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Weaver, Rogers get another crack on big stage



Published: Sat, October 21, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Cardinals were leading 7-1 through seven innings at press time.

DETROIT (AP) -- When last seen in the World Series, Jeff Weaver and Kenny Rogers were both New York Yankees' failures. They'll be back tonight, facing off against each other in Game 2.

Weaver, 2-1 for the St. Louis Cardinals in the postseason, gave up a 12th-inning home run to Florida's Alex Gonzalez that evened the 2003 World Series at two games apiece, and the Marlins went on to defeat the Yankees in six games.

"Obviously, people look at the result when I was out there, and some people forget that I hadn't pitched for 33 days [actually 28] before I went out there," Weaver said Saturday. "I had pitched an inning before and got three guys out in a row, but the next guy the following inning happened to hit a 3-2 fastball over the fence. And it's one game in the World Series. ... Regardless of the result, it's one of my special moments."

Off the hook

Rogers, 2-0 with 15 shutout innings for Detroit in this year's playoffs, started Game 4 of the 1996 Series against Atlanta, got just six outs and allowed five runs. New York came back to win that night in 10 innings and won the Series in six games.

In all, Rogers made three starts and one relief appearance for the Yankees in the 1996 postseason, allowing 11 earned runs in seven innings.

"Being able to go through that with the Yankees, which is another level in itself, whether I was ready to deal with it at the time or not, I benefited from it," Rogers said. "Going through what I did with New York made me better in a lot of ways. Made me a lot stronger, too."

Weaver pitched for the Tigers from 1999-2002, then was traded to the Yankees, who sent him on to the Los Angeles Dodgers after the 2003 Series. He signed with the Los Angeles Angels last winter, then was dealt to St. Louis in July.

His career record at Comerica Park is 14-24 with 4.01 ERA in 44 starts.

"I liked it a lot better when the bullpens were down the right-field line, but still very spacious ballpark," he said, referring to the 2003 reconfiguration that reduced the distance to the left-center wall to 370 feet from 395 feet. "I've got some experience pitching here and always felt comfortable and definitely looking forward to the opportunity to come back where it started for me and have a chance to win a championship. It's kind of surreal, but at the same time very exciting and looking forward to it."

On Friday, Tigers closer Todd Jones took a shot at Weaver.

"There's no love lost here that he's gone," Jones said. "He never really panned out here. We all go through the learning process and learning curves, and his was with us. I'm sure he's changed as a pitcher."

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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