Chuck Finley provides laugh track for Jered Weaver roast
There were plenty of toasts but more roasts at Tuesday night's dinner to honor Angels pitcher Jered Weaver as the Orange County Youth Sports Foundation sportsman of the year, the funniest lines delivered by former Angels pitcher and renowned quipster Chuck Finley.
Finley took the podium at the Newport Beach Marriott, turned to Weaver and said, "Six years [in the big leagues], and you've already got a roast. It took me 17 years .... Don't get too high on your horse, though. If this thing was really special, they would have had it at the Ritz-Carlton."
Finley then looked down the head table and, one by one, picked off almost everyone who had roasted Weaver before him.
"You guys know Rick Smith?" Finley said of the fedora-wearing athletic trainer who has been with the team for 34 years. "Smitty's been with the Angels longer than Walt's been with Disney .... Hey, did Sam Snead give you that hat?"
Earlier in the evening, former Angels pitcher Clyde Wright boasted that had thrown a no-hitter in 1970, and Weaver had not.
"Look at Clyde down there," Finley said. "He threw a no-hitter back when Joanie loved Chachi."
Finley then pulled out a sheet of paper and recited some of Weaver's statistics.
"You have 82 career wins, which is pretty good, and 47 losses, which you told me you're only responsible for 10 of them," Finley said. "I don't think any hitters are here, are they? And here's a guarantee you'll never get traded to the National League: a .115 batting average."
It wasn't until the last 30 seconds of his eight-minute speech that Finley went from roast to toast mode.
"Jered, you're a pleasure to watch, a throwback, you bring it every day," Finley said in admiration of Weaver, who signed a five-year, $85-million contract extension in August. "You take your heart out to the mound with you every game, and I have to congratulate you."
-- Mike DiGiovanna