Last night's game made me very happy. From writing "NA" on the back of the mound, to signing a team friendly 5-year deal to stay in Anaheim, to having his wife and parents in the stands for each of his starts, Jered Weaver DESERVED that game. Here are some links:
- Minnesota Twins at Los Angeles Angels - May 2, 2012 - MLB.com. "It was less than a week ago that newcomer C.J. Wilson told Weaver it was time for him to get a no-hitter, to which the tall right-hander replied: "No chance." "It's funny," Weaver was saying now. "A week later, it happens." Weaver had it going, "Twelve of Weaver's outs were lazy flyouts, five of his outs were weak grounders and really only one -- a Trevor Plouffe ball Torii Hunter made a running catch on in right field in the fifth inning -- was a hard-hit line drive. That was one of only three close calls on the night, really."
- Although he still insists on using the tired old team name gag, Rob Neyer makes an excellent point prior to the ninth inning of last night's game: Jered Weaver Just 1 Inning Away From No-Hitter - Baseball Nation. "If anyone knows why Mark Trumbo's still playing third base in this situation, his team ahead by nine runs and his pitcher working on a no-hitter, please contact the American WTF Association of America." Was Angels manager Mike Scioscia dozing in the dugout? How crappy would it have been if Weaver's gem had been ruined by a hit to thirdbase that Callaspo or Izturis could have fielded? Not smart baseball at all.
And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights - HardballTalk. "The best part of it: the lengths to which the Angels broadcasters went to avoid mentioning the fact that he actually had a no-hitter going until the game actually ended. They’re so cute." I really like Craig Calcaterra, but sometimes even those who we like can get on our nerves. I'm thinking most Angels fans appreciated Victor Rojas and Mark Gubicza not mentioning the no-hitter. Baseball is probably the most superstitious sport on the planet, and the "don't talk about the no-hitter" rule is one of the most stridently followed unwritten rules there is. And Calcaterra should know that. Whatever, he's still cute.
- Surprised? Mates knew this day was coming - angels.com. "At some point, all of his Angels teammates believed, Jered Weaver was going to get one of these. He had been too good for too long (compiling 82 wins and a 3.31 ERA in his previous six seasons), had come too close too often (especially when he threw six of eight no-hit innings against the Dodgers in a 1-0 loss in 2008). So when he finally got his first no-hitter against the Twins on Tuesday night, Weaver's teammates were ecstatic -- but in no way surprised."
Leave it to Weaver: Angels ace tosses no-hitter - The Orange County Register
Weaver was aware of the crowd – and his no-hitter – as he took the mound for the ninth inning. The announced attendance was just 27,288 and there appeared to be even fewer fans actually on hand. But they were chanting "Weav-er! Weav-er!" in the ninth inning, agonizing over every pitch as Weaver closed it out."It's awesome, an unbelievable experience. ... I just checked my phone and I have 66 messages. I didn't even know I had 66 numbers in my phone. I won't be able to get back to everyone tonight. I'll have to spread the love tomorrow."
- This is probably the best part of the no-hitter story: Weaver’s dad stays hungry ‘til the end - The Orange County Register. "After getting mobbed by his teammates, Weaver raised his glove toward his parents and wife in the stands. Later, they went onto the field, the whole Weaver family embraced and wept. "Oh God, he was just so excited, and so jubilant," Dave said. "He just celebrated with me. It's a dream come true for him and myself. It's just unbelievable. I don't think we had much to say except we just hugged the heck out of each other and said we loved each other." The son said: "Being able to bring them down on the field and cry it out was unbelievable." Lyle Spencer also adds this about how significant this game was to Weaver and his family: Lyle Spencer: Jered Weaver's historic night a family affair - angels.com. "His parents were a sounding board, but Weaver's decision to remain with the Angels, rather than testing the marketplace after the 2012 season, was his own. "He wanted the family to be able to enjoy his career," Dave Weaver said. Kristin, Jered said, "goes to every home game. In seven seasons here, she's missed one." And it wasn't just for his family and teammates, Jered Weaver’s no-hitter for the Angels came with relief, just not the usual kind - Yahoo! Sports. "This is why I stayed here," Weaver told the crowd. "For you guys."
- And this could be the most important part: No-no could jumpstart momentum for Angels - angels.com. "It wasn't just Jered Weaver's nine-inning gem. It was how the offense began to click, how the situational hitting improved, how the defense was crisp -- and how an event like this tends to bring a team together. Maybe this can be that spark they've been looking for. "Spark? That's a freaking flame," veteran outfielder Torii Hunter said. "We've been sparking. Throwing a no-hitter is a flame. I like it." For those who believe in chemistry, Weaver's gem could be the formula that rights the Halos season and gets them on track towards their preseason playoff predictions.
- Here's another view of how important last night's game was to the ballclub: Will Jered Weaver’s no-hitter help Angels turn things around? - HardballTalk. "Moving forward, you have to wonder if this is the sort of thing that will help the Angels relax and begin playing the sort of ball most expected of them when they signed Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson in the offseason. Playing the Twins certainly helps, as a scuffling offense woke up to score 17 runs in a three-game sweep. They’re 10-15 now and seven games behind the powerful Rangers, but there is a lot of baseball to be played, and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that this could still be a 90-win team, or even better."
- Twins tip their caps to Weaver after no-hitter - MLB.com. ""He was doing everything," center fielder Denard Span said. "He kept us off balance. He changed speeds. He's definitely a different pitcher when he's at home with the ball coming out of those rocks in center field. He had everything going tonight. So you have to tip your cap to him."
- Last night's batting order, regardless of the game's outcome, was a joke. The Caveman Diet - ESPN Los Angeles
- "We're kind of going caveman in this lineup, just going big, with some guys who can swing the bat," Scioscia said." Heck, I can swing a bat, how about putting up a line-up that features batter who can swing the bat and hit the ball. Apparently, parts of last night's batting order is going to stay the same: Scioscia: Kendrick to stay sixth in the order - angels.com. ""There's so much that goes into hitting second, whether it's the situational hitting, getting on base," the Angels skipper said. "And I think Howie's shown in his career he's really comfortable in RBI spots, particularly hitting somewhere in the middle where you might get more opportunities. It's a look we're going to go with for a while."
- Back-to-back-to-back shutouts! Blue Jays-Angels Preview - Yahoo! Sports. "The Los Angeles Angels' 1-2 punch of Jered Weaver and Dan Haren surely ranks as one of the more potent in baseball. One day after Weaver's no-hitter, Haren takes the hill for the Angels as they try for a third consecutive shutout in the same season for the first time in 38 years Thursday night in the first of four against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays." It's entirely possible Dan Haren can match Weaver's performance. Toronto Blue Jays at Los Angeles Angels - May 3, 2012 - MLB.com. "Los Angeles starters have put together 11 quality starts in their past 12 games. Right-hander Dan Haren is scheduled to start for the Halos on Thursday, coming off a one-run, eight-inning effort against the Indians in a 2-1 win on Saturday. Another righty, Brandon Morrow, goes for Toronto."
- Looks like the Milwaukee Brewers may be in the market for a new first baseman: Gamel has ACL tear, likely out for season - JSOnline. "Melvin said it was a tough blow for the team because the Brewers wanted to know if Gamel was the long-term answer at first base. As well, it was cruel for Gamel, who was finally getting his chance as a regular at first base after the departure of Prince Fielder." I love Mark Trumbo, but the Angels' starting pitchers aren't going to continue throwing complete game shutouts. Let's not forget the weaknesses facing the Angels out of the bullpen. Trumbo's trade value would go a long way in acquiring some much needed relief pitching.
- Holy crap, Magic Johnson knows how to talk smack: New era -- Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Dodgers lower cost of parking - ESPN Los Angeles. "Magic Johnson, the face of the new Los Angeles Dodgers ownership group, vows to bring change to a franchise that suffered a number of setbacks under the eight-year reign of former owner Frank McCourt. Flashing his trademark smile at an introductory news conference on Wednesday, Johnson said: "Frank's not here anymore. We should be clapping for just that." It looks like the team up north is going to use some of Arte Moreno's marketing tactics: Stan Kasten promises no-holds-barred approach with Dodgers - latimes.com. "Club's new president, who won a World Series with the Atlanta Braves, says he will spend money and do whatever is necessary to make Dodgers consistent winners."We intend to be aggressive on all fronts always," said KastenSaid Kasten: "The blame stops at my desk. It doesn't go farther than me." That means everything from Dodger Stadium parking — it will cost $5 less come Monday, the first home game under new management — to concessions, where Kasten is negotiating for a wider variety and lower prices." And what other discounts will they be pursuing? Dodgers close in on deal with Bobby Abreu - latimes.com. "Because Abreu was released, the Dodgers would be obligated to pay him only a prorated share of the major league minimum salary, which is $480,000 annually. The remainder of his $9-million contract would have to be paid by the Angels." This actually might be a good fit for both Abreu and the Dodgers.
- All I can say is "Wow": Tim Welke Demonstrated Why "The Human Element" Is A Pathetic Joke. "Today Tim Welke demonstrated why the Human Element is bullshit, by blowing a call that was obvious to anyone watching in the stadium." Here's another look at the play: Worst call of the MLB season so far?
Tyler Skaggs: Stuff-Versus-Stats - FanGraphs Baseball. Jerry Dipoto didn't do such a bad job when he made this trade for the Diamondbacks.
- Entertaining article: Larry Merchant, Leonard Shecter, and the Chipmunks sportswriting clan - Grantland. "Sammy White, a backup catcher for the Phillies, was sitting in the seat in front of him. He got annoyed by the clacking of Merchant's keys. So White reached behind his head and tried to yank out the paper from the typewriter. The Olivetti flew down the aisle of the plane. Merchant, who is 81 years old now, meets me at a New York hotel one morning. At his request, it is 7:45 a.m. Regarding the Sammy White incident, he says with a smile, "I did two things." He sent the bill for a new typewriter to the Phillies. And he wrote in his Philadelphia Daily News column: "It was the best throw Sammy White made all season."
- This sucks: Junior Seau Dead -- Cops Suspect Death Was Suicide - TMZ.com
- And finally, here's a cool video from last night: