JEFF WEAVER: Well, first of all, I
don't read the papers and didn't hear of
any of this. If that's the case, I would
figure that some of it got twisted. Todd
Jones is one of nicest guys I've ever run
across. If he's got unkind words for me, I
don't know what they're stemming from,
and it's the World Series, maybe he's just
trying to get a little jab in here and there.
But it doesn't really affect me at all.
I've got nothing but good things to say
We know that your Anaheim
experience this year was a disappointment.
Could you tell us or try to put your finger on
why the difference in St. Louis, what has
happened to you there that has led you to
being here now, pitching so well?
JEFF WEAVER: Well, it's hard to
say exactly. If I had stayed there the
whole year who would say it wouldn't have
turned out the same way for me.
I've always been the kind of a guy
that after a certain amount of time getting
situated after I've kind of gone through
teams before, seen hitters and established
some sort of knowledge on guys, I've
always seemed to do better. But when
things are immediate success or move on,
I think that has been evident in New York,
it's been evident in Anaheim.
I just knew when I came to St.
Louis it was a fresh start. I was going to
be out there every five days. They were
going to let me work through whatever
troubles I had. And I had always stayed
confident through the whole experience, it
was just a matter of getting in that groove
and getting comfortable. And La Russa
and Duncan have been great about being
big supporters and they told me from the
get-go they loved the way I competed, and
they didn't want to change a thing, just go
out there and, "We believe in you and
things will turn." When you have that
support behind you, it's that much easier
not to be looking over your shoulder when
you make mistakes.
Baseball season you just never
really know, some people have slow starts
and finish up strong, and some people
start out fast and finish slow. It was just
one of those years and I'm just very
fortunate it ended up the way it has.
Detroit, what was your high point
here and what was your low point? What do
you remember about the last time you were in
the World Series?
JEFF WEAVER: You never forget
your first start. Old Tiger Stadium facing
Minnesota, my first start was something I'll
never forget. Not only that, but just the
whole season, being the last year in old
Tiger Stadium was a lot of electricity, it
was packed, people were there. And the
final game at old Tiger Stadium was one
of the most unbelievable games that I've
ever been a part of.
And then you never forget opening
day of the new stadium, other than it was
freezing cold. It was a good experience.
This is where it started for me. So I have
nothing but good things to say. I owe
them the opportunity and I always look
forward to coming back here, the fans
have been great to me. It will always be a
spot in my heart here in Detroit.
But my last World Series
experience it was just great to be a part of.
Obviously people look at the result when I
was out there and some people forget that
I hadn't pitched for 33 days before I went
out there. I had pitched an inning before
and got three guys out in a row, but the
next guy the following inning happened to
hit a 3-2 fastball over the fence. And it's
one game in the World Series. It's the first
time I ever got to get out there and
compete. Regardless of the result it's one
of my special moments. And I think all
those things that I went through at that
time have just helped me to understand
what it's about, when we got here this
postseason, to use those experiences to
How do you think you've changed
as a player and as a pitcher since you left
JEFF WEAVER: Well, I mean
tremendously. When you go from Detroit
to New York, small market to the biggest
market in baseball, you see a lot, you go
through a lot, you get to know a lot of
players, coaches. I went to the bullpen.
My first experience pitching out of the pen.
So you get a better understanding of what
those guys go through. You just
understand the game a little bit better
when you go through not only the good
times but the bad times. I think because
of that it enabled me to continue to work
through the struggles I had earlier this
year because I had worked myself out of
them before and when you do it once you
know you can do it again. So it just keeps
your head up and looking towards the
future. I think just a better understanding
overall of what a team is, knowing what it's
like to be a part of a good one.
A moment ago you mentioned Dave
Duncan and gave him some credit for the way
your year turned around. Could you
specifically talk about what he did when you
and him started working together for the first
time this year, because he is, after all, one of
the better pitching coaches of all time?
JEFF WEAVER: Yeah, I mean, I
think it starts from day one, when he kind
of pulls you aside and you sit and talk to
him about his thoughts. I think not only his
thoughts but he wanted to know what my
thoughts were, who I was as a pitcher. He
wasn't really looking to change anything.
He wanted just to iterate what my
strengths are so I'm speaking of them and
knowing what they are. And then to
execute and go out there and perform
doing those, and not try to change, that
was the other thing.
Some people when you go through
struggles, they want to change everything
and do things that they know and that
wasn't the case here. They said they
loved the way I competed. They loved the
stuff I had, it was just a matter of finding it
and getting back out there and doing it.
And also, like I said, to know that you're
going to have the ball every five days and
no questions, it makes it that much easier
to just go out there and get in the groove
and try to rattle it off a little bit.
Mechanically there was a few times
in the bullpen where we just worked on
getting my release point back out in front,
getting my angles out more towards home,
because I do throw three-quarters, a lot of
times you get in trouble being too
rotational left and right, which causes you
to fly open a bit and balls stay up and
you're not getting that sink, like is my
strength. So mechanically that was the
major thing that we worked on, just getting
back out in front with pitches and that's
When the Cardinals went to the
World Series in 2004 it was a quick turnaround,
just like it has been this year. I know you
weren't there, but did you have time to digest
this process and move on? La Russa felt that
was a factor in the sweep against the Red Sox?
JEFF WEAVER: Yeah, when it
happens last minute and you've got all the
excitement going on of winning the series
and then the immediate turnaround to the
World Series, it can get a little can chaotic
and fast-moving. Sometimes your head is
spinning and you're not concentrating fully
on what you should be on the task at hand
and putting those things behind you and
starting fresh and moving in the right
direction. So he did a good thing of
slowing things down for us a bit, getting
over to the ballpark early today so we had
plenty of time to get everything out of the
way and get our head on for the game in
front of us. He tried his best to slow it
down a bit so we wouldn't be scrambling
to get things done and get out there.
Like I said, being through that
experience before you can make some
adjustments, so hopefully they work in our
What were your emotions about the
trade from here and of your impressions of
Dave Dombrowski at the time, and have those
things change over time?
JEFF WEAVER: I mean it was
very emotional for me, something not
expected. I just signed that year an
extension to be around and to be a part of
the team, hopefully moving in the right
direction. And it was the first team that I
played for, so obviously I would have liked
to have stuck around and stuck through
the tough times, and who knows, I might
still have been involved and be part of
So it was emotional. All those guys
I was really close with, and your first
change is obviously the one that affects
you the most. But now it is what it is and I
moved on. It's been a few years now and
there's nothing I would have changed from
what I've gone through.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.