Padres News: Press Conference for James Shields


Wednesday afternoon on Fox Sports San Diego, James Shields was introduced to the city by the San Diego Padres. Immediately upon entering the confines of Petco Park, Shields was greeted with a round of applause by the Padres front office. Will Venable greeted him in the parking lot with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. All of San Diego and even the players are giddy with excitement.

AJ Preller and Bud Black addressed the fans and media first. In his usual calm, collective manner, Preller spoke about improving the team and the key factor James Shields provides to that end goal of a World Series title. He also spoke of the leadership skill Shields brought to his previous teams, the Kansas City Royals and the Tampa Bay Rays.

Bud Black was glowing as he remarked about the “fun” he was having doing press conferences this off-season. He spoke once again about the leadership qualities Shields brings to the team. He described himself and the team as “pumped” to have Shields on the roster. Black is undoubtedly excited to show his detractors that he can manage a team successfully into the postseason.

As James Shields put on his brand new white Padres jersey, he looked out onto the crowd and said “Colors look good on me, huh?”

That type of cocky attitude is exactly what the Padres need. A pitcher who has been in big game situations, yes, albeit unsuccessfully so far, but Shields has been to the highest level you can achieve. Pitching in Game 7 of the World Series. We all know the outcome, but the fact he took an underachieving Royals team to within one base hit of a championship, is something that can’t be ignored.

When speaking to the crowd, he started by thanking the Padres ownership and A.J. Preller. He spoke about his family and the support they give him, which is instrumental in who he is today. Shields described himself as a “Bulldog” and thanked his brothers for instilling his competitive nature.

Shields stated that he was thankful to the San Diego Padres for giving him the opportunity. He also said that he chose the Padres because they are a team who is built to win now. He described himself as accustomed to winning and says he needs to implement a “winning culture” to the San Diego Padres clubhouse. He wants the Padres staff to throw 1,000 innings and spoke of the importance of consistency from the starting staff.

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To me, the most important thing he brought up was his call to the fans.  He spoke of the 10th man. That 10th man, being the fans of the San Diego Padres. He told everyone about the positive effects a crowd can have. The fact he started out by calling out fans, is fantastic! San Diego Padres fans are notorious for being laid back and relaxed. That’s fine, but he demands more accountability from the fan base. If you want a championship, then you need to support the team! James Shields stated that “we hear them” when talking about the fans. He wants all the support he can get.

Shields truly has a career after Major League Baseball as a motivational speaker. In looking into his eyes, and hearing what he has to say, you are sold. The man can speak, and the confidence he exudes is a breathe of fresh air. He spoke of accountability, and what is necessary to achieve goals. When you play behind James Shields, you don’t hope you are going to win, you expect to win.

He will make the San Diego Padres better. The smile that was on majority owner Ron Fowler’s face as Shields was announced was absolutely priceless. It’s so exciting to have an ownership group which are obvious fans of the team. Fowler wants to bring a championship to the city of San Diego, and we should all thank him for his great service.

An absolute priceless day if you are a Padres fan. It really does not get any better than today. The feelings of anticipation for this year’s season are like none other that this baseball fan has ever felt. Spring Training can’t get here soon enough!

Next: Did The Padres Win The Wil Myers/James Shields Trade?

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