Sometimes as sports fans we put on blinders and only see things we want to believe. For quite some time I had in my mind that James Shields was hot garbage. Another John Danks, who made me want to put my head into a food processor. Pure unmitigated trash that we gave FERNANDO FUCKING TATAS up for. But this year and the tail end of last year, Shields has been someone I enjoy watching.
One of the true last ‘gamers’ of this generation, for his first 10 seasons he came out and would give you 7+ innings every night and 200+ innings every season. That has now obviously shown it’s affects in the latter part of his career now. But his attitude hasn’t changed one bit and he’s still a gamer who goes out there every day and gives you a performance you can at least respect.
This year in 7 starts he has thrown 6+ innings allowing 4 or fewer runs in 6 of those games. The one other being Houston where he allowed 7 in 5 1/3 innings. But I’ll give him a pass because…. well it’s the God damn astros folks. But if you tell me 36 year old James Shields is going to give me 6+ innings performances whilst allowing 4 or fewer runs in all but one of his starts, I’m a happy man.
He’s a guy who has won on the biggest level and can help mentor guys like Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Michael Kopech. Some teams aren’t lucky enough to have a veteran like him help their young arms find their footing. Yes, I get it, we are paying him a ton of money to be mediocre. But honestly, who cares? Not like the Sox have a high payroll at the moment. Let the guy make his money if he keeps giving us these outings. It’s time to quit complaining about a guy like Shields and appreciate we get him to be a mentor and a stop gap for guys like Kopech, Alec Hanson, Dylan Cease and Dane Dunning. Enjoy watching a guy who gives it his all every 5th day. I’ve stopped loathing the Shields start and learned to appreciate it and everyone else should too.