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Angels’ Weaver drops appeal of 6-game suspension
The major league ERA leader began serving his suspension Saturday against Seattle and is now scheduled to make his next start next Saturday at Toronto.
“It made sense for him to take it now,” general manager Tony Reagins told The Associated Press. “He obviously wanted to have his voice heard, but he also wanted to put the team first. He didn’t want to put the club in a tougher situation than this situation already has put us in.”
Weaver had steadfastly insisted on having his say at a hearing sometime during Los Angeles’ trip to New York next week. He reiterated his feelings late Friday night after pitching nine scoreless innings in a no-decision against Seattle.
But Weaver explained after batting practice on Saturday that he changed his mind after a conversation with manager Mike Scioscia, who previously stated that he would stand behind whatever decision Weaver had made.
“Anybody who gets a suspension wants to get their side of the story heard,” Weaver said. “It would have been nice to do, but this helps the team out a little bit better. If we would have prolonged this thing a little bit, we would have had to bring up another pitcher and go that route.”
Now, the right-hander will sit out a three-game series against the Yankees. He could have pitched on full rest Wednesday or Thursday in New York.
Weaver is 14-5 with a 1.78 ERA. He did not hit a batter last season in a career-high 224 1-3 innings, and has plunked just one this year in 176 2-3 innings.
“It’s my first time going through this process, so I guess I didn’t really understand how it was going to affect the team,” he said. “So having a long talk with my agency last night and with the team and with Sosh, it’s just the right thing to do.”
Weaver received the ban for throwing a pitch over the head of Detroit’s Alex Avila last Sunday at Detroit during his marquee matchup with fellow Cy Young Award contender Justin Verlander.
The pitch came right after Carlos Guillen showboated on a home run _ which angered Weaver and prompted plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt to warn both benches about retaliatory beanballs.
On Tuesday, Cleveland pitcher Carlos Carrasco was suspended six games for throwing at Kansas City’s Billy Butler right after Melky Cabrera has hit a grand slam against him and stood at home plate admiring it. Carrasco appealed his suspension and pitched Wednesday at Boston.
When asked what he would have said had he gone through with the hearing, Weaver replied: “I would have tried to get it dropped a couple of days. It looked a lot worse than it was. I wasn’t trying to go after his head. I think if you look back, it was about two feet over his head. So I don’t think it was that close. But after what happened with the Indians and Royals, Carrasco got six games. So being a pitcher, basically you just have a day’s suspension even though it’s six days.”
This will be the third time this season that Weaver will pitch on more than five days’ rest. He threw on six days’ rest May 25 after shutting out Oakland, and gave up three runs over six innings in a 9-5 loss at Boston. On July 16, he beat Oakland 4-2 on eight days’ rest in his first start following the All-Star break.
By Tom Fitton
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