Padres Editorial: Why The Padres Should Start James Shields Opening Day

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According to the San Diego Padresofficial blog, FRIARWIRE, manager Bud Black is “getting closer” to naming the opening day starter.

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Skipper Bud Black sure gets a kick out of teasing Padres reporters about naming his opening day starter.  In year’s past, it really was a guessing game.  We would speculate and speculate, until we were presented with Edison Volquez as the opening day starter.  Black really has some legitimate weapons to choose from now, but I think we can safely narrow it down to either James Shields and Andrew Cashner.

There have been rumors of Black wanting to save Shields for the Padres home opener against the San Francisco Giants.  This would slate Cashner, Tyson Ross, and Ian Kennedy for starts against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the opening series.

While I realize the appeal of showing off the big acquisition to the home crowd, the Padres need Shields on the mound April 6th against Clayton Kershaw.  Messing with the order of the rotation is something the underdog teams do.  The Padres have transformed themselves this off-season and are now expected to contend for a playoff spot this year, which is why we need to act like we belong.  Not having “Big Game James” throwing in the first game is not competing, it’s rolling over.

I know we could still win the series in Los Angeles with our three starters, but the Padres need their number one arm out there on Opening Day.  If we got a win with Shields on the mound against Kershaw, it would energize the team, excite the fans, and most importantly, put a scare into divisional rivals in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Recently, in 2012 and 2014, the Padres opened the season against the Dodgers.  Both years they were dealt an embarrassing string of losses.  San Diego is notorious to getting off to a sluggish start, there is no doubt that these losses dealt from our neighbors up north had something to do with it.

Let’s avoid the slow start this year.  Let’s put the boys to work on the big stage.  Let’s stop being the doormat for the Dodgers.

Beating Los Angeles and the National League MVP will be no easy task.  Not a single team in the league would stand as good a chance in that game.  But the risk of losing this game is WELL worth the reward of the win for the Padres.

So let’s make it happen Bud Black and start Shields!

Who do you guys want starting on the mound on Opening Day?

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