Revisionist history

Anybody else amused by the shifts in perception of Jeff Weaver over the past six or seven months?

When the Cardinals picked him up, most of the email I received referred to it as, at best, shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic, and at worst, making a bad situation even more dire. Nobody viewed this guy as a difference-maker. The most optimistic folks (and I was among them) were cautious, essentially taking the view that the acquisition couldn’t hurt and had a chance to help.

Even after the deal, Weaver didn’t win anybody over for quite some time. People called for him to be booted from the rotation. This is forgotten in the postseason afterglow, but Weaver had a 5.18 ERA as a starter in St. Louis. He made it through the sixth inning four times in his first 13 Cardinals starts. He turned it on at the end, but it took quite a while.

So then Weaver goes out and throws some very nice postseason games. Unexpectedly, I might add. And now a whole lot of people are convinced that it’s a huge loss that the Cardinals didn’t bring him back. Either that, or they view him as some sort of traitor, because he was never worth a **** and then with the Cardinals he was great and by golly he owes them hugely because without the Cardinals he’d still never have been worth a ****.

I think it would be wise to take a step back and look at this rationally.

Weaver, for most of his career, has been a pretty good pitcher. Not great, but pretty good. Prior to 2006, he had an ERA better than the league average in six of his eight full seasons. He’s pitched 199 2/3 innings or more five times. For the most part, he’s been a durable, slightly-above-average pitcher. That’s before he ever got to St. Louis. But save for a few playoff starts, he’s never been great. Not even as a Cardinal.

The point is this… Weaver is a pretty good pitcher. He was a pretty good pitcher from 2000-2005. He is likely to be a pretty good pitcher again for Seattle in 2007. He likely would have been a pretty good pitcher for St. Louis in 2007 if he had signed. But he wasn’t an awful pitcher in the past (save for that brutal start to 06), and he’s not a great pitcher now.

-M.

(currently playing: The Joshua Tree. I’m old. We’ve been over this before.)

7 Comments

I wouldn’t go as far as to say he’s a pretty good pitcher. He’s pretty much Average, but I don’t think he’ll even be an average pitcher for Seatle. I think around an 80-90 ERA+. The good thing is that it’s only a one year deal, so there’s limited risk/reward for them.

I have to agree. When Weaver first showed up, he kept losing, and many people (myself included) figured we’d lose any game he started. It seemed to me that the Cards were scraping the bottom of the barrell when they made the deal. Even going into the post-season, there were doubts about him starting games. But then he won the games that counted. That was awesome, but I have to wonder if the Cards really need a pitcher that only comes through in the post-season, instead of winning games all season long. Sure I would have liked to see him in STL for another year, but frankly I was more disappointed over losing Suppan, someone who was a whole lot more dependable.

I agree that he is a pretty good pitcher but not a superstar. Its almost like if you do good in the post-season or your drafted in the 1st round you’re a superstar no matter what. 8.35 million dollars for for a fifth starter and a guy thats best season over a eight years is a 14-11 record with a 4.11 ERA is nuts. I personally liked what I saw from Weaver when he was with the Cardinals.I hope he has an outstanding season with the Mariners this year. (long as it doesn’t hurt the Cardinals)

P.S. Mr. Leach, I thought you said that Weaver would probably only sign a multi-year Deal?

K.B.

Yep, that surprised me too. I don’t pretend to understand how Scott Boras works.

-M.

I was pretty disappointed by this Weaver deal not shaking out in our favor. I just really don’t understand why Jeff is putting himself in a position to fail. The market has clearly dictated that there’s no faith in a long-term deal with him, so he signs a one year deal as a primer to get a long-term deal. Shouldn’t you make that sort of deal with a team which will give you the best chance to win? Or do you want to play with a rebuilding team in a league and division where, historically, you get hammered?

Apparently his offer from the Cards was for the same amount, but that there were performance incentives for some of it. Assuming he’ll continue to be durable, it’s a given he’d reach those incentives. And if he’s not durable, then the one year deal as a showcase for his talent is a bust anyway. So, what’s the deal?

Why walk away from the team and pitching coach which were part of your recent and very brief success?

That said, I’m not too happy with the club at this point either. Yes, the free agent market was crazy, but Jeff was a good prospect and we should have matched Seattle’s offer. Now we’re going into spring with BIG question marks and I just feel like ownership is leaving holes unfilled. We had a miraculous turnaround last year and I’ve always felt it was in spite of the ownership’s taking Cardinal nation for granted and fielding a lot of “projects” and marginally-talented players. Now, I think ownership will continue this trend to an even greater degree, despite huge revenue streams (i.e. final year, innaugural year and series/playoff monies). Tony, Jock and Dunc are miracle workers, but how many times can we assume the Cardinal magic will work yet again?

And why isn’t anyone talking about the Nationals sale and the $20m the Cards supposedly got from that deal? Is ownership setting itself up to sell the team? I think the lack of payroll spending is conspicuous.

I love my team, Dunc, Tony and Jocketty, but how many things had to break perfectly for us to get our championship last year? It’s unreasonable to assume we’ll get that lucky again. And it’s unreasonable for Jeff to walk away from what may be his last chance at a big payday AND a chance to win.

And I still haven’t found……..

As far as history is concerned, look back and see what I said about the Weaver deal when it went down last season. M, can you look back at old posts and/or comments? I said then that I thought it was a good move. And I said that I felt like Weaver would be one that Dunc could fix…mechanics and such. I also said I thought he’d help us win, granted I didn’t foresee us winning it all. But look back if you can and you’ll see that I was one that thought Weaver would get better under Dunc’s tuteledge (sp?). – Shaun

Not only is there no crying in basball, there’s no loyalty either… or at least not from JW.

Boras should be banished to Siberia for helping baseball commit salarycide.

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