Mark, you sentimental, living-in-the-now homer.
I admit, now might not be the best time to argue in favor of trading James Shields. Heʼs one of the hottest pitchers in all of baseball right now, and heʼs gobbling up innings and wins like a hippo gobbles marbles. But not just any hippo…a hungry hungry one. So why am I taking the side of swapping Big Regular Season Game James? For a simple reason, that might not sound so simple at ﬁrst. The reason is…I donʼt want to trade James Shields.
Bare with me for a second.
I didnʼt want to trade Delmon Young.
I didnʼt want to trade Scott Kazmir.
I didnʼt want to trade Matt Garza.
I didnʼt want to trade Victor Zambrano.
Ok, maybe not so much on that last one. But the pattern is undeniable. Whenever I want to hold on to a player for emotional reasons, our front ofﬁce gets rid of him and makes me regret ever doubting them. Why would I be emotional about Shields? Since heʼs been a pro, heʼs always been in the Tampa Bay uniform. It even said Devil Rays for the beginning of his tenure. Heʼs had some rough patches, but heʼs been our opening day starter a couple of years, and has had some incredible stretches of top notch pitching.
Itʼs tough to see a lifer go, but if we are going to trade him at some point, there doesnʼt seem to be a better time to do it. The whole point is to sell high, and i donʼt think there are too many players in the league who are higher right now( since snoop and willie nelson are not ofﬁcially on a roster right now.).
So my stance is this…Iʼm a huge James Shields fan, and would like him to be a Ray for life, but Iʼm all for trading him if we decide to trade him. It sounds like a silly argument in a debate that Iʼm having with myself. I feel like both minds of Tyler Durden in Fight Club, only if this is a “Trade James Shields Club,” we are breaking the ﬁrst 2 rules by talking about it, but talk about it we must.
So Mark, you sugar coating schmuck, let me hear all the great things about Shields and why we should keep him, but remember this…We have the arms in the farm league that are ready…we have a front ofﬁce that rarely makes trading errors, we donʼt have a better time to move Shields to get something great in return and we canʼt put too much faith in a guy who retaliates with a weak pitch at Crisp, and then jeopardizes his pitching arm by swinging blindly when Coco charges. Iʼm glad he didnʼt connect, because he might still be out had that punch landed.
Although “Big Game” is a decent boxing nickname.