Weaver Pitches 7 Shutout Innings to lead the Angels to their 6th Victory While the Ink Dries on His Brand, Spanking New Contract

We were not going to go to a game this week. Yes, we had originally planned on going to Tuesday night’s game, but then the unexpected trip to Yosemite came up and it just seemed like too many things…Until Jered Weaver’s press conference. I think Weaver got a great deal from the Angels. But at the same time, I am as touched as everyone else that he didn’t wait to shop around as a free agent, potentially leaving significant dollars on the table to stay with the organization he grew up with.

Jered Weaver readies for his windup. Weaver took the mound to darn near a standing ovation in this, his first game post contract announcement. Angels vs. White Sox, August 24, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Listening to the press conference on the radio at lunch on Tuesday and hearing Weaver say, with warmth and tears in his voice, ‘I just couldn’t see myself anywhere else but here,’ ‘How much more money do you really need?’ and ‘Watching all of the Angels alumni return to throw out first pitches for the 50th, I want to be part of that brotherhood.’ I was thrilled. I was proud. I was moved. Heck, I even shed a few tears myself. There’s just something about tough guys being moved to tears that causes a few of my own to roll down my face in sympathy. And suddenly, I really wanted to go the game on Wednesday and be part of the crowd cheering our admiration and thank yous when Weaver took the mound for his next start. I can’t imagine sharing that with my non baseball fan friends. It’s not like I know the guy, or much of anything about him outside of baseball. So I know they wouldn’t understand needing to go to the game at that point in the slightest. But at the same time, I’m certain you all get it. :)

Jeff Mathis helps Jered Weaver calm down early in the game. Weaver said later he had a hard time finding his arm slot initially, but obviously worked through it just fine. Angels vs. White Sox, August 24, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Reason #3,987,542 (give or take, it’s a really long list!) my husband is the best ever? When I texted that I after listening to the press conference I wanted to go Wednesday’s game after all. Could we go if I could find cheap tickets? He responded almost instantly with a ‘Yes, please.’ He was listening to the press conference too. So, many, many thanks to the Angels fans who decided to part with club level seats for $10 each. Were it not for the generosity and/or last minute changes in plans of fans such as yourself, I would sit at home a lot more often than I do. ;)

So, long story somewhat truncated, we got to see the Angels mini-sweep the White Sox (I just can’t think of a two game series as a full series, sorry!), winning their sixth game in a row. The whole evening was perfect. We even got to the game in time to check out some of the warm ups which with our jobs and So Cal traffic, never happens:

Jered Weaver warms up before the game. Angels vs. White Sox, August 24, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Jeff Mathis warms up with Jered Weaver before the game. Mathis had a pretty good game with a bases clearing double, a rare treat for him, and some timely pitcher whispering. Angels vs. White Sox, August 24, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

White Sox rookie pitcher Zach Stewart warms up before the game. Angels vs. White Sox, August 24, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

The Angels bats went on a terror and guys found ways to get and base and score in a welcome trend I hope to see continue into the fall:

Mark Trumbo goes briefly airborne diving back for the bag as Adam Dunn waits for the pickoff throw. Angels vs. White Sox, August 24, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Erick Aybar is safe after an RBI single and Adam Dunn is...blowing a bubble? That'll do, Dohn-kay. That'll do. Angels vs. White Sox, August 24, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

We saw seven Jered Weaver shutout innings followed by shutout innings from Bobby Cassevash and Fernando Rodney – note, he isn’t coming in when it counts. Smart. Very smart:

And, ste-ri-ike three! Bobby Cassevah has struck out Brent Lillibridge. Angels vs. White Sox, August 24, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...(Seth)

Ozzie Guillen is not amused. An 8th inning dugout shot. Angels vs. White Sox, August 24, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

And  I got to see one iteration of my dream Peter Bourjos/Mike Trout outfield live and in person for an entire inning once Trout pinch hit for Vernon Wells in the 8th. Trout promptly knocked the ball into left field for his first big league pinch hit. So many firsts! *sniffles* Our baby’s growing up so fast! ;):

The man, the myth, the socks! My no doubter favorite centerfielder this season, Peter Bourjos...apparently being attacked by gnats yet again. Angels vs. White Sox, August 24, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Mike Trout already looks very much at home in left field. My dream outfield is slowly coming to fruition! Angels vs. White Sox, August 24, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

From our vantage, we even caught random goofiness in the bullpens…or, invoking the Roger Rabbit Only When it’s Funny Clause, chose to infer random goofiness:

The White Sox Bullpen travels in style, setting up buffet table of reliever needs. I see snacks, towels, gatorade and coffee. No mere backpacking it for these guys. Angels vs. White Sox, August 24, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

The Angels Bullpen was feeling especially relaxed this evening and no reliever more than Fernando Rodney, apparently. Angels vs. White Sox, August 24, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Awww, the poor kid's all tuckered out. Actually Hank Conger was alternately stretching and sitting in the bullpen, but this photo definitely makes it look like I caught him napping. Angels vs. White Sox, August 24, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

"Mike Rotch? I don't know. It's August. Lota rookies. Let me check." Angels vs. White Sox, August 24, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

And then, there was this. I hate the kiss cam. In fact, I think it’s so stupid and pointless that until you all set me straight, I assumed it was a uniquely So Cal thing. We So Cal folk seem to need our beach balls and other lame distractions at perfectly good baseball games *rolls eyes* so it made a disturbing sort of sense. However, this season cheeky humor has arrived at the Big A. Finally, the sound guys have caught up with the times and play sarcastic music and sound effects when the visiting team strikes out, has a meeting on the mound…you know, like other teams do. In keeping with this sense of fun, the camera folks have continued their goofiness with the Kiss Cam’s last victims each evening from where they left off with the Indians Bullpen back in April. The visitor’s bullpen is a common target, as is the visitor’s dugout – an injured Evan Longoria blowing kisses at the camera from his perch on the rail was a high point. But announcers, programmers and sound crew from visiting and home team alike aren’t guaranteed a pass either. By now, this is a sufficiently well known prank that the victims usually play along, increasing the humor value considerably. The White Sox bullpen was no exception:

The dreaded Kiss Cam settles on its prey - White Sox relievers Matt Thornton and Josh Kinney. Angels vs. White Sox, August 24, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Matt Thornton and Josh Kinney realize they have been captured in the Kiss Cam's wiley gaze. Kinney is willing to ham it up but Thornton initially tries the old "if I pretend i'm stretching and don't see them, maybe this will all just go away" trick. The Kiss Cam refuses to move on. Angels vs. White Sox, August 24, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Realizing that the Kiss Cam is not going away, Kinny gets increasing insistant, to the point of miming poutiness, that Thornton join him in hamming it up for the crowd. Finally Thornton walks over and gives Kinney a hug and this is the bashful result.Hilarious! Excellent sports both!

And, of course, all’s well that ends well. Light that baby up! Hey, Shakespeare wrote it…except, you know, for that Angels-centric part there…and now you can read it on the Internets, so it absolutely has to be true:

Fireworks from the rockpile say the Angels win. Light that baby up. Angels vs. White Sox, August 24, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...(Seth)

Now, let’s do it again, but in Texas shall we? I am so excited for this series! Ervin Santana and Jered Weaver are both even pitching on short rest to help get it done. Clearly the Angels are feeling extra competitive and I love it!

15 Comments

It’s great to see players stay with an organization. I think some players don’t realize that the team is bigger than they are. It means a lot to trhe fans when they can get behind the player year after year and know that the player wants to play for them.

—Mark Gauthier
http://cubden.mlblogs.com/

That was definitely the best part, Mark. Angels fan definitely love Weaver now we really know he loves us back. Is it his eyes? Is it in his charm? No no, if you want to know if he loves you so, it’s in his player requested no trade clause. Shoop, shoop ;)

– Kristen

Oy. This was not a fun game for me to watch. I was watching on ESPN, and the commentators could not stop comparing the Sox to “a sports car going at 45 mph.” But that’s so cool that you got to be at the Weaver game. I totally get what you mean. An energy like that is incredible.
Catherine

Ouch Catherine. The ESPN commentators make everything worse. I don’t know a single team’s hardcore fanbase that likes them.

– Kristen

I’m kind of glad Zach Stewart hasn’t turned into Nolan Ryan right after the trade, though all reports indicate he’s going to be pretty good. I’d still rather have Colby Rasmus though. Also nice to see Weaver hasn’t let the contract go to his head, though there was little chance of that ever happening. Great pitcher, even better person (much different than Jeff.)

http://bluejaysnest.mlblogs.com/

I don’t know Bluejaysnest. Even Nolan Ryan didn’t pitch like Nolan Ryan when he was a rookie. Until the Angels took him on, amusingly enough, he threw that hard and that fast with about 0 control. I imagine batters were petrified. So you never can tell. I know, I can stop talking any second now. ;) Yeah, I think the Angels definitely got the cream of the Weaver crop.

– Kristen

I was looking at the AL pitching leaders yesterday, and I saw that Weaver really makes the CY Young race close with Verlander. Verlander is probably going to win, but Weavers ERA is amazingly better. It’s like barely over 2, that’s absolutely remarkable. And one more thing, could you please add The Rays Rant to your ‘Favorite AL East Blogs’?
http://yossif.mlblogs.com/

It’s definitely a tight Cy Young race in the AL this season, Yossif, and I am so pleased to see Weaver right up in the mix of things. He is having one helluva remarkable season and that’s after leading the majors in strikeouts last season. But I agree Verlander has the edge, especially wth the no hitter. Barring an especially trying September, which is unlikely, he’s going to win and it’s well deserved.

– Kristen

hey, I’m glad that the angels were wise enough to ink Weaver to a long term deal. I don’t think this guy will slow down anytime soon. Good sign!

Hey HTBM, where’d your blog go? I miss it. Thanks for dropping back by. Yeah, I don’t think he’s going to slow down soon either. I am ecstatic and proud of my team and our ace for getting this done early.

– Kristen

First, I envy your photographic skills. Great pics! The Conger photo is my fav. Second, The Big A is up there in my top 5 ballparks and one of the main reasons is cuz it’s so fun! From the beautiful landscape to the perfect weather to the Rally Monkey and now the Kiss Cam antics, how fun!!! Finally, to all the critics, remember: I’m sure that standing O was worth the flack he’s Weav is getting for not going out on the open market. To have a fanbase LOVE you no matter what… well, money can’t buy that.
–Jeff

Thanks Jeff! It’s really just a practice makes improvement kind of thing. I’m glad you like the Big A. I love it but I’m very biased and so it’s nice to hear praise from outside – and I’m glad someone else loves our Rally Monkey. It’s a goofy concept that the Angels crew and fans have a lot of fun with. Critics will always find something to criticize. If Weaver had gone out on the free agent market, I’m sure the same folks would be griping that he was overpaid and breaking hometown hearts (much like Lackey experienced and I’m not just talking about from Angels fans). I think the adulation means a lot to Weaver and I commend him for that and will happily continue to join Angels fans in lavishing it on him for years to come.

– Kristen

These game pics are the best. The kiss-cam is always a lot of fun. Thanks to the Angels for slowing the ChiSox down, but they keep winning now, and are hot on the Tigers heals. I hope the Angels can catch up with Texas win the West.
–Mike
‘Minoring In Baseball’

Thanks Mike! And pleased to be of service in this regard. :) Thanks for the kind wishes for AL West. I hope your Tigers can hang on too. The Indians have been a great story this season but so has Verlander, the man is absolutely on fire!

– Kristen

Pingback: An Angels Season Highlights Review – Don’t Leave 2011 Without It « This is a very simple game…

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