Weaver and Drew, LLd

Two ex-Dodgers, Jeff Weaver and J.D. Drew, have finally figured out where they will play. Drew's final contract signing was predestined all along but the state of his health and the guarantees were not.

Drew, who has never played a full season anywhere, couldn't suit up every day in relatively balmy Atlanta and ideal weather LA, and now will try to stay healthier in Boston where the weather is, well, wait 10 minutes.

The Red Sox signed a five year Scott Boras contract with Drew and so they will get what they get. If this makes young GM Theo Epstein smarter, it sure is hard to figure out how. Even though Fenway Park is a haven for lefty hitters, it wasn't for Trot Nixon.

And just wait until J.D. Drew gets an earful of the Boston boo birds, the Beantown writers and such. The LA fans go to the ball games for entertainment if not wins. Not so in Boston.

The LA writers, with the exception of T.J. Simers, are as placid a bunch as you will find. The Boston writers are crotchety, get unhappy easy, love to take potshots, and come out firing first and easing up later. Drew, between the weather, the fans, the writers and the Yankees down the road is in for a handful. No, make that two handfuls.

Now comes Weaver, another Boras client. Where he found work was in Seattle. Now Weaver is a great physical specimen. He is tall. He has big hands, which they like pitchers to have. He has a great motion. He has really good stuff on his pitches. Weaver has done everything in baseball except win.

We once asked a scout how he ever begins to figure out what is inside a players ears and what is in his heart. "If we knew that," he said, "we'd be the guys making the money." Nobody yet has been able to figure out why Weaver is not a big winner. He has it all - except equilibrium (a polite word for putting up with adversity) and heart.

Wait until Weaver sits on the bench during a game he is tied and in danger of coming out for a pitch hitter without a win. Wait until he needs a run and Adrian Beltré and Richie Sexson, multi millionaires both, whiff again.

Weaver in the past has normally fretted and fumed and frowned and paced and stared and mumbled and looked for all the world like he was blaming somebody else for his troubles. The umpires, the opponents, his teammates, the baseball gods. Everybody but himself.

Weaver was about the last player of quality stuff without a job. Everybody else but him found work. Most found work in more balmy places. Places with a better chance to win. Weaver wound up in the back of the bus for two reasons, equally divided between himself and his agent.

For the Dodgers, Jeff Weaver was the righthanded Odalis Perez. Both pitchers were identical except tossing from different sides of the plate. Both had the stuff to flirt with a no hitter every time out. Neither lived up to their talent. Both were complainers. Both are now elsewhere.

Weaver almost didn't find work at all and if it weren't for the dearth of pitchers around he would have had a real good chance to be unemployed - not for his skills but for his makeup. Weaver and Drew LLd were and are exactly that - limited. That's how the Dodgers got them in the first place, i.e., other teams were glad to unload them on the Dodgers. Now they are on different sides of the country. Its hard to figure out which got the best deal. Both are making big league money and its hard to feel bad about any big league player, even those at the bottom end of the spectrum.

J.D. Drew will have to earn every penny he gets and woe betide the guy if he gets hurt, as he usually does. Wait until the Sox fans see his penchant for taking pitches.

Wait until the see the so called slugger more than willing to take a walk. Wait until he takes a called third strike. The Boston fans will scream, "For this we paid this bum this much money?" There's a good chance Drew will wear out his welcome long before his five year, $75 million contract runs out.

Up in Seattle, or way out in Seattle, Jeff Weaver will be playing in semi-obscurity, with a team with problems. If Weaver ever figures out he is going to have to do the lion's share of the winning, he could still be something. But if he doesn't, he is either going to be working his way out of the big leagues 'cuz their ain't much lower to go.

His choices are a come back or a go away. Gee, we wish we had that talent.

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories