Baseball BeatApril 22, 2004
Weavering Through The Web
By Rich Lederer

Aaron Gleeman of The Hardball Times is the latest to hop aboard The Weaver Wagon. He writes an excellent recap of the USA TODAY story by David Leon Moore and gives me credit in the meantime.

Those of you who are blog readers know this already, but Rich Lederer of has been following Weaver's amazing exploits all season on his blog, Rich's Baseball Beat. Lederer has attended and reported on a bunch of Weaver's starts and his recaps of the games and stories of the scouts sitting near him are must-reads.

Aaron specifically mentions the article I wrote last month comparing Weaver to Mark Prior as well as my coverage of Jered's one-hit, 15-strikeout masterpiece vs. UCLA at Petco Park in March when I spoke to the Padres' scouting director Bill "Chief" Gayton about the phenom after the game.

Gleeman also makes an observation that Weaver's combined sophomore and junior seasons are virtually identical to Pedro Martinez's stats in 2000--a year that some have dubbed the greatest single-season pitching performance ever.

                  IP        ERA      SO      BB     H
Pedro 2000        217.0     1.74     284     32     128
Weaver 03-04      214.0     1.60     262     31     127

Unlike a lot of writers, Gleeman does his homework. That's why you'll be reading his articles for years to come.


I'm not sure we'll be reading Gleeman for years to come. If you mean by "homework" taking others ideas and then paraphrasing, then maybe Gleeman will be around a while. If you look to original thought, then Gleeman hasn't had one in the time he's been writing.

Gleeman is good at what he does, but who couldn't be good at using other people's ideas? It requires no effort on your own. No wonder they won't let the kid write for the University of Minnesota school newspaper.

It's because Gleeman take what other people write, then buts his own smart spin on it after doing his homework. I've seen tons of lines on Weaver's stats, but Gleeman was the first to compare his Jr. and Sr. seasons to the great 2000 season of Pedro Martinez. Gleeman definitely brought new information to the table. Great job Rich and great job Aaron!

I agree with Joe....Gleeman does his own thing about 80% of the time at his website....It's not as if every article written on the web (or in print) hasn't been done elsewhere....He puts his own twist into it and that's why I've kept going back to read him every day for the last year and a half....

Gleeman's been a plagiarist for years. The next original thing he does will be the first.

Wow. The scary thing about those lines is that Pedro did that against major league hitters.

The best 200 innings anybody has ever thrown.

Aside from the missing park effects, the other info I'd like to see comparing Weaver and Prior is their RA and HR/9.

Weaver 2004: .22 (2 in 80.2 IP)
Prior 2001: .32 (5 in 138.2 IP)

I'm not sure what RA is?
Here's the links to the official stats for each of 'em:
Prior 2001:

Weaver 2004:

According to Boyd's World, the home ballpark factor for USC was 91 from 1999-2002. It was 79 for LBSU from 2000-2003.

Be careful with those numbers though because Prior only pitched at USC in 2000 and 2001 while Weaver has only pitched at LBSU from 2002-2004.

You would also have to factor in the total park effect (road games included). From 2000-2003, LBSU had an 86. Boyd's doesn't have any specific data on USC during Prior's years other than home ballpark.

Lastly, if you were going to make adjustments, it would only be truly meaningful if you also weighted it by actual starts at home and on the road.

Suffice it to say that Blair Field (home of the 49ers) is generally considered more of a pitcher's park than Dedeaux Field (SC's home). However, when you strike out batters as often as Weaver and Prior, one could argue that it really doesn't matter how far the fences are, how big the foul territories are, etc.

Dedeaux Field is a left-handed hitter's paradise -- there's a parking structure that covers the whole length of center-to-right field that sucks balls in and over the fence -- but it is not fun to hit right-handed there. The field faces the west, and generally the prevailing So Cal wind is from the same direction, so the wind sweeps in from left-field to right field, knocking down balls hit to left and center, while pushing the balls hit to center and right toward the parking structure vortex. (Look, if I was able to jerk few balls out of there during some pick-up BP, anyone can.)

I don't have any data to support this, but my guess is that Prior faced more right-handed hitters than left-handed ones, and this helped his USC numbers ever-so-slightly. But, as Rich says, it doesn't matter a lot when you're blowing people away.