I have flip-flopped on the subject of “Jeff Weaver: Yankee pitcher” all season long. One the one hand, he’s been infuriating to watch. His demeanor is less than inspiring, but there is something about him that I like too. I think it’s because he comes off like a slacker with a chip on his shoulder, or a spoiled and tempermental child, but part of me likes his foolishness. Weaver has been labled as a guy who can’t pitch in New York, the new Eddie Lee Whitson. But Whitson was a veteran when he came to the Yankees, and he truly hated pitching for Billy Martin in New York.
Weaver is young, likes it here and wants to stay. I don’t know whether he will ever pitch well in New York, or if the Yankees are willing to give him another chance, but it seems like he’s got enough ‘stuff’ to be able to pitch well somewhere. I like how Weaver hasn’t completely caved in on himself either, despite being a favorite target of the fans and the media.
The Daily News ran a piece on Weaver’s wanting to remain a Yankee yesterday. The headline ran: “Weaver’s Pitiful Pitch.” So much of objectivity. And this is a guy who wants to do the right thing:
“I like it here,” he said. “I love the stage that we get to play on, and I like the focus and competition. … It’s taken a little bit longer than I hoped to get things going, but there’s no doubt in my mind that I can get things going here.”
…”I went out there and pitched the best I could,” said Weaver, who hadn’t pitched in a game for 27 days. “I hadn’t been out there in a long time, and then you get your first taste of it, right in the mix. I was hoping for the best; I felt confident going in there. I know that I could probably throw the same pitch again, and it could be a ground ball to third base.
“It’s something that you never want to really second-guess,” he said, “but at the same time it ended the game and changed the complexion of the Series.”
Will the Yankees be willing to give this string bean another shot? I would say it’s a 50/50 chance at best. But as a number five starter? I would like to see it happen.