Reporting Jeff Riger
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By: Jeff Riger
It was on a sunny, hot Sunday in late July 2011 that Angels ace Jered Weaver became one of Detroit’s sports enemies; in fact some call him public enemy number one. C’mon you remember…
Weaver was facing Justin Verlander and the game turned out to be one of the most memorable Tigers games in recent history. Magglio Ordonez took Weaver deep in the 3rd inning to left field. Ordonez stood at the plate either trying to figure out if the ball was fair or showing up Weaver. Weaver obviously thought the latter and that he was being disrespected. In the seventh inning Weaver gave up a homer to Carlos Guillen who no doubt showed up the Angels ace by flipping his bat, hopping two steps out of the box and taking forever to get around the bases.
Weaver, obviously upset, threw at Detroit’s next batter, Alex Avila, and then was ejected.
That was also the game Verlander took a no-hitter into the eighth inning with Erick Aybar bunting to force a wild Verlander throw to first base. His no-hit bid was shortly broken up afterwards and Verlander after the game was mad that Aybar had the audacity to bunt in a three run game.
A lot happened on that Sunday and Weaver has not pitched against the Tigers since.
Well, that will change Thursday when Weaver will toe the rubber for the conclusion of a three game series at Comerica Park.
But who cares; right? This is in the past. No way Weaver remembers that day?
Well he does, and I’m not sure he is over it.
Weaver was upset Ordonez did take a long time to round the bases on his homer but they talked during the game and made up so he felt that there was no reason for Guillen to do what he did. “Didn’t expect to see Guillen do what he did, I’m not one to go out and show anybody up, just try to go about it professionally. So when that happened I just kind of, you know I had a lot of respect for the guy, he’s had a great career, he’s done a lot of great things so for that to happen, I didn’t really like it too much” Weaver said.
I’m actually with Weaver, I thought Guillen showed the Angels starter up and if he just ran the bases normally then Alex Avila would have never been thrown at and Weaver would have never been ejected. “Avila comes up, he caught me in the All Star game and we kind of formed a little bond. I didn’t want to hit him but I just wanted to send a message that I really wasn’t ok with that. It’s all done and over with now but we will see how the fans will react when I step on the mound Thursday” Weaver said.
I answered Weaver’s question, telling him that he recently was voted No. 1 as Detroit’s most hated athlete.
I figured he would have thought that was cool — I know I would have.
“Fans get worked up about certain things and it’s good for the game, but at the same time it’s funny also. It will be interesting how it goes down but I’m not worried about it too much. Whatever I hear, I hear, I’ll just go about my job” Weaver said.
Weaver also went into great depth about watching his brother Jeff pitch for the Tigers. Jered remembers Tiger Stadium fondly as well as Comerica Park when Jeff was a Tiger. Weaver also talks to how much the atmosphere at Tiger games have changed from when his brother pitched here to now. Watch the video below and then let me know if you will boo Weaver come Thursday afternoon?