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Weaver's suspension viewed differently in The OC

  • Blog Post by: Phil Miller
  • August 3, 2011 - 1:13 PM

ANAHEIM, CALIF. -- You've seen the replays over and over: Jered Weaver fires the ball toward Alex Avila's head. He keeps walking off the field because he knows he's getting ejected, and he is screaming at home-plate ump Hunter Wendelstedt, so angrily he needs to be restrained.

Pitchers should never throw at a batter's head intentionally. It's that simple. But it would have been absolutely understandable if Weaver had thrown at somebody below the neck considering the context of everything that happened Sunday afternoon in Detroit.

Carlos Guillen asked to get a teammate buzzed when he showed him up -- big time -- on his home run.

Weaver (14-5, 1.88 ERA), who was locked in a terrific pitcher's duel with Justin Verlander, was pretty unsentimental. Avila is the same guy who caught him in the All-Star Game.

MLB handed Weaver a six-game suspension Tuesday, and he appealed. "I wouldn't do anything different," he said. Mark Whicker brings some interesting perspective in today's Orange County Register:

Every baseball player has an intimate, long-standing relationship with failure. And since failure is so communal, players do not celebrate actions that become someone else's failure. That is known as "showing someone up" and it is a major felony on a baseball field.

"Guillen did everything but a cartwheel," [Angels Manager Mike] Scioscia said. "The culture of this game has changed a bit, where hitters do stand and watch their home runs. It's more of an accepted practice. I do know that in my first year, which was 1980, that was not happening."

Whicker and Scioscia also make a good point about the overreaction toward Erick Aybar's bunt leading off the eighth inning, when Verlander was still working on a no-hitter:

Never mind that Aybar is an excellent bunter, the Angels were still close, and the act of swinging away wasn't working particularly well.

"I think the day that we stop trying to win a ballgame when we're down 3-0 is the day we take the uniform off and go home and let somebody else do it," Scioscia said, with emphasis.

What a game that was Sunday. It's one people will be talking about for a long time. I'll check back later this afternoon with the starting lineups from Angel Stadium.

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