Riding into the 2015 season on an unbelievable six year streak of declining fastball velocity, Jered Weaver, 32, has done the unthinkable and extended the morbidly impressive streak to a lucky number seven. Cruising at a cool 83 miles per hour, Weaver’s fastball wholly embodies that laid-back California attitude that the local boy from Northridge employs.
“Dude, it’ll get there when it gets there,” Weaver stated, combing back his bleach-blonde hair.
While never quite sniffing the speed of light velocity stratosphere that rivals Aroldis Chapman and Arquimedes Caminero inhabit daily, Weaver’s 2015 velocity doesn’t even register on the speed of smell. Weaver’s fastball would be honked at, flipped off, and passed on the 405 freeway with regularity—and the list of things slower than it is dwindling faster than the fastball itself.
One of those things on that list, anonymous teammates joked, is the Mike Trout Kids Kite from a June giveaway night. The free kites were awarded to the first 15,000 kids 12 and under to drive sales on a Tuesday night home game against the Rays—but, according to a team spokesperson, “only around thirteen thousand kids showed up, so the rest were just dumped off into our Triple-A players’ lockers.”
Kaleb Cowart, a Triple-A third baseman at the time, brought his Trout-faced kite with him upon arrival in the big leagues.
“Yea, a couple of guys made fun of me for it, but Mike was cool with it so I just kept it there. He even signed it for me!” Cowart responded. Since the arrival of the kite, however, teammates have been trying to organize an actual race spanning 60 feet 6 inches between one of Weaver’s “heaters” and the fluttering Trout memorabilia.
When asked for comment on the proposed race, Weaver rolled his eyes and replied simply, “Dude.”
While Weaver may not be taking the proposition seriously, teammates are. An anonymous team source stated that Weaver’s peers are “unsure what this race will do to team chemistry,” but “too intrigued to care.” A teammate, who wished to not be named, speculated, “yea man, that race is gonna be close. I think Aybar’s organizing side bets and giving the kite like 2-1 odds. I threw down a couple hundo on the Trout face.”
Even the famously noodle-armed retired outfielder Johnny Damon has weighed in on the shenanigans, “Don’t mess with kites, man. They’re faster than they look. One windy gust and you’re done…I’ve heard.”