Well, this was certainly not the way I was hoping Jered Weaver was going out in 2016. It was definitely something that I was worrying about, but I thought Weaver, who suffered some back tightness in his last start, would need wild horses to drag him away from starting the last game of the season.
His back must be aching more than we had thought, because Weaver announced this afternoon that he wouldn’t be making tomorrow’s appearance on the bump, which means his season is done. Now, it also means that there is a chance that we never see him pitch for the Angels ever again. That’s nothing I want to think about, but it’s officially a reality that we need to adjust to.
Here’s Weaver, in his own words, at the Big A earlier today:
Jered Weaver said he's not pitching tomorrow "my back is not responding as much as it did before." #Angels— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) October 1, 2016
Weaver: "It's definitely a bummer. Definitely not the way I wanted to go out." #Angels— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) October 1, 2016
Weaver made it clear that he didn't feel capable of pitching. This was not the #Angels shutting him down against his will.— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) October 1, 2016
Jered Weaver said "I'm definitely not going to retire." #Angels— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) October 1, 2016
Who knows what the future holds for Weaver, but I hope it involves the Angels. Nobody on the team has been an Angels player longer than Weaver (unless you count Scioscia), and he’s a crucial part of the franchise’s fabric, and his name show’s up in countless Angels statistical conversations.
The 2016 campaign was a surprise in and of itself, because he came into the first game back in April amidst endless doubters and people questioning his ability. He had no fastball, he had back/neck problems, he had no fastball, he’ll give up tons of homers, etc., etc.. Cut to Weaver, in October, leading the Angels in innings pitched. There was a war of attrition being waged on the Halos’ starting rotation, and Weaver, full of that veteran grit, was one of the last men standing.
Jhoulys Chacin will start tomorrow’s game, the final game of the season, and the speculation about what will happen with Jered Weaver can officially again. In a perfect world, he stays an Angel for life. Of course, the Halosphere is rarely perfect, and there are plenty of front office landmines that threaten blow up the Weaver-Angels relationship.
Now, make no mistake: the only thing important at this point in time is that last tweet from Fletch up there...”I’m definitely not going to retire.” That is all that matters at this very second. Never retire, Weaver. Never retire.