May 12, 2010

Scot Shields is so last decade

A million thoughts go through my mind every time someone emerges from the Angels bull pen. Sadly, those thoughts haven’t been positive of late.

Last night as Scot Shields jogged onto the field I felt something very appropriate. I felt numb. You see, every time Shields enters a game, we can hear Linkin Park’s “Numb” over the loud speakers. It’s an umistakeable tune that has become a trademark of Shields’ warm up routine.

Now I know it’s just a song, but have you ever listened to the words?

I'm tired of being what you want me to be
Feeling so faithless lost under the surface
Don't know what you're expecting of me
Put under the pressure of walking in your shoes

Again, it's just a song and it's not actually written or sung by Shields; however, he did pick it for some reason. Which begs some questions...

Really? You’re tired Scot? Don’t you want to be an elite pitcher any more? There was a time when you were exactly that; in fact, you even made the all-decade team as the top set up man in all of baseball.

And if you think you’re feeling faithless, imagine what we fans are going through. I see a lot of people with their heads in their hands or else they’re shrugging their shoulders and saying “really?” when you enter the game. They’re not cheering when you come in; they’re holding their breath.

As for expectations… let’s see Scot.; we’re expecting you to get some outs, not walk anyone, field your position and keep the team in the game. Not giving up three run homeruns would also be nice.

We’d basically like you finish an inning without giving up any runs. Then again, what should we expect from a guy who can’t even finish his name? I mean, why is there only one “t” in your first name? Just asking.

(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)

I don’t know about “every step,” but every pitch (or close to it) definitely looks like a “mistake.” The kind of mistake that good hitters take advantage of. And yeah, you’re caught in the undertow all right. Thing is; you’re pulling the team under with your performances of late.

I've become so numb I can't feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I'm becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

The feeling is mutual. I felt numb last night after that three run blast you gave up to Evan Longoria. Who are you? Where is the Shields with wicked stuff? The guy batters on opposing teams said had the best stuff and was hardest to hit? Where is that guy?

Can't you see that you're smothering me
Holding too tightly afraid to lose control
Cause everything that you thought I would be
Has fallen apart right in front of you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
And every second I waste is more than I can take

The more I think about this song, the more I shake my head. What’s motivating about it? It’s an odd choice, don’t you think? It’s also like some sort of self-fulling prophecy.

Shields you've fallen apart right in front of us. Where’s the swagger? I thought you hurt your knee not your arm. Song and lyrics aside; something is wrong. This is not the Scot Shields who dominated the last decade.

I’ve heard a lot of theories about your ineffectiveness. Some think you're just done. Some think you just need to throw more to get back in the groove. Problem is that you can only really do that in live game situations and the Angels can’t afford to let you enter in key situations and when you’re 15-20 every situation is basically a key situation.

There’s not a lot of margin for error. Let me say it again… the Angels are 15-20. That’s ugly; plain and simple.

So here’s the deal Scot. I know Mike Scioscia is going to continue to trot you out there. He needs to know if he’s going to get anything out of you this season. Fans aren’t going to like that much; in fact, they’re going to hate it and and we’re all going to suffer for it. We’re going to suffer when we listen to the call-in shows and visit the message boards.

I’m a patient guy. I need to see some signs of life Scot. Give me something. Show me some guts. I don’t want to see that deer in the headlights look. I want you to compete.

In the mean time, the song should go. There’s nothing motivating or inspiring about it; just like your pitching Scot. I don't want to be left numb after you pitch. I expect better. As fans we deserve better.

BallHype: hype it up!

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