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REPORT

Jones: `No love lost here' for Weaver

October 22, 2006|Tim Brown | Times Staff Writer

DETROIT — Jeff Weaver returns to Detroit, where he pitched most of four seasons before being traded to the New York Yankees, then the Dodgers, and, well, it goes on from there.

In need of pitching, the St. Louis Cardinals gave up a marginal prospect to get him from the Angels. Weaver pitched reasonably well down the stretch and very well in the first two rounds of the playoffs, putting him back on the mound tonight at Comerica Park for Game 2.

Todd Jones, a former teammate who is the Tigers' closer, said the Tigers were pleased Weaver was traded 3 1/2 years ago, as he wasn't much liked in Detroit.

"I am not a big advocate of his and I wasn't a big advocate of his when he was here," he told a couple Detroit writers Friday, adding, "there's no love lost here that he's gone. There's a few guys on this team who probably don't mind him pitching the World Series against them."

Asked Saturday what Jones had against him, Weaver said he didn't know, and he had "nothing but good things to say about" Jones.

"I would figure that some of it got twisted," Weaver said. "Todd Jones is one of the nicest guys I've ever run across. If he's got unkind words for me, I don't know what they're stemming from. It's the World Series, maybe he's just trying to get a little jab in here and there."

*

Kenny Rogers, tonight's starter, has appeared to find happiness and success in Detroit. There's still the occasional parking-lot incident, but, generally, after attacking a cameraman in Texas, Rogers has reworked his image as a grumpy hot-head.

That doesn't mean he can't hold a nice grudge.

Apparently, he did not get along with reporters in Texas, who impertinently made a story of his assault.

He appeared Saturday at a pregame news conference, customary for the next day's pitcher. But, as reporters learned later, he'd directed the moderators -- two Major League Baseball employees -- not to recognize any questions from Texas writers.

A reporter from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram had raised her hand, but was not chosen.

*

A World Series report in USA Today quoted an anonymous scout calling the Cardinals' Chris Duncan "a butcher in the outfield."

Though Duncan came through the organization as a first baseman, the Cardinals already have one of those, leaving Duncan with no position or a new one.

The unkind -- and, in most circles, not debated -- assessment apparently didn't sit well with Duncan's father, Dave, the Cardinals' pitching coach.

"I would fear for their safety, whoever is associated with that scouting report, because [Dave] would hurt them," Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa said.

*

MLB and the players' union are close to reaching a new collective bargaining agreement, according to a source close to negotiations. The sides met until nearly 3 a.m. Saturday in New York, then picked up negotiations through the day Saturday. An announcement is expected any day.

tim.brown@latimes.com

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