James Shields will be pitching for the Chicago White Sox as they visit they Kansas City Royals for the first game of the season. There is no nicer way of saying that, so let’s rip the generic brand adhesive bandage clean off.
Yes, the first thing you see during the regular season (after the White Sox score a bunch of runs, maybe) will be James Shields throwing baseballs like some sort of baseball throwing guy. It’s not the first time this will have happened to the White Sox, and it’s probably not the last, so let’s all learn to deal with it.
Look, you guys, maybe this is all too negative. Surely the guy deserves a chance, right? He has, after all, pitched on Opening Day before. He’s done it lots of times, in fact! Even once in a White Sox-Royals game, which is the plan here, and the White Sox won that one, so things are looking up already. Let’s review the James Shields Starts on Opening Day History:
James Shields starts on Opening Day. He goes 5 1⁄3 and gives up five runs in a 5-3 Rays loss to the Boston Red Sox. Pitching into the sixth, that would be great to see! Stay positive, you guys.
James Shields starts on Opening Day. He goes six innings and gives up three runs to the Orioles, again for a 4-3 victory. The White Sox aren’t playing the Orioles, but if they were you’d have to like their chances.
James Shields starts on Opening Day. He goes five innings and gives up six runs to the New York Yankees. BUT! The Rays win it, 7-6, and Shields takes that delicious ND. The White Sox could copy this formula for success.
James Shields starts on Opening Day. He goes six innings and only gives up one run for the Kansas City Royals against a White Sox team that scored more than one run in some other games, and in fact probably averaged more than one run, so that’s a pretty good outing! Shields takes the loss, though, because Chris Sale went more than six innings and gave up less than one run.
James Shields starts on Opening Day. He goes 6 1⁄3 innings and gives up three runs to the Detroit Tigers. Some of that can be blamed on the bullpen, though, with reliever Aaron Crow getting a blown save. Sure, the Royals lost 4-3, but Shields got that good-good no decision. What’s the guy supposed to do, give up fewer runs earlier in the game so that the bullpen can’t blow it? It’s called pitching to the score, folks, and it’s what you do if you want to be in the Hall of Fame so why don’t you just settle down for a minute and let the man work.
James Shields starts on Opening Day. He goes six innings and gives up two runs to the Los Angeles Dodgers, pitching for the San Diego Padres now. It’s National League, ball so it doesn’t really count, but still not a bad result for ol’ Shieldsy. He had a higher game score than Clayton Kershaw in this one! Sure, the Padres ended up losing, 6-3, but James Shields can hardly be blamed for that.
The conclusion we can draw from all this is clear: James Shields is a starting pitcher who has started on Opening Day before, and the results will depend on the game of baseball being played and how that all goes. It might not be terrible, so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt!
After all, that’s the take we’re getting from the only person whose opinion matters to me, Tim Anderson:
For those of you scoring at home, those emojis are: flexed bicep (medium dark skin tone), fire, man dancing (medium dark skin tone) and older adult (medium skin tone). A prescient reminder from TA7 that we are all closer to death than we were at the outset of this article.