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Weaver ends a memorable career

Injuries denied Padres fans a chance to see pitcher's best
San Diego Padres

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

During Spring Training, I sat down with Jered Weaver to do an interview for the Padres' podcast.

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

During Spring Training, I sat down with Jered Weaver to do an interview for the Padres' podcast.

We were discussing the importance of Weaver's presence in the clubhouse around the young pitchers assembled by the Padres.

"That's not the only reason I'm here," Weaver said. "I'm here to win games. I'm here to play baseball and pitch. I want to help the Padres win."

It didn't quite work out as planned.

Weaver never won a game for the Padres. After nine starts, Weaver was 0-5 with a 7.44 ERA. And he had yielded a then league-leading 16 homers in 42 innings.

His last outing for the Padres came on May 19 and did not go well. He gave up seven runs to the Arizona Diamondbacks in two-thirds of an inning.

But Weaver refused to say "done," although his 34-year-old left hip was paining him and his fastball was a shadow of its previous self.

He battled to return from the disabled list. He made a rehab start and again things didn't go well.

And yesterday came the day that faces all athletes -- the end.

Weaver announced his retirement in a statement released by the Padres.

"I've decided to step away from baseball," Weaver said. "While I've been working hard to get back on the mound, my body just will not allow me to compete like I want to. Many thanks to the Padres' organization for the opportunity to play in the amazing city of San Diego.

"You have been very professional and respectful during this process and I really appreciate that."

Weaver wanted to pitch again. Truth is, he couldn't.

It was apparent from his first start that what made him an excellent pitcher for more than a decade with the Angels had abandoned him. And not just the velocity. He had a hard time locating what stuff he still had. Likely because of his hip, his mechanics were off.

But it was not for lack of trying.

"He's busted it hard trying to get back," said Padres manager Andy Green. "To me, he's the consummate professional and an unbelievable teammate. Guys love him in this clubhouse and respect him immensely. He had an unbelievably great career in the Major Leagues and for the brief time he was around here, he was a blast to have. He was a positive influence on guys. I will always think highly of him."

"Over the past decade, Jered established himself as one of the premier pitchers and fiercest competitors in baseball," said Padres general manager A.J. Preller. "He built a tremendous reputation throughout the game, not only for his track record of success, but also as a consummate teammate and professional.

"On behalf of the Padres' organization, I want to congratulate Jered on an outstanding career."

Weaver won 150 games -- all with the Angels.

And although Weaver will be forever connected with the Angels, he stood to be the Padres' first overall pick of the 2012 Draft before then owner John Moores balked at paying the bonus Weaver was seeking. The Padres instead drafted Matt Bush No. 1.

NOTE WORTHY

Cory Spangenberg was 2-for-4 with a two-run double, a solo homer and a run-scoring grounder for four RBIs Tuesday night. Spangenberg is 12-for-27 (.444) during a seven-game hitting streak with a two doubles, a triple, four home runs, 10 RBIs and eight runs scored to boost his batting average from .265 to .280. And that's only part of the equation. He's stolen two bases during the streak and taken extra bases on throws from the outfield. "If I'm a fan, Spangenberg is a fun player to watch," said Green.

Dinelson Lamet didn't allow a hit for 5 2/3 innings Tuesday night and finished allowing two runs on three hits over seven innings. The 25-year-old rookie has won four straight decisions. He has allowed three of fewer runs in 10 of his last 14 starts.

San Diego Padres