James Shields: “It came down to the Cubs and the Padres”

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James Shields is making the media rounds in San Diego after signing with the Padres and revealed during a radio interview that the Cubs finished runner-up in the bidding:

In all reality, it came down to the Cubs and the Padres–two great managers. I think I made the right decision here. I’m really happy about it. I’m really happy to be a Padre. …

When it came down to it, I had to think about my family, being close to home. And my No. 1 reason is winning. The teams I was looking at, I knew they were going to win and win now. That’s what I loved about San Diego and what ownership’s doing right now. They had that win-now mentality. They want not only to win now but win the next four, five years.

Previous reports had the Cubs offering Shields a three-year, $60 million contract. He ended up getting a four-year, $75 million deal from the Padres that also includes a fifth-year option for $16 million.

Shields lives in San Diego and the assumption all along is that he wanted to play somewhere on the West Coast, so if the Cubs and Padres were close in his mind despite the large gap in contract size that speaks to his desire to be reunited with Joe Maddon, his former manager with the Rays.

Video: Cubs score run on Pirates’ appeal throw

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2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.

One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.

The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.