With all the rumors swirling around the San Diego Padres and the MLB trade deadline, would the team actually consider trading its ace James Shields. In recent weeks the teams play has been atrocious and Padres management is certainly unhappy with the product on the field. The Padres have been maddening to watch as their play has been inconsistent all season long.
In the beginning of the year the Padres pitching staff was allowing too many home runs and was getting hit hard in general. Now the teams offense cannot hit a lick as the team falls further and further back in the playoff race. Really troubling is the fact the Padres could very easily be in the race. If the team managed to play .500 ball, they could be buyers this July. The Los Angeles Dodgers are not playing all that well, and have left the door wide open but the Padres failed to even make it to the doorway.
All this is not James Shields fault as he looks to be one of the only Padres players who looks genuinely pissed off when the team loses. For the Padres to consider dealing Shields is a desperate move. You need players of that ilk on your team to succeed. Most fans would admit he is not a true ace, but he does however have the proper mentality to lead. That in itself is worth more than stuff a pitcher has on the mound. Most fans can name numerous amounts of pitchers that had great arms and great stuff, but could not translate that consistently on the mound.
The game of baseball is about attitude and consistency. Two things that James Shields epitomizes. The San Diego Padres should not deal Shields, but instead embrace his personality and give him players around him that want to succeed and hate to lose.
For far too long have the Padres had this laid back mentality that is common in America’s Finest City. That type of mentality will take you far in life, but as for the baseball diamond it translate into a weak bunch that allows teams to walk all over them. The organizational philosophy of the Padres really needs to be adjusted. From the Andrelton Simmons slide and mess in Atlanta, to Nick Ahmed blatantly taking out Cory Spangenberg, the team continues to get pushed around with absolutely no fight in them.
The fans see this complacent attitude and quite frankly it pisses them off. Major League ball players are a talented group, but they are playing a kids game and getting paid very handsomely for it. In playing this “kids game”, it must be played a certain way. The Padres organization needs to take a page from the St. Louis Cardinals organization. The team and its fans have a great respect for the game that is very well-known. With all that respect, if a team pushes the Cardinals around, they push back without any question. It’s not playing dirty to hit a battter or to throw at a hitter. That is how the game is played. It always has been, and it certainly always should be played that way.
James Shields understands that as he has always wanted to be a Major League baseball player. He certainly knows how to play the game the correct way, and he looks as though he cannot stand it to be played any other way. That sign he hung in the Padres locker room indicates something is a miss in the Padres club house. Some where there is somebody not pulling their weight. One can only speculate on who the guilty persons are. Only the players and coaches that spend every day with each other can answer that question. It’s painfully obvious that is the case though.
So should the Padres deal Shields? You know how I feel but if the team is made an offer they cannot refuse, then don’t be surprised if it happens. Shields will have a lot of value come July 31st. Teams will view him as a cheaper alternative to Cole Hamels and he could very well fetch a promising haul of prospects. Hamels will surely be shopped too by the Phillies, but Ruben Amaro has been asking for the house in return.
In my opinion Shields is the type of player to build your team around. I can understand the Padres considering moving him. He has not performed particularly well so far this season. However unless a franchise overpays, the Padres should hold on to him. He can help mold young players into a “Padres way” type of mentality. That is what the franchise should embrace as its future. The only way to build a consistent winner is by working for it, not sitting back and hoping for it.
James was born and raised in America’s Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres. Editor-In-Chief of EastVillageTimes.com. Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that’s our motto. Enjoy.