Tribe's Shuey is Prepared For Victory
With the Indians playing under .500 this year, why is middle relief pitcher Paul Shuey motivated to do the best he can with every opportunity he gets?
by Matthias R. Monschein
Paul Shuey has had his share of critics throughout his ten-year career with the Cleveland Indians but the fact is undeniable. Shuey is a valuable piece of the puzzle for the Tribe in 2002. He has established himself as a middle reliever and has made his self right at home in his role as set up man for Bob Wickman in the late innings of the game.
If there is one word that you should use while describing Paul it's consistent. Every time that Shuey takes the mound you can be sure of one thing. He will always give you his best out there as if it were his last day on this good earth.
Shuey's consistency helped him to finish 2nd among American League relievers in the 2001 season by averaging 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings. On May 30th of this season, he posted 344 career appearances moving him up to 10th place ahead of early Wynn.
"That is a special thing to me. It is usually somebody else setting the milestone. This is pretty cool."
Shuey began his career with the Tribe organization in 1992 when he was selected by the Indians as the 2nd overall pick in June draft and he remains under contract through 2004 season.
"My plan is to finish my career in Cleveland. That was the plan when we signed that contract. I have spent my entire career here in town. I am happy and so is my family."
Shuey, as one would have guessed prioritizes the things of his life in their proper order, faith, family, friends and finally baseball.
"It makes a world of difference to me. There are times where things do not go as well as they should for instance a game where I have pitched a terrible outing. There is not a better thing out there that will let you see the real picture of what is really important to you."
Baseball is an important thing for Shuey. However, he has learned that by placing Jesus first in his life, all other things fall into their place. He feels that his success is a direct result of God's love for him.
"The Bible says to do your work as unto the Lord. When I am out there on the mound, I am basically trying to pitch for God. You are doing everything in your power to do the best with what God gave you."
"One thing that I do is to treat every outing as if it were going to be my last time on earth. That is one of the things that I use to remind myself, that there might not be a tomorrow. That is why it is so important that we as Christians be prepared at all times for the coming of our Lord. You never know how much time that you have."
The 2002 season for the Cleveland Indians, has not been anything like they have been used to over the past 10 years. Many of these players are experiencing the day to day trials of a less than .500 team for the first time in their careers. Shuey has been fortunate to see both sides of the fence and is able to draw back from those past experiences and help his teammates with his knowledge.
Paul is always one of the first guys on the team to help in any way that he can. There are many guys on this team that share that same philosophy but Shuey says that one of the biggest influences has been that of third baseman Travis Fryman. He and Travis share a close friendship due to their common bond in the Lord.
Together the two will fellowship, hold Bible studies on road trips and chapel services for the team. Outside of baseball and the basics, they keep each other accountable to their Christian values and faith.
"Travis is probably my best friend on the team. I think that we as Christians share a common bond and choose to stay together. It's all about the accountability principle.
You really have to have some accountability for your actions. We can help each other with our Christian walk. I need as much help as I possibly can get just as I would do the same for somebody else on the team. Team-mates such as Ed Taubensee and Mike Selby are also unique in that role".