Weaver's frustration boils over in dugout rant
Angels starter yells at teammates after difficult inning
DETROIT -- Jered Weaver was exasperated, at the fly ball that landed between two of his outfielders, at the four-run inning it helped set up, at how bloated his ERA had become, and at how trying these last five weeks had been for his team. All of it. And it all spilled out after the third inning of a Tuesday night game at Comerica Park, in a loud, obscenity-laced dugout tirade from the Angels' longtime ace.
"It was just more of trying to get the guys fired up and trying to get guys motivated," Weaver said after the Angels ultimately pulled through against the Tigers, winning, 8-7, to snap a four-game losing streak. "I hadn't really been vocal this year. It's obviously not the way I've wanted my season to go. But we're in the midst of a playoff race, and we have to play good baseball to get to where we want to be."
With one out and the Angels leading, 4-0, center fielder Mike Trout and right fielder Kole Calhoun did not communicate on an Anthony Gose fly ball and rewarded the Tigers' center fielder with a double. Then Weaver plunked Jose Iglesias, served up a three-run double to Miguel Cabrera, gave up a game-tying single to J.D. Martinez and went ballistic as he paced the dugout after recording the third out, at one point turning around to seemingly yell at someone in particular.
It was animated, even by Weaver's standards.
"There are some guys on our team who are very emotional," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I know guys understand this."
After he had cooled off and the offense had scored four more runs, Weaver pulled Trout and Calhoun aside.
"'Hey," Weaver told them, "'that wasn't directed towards you guys individually. I was just trying to get everybody motivated and get everybody fired up to get through the rest of the season.'"
The Angels entered this three-city road trip with 21 losses over their last 30 games, a brutal rut that immediately followed the uplifting stretch in which they won 17 of 20. They've had the worst offense in baseball this month, by almost every statistical measure, and their pitchers had just given up a franchise-record 36 runs in three games against the world-beating Blue Jays.
On Saturday, Huston Street yelled in the dugout and afterwards called for "a sense of urgency."
On Sunday, Scioscia called a team meeting.
On Tuesday, Weaver let frustration boil over.
"I'm not a very vocal guy when it comes to stuff, I just try to go out there and battle, but we need to start playing a little better baseball," said Weaver, whose team is now five games behind the Astros for first place in the American League West and a half-game back of the Rangers for the second Wild Card spot.
"We've been slumping a little bit, and we're a better team than we've shown."
Trout looked to Calhoun thinking he was going to catch Gose's fly ball, "and then I looked back up and didn't see where the ball was." Trout had lost it in the lights and could only helplessly watch it fall.
"I was upset with myself," Trout said. "I knew [Weaver] was yelling. I didn't know what he was yelling at. We talked about it. Emotions were high in that inning. … He was just trying to fire us up. We're in that position where we need to be energetic and get fired up. After that, we kept scoring some more runs. He came up and told me it wasn't directed to me."