Jered Weaver drops appeal of ban
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Los Angeles Angels ace Jered Weaver has dropped his appeal of a six-game suspension for throwing at Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila and will begin serving the suspension Saturday.
Weaver pitched nine shutout innings in a no-decision Friday night and will return to the team's rotation next Saturday in Toronto, so the suspension will amount to three extra days of rest. Weaver (14-5, 1.78 ERA) was adamant Friday night that he would go forward with the appeal, but apparently had a change of heart the next afternoon.
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"This just gets the process under way and gets it over with," Weaver said. "Obviously, this doesn't help the team out, but it helps the team out as much as possible."
The league handed down the suspension Tuesday. Weaver was ejected from last Sunday's game after sailing a 92 mph fastball over Avila's head. Weaver was upset that Tigers hitters Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen had lingered at the plate while celebrating home runs.
Such suspensions are rarely shortened.
"I'm not going to talk for Jered, but these things probably wouldn't have been adjusted any, as far as the length of it goes," manager Mike Scioscia said. "At least we know what's happening. That helps us a lot."
Weaver said dropping the appeal doesn't mean he agrees with the suspension. He said he would do nothing differently if he had a chance for a do-over. Some people have criticized Weaver for throwing at a player who had nothing to do with the showboating, and others have wondered why he threw it in the vicinity of Avila's head instead of hitting him in the back or leg.
When Weaver was asked why he didn't wait to face Guillen next year -- the Angels have no games remaining against the Tigers this season -- Weaver said, "Who knows if I'm going to be able to face him again? Is he going to have a job next year?"
Had Weaver waited for a hearing, he likely would have had to sit more games and it would have forced the Angels to come up with two starting pitchers in the next two weeks. They're already sorting through candidates for Wednesday to replace Joel Pineiro, who was demoted to the bullpen after struggling badly in four straight starts. The likeliest candidate to make that start is reliever Hisanori Takahashi.
Weaver leads the major leagues in ERA and is in the top three in WHIP and innings pitched. He is among the leading candidates for the AL Cy Young award.
Mark Saxon covers the Angels for ESPNLosAngeles.com.
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