to be, and he did it in his own backyard, coming out of Simi Valley.
He could have been, should have been a Padre, but lousy ownership refused to pay the going rate for high draft picks.
The Padres wound up with Matt Bush, bad attitude, bad drinking problems, and and bad elbow.,
The twilight of the Weaver career came quickly, like a fast arriving sunset in winter, much as it did for his talented brother Jeff Weaver, who did so many great things for the Detroit Tigers.
Jered made a lot of money because he had a lot of good seasons. He could have left the Halos, but he elected never to test free agency, just sign an 80M extension at the height of his career.
Up till the final year in Anaheim, when the injuries overwhelmed him, he answered the call and brought attitude and accomplishment to the mound every 5th day.
I was impressed with his demeanor and dedication thru this painful to watch season.
He answered questions honestly about being hurt, about the home runs he gave up, about what he was trying to do with his body to continue to make starts.
Inside, this man of fury, had to be hurting, but he never struck back, not at the media, not at the fans, who booed him so badly at the end at Angels Stadium than Petco Park.
Remember him for his amazing decade long career. File and forget how it all ended up, for that was a small sliver of all the man accomplished.
Sometimes you violate the media code, no cheering in the press box, by wanting a guy to do well.
You cheer privately when you see Brandon Morrow, the ex-Blue Jay and Padre, come back from diabetes and shoulder and forearm surgeries, to throw 95 this year out of the Dodgers bullpen.
You are saddened when you know 3-elbow surgeries have ended the career of once promising Padres left-hander Corey Luebke, retiring at age 30.
And for Jered Weaver, you remember his fire and the finality to how he pitched so many good games.
An odd bad day or bad season, does not denigrate all the great things he did for his team.
It’s baseball. Lots of good days, but yes, some bad days too.