James Shields pitches for the White Sox now. Mostly because he didn’t pitch well for the Padres and they shipped him out. That’s fine, of course, it’s a game and a business and stuff happens.
Shields, however, is not at all happy with Padres owner Ron Fowler, who yesterday blasted his team’s expensive former players. Shields wasn’t mentioned by name, but it was clear that he was one of the ones Fowler was referring to when he said “We made a conscious decision to ship them out because we want people that are prepared to improve,” and “they had a bad attitude.”
“(Ron Fowler and Matt Kemp) have their own deal and he has his own thoughts about him, so I’m not going to comment on that. But one thing I do know is, I hope he’s not putting me in that category as far as not trying. You can ask anybody around the league, let alone in the San Diego organization — I worked my butt off every single day. I prepared myself the way I needed to prepare myself on a daily basis. And I pour my heart out every time I pitch on the mound.”
I think that’s the distinction. The effort. Shields would probably be the first guy to tell you that, no, he didn’t get the job done with the Padres. But there’s a difference between poor performance and poor effort and attitude. If Fowler said that Shields just stunk, Shields would likely agree. Saying he wasn’t “prepared to improve” and had a “bad attitude” is something with which he understandably takes offense.
Then again, maybe Shields is just lying. Maybe he was truly doing something terrible. Like golfing. If that’s the case, I’m going to applaud Fowler for his restraint.