Do the Angels have problems? Sure they do. Do I care? Of course. Does that matter right now? No. Why not? Because I just want to talk about how awesome Jered Weaver is.
Seriously, how awesome is Jered Weaver?!?! Two straight complete games, a shutout, a 0.99 ERA, six wins in six starts and he once again is leading the majors in strikeouts. Did I miss anything? I’m sure I did, because Weaver has just been so amazingly good this year that it is impossible to summarize all of his impressive feats. Heck, it seems like there is nothing Jered can’t do at this point. Maybe I’m getting a little too excited here, but I’m not even against the idea of letting him hit for himself at this point just because everything else he has touched has turned to gold (OK, that’s clearly too far, time to reel this thing in).
Oh sure, others might try and rain on this little Weaver parade by complaining that his pitch counts have been pretty high so far. I scoff in those party poopers’ general direction. Pitch counts are for pussies (as in cats). Why does a high pitch count have to be a bad thing? Roy Halladay has been racking up massive pitch count numbers for years and people glow about him and talk about what a “gamer” he is or how he is such a great “throwback.” It is time for Weaver to get that same respect. Pitch counts just aren’t a problem for some guys and there is no evidence to suggest Weaver isn’t one those guys. Going deep into games is a hallmark of being an ace and that is exactly what Weaver is now. In fact, he might be the premier ace in all of baseball.
And don’t even dare try and kill this buzz with the trite statement of “oh sure, he’s great now, but we all know he is going to be a Yankee in a few years.” First off, you’re an idiot. Second, you’re still an idiot. Third, and most importantly, this stellar run from Weaver is exactly what should motivate Arte Moreno and company to damn the consequences and immediately hammer out a contract extension with Weaver. I don’t care if it costs a truckload of money. I don’t care if it means giving in to Scott Boras. What I do care about is the Angels making a commitment to keep their star pitcher.
What more could the Halos ask for? A kid who grew up in Southern California, went to college in Southern California and came up through the Angel farm system (granted, it was a quick trip through the minors, but it still counts) is exactly what teams dream of. Local, homegrown superstars are the stuff dreams are made of. To top it off, he’s a great dude as well, even insinuating on more than one occasion that he isn’t all about the money and how he would love to stay and Angel forever and spend his career breaking franchise records. In the immortal words of Teddy KGB, “give that man his money.”
And when I say that, I don’t mean when he hits free agency after the 2012 season or even after this season, I mean right now. There is no such thing as a safe investment in sports, but Weaver is awfully damn close. He has gotten better every year, is a dedicated worker with a team-first attitude and has had absolutely zero health problems, plus he is just entering his prime. The Angels would be fools to even take a chance of him getting away from them by letting him hit the open market. I think we can all agree that letting him hit free agency is criminally insane, especially with Tony Reagins’ recent track record for mega-contract negotiations. But even letting him go through the arbitration process again after this season seems like a very bad idea. The last thing they should risk is another contentious arbitration process that results in the two going before the arbitrator one more time to exchange disparaging factoids.
Then again, Weaver would probably win in arbitration since there isn’t anything negative to be said about him right now. I would even dare to say that Weaver has become the kind of ace that has been known to carry franchises to championships. Sure, he’ll come back to earth sooner or later, but this amazing month of his has shown us all the immense levels of awesomeness that he is capable of. If he recaptures that in October, it may not matter how wimpy the Angel lineup is. It may not even matter if the bullpen comes together or the back end of the rotation finally gets resolved. Put Weaver on the bump three times in a seven-game series and I like the Angels’ odds. That kind of awesomeness definitely comes at a price, but whatever it is, the Angels should pay it and do so with a smile on their face.