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Baseball America Features Jered Weaver


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Welcome to Dirtbags Baseball blog! I was introduced to Long Beach State baseball in 2002 when my nephew, Neil Jamison, joined the team (and university) as a freshman. I started the blog in March of 2004, and generally discuss the team, current players and those that have moved on to professional baseball - as Neil has done in the San Diego Padres organization. Living in San Diego County, and with Neil moving to the next level, I won't be attending as many Dirtbags games. But, mostly from a distance, I'll remain a Dirtbags fan. I welcome tips on stories and information concerning the Dirtbags (current, past and future). I can be contacted at


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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Baseball America Features Jered Weaver

Photo: Jered Weaver pitching at Petco Park, San Diego.

Baseball America has a long feature piece on Jered Weaver. Here are some excerpts:

"A handful of Long Beach State players and coaches made the short trip to Anaheim in mid-April to watch former Dirtbags shortstop Bobby Crosby play for the Athletics. Jered Weaver walked past his coaches' seats when a woman in her 50s tapped one of them on the shoulder and asked, "Is that Jered Weaver?" She wanted to have her picture taken with the 21-year-old.

Pitching coach Troy Buckley admits he was surprised Weaver got picked out of the crowd, but he figured she was a local fan. "I'm from Michigan," she replied. "But we've read all about him."

It was just another day in the circus that has surrounded the Long Beach State team this year, one that has drawn boys and girls and scouts of all ages to watch the junior righthander put up astonishing numbers in start after start...

"He's a cult hero in Long Beach," Buckley says. "He's brought more attention to our program than any one player ever has. People not involved in college baseball are getting excited at getting the chance to see one of the best pitchers in competition at the college level."

Weaver's a draw on the road as well, attracting season-high crowds for his starts at Cal Poly (3,279), Cal State Fullerton (3,317) and UC Riverside (1,082). Then there are the media requests. Five to 10 media members call the school each week to schedule interviews. Sure, there are the locals, but USA Today, Sports Illustrated and ESPN Magazine have also dispatched reporters to chronicle the Weaver Show.

"He handled it all well," his father Dave says. "He never lets anything bother him."...

It's easy to picture Weaver asleep on the beach, stretched out across his boogie board with his shoulder-length blond hair in his face. Then he wakes up from his nap, ducks into the clubhouse--because at 6-foot-7 he wouldn't fit into a phone booth--and emerges in his superhero garb: the pinstriped uniform with BEACH across the front, the one he always chooses to wear when he starts. The superhero doesn't see what the big deal is. He's just pitching, not saving lives. He's just another Dirtbag, not a star....

The impeccable command of an 88-94 mph fastball, two-plane slider and changeup that gets in on lefties also help, but focus is what separates Weaver from the other pitchers in college baseball.

"That is a tremendous advantage," says South Carolina coach Ray Tanner, who managed Weaver last summer with Team USA. "He does a tremendous job of preparing himself mentally. You have to give a player credit for having a plan and focus and making adjustments....

"He can really put his fastball to both sides of the plate," an AL scouting director says. "He can pitch with his fastball now and get out big leaguers. He can get guys out in the strike zone. In pro ball, that goes a long way."

As those who saw this post when I first put it up know, and I did not notice until later, the link to the full article was password protected. This article is in the paid subscription only area. Unfortunately, I can't get you there! I would recommend that you pick up the print version. The full article is in depth and fans will want to read it all.

posted on 5/19/2004 by Jeff Agnew

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