Scot Shields still unsure about retirement

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Veteran setup man Scot Shields told reporters in late September that he was considering calling it quits at the conclusion of the 2010 season in order to spend more time with his family.  He also left open the possibility of returning “if the right situation comes up.”

Today, he’s pretty much of the same exact mindset.

Shields told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday evening that he “feels good” physically, but that he has not yet made up his mind about the future.

“I’m not leaning any way,” Shields said by phone from his Michigan home on Wednesday. “If something comes along that seems like it’s a good deal in a good place, I will play. If not, I’ll be happy to stay home and spend time with my family.”

The 35-year-old Shields boasts a fantastic 3.18 career ERA and 1.24 career WHIP, and he was rightfully named the “setup man of the decade” by Sports Illustrated last year.

He did, however, post an ugly 5.28 ERA in 2010 and a 6.62 ERA in 2009.

Sandy Alderson thinks Tim Tebow will play in the major leagues

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Based on his track record so far I don’t think Tim Tebow deserves to play in the major leagues on the merits. Not even close. But then again, I’m not the general manager of the New York Mets, so I don’t get a say in that.

Sandy Alderson is the general manager, so his say carries a lot of weight. To that end, here’s what he said yesterday:

Noting the Tebow experiment has “evolved” into something greater, general manger Sandy Alderson on Sunday said, “I think he will play in the major leagues.”

To be fair, Alderson is pretty up front about the merits of Tebow’s presumed advancement to the bigs at some point. He didn’t say that it’s because Tebow has played his way up. He said this:

“He is great for the team, he is great for baseball, he was phenomenal for minor league baseball last year. The notion that he should have been excluded from the game because he is not coming through the traditional sources, I think is crazy. This is entertainment, too. And he quietly entertains us . . . He benefits the Mets because of how he conducts himself. He’s a tremendous representative of the organization.”

I take issue with Alderson’s comment about people thinking he shouldn’t be in the game because of his background. Most people who have been critical of the Tebow experiment have been critical because there is no evidence that he’s a good enough baseball player to be given the opportunities he’s been given. I mean, he advanced to high-A last year despite struggling at low-A and he’s going to start at Double-A this year in all likelihood despite struggling in high-A. If he does make the bigs, it will likewise come despite struggles in Double-A and maybe Triple-A too.

That said: I don’t mind if they promote Tebow all the way up as long as they’re being honest about why they’re doing it and aren’t trying to get everyone on board with some cockamamie idea that Tebow belongs on the baseball merits. If they do put him in the majors it’ll be because he’s a draw and a good promotion and because people generally like him and he’s not hurting anyone and I can’t take issue with that.

That’s basically what Alderson is saying here and if that’s the case, great. I mean, not great, because Tebow in the bigs will likely also mean that the Mets aren’t playing meaningful games, but great in the sense of “fine.” Baseball is entertainment too. No sense in pretending it isn’t.