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Span's Sour Grapes Comment on Weaver's No-Hitter

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#1 powrwrap

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:25 AM

Span, on Weaver's no-hitter:
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When you’re off to the kind of start the Twins are, you’ll blame just about anything: Center fielder Denard Span, who went 0 for 4 with a strikeout, hinted that Weaver might be assisted by the rockpile in left-center, which Span said might interfere with a hitter’s field of vision.


"He kind of throws across his body, and I think his cross-body motion kind of ... when he lets the ball go sometimes ... the ball’s coming out of the rocks," Span said. "But there’s nothing to take away from his no-hitter. He still pitched a great game. But over the years, you checked the stats, he’s definitely a better pitcher here than he is on the road."


In response to a question about whether Weaver was "unhittable," Span said: " I wouldn’t say he’s unhittable. I mean, we didn’t get a hit. We made contact, just didn’t get a hit."

http://www.bostonher...position=recent
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Weaver "kind of throws across his body"? He's almost pure over the top with his arm angle. Just tip your cap to Weaver and stop making excuses.
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#2 CDog

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:39 AM

I didn't see a single sour grape there.

#3 Parker Hageman

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:42 AM

Weaver "kind of throws across his body"? He's almost pure over the top with his arm angle. Just tip your cap to Weaver and stop making excuses.


Span was not referring to Weaver's arm angle but rather in the way in which he lands with his front foot near the third base side of the mound and throws across his body:

Weaver.JPG

What this motion does is hide the ball better to left-handed hitters. Not surprising, lefties are hitting just .165 off of him this season.

It's no excuse not to hit but with his pure stuff and his ability to deceive opposite-handed hitters, it explains a bit why he is so dominating at times.

#4 Boom Boom

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:45 AM

First it was the trees, now it's the rocks. How did the Twins ever get a hit with vampire seats in the batter's eye?

#5 SirLoin

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:47 AM

That's like saying the fumes from David Wells' vodka-laced sweat distracted Twins hitters during his perfect game in 1998.

#6 powrwrap

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:02 AM

Span was not referring to Weaver's arm angle but rather in the way in which he lands with his front foot near the third base side of the mound and throws across his body:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]850[/ATTACH]
What this motion does is hide the ball better to left-handed hitters. Not surprising, lefties are hitting just .165 off of him this season.

It's no excuse not to hit but with his pure stuff and his ability to deceive opposite-handed hitters, it explains a bit why he is so dominating at times.


Whatever. Yeah, I can see that he has a somewhat closed stance to lefties when he completes his throwing motion, but really, "the rock pile did it!" is a lame excuse.

Weaver, career:
vs. lefties .244 BA
vs. righties .225 BA

Furthermore a pitcher performing better at home vs. away isn't surprising.
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#7 Fire Dan Gladden

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:15 AM

Bad enough they are losing, but do we really have to go looking for salt in the wound? We don't know the context of the statement (it wasn't given in the article). On top of that, he was pretty much stating the facts. Go find one of the other 100 things going wrong to rip on.

#8 powrwrap

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:25 AM

Go find one of the other 100 things going wrong to rip on.


That's good advice for Denard. Mr. Span, did you hear that?
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#9 Parker Hageman

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:45 AM

Whatever. Yeah, I can see that he has a somewhat closed stance to lefties when he completes his throwing motion, but really, "the rock pile did it!" is a lame excuse.

Weaver, career:
vs. lefties .244 BA
vs. righties .225 BA

Furthermore a pitcher performing better at home vs. away isn't surprising.


I'm not justifying the rocks comment, although different backdrops can be difficult to hit against, but I'm pointing out that Weaver has a deceptive angle and throws cross-body, just like Span said.

This is Weaver's release point from last night:


weaver2.JPG


You can see how this would be difficult for left-handed hitters (or right-handers considering that is released nearly behind them) to pick up.

I was not suggesting he was tougher on lefties vs righties but he is still very good against left-handers -- since 2007, Weaver's .298 wOBA vs LHBs is the sixth lowest among qualified starters -- which somewhat validates Span's comments.

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#10 Boom Boom

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:05 AM

Bad enough they are losing, but do we really have to go looking for salt in the wound?

We don't know the context of the statement (it wasn't given in the article). On top of that, he was pretty much stating the facts. Go find one of the other 100 things going wrong to rip on.


Sorry FDG. Which 100 things are OK to rip on?

#11 DJSim22

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 11:37 AM

If TR is doing his job, we won't be getting Span quotes in the near future. Get on the phone, start with the Red Sox. Find some reasonable MLB ready pitching.

#12 powrwrap

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 11:49 AM

I just think it is lame to make excuses for being no hit because "the ball was coming out of the rock pile". Span is trying to downplay Weaver's performance. Just admit that you were owned. The Twins got 3-hit and shutout on a complete game by Jerome Williams on Monday night. Rock pile to blame there, too? In some ways the Monday night game is more embarrassing than Weaver throwing a no-no.
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#13 CDog

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:33 PM

I just think it is lame to make excuses for being no hit because "the ball was coming out of the rock pile". Span is trying to downplay Weaver's performance. Just admit that you were owned.

The Twins got 3-hit and shutout on a complete game by Jerome Williams on Monday night. Rock pile to blame there, too? In some ways the Monday night game is more embarrassing than Weaver throwing a no-no.


I think it's just looking to stir up drama where there is none. Do you really think Span got in the clubhouse and started shouting that if it weren't for the rock pile they wouldn't have gotten no-hit? Or do you think he was asked likely multiple different versions of questions that wanted him to comment on why Weaver was especially hard to hit and he mentioned many and included comments about how great Weaver pitched? I still don't see how this is even close to a sour grape.

#14 powrwrap

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:41 PM

Do you really think Span got in the clubhouse and started shouting that if it weren't for the rock pile they wouldn't have gotten no-hit?


Shouting? No, and I didn't even hint at that scenario.

Or do you think he was asked likely multiple different versions of questions that wanted him to comment on why Weaver was especially hard to hit and he mentioned many and included comments about how great Weaver pitched?


We don't know how many questions he was asked. Typically the reporters go from one guy to another. The players give a couple of sound bites and move on. It's unlikely that Span was going to be too talkative last night. But let's imagine a couple of scenarios.

"Denard, why is Weaver especially hard to hit?"
"He's Jered Weaver, man, you know? He's a great pitcher, especially here at home. He had it goin' on tonight."

OR

"Denard, why is Weaver especially hard to hit?"
"He kind of throws across his body, and I think his cross-body motion kind of ... when he lets the ball go sometimes ... the ball’s coming out of the rocks."

Why couldn't he have answered like in the first example?
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#15 nicksaviking

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 02:00 PM

I didn't hear any excuse there. The quote is obviously skewed to fit the writers needs anyway. The only way that is an excuse is if the question asked was, "Why didn't you get any hits tonight?" which would be among the poorest questions ever posed to a major league hitter. Like was posted above, the question was obviously along the lines of "Why was Weaver so hard to hit tonight?" and mentioning a deceptive release point isn't an excuse, Span was just very discriptive in his analysis. Listen to any of the Fox Sports baseball guys or Span for that matter when they join Paul Allen's show on KFAN, they are all knowledgable and discriptive baseball people who don't pussyfoot around and give vague stock answers, and they all should be complimented. Critcism like this is why 90% of all athletes interviewed give boring cliched answers to every question asked of them.

#16 Mike Sixel

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 02:17 PM

I see no sour grapes at all. I agree, this is why athletes don't talk much anymore...

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#17 TwinsGuy55422

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 02:33 PM

I didn't hear any excuse there. The quote is obviously skewed to fit the writers needs anyway. The only way that is an excuse is if the question asked was, "Why didn't you get any hits tonight?" which would be among the poorest questions ever posed to a major league hitter. Like was posted above, the question was obviously along the lines of "Why was Weaver so hard to hit tonight?" and mentioning a deceptive release point isn't an excuse, Span was just very discriptive in his analysis. Listen to any of the Fox Sports baseball guys or Span for that matter when they join Paul Allen's show on KFAN, they are all knowledgable and discriptive baseball people who don't pussyfoot around and give vague stock answers, and they all should be complimented.
Critcism like this is why 90% of all athletes interviewed give boring cliched answers to every question asked of them.

Agreed. I don't want cookie cutter answers, I want guys to say what is on their minds. In this case, he was asked a certain question and what he stated was a valid answer to that question.
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#18 TheMix

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 06:25 PM

Whatever. Yeah, I can see that he has a somewhat closed stance to lefties when he completes his throwing motion, but really, "the rock pile did it!" is a lame excuse.

Weaver, career:
vs. lefties .244 BA
vs. righties .225 BA

Furthermore a pitcher performing better at home vs. away isn't surprising.


Not only did he not say that...you're apparently forgetting that he said "But there’s nothing to take away from his no-hitter."

#19 benhertz

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 07:25 PM

Whatever. Yeah, I can see that he has a somewhat closed stance to lefties when he completes his throwing motion, but really, "the rock pile did it!" is a lame excuse.

Weaver, career:
vs. lefties .244 BA
vs. righties .225 BA

Furthermore a pitcher performing better at home vs. away isn't surprising.


The left/righty splits doesn't take into account home/away splits. Is there any way to find out Weaver's vs-lefties (at home) stats vs. vs-lefties (away) stats?

I think Span is just trying to bring up the fact it's hard to pick up the ball from a 6'7" pitcher who throws on the 3rd base side of the mound and also throws across his body in a field that has light-colored rocks in the backdrop.

#20 JB_Iowa

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:09 PM

I don't think it was sour grapes but I appreciate the thread because I learned something about Weaver's throwing motion thanks to Denard's comment and Parker's analysis.