Jake's father, Danny Peavy, labored beside his own father in the family business, the Peavy Cabinet Shop in Semmes, Alabama. The shop is now in its third generation. From there came an example that Danny Peavy set for his sons that Jake takes to the hill for every start. It's an All-American work ethic that eschews the grander idea of being a star.
Jake's grandfather, Blanche Peavy, who he called Paw Paw, taught him the finer points of baseball. He worked with Jake almost every day, videotaping as he pitched from a mound. The most important lesson: Paw Paw would take to fingers and poke them into the youngster's forehead and convincingly tell him to "Focus!"
In 1994, Blanche was working at the cabinet shop when a blade of a high-speed fan snapped off and pierced one of his eyes. He ended up in a coma. Three weeks later, Paw Paw died on December 1, 1994. But Jake has never forgotten his grandfather. Jake spent a lot of time questioning his faith after Paw Paw died. No longer there to hunt and fish with him in the Alabama woods, Jake went by himself and ask God why he'd taken his closest friend. But after talking with his maternal grandmother, Grandma Lolley, the most spiritual woman in the family, Jake concluded, "I'm pitching for two."
Jake wrote the initials "BP" under the bill of every baseball cap he owned. During his four years of high school baseball, Peavy posted an incredible record of 44-1.
Under the bill of his cap, Jake also wrote his favorite scripture, Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me." He wrote it right next to his grandfather's initials: "BP."
When Jake was a youngster, he was a Braves fan. In fact, several times, the Peavey clan, numbering about 10, would journey four hours from Alabama to Atlanta to root for their favorite team. Sometimes, Jake would go down to the Atlanta bullpen and photograph the pitchers. "I've got one of Tommy Glavine with a big, long mullet," he said.
CHOOSES PADRES OVER AUBURN
After high school, Jacob was pretty sold on the idea of accepting a scholarship to Auburn University, but the Padres drafted him and talked him into signing with them. With a part of his signing bonus, Peavey said, "I did buy a Chevrolet Z-71 truck. It’s gray. All Southern boys got to have them a truck. I’m not a big spender, though. I try not to get carried away."
Jake says of his homeland, "It's Bible Belt and I'm proud to say I was raised in the Bible Belt," Peavy said. "I was raised to say 'Yes, ma'am' and 'No, sir,' to treat people the way you want to be treated.
"But I was also raised with a competitive streak inside me . . . to have that fire. In everything I ever played, I wanted to win . . . to beat the other team. I want to beat you with every ounce of my being."
In 1999, at age 17, Peavy was drafted in the 15th round. He imagined he was signing up for a life of limos, parties, and four-star hotels. But two days later, he found himself sitting alone in a budget motel room in Phoenix awaiting the start of rookie camp and trying to figure out why he didn't accept that full ride to Auburn University.
"Something about him told me he wanted to play," said Padres scout Mark Wassinger, who convinced the Padres to offer Peavy fifth-round money to ensure he signed with them. "The way he talked about setting up hitters, he was constantly thinking ahead about how to get guys out. He had a mature approach, a professional approach that I liked."
Peavy has a maturity and serenity that enables him to focus.
"I've had a great family upbringing and I just trust in the Lord. That just gives me kind of an inner peace about whatever happens, whatever goes on. I know I'm right where I need to be and I just want to stay in the will He has for my life."
Peavy is a Southern boy, from the Mobile suburb of Semmes, Alabama, and a Southern Baptist who doesn't care much about any religious denominations.
What's important to him is that he believes in God, believes that: "He has a will for my life, and I just trust in Him to take care of me and take care of my family. Some people disagree and some people agree with that, but I've just been brought up like that and I believe it with all my heart. I've seen Him work too many times in my life to not believe that. I don't want to push it on anybody, and I try not to do that, but I'm going to let people know the way I feel."
Jacob likes country music, mostly—stuff like Hank Williams Jr., George Strait, Johnny Cash, and Alan Jackson
"I’m country to the core, but my teammates got me into some alternative like Weezer and Jimmy Eat World."
Peavy plays the guitar. He started in 2001. He now plays at a coffee shops on occasion.
"I really like making music. (Mobile lefthander) Cliff Bartosh taught me how to play. I wanted to learn this old country song, ‘Poncho and Lefty’ by Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson, and he showed me how to play it. I learned how to play a lot of other songs like (Weezer’s) "Dope Nose" and "Hash Pipe" from Cliff. On the radio I hear songs I’ve never heard before but know how to play, like "The Middle," by Jimmy Eat World."
Jake doesn't swear. And he won't permit profanity in his home.
For hobbies, Jacob lists hunting, fishing, being outdoors. "In the offseason, it’s hard to find me. I’m in the woods or on the water. Being in my hometown, I know the places to go, and I’ve got the hookups."
Peavy credits minor league teammate Steve Watkins. "He taught me a ton about how to live life."
He flew home for the birth of Jacob Edward Peavy II on June 20, 2001. That was he and his wife Katie's first child. Katie was his high school sweetheart. They were married when Jake was 19 years old.
"Being married helps you be focused on what you're here to do, and that's play good baseball. I don't want to be average," Peavy said soon after he was called up to the Majors, on his son's first birthday (June 20, 2002).
Jake and his wife celebrated the birth of another son, Wyatt, on May 24, 2004. Jake and Katie have known each other since before Jake can remember.
"Katie tells me what it was like when I was 2 or 3 years old," he joked. "She was much older than me at the time, 3 or 4."
The Peavys and Alfords both went to the Moffat Road Church. Katie Alford lived on North Graham Road, Jake Peavy on South Graham Road. They were separated by Highway 98 . . . and little else.
"Katie was at the first birthday party I can remember," Jake said. "She was pretty much at the first of everything I can remember. As we got older, I dated a few other girls for a while. I always wound up asking myself, why? Katie and I . . . well, I got extremely, extremely lucky to find a girl like Katie. I couldn't have picked a better person. She is so giving."
The Peavys also share a love of the outdoors and the Semmes lifestyle.
"Katie grew up the same way Jake did, although I think her dad was more into fishing," said Danny Peavy, Jake's father. "She's probably better at fishing than shooting. Debbie and I don't think our son could have found a better wife."
The Peavys have already made one major lifestyle decision. Semmes is their home. And when Jake II starts school, Katie and the boys will live in Semmes during the school year.
"It all goes back to home," Jake said. "We want the boys to be raised the way we were raised. He'll go to school in Alabama and to be close to both families."
Not that things can possibly stay the same, even in Semmes, pop. 1,200.
"When I was growing up, we had a Dairy Queen and a Hickory Pit barbecue," Peavy said. "Now a Super Wal-Mart is coming in. I almost hate to see Semmes change."
Peavy built a retreat on a few thousand acres on the Alabama River near Miller's Ferry, where he will fish and hunt with Jake II and Wyatt. It's called Southern Falls Plantation.
"I have to have a getaway from Semmes," he said.
That's because Peavy has become a hero in his hometown.
"When he comes home, people bombard him," said Danny Peavy. (Bill Center-San Diego Union Tribune-4/7/05)
In 2007, Jake and Katie began building a new cabin along a beautiful man-made lake. It is, of course, right near Semmes, Alabama.
In 2001, Peavy's 12.7 strikeouts per nine innings were second only to Marlins' prospect Josh Beckett.
In 2002, Peavy was the only Southern Leaguer with his face on a soft-drink can. A Mobile native and an offseason employee of the BayBears, Peavy's photo and signature graced some 228,000 Pepsi and Mountain Dew cans in the Mobile area.
Midway through the 2004 season, Jake went to see a nutritionist, which is rather interesting, cosidering Peavy's diet is closer to Chet Atkins than Dr. Atkins. Fellow-pitcher Brian Lawrence said, "To Jake, a balanced dinner, any meal, is a well-done steak with A-1 sauce and potatoes. Vegetables?"
"Hey," said Peavy. "The nutritionist asked me if I eat any fish. When I said yes, she seemed pleased." The fish? Catfish, fried.
In 2004, Jake made an unusual decision as he approached negotiating his first major contract. His agent at the time, Scott Boras, is known to wring every last penny out of a franchise for any player, much less one with Peavy's numbers. Peavy decided to change to Barry Axelrod, who had closer ties with the Padres.
"I like Mr. Boras and I knew he'd do a great job for me," Peavy said. "But money is not why I'm pitching. I changed because of my values and beliefs. I didn't want the Padres thinking I was upset or . . . you know what I mean. For me, changing agents was the best move I ever made. Please change that to second-or third-best."
Peavy and Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton are close. Sutton is on record with the view that Peavy someday could join him as an eternal Cooperstown resident.
Sutton shares Peavy's Alabama heritage, the old righthander having been born in Clio before moving to Florida in his youth. Peavy hails from Mobile, home to legendary baseball figures Henry Aaron, Satchel Paige, Billy Williams and Ozzie Smith.
"People down south love their baseball," Peavy said. "I was taught the game like my son is learning it. We played it right, that's the biggest thing. It comes down from your ancestors, being respectful of the game." (Lyle Spencer-MLB.com-6/21/05)
Sutton says of Peavy: "I have a lot of respect for him, personally and professionally. He is a polite gentleman who has a genuine passion for his profession. I greatly admire his work ethic. He's one of the few pitcher that I watch who I believe have a chance to get a plaque in Cooperstown."
In the offseason, Peavy hunts as often as he can—with a gun or a bow. And he hunts even though the insurance policy his team has on the contract with four years and almost $14 million remaining does not cover hunting accidents.
“How about that?” Peavy said with a laugh.
With no hint of defensiveness he explained, “I'm by no means acting foolishly. I was raised in these woods. I was raised in this environment. Am I going to climb 40-foot pine trees and hang off the side? No way. I want to respect my team and my obligation to perform. But I'm going to hunt. That's me. That's what I do. That's what I enjoy doing in my time off.”
This is Peavy—honest and without pretense.
Searching for an explanation to repeated questions about why he is the way he is, Peavy spoke of his paternal grandfather, who pushed and supported him until dying in an accident in his cabinet shop in 1994. In death, he taught his grandson one more lesson.
“When he died, it put a different spin on things for me,” Peavy said. “He was 58 and had a tragic accident. I hugged his neck at 12 o'clock. At one o'clock, he died. I want to live every day like it could be my last. We're not promised tomorrow. Every time I pitch, it might be the last time I go out on a baseball field.” (Kevin Acee-San Diego Union-Tribune-2/13/06)
January 4, 2007: Peavy was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct at Mobile Regional Airport in Alabama. Police said "a situation presented itself and the officers involved felt like they had a situation to deal with."
It seems Jake was headed for a goodwill tour of the Dominican Republic with other Major League players when he double-parked to drop off his bags and was told by airport police to move his car.
"The airport police told him he couldn't park his car there and he said, 'Write me up a ticket and I'll pay for it,"' Padres G.M. Kevin Towers said. "He was arrested."
On January 25, the charge was dismissed after Peavy personally apologized to the airport police he allegedly defied.
Jake is thrilled that he got to spend 2007 learning from Greg Maddux. "The biggest thing I've learned from him is that location is the top priority," Peavy says. "He always says, 'If you locate your pitches, you've got a chance,' and I've really taken that to heart."
Without his corrective lenses (he uses contacts), Jake is practically blind. Without contacts or glasses, all he sees is "a big blur of colors."
"Can't see a lick," confirms Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt, one of Peavy's closest pals. Oswalt found this out two winters ago when he and Peavy, both avid hunters, were navigating through Pike County in western Illinois on their way to a weekend in the woods chasing white-tailed deer. Oswalt would steal glances at Peavy, who was hunched over the wheel and squinting into the darkness as his truck swerved unnervingly along the winding roads.
"I made him pull over, and I drove," says Oswalt. "Then—and I hadn't been driving more than 20 minutes—I hit a deer." (Albert Chen-Sports Illustrated-6/11/07)
In 2007, Peavy won the Cy Young award.
Prior to a game in May of 2008, Padres pitcher Jake Peavy met with 11 high school students from Peavy's hometown of Mobile, Ala., who are participating in the Mobile Action Team, a service-learning program in which Major League players and high school students are inspiring and training the next generation of volunteers.
Jun 16, 2008: After their flight from Cooperstown to LaGuardia Airport was canceled because of bad weather, the Padres—players, coaches, team officials and family members, a group that numbered 61—rode two buses nearly five hours to their Manhattan hotel.
The Padres weren't far outside Cooperstown when Peavy placed a call to equipment manager/director of team travel, Brian Prilaman, who was riding in the other bus, imploring him to stop to get food.
"I told him, 'Me and the boys are hungry,'" Peavy said.
The team pulled over in tiny Cobleskill, New York, right off Highway 88, about 190 miles north of New York City. They found a McDonald's and the two buses pulled up and dropped off the players, staff and family off.
"I haven't been to McDonald's in a few years ... but I tell you what, it was pretty good," said Peavy, who was fourth in line. I even had me a McFlurry." (Corey Brock MLB.com)
September 19, 2008: Jake's wife, Katie, gave birth to their third son. They named him Judson Lee. "Jud," Peavy said. As for the boy's middle name, Peavy, an Alabaman and a Civil War buff, said "it may or may not be after great Gen. Robert E. Lee. My wife thinks it's for Leann, her middle name."
Jake's favorite actor: Will Ferrell
Favorite movie: Top Gun
TV: "I like Sportscenter and enjoy watching the Outdoor Channel."
Favorite food: "I'm a meat and potatoes kind of guy," Peavy said.
Favorite sports team outside of baseball: San Diego Chargers.
Peavy says if he had not been a baseball player, "I'd probably be making cabinets for a living." Asked the person in history he'd most like to meet, Jake said, "Jesus Christ—just not too soon."
White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy took children from the Union League Boys & Girls Club of Chicago on a back-to-school shopping spree at Staples on Jackson Street in August, 2012.
Jake says he wants to play baseball as long as his body and the game allows.
"I'm going to play until this uniform is taken away from me," Peavy said the last week of the 2012 season. "I love the game. My boys are getting to the age where my children understand what Daddy does and they enjoy it. They enjoy coming.
"That's something that's special to me and special to them. You miss out on stuff by being away, but at the same time if I stay around five years, I'll be 36 and able to spend a lot of good quality time with them.
"Honestly, I'm so blessed and fortunate to be healthy again. I never knew if this would be possible, to have a year like I did (in 2012), and I feel like all that is behind me now."
June 23, 2013: Jake hosted the second annual Jake Peavy's Ultimate Country Music and Baseball Raffle, which was launched on whitesox.com, benefiting his charitable foundation.
"It's just always fun giving back," he said. "It's all about honoring the people that we lost who were dear to us. We have been so fortunate. The team around me has put together some great events in the past, and we've got another one coming up here June 23; we're going to have a concert. I'm going to bring in music buddies from all over who are going to play some music there at Joe's Bar on Weed Street in Chicago.
"We're going to raise as much money as we can. It's going to be a fun night, full of music, all different types of music from all different types of artists as well. We're going to have some of my teammates up there singing, we're going to have aspiring guys paying their dues coming up and playing, songwriters, and we're going to have an artist or two show up and make the night. I'm so blessed just to be able to give back."
May 7, 2013: During his time in the MLB Fan Cave, Peavy played guitar along with his high school friend Tyler Reeve, plus friends Stevie Monse and Channing Wilson. They taped videos for MLBFanCave.com—definitely worth a listen. Wilson sounds like Toby Keith.
Jake Peavy learned as a kid that the most important thing about sports is having fun, but also that winning is directly tied into having fun.
“I watch my father now — he coaches my little boys in football and baseball — and how competitive he is,” Peavy said near the end of the 2013 season. “You can never lose sight of how the kids are doing this stuff to have fun. But my dad always said, ‘Winning’s fun.’”
Peavy, who grew up in Alabama, is a low-key and easygoing man when not pitching. A huge Bruce Springsteen fan, the Boston Red Sox right-handed starter often writes music and plays his guitar in his free time. But when he steps on the mound he turns into a different person.
He’s as intense as anyone in baseball, often yelling at himself after allowing just one hit.
Peavy said he has thought a lot about it and has concluded that his upbringing, including his father’s comments about the enjoyment of winning, made him the intense competitor he is today.
“I think about us playing in the backyard and how competitive we were with my brother and my cousins,” Peavy said. “Just how we played so hard. As hard as we play on this field, we played (as hard) it seems in the backyard.
“It’s fun to win,” Peavy added. “Both my grandfathers and father and how competitive they were — it’s just kind of a family thing.”
Peavy admitted his intensity hasn’t always been something he has been proud of.
“But I never try to yell obscenities,” Peavy said. “I understand there are kids watching. I have three little boys who watch me pitch every time I pitch. So the last thing I want them to see is me yelling words that aren’t appropriate to yell on TV. So I don’t do that. But my competitive nature has gotten me — those cameras are hard to get away from sometimes.”
Off the field, Peavy describes himself as laid back.
“I’m passionate about the things I love to do,” he said. “And I don’t mind working hard. I have a ranch down in Alabama that I love to work and play on. I’m very laid back, I would say.”
Off-the-field Peavy is most passionate about being a dad. He has three boys, ages 12, 9 and 5, and they love to watch their dad compete.
“We at times get to feel sorry for ourselves as parents for all the things we miss out on,” Peavy said. “There are a lot of firsts, baseball games and football games, I don’t get to be there. That being said, for them to come experience what they experience when they come — they get to go on the field with daddy at Fenway Park and go out on the road and just have the life that we do have — we understand that we’re very blessed.”
Peavy is so grateful to his dad for taking such an active role with his boys by coaching them in football and baseball.
“That’s so big for me,” Peavy said. “To have to be away like I am, I truly believe in a male influence in kid’s lives whether boys or girls. I certainly think the boys obviously need that. To have my father there around them and to live close by, it means all the difference in the world. It makes it a little bit easier for me to go to bed at night.” (Christopher Smith - 9/29/13)
Peavy really enjoyed his ride in the Red Sox's World Series Parade in Boston on November 2, 2013. He even bought one of the duck boats, paying $75,000 for it.
The half-boat, half-truck vehicles were originally designed for the military but later adapted to take quacking visitors on tours through Boston and onto the Charles River. Peavy brought the duck boat home to his 5,000 acre estate, aboard a flatbed truck.
Flash forward to the 2014 World Series, with Jake pitching Game 6 for the Giants, vs. the KC Royals. The day before that contest, Jake's son, Wyatt, let the cat out of the bag.
When his father was asked what the equivalent to a duck boat would be, Wyatt soon let the proverbial cat out of the bag.
"I think we already picked out our trolley car," Wyatt said loudly at the press conference.
Peavy was the captain of Team USA in the 2006 World Baseball Classic.
Peavy is legally blind without corrective lenses.
Peavy develops close bond with Dr Romeo. Dog may be man's best friend. But for a pitcher, it can be hard to beat a good orthopedic surgeon.
Jake Peavy knows that well. That's why he invited Dr. Anthony Romeo to his ranch outside Mobile, Ala., as part of a celebration a few months ago prior to the 2014 Spring Training season.
Had Romeo not designed and executed a one-of-a-kind surgery to reattach Peavy's latissimus dorsi muscle after it tore free during his 2010 season, Peavy would not have been on the mound for the Red Sox in the 2013 World Series. He soaked in the experience, even buying one of Boston's duck boats after the parade, and is working to come back down to earth in time for the 2014 season.
Peavy provides proof that science can help overcome serious injuries, and he's quick to give credit to the man who put him back together.
"I owe a lot to Dr. Romeo, and we've developed a great friendship," Peavy said. "He came down to my place this winter. Dr. Romeo is a tremendous, tremendous person. I think we all know how good of a doctor he is, but he's a great person."
Walk-Up Music: Peavy, like many players from Alabama, uses "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
While 2014/15 was a busy winter for Peavy, the pitcher with the pedal-to-the-metal personality -- what with all the time spent driving his oldest children to their games and activities, getting to know a newborn son he held for the first time on the day before the Red Sox traded him and working out a contract to return to the Giants -- Peavy did find time to add a cable car to the duck boat he shipped from Boston to Alabama after the 2013 World Series celebratory parade.
Peavy first had to work out a deal with the San Francisco Municipal Railway to buy a car and then figure how to give it tires and an engine. You didn't think he was going to install rails and electrical wires on his 500-acre ranch, did you?
Jonny Gomes, one of Peavy's former Boston teammates, knew a place in Oklahoma that could customize the iconic vehicle. It will soon be shipped from San Francisco to start the process, and then the fun will start.
"We're putting some wheels on that thing, [to] make it a rolling bar," Peavy said on Saturday at Scottsdale Stadium. "It's going to have a cool paint scheme on it." Would you expect anything different? Not if you knew Peavy.
At 33, he's a family man who can keep up with Charlie Sheen, and he's being rewarded with a stunning second act in a career that seemed essentially finished when his latissimus dorsi muscle tore off the bone in 2010. That's an injury that had generally ended pitchers' careers. But Chicago orthopedist Tony Romeo designed a surgery that allowed Peavy to become a Trade Deadline target in both of the last two seasons.
After making only two postseason starts during the first 11 years of his career, Peavy has made seven the last two—including three in the World Series. His win over Stephen Strasburgin Game 1 of the 2014 National League Division Series was one of the major stepping stones, as the Giants traveled from Wild Card status to a Game 7 victory over the Royals last October. "There's certainly something here in San Francisco," Peavy said. "It's just a family atmosphere here. It's a winning culture here. There are some expectations that are always held onto -- no matter what the year before had to offer, no matter how the team looks coming into Spring Training. There's one goal here: to get into the playoffs and try to find a way to end up on top." (Rogers - mlb.com - 2/21/15)
It's important to pay attention to baseball games. That's true in general, but especially for baseball games that are taking place right in front of you, as you watch them in-person from the stands.
Case in point: When a bat slipped out of Jake Peavy's hands and made its way into the stands, the fan leapt into action and snatched the bat right out of the air, saving his date sitting next to him and earning a hero's kiss on the cheek. A drizzly game makes for slick bats. Thankfully, this fan was on-the-ball. Or on-the-bat, actually. (B Cosman - MLB.com - July 3, 2015)
For years, Peavy has actively supported troops and veterans from all branches of the Armed Forces. In 2012, he established the Jake Peavy Foundation to support cancer research. (Haft - MLB.com - 6/23/16)
2017 Season: It wouldn’t be hard to connect dots: Eduardo Rodriguez lands on the disabled list with an injury, Brian Johnson takes a tumble in a tuneup start in Pawtucket, and suddenly, Jake Peavy, proudly wearing his 2013 Red Sox World Series ring, shows up in Boston. But while Peavy was indeed in Boston (“Boston is a special place to me,” he said), his appearance was unrelated to the state of the Red Sox’ rotation depth.
Instead, Peavy appeared at the Eliot Innovation School as part of his foundation’s efforts to educate students about financial decisions. The cause became an important one to Peavy in 2016, when he found out that he lost $16 million in a fraudulent scheme by a financial adviser.
“Over the last year and a half of my life, financial literacy became a part of my story,” said Peavy. “It’s something I’m passionate about and I’m not sure if it’s getting enough attention as I think it needs if we’re trying to promote healthy society, healthy communities, and educating children to make good life decisions financially. “I think that’s of the utmost importance. It’s something I wish I had more of.”
Peavy, who struggled to a 5-9 record and 5.54 ERA with the Giants in 2016, has remained at home so far this year, but not because of an absence of offers to return to the big leagues. Instead, he wanted to remain present for his four sons (ages 16, 13, 8, and 3) in Alabama while going through a divorce and dealing with the aftermath of last year’s investment investigation.
Peavy does plan to pitch in the majors again. His enjoyment with being around his sons — and to coach them — has left him undecided about whether to pursue a return to the big leagues as a free agent this year or to wait until next spring.
“I’m going to play baseball again,” he said. “I can tell you with certainty, without a shadow of a doubt, I will play baseball again. Whether that be this year or next year, I’m still up in the air. There are some opportunities to [sign] tomorrow. If that was to happen, I’m grateful for that. But the last year of my life has presented challenges I didn’t foresee coming. It’s something I’ve embraced. It’s been refreshing in a lot of ways."
Jake Peavy said he throws at least one bullpen session a week to stay in playing shape. “I’ve got four boys I haven’t spent a whole lot of time with through these [summer] months. I’ve enjoyed that. “I’m not 100 percent sure I’m going to commit to going back and playing this year or whether it be just joining up with a team in spring training for 2018, but I can tell you my playing days are not behind me. During this time off, I’ve been able to understand that and know that without a shadow of a doubt.
“It’s been tough at times to turn down some of the opportunities that have been presented, to not say yes. There’s been some opportunities with teams I respect and would love to explore that option, but life has made some decisions for us here of late, and I couldn’t be more thankful.”
Peavy said that he’s been keeping his options open by staying in playing shape and throwing at least one bullpen session of at least 25-30 pitches per week. He expressed mixed feelings about whether he’d prefer to stay at home or try to experience anew his midyear moves to teams that went on to win titles in 2013 (Red Sox) and 2014 (Giants).
“The reason a midseason return is so compelling to me is because of the success I’ve seen happen in that second half of the season, after the trade deadline,” said Peavy, who owns a career record of 152-126 with a 3.63 ERA.“When I got traded here in 2013, I became a part of something special. Being fresh in the second half, there’s a huge advantage to that. There’s something appealing that, the two times I’ve won a World Series, I’ve been traded midseason. There’s something appealing about that to me in my talks with [his agent] about what we’re going to do.”
Peavy said that he’d only be interested in joining a team that appears to have a shot at a title. Even though he’s enjoyed considerably greater success in the NL West — San Diego and San Francisco, where he’s 111-87 with a 3.42 ERA — than the AL — he has a 41-39 record and 4.13 ERA with the Red Sox and White Sox — Peavy said that a suitor’s division and/or ballpark wouldn’t be motivating factors in his decision. Although Peavy has been keeping up with the Red Sox — both due to his experience with the team and his close friendship with Chris Sale, a teammate with the White Sox from 2010-13 — he said that Boston to this point has not been among the teams that have inquired about his interest.
“I have not talked to the Red Sox. Only a few American League teams,” he said. “But who knows? I would never rule anything out.” (Alex Speier-Globe-June 6, 2017)
Peavy opens up about scam that robbed him of $15 million
As Jake Peavy was putting up the worst numbers of his career in 2016, San Francisco Giants fans watched the once-fiery starter slip into a bullpen role, then out of baseball altogether. Few knew that, behind the scenes, Peavy's life was falling apart.
In a profile with Bleacher Report, the former Giants star opened up about a series of off-the-field events that left Peavy feeling like he needed "a miracle every day." The trouble began with Ash Narayan, a so-called financial advisor who had been handling his retirement savings for years. Peavy was introduced to Narayan through friends, who recommended Narayan because of his Christian background and apparent dedication to charity.
"Before this happened, if you asked me about the most positive person in my life, it would have been Ash," Peavy told Bleacher Report. "He didn't speak a cuss word."
According to a Securities and Exchange Commission case against him, Narayan took players' investments and funneled them into a sports-ticket brokerage venture instead of safe investments. By the time he was busted for the scheme, he'd reportedly frittered away $30 million.
Peavy found out two days into the Giants' 2016 spring training. According to the SEC case, which listed Peavy simply as "Client 2," Narayan had taken $15 million-$20 million from Peavy's retirement fund. In addition, Peavy says Narayan took another $5 million out in loans in Peavy's name. As a result of the SEC case, which was filed in a Texas court, Peavy spent much of 2016 flying back and forth from San Francisco to Dallas, at lease once on the day of one of his starts.
"I lost some people I trusted more than my own family," Peavy said. "That happens and, man, it puts you in a dark place for a minute."
Narayan has since settled the case and was barred for life by the SEC. Peavy hopes to recoup some of his losses — the Bleacher Report story says getting half back would be a best-case scenario. In addition, Peavy revealed his high school sweetheart filed for divorce three days after the 2016 season ended. He claims he still doesn't know what prompted the filing, but he currently has 50-50 custody of his four sons.
"It rips your soul out," Peavy said. After a brutal few years, Peavy is again working out and looking to restart his career. He's planning on putting on a showcase for MLB scouts in May.
"I just hope he can go back and finish on a good note," Peavy's mother Debbie Peavy told Bleacher Report. "I think he will." (Katie Dowd- SFGATE-Feb. 14, 2018)
June 1999: The Padres chose Jake in the 15th round, out of St. Paul's High School in Semmes, Alabama.
December 3, 2007: Jake and the Padres agreed to a three-year extension is worth $51.9 million and is worth $17.3 million over three years with a $22 million option for 2013. The Padres own a buyout on that club option for $4 million.
May 21, 2009: Jake passed up a trade to the White Sox, as was his choice, having signed a below-market extension with the Padres after the 2007 season that secured him through 2012. He essentially bought the no-trade provision that teams are so loath to hand out.
But on July 31, 2009: Peavy went to the White Sox in a trade he approved. The White Sox sent lefthanded pitchers Aaron Poreda, Clayton Richard and righthanders Dexter Carter and Adam Russell to the Padres.
October 30, 2012: Peavy and the White Sox agreed on a two-year contract extension, through 2014. The White Sox held a $22 million option on Peavy for next season. Instead, they locked up the 31-year-old for $14.5 million in each of the next two seasons, with a $4 million buyout.
Jake can trigger a $15 million rate for 2015 if he meets certain thresholds for innings pitched in '13 and '14.
July 31, 2013: The Red Sox sent INF Jose Iglesias to the Tigers, while the White Sox added OF Avisail Garcia from the Tigers. Boston also acquired reliever Brayan Villarreal from the Tigers. The White Sox acquired J.B. Wendelken and RHP Francelis Montas and INF Cleuluis Rondon from the Red Sox.
July 26, 2014: The Giants sent RHP Heath Hembree and LHP Edwin Escobar to the Red Sox, acquiring Peavy.
The Red Sox and Giants split the remaining $5 million owed Jake.
December 19, 2014: Jake and the Giants agreed on a two-year, $24 million contract that pays him base salaries of $7 million in 2015 and $13 million in 2016, the source said. It includes a $4 million signing bonus, a full no-trade clause and an awards package.
Peavy has a fine 88-94 mph sinking FASTBALL, both a CURVEBALL and pretty good SLIDER. And his CHANGEUP is a nice pitch. He improved that change in 2003 spring camp, under the tutelage of Padres pitching coach Greg Booker.
2015 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 36.7% of the time; Sinker 16.8% of the time; Change 8.6%; Slider 10.1%; CURVE 7.2%; Cutter 20.4% of the time; Split .2% of the time; and Slow Curve .1% of the time.
He varies his arm angle and keeps his pitches down in the strike zone. He has long, loose arms and the body to add more weight. Mostly he comes from a low three-quarters arm slot.
He moves the ball around, changes speeds well and has good baseball instincts. He is a very mature young man. He realizes all the situations that are going on during the game and understands what he's supposed to do out there. His only problem might be when he falls into a finesse mode. He has enough stuff to be rather overpowering.
Peavy is a tough competitor with a killer instinct. And he pitches intelligently.
"Being able to strike a guy out is huge in certain parts of the game, like with one out and a man on third," said Peavy. "But my job is to get people out." Strikeouts are not as good as first-pitch groundouts and pop-ups. Five innings pitched with 10 strikeouts is not what it’s about. It’s not going to get the job done in the Major Leagues."
What does get the job done, Peavy says, is an economy of pitches. Being able to last into the late innings of games to help the team get the win rather than leaving early after expending too much energy and throwing too many pitches. In fact, Peavy doesn’t even like to waste energy warming up before a game or between innings, often throwing fewer practice pitches that other pitchers.
"You can’t get nobody out in the bullpen," he said.
Jake pitches with guts and poise. He is mentally tough and keeps his composure. He is a bulldog and is a very smart pitcher, too. He is a fierce competitor and doesn't let things get to him.
Former Padres/now Giants' manager Bruce Bochy said during the 2005 season, "He's never content. He has the stuff, but so do a lot of pitchers. The difference is that his makeup is off the charts. He has so mcuh heart. and he has the maniacal focus. He's locked in every pitch the entire game."
Former San Diego closer Trevor Hoffman said, "I compare Peavy's intensity to Kevin Brown, and the way he acts on the mound to Mark Fidrych. He doesn't talk to the ball like Fidrych, but he has conversations with himself out there. And when he's talking to himself, look out."
And, back with Bochy again in 2014, the extremely vocal Peavey added some life to a Giants team that had a relatively quiet clubhouse. And Bochy was just fine with the zing that Jake's emotionalism adds to the clubhouse.
"I'm not opposed to it," Bochy said with a laugh. "He's always been a guy who feeds off getting on himself, yelling at himself. That's what motivates him. That's what pushes him. That's his style and it works for him. He's as tough a competitor as you can have on the field."
Peavy insisted that, in reality, he's a mild-mannered sort—at least until he gets into game mode.
"When the game starts, this competitiveness takes over that I can't hold back. I can't hide my emotions," he said. "I say a lot of stuff out there. Really a lot has to do with frustration when I falter mechanically. Sometimes I will be yelling before I turn the ball loose, knowing that I am not in the right position to make the pitch the way it needs to be.
"When I get out there, I expect to be perfect. I strive for perfection. Sometimes I get upset when I don't do that. That is what I have to do. I have to emotionally let it go and move on to the next pitch. I love positive-mind thinking. I love saying positive stuff to myself when I am getting ready to make a pitch. When I am yelling, for the most part, [I'm] yelling at myself, out of frustration there. Once that comes out, I promise you, there is a thought process over the next 15 seconds of situations in a game, batter, what we are doing." (October, 2014)
Anybody who has watched Peavy scream at himself on the mound when he misses location on a pitch or two understands that fire or "dirtbag" mentality is a way of baseball life for him. Peavy was influenced by veteran outfielder Jim Edmonds, when the two were briefly teammates in 2008 with the Padres.
Edmonds brought with him that win-at-all-costs mentality for years as part of the St. Louis Cardinals.
"Jim said something to me, where the players on those Cardinals teams showed up every day focused on trying to help the team win any way possible," Peavy said. "When you get all the guys to check their ego at the door and you have that attitude with talent, good things can happen."
ERA CHAMP . . . K'S LEADER . . . CY YOUNG
In 2004, Peavy had the lowest ERA in the National League, 2.27.
He dropped nearly two runs off his 4.11 ERA of 2003. It was the third-lowest ERA in franchise history. The only other Padre to lead the league in ERA was Randy Jones. Jake was the youngest pitcher win the the NL ERA title since Doc Gooden in 1985.
In 2005, Jake led the NL in strikeouts, with 216.
In 2007, Peavy was the unanimous choice for the National League Cy Young Award after leading the league in wins, ERA, and strikeouts—pitching's version of a Triple Crown.
It was the 12th time the choice for the National League's best pitcher has been unanimous. Koufax achieved the honor three times, Greg Maddux twice, and once each by Gibson, Steve Carlton, Rick Sutcliffe, Dwight Gooden, Orel Hershiser and, most recently, Randy Johnson in 2002.
The day the Red Sox acquired Peavy from the White Sox (July 30, 2013), Boston pitching coach Juan Nieves, who was the bullpen coach for most of Jake's time with the White Sox, said, "He's probably the ultimate warrior. He competes every pitch. He gives everything he has. He leaves it on the field. A good teammate. He'll fit in really well here."
The more Nieves talked about Peavy, the more enthusiastic he seemed to get.
"I'll tell you one thing: his command is impeccable," Nieves said. "He doesn't walk anybody. He keeps the ball inside the ballpark. He can command four or five pitches. His delivery is solid. His biggest strengths are his demeanor, his competitiveness, and his willingness to win every game.
"He wants to pitch longer than the other guy," said Nieves.
One thing the Red Sox will soon come to appreciate is Peavy's knowledge of pitching.
"Very savvy," Nieves said. "Actually, he's in that group with El Duque [Orlando Hernandez] and guys like that that had a doctor's degree in pitching. These guys really know. They can read swings. They can read when hitters are actually swinging at first pitches. He knows when to attack a hitter, when to retreat, and, of course, there's a little bit of a different mind frame when you pitch at Fenway, but he fits right in with what we believe—working fast, throwing strikes, and attacking the strike zone."
Spring 2015 Changes: The genesis of Jake Peavy’s newest pitch didn’t come the moment it left his fingertips.
It didn’t come while he tinkered in the bullpen or pored over the opposing lineup. The spark of invention didn’t crackle amid those deep, disconnected thoughts while dangling an arm out the driver’s side window.
It came a day earlier, at Scottsdale Stadium. And Peavy wasn’t even there. His catcher was.
“Look, here’s the thing you’ve got to understand about Buster Posey,” said Peavy, launching into the story of how he came to throw a four-seam changeup against the Kansas City Royals in spring training.
A day earlier, Posey faced the Angels’ C.J. Wilson and had trouble picking up the lefthander’s changeup. It looked like a four-seam fastball out of the hand. Posey found himself needing to hold back an extra moment, let the pitch get deep on him, in order to recognize it. When Wilson switched to his fastball, then it had the surprising pop of a car backfiring.
The next day, Posey described Wilson’s changeup to Peavy.
“Can you throw one of those?” Posey asked.
“I don’t know,” Peavy said.
“Can you try?” Posey said.
It’s not a suggestion that Posey would make to any pitcher on the Giants staff. But he knew that Peavy has a jury rigger’s mentality on the mound. ( - Andrew Baggarly - mlb.com)
Jake worked six shutout innings and relied on Brandon Belt's two-run homer for offensive support to record his 150th career victory on June 12, 2016, as the Giants outlasted the Dodgers, 2-1.
Peavy (3-6) surrendered four hits while allowing only one Dodger to stray past first base. The 35-year-old right-hander became the Major Leagues' sixth active pitcher to reach 150 wins, joining the Mets' Bartolo Colon (223), the Yankees' CC Sabathia (218), the Cubs' John Lackey (172), Detroit's Justin Verlander (163) and Arizona's Zack Greinke (150). His manager, Bruce Bochy, was appreciative, saying that Peavy's win total reflects "consistently, longevity -- but you only get longevity if you're good."
June 12, 2016: Peavy, at age 35, became the Major Leagues' sixth active pitcher to reach 150 wins, joining the Mets' Bartolo Colon (223), the Yankees' CC Sabathia (218), the Cubs' John Lackey (172), Detroit's Justin Verlander (163) and Arizona's Zack Greinke (150). (Chris Haft and Mark Chiarelli - MLB.com)
As of the start of the 2017 season, Peavy had a career record of 152-126 with 3.63 ERA, having allowed 259 home runs and 2,134 hits in 2,377 innings.
Peavy is a pretty good hitter for a pitcher. He got a scholarship offer to Auburn as a middle infielder.
In 2008, Jake had 13 hits and a .265 average.
September 16, 2015: Peavy homered through the low-hovering mist for his first long ball in more than nine years, leading San Francisco past the Cincinnati Reds. It was Peavy's first since July 26, 2006, at Dodger Stadium with the Padres.
In 2012, Peavy won his first Gold Glove. In the first tie in Rawlings Gold Glove history, Jake shared the honor with the Rays' Jeremy Hellickson.
CAREER INJURY REPORT:
In high school, Peavy was injured a whole lot. At various times he was sidelined with a broken ankle he sustained falling into a ditch during a jog; a severely cut left hand suffered while taking out the trash; a sliced heel incurred when he stepped on an open suitcase; and a cracked rib, the result of his jumping up and down during a postgame celebration.
April 2000: Peavy missed two weeks of action with viral meningitis.
2001 season: A sprained right ankle late in the season caused him to miss three starts.
August 13, 2002: Though he didn't go on the D.L., Jake was already suffering with a sprained right ankle when he lacerated his left heel late night when he stepped on a suitcase in his hotel room.
2003: Peavy was hampered by a left oblique strain. Jake sustained the injury while throwing in the bullpen to warm up for a start in Seattle. He pitched through it then and had a long layoff over the All-Star break but overall the condition lasted about a month.
March 1-13, 2004: Jake was sidelined with muscle tightness in his left oblique for a few days early in spring training.
May 20, 2004: Peavy was on the D.L. with a strained flexor tendon in his right arm.
August 29, 2005: When Jake sliced a hand on an open can of green beans while trying to pack down his garbage bin, it was the left one, not the one he pitches with, enabling the ace to take his turn in the rotation the next night against the Diamondbacks.
"A freak accident," Peavy called it. "Thank the good Lord it was the left hand."
October 4, 2005: Jake had to come out of the Game 1 loss to the Cardinals in the National League Division Series after allowing Reggie Sanders' fifth-inning grand slam and complained about pain in his right side. He had X-rays taken at the ballpark and was sent to Barnes Jewish Hospital for an MRI that revealed a fracture in his eighth rib, which takes from four to six weeks for the injury to heal. His post-season was over.
Neither Peavy nor the team could be sure when Jake sustained the injury. He first noticed it during the celebration at PETCO Park after the Padres clinched the N.L. West title with a win against the Giants. It happened in the initial scrum when the Padres players ran toward Trevor Hoffman, who closed the game.
"We were jumping around on the field," Peavy said. "The next day I thought I had some bruised ribs, that I caught an elbow or something. But I never would've imagined it would have been this."
May 19-June 12, 2008: Jake was on the D.L. with swelling and a strained muscle in his pitching elbow. An MRI showed no ligament damage.
June 12, 2009: Peavy partially tore a tendon in his right ankle and had to go on the D.L. the next day. It was said that he would miss as much as 12 weeks, returning in September.
Jake's ankle had bothered him since May 22. He was put in an almost knee-high solid cast.
An MRI on August 31 revealed a bruise and some fluid retention.
Jake returned to action, making his first start for the White Sox on September 19, 2009.
July 6, 2010: Jake was put on the D.L. with a detached latissimus muscle. The muscle had torn completely away from the bone, according to an MRI. His season was over when surgery was required (on July 14).
The surgery, performed by a team of surgeons from Midwest Orthopedics, led by Tony Romeo and Greg Nicholson and assisted by Charles Bush-Joseph, revealed a clean avulsion of the tendon off the bone with little or no muscle damage. He had a crucial tendon and muscle reattached to his right shoulder by a series of stitches and titanium anchors.
It was experimental surgery. Peavy completely ruptured the tendon that holds the latissimus dorsi muscle to the rear of the shoulder. The stitches and anchors now adhere the tendon to the bone. Jake was the first Major League starting pitcher to undergo this procedure.
"There's no risk of [the anchors] coming out of the bone," Romeo said. "It can't happen. They have a reverse barb on them, like a fish hook. Once they go into the bone, you can't really pull them back out. They fill the bone, so there's not a weak spot in the bone anymore. There's no risk that even throwing a baseball is going to lead to a crack in the bone."
Peavy is the first Major League pitcher to undergo this procedure, blazing the trail for others who will surely come after him.
March 22-May 11, 2011: Jake began the 2011 season on the D.L. with tendinitis in his right shoulder.
June 6-22, 2011: Peavy was on the D.L. with a mild right groin strain that was high in the muscle near where it connects to the pelvis, requiring extra precautions.
June 5-19, 2013: Peavy's MRI revealed a non-displaced rib fracture on his left side and he was shut down for four to six weeks. The only prescribed treatment for him was rest.
March 1, 2014: Jake cut his left index finger with a fishing knife. The accident took place at the residence in which Peavy was staying in Florida. Good news: It was his non-pitching hand. He had a procedure to make sure there was no infection of any kind and to clean it out thoroughly.
April 18-July 3, 2015: The Giants placed Peavy on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain.
Aug 21-September 7, 2016: Jake was on the DL with low back strain