Last week on SRI, we explored the blockbuster trade made by Royals GM Dayton Moore. Kansas City acquired an innings-eater in James Shields and a young Wade Davis. These two front-line pitchers anchored the Tampa Bay’s starting pitching staff and should bring some stability to an organization that has lacked pitching since 2003, when the team finished with a record above .500.
Here’s James Shields talking about his excitement to transform the Royals’ organization into winners.
James Shields joined WHB in Kansas City on The Border Patrol to discuss being traded to the Kansas City Royals along with Wade Davis, Kansas City baseball fans wanting to see a playoff team, transforming this young Royals team into winners and his throwing arm feeling better than ever.
How excited are you about joining the Royals?
“I’m just hoping to bring a winning culture into Kansas City. We got a good young core of players, and me and Wade Davis are really excited to be a part of this whole thing.”
Have you gauged at all how desperate Kansas City is for a winner and how much it wants to be back in the playoffs?
“I tell you what, one of the things I have gotten in the last couple of days, and obviously playing against the Royals, the fan base is tremendous, die-hard baseball fans. They really want a good season and they really like their baseball team. I’m excited to come in there and get this winning tradition started and try to get this whole thing working. Like I said, there’s a lot of young kids with talent and I think we are going to be good.”
How do you change these young players on the Royals and make them winners?
“I have been on both sides of the coin. Obviously the Rays have created a winning tradition over the last five years and I believe I am a big part of that. I think the main thing is … chemistry. I mean, obviously the payroll is down, but we had it in our minds that we were winners. We believed it; we bought into the system. We bought into the process, and I think in Kansas City we can do the same thing as well.”
How does your arm feel after all that mileage?
“I tell you what man, my arm’s feels better than ever. It feels better than ever, and at the end of the year last year, I think I was camping at 92 miles per hour all year long and I ended up throwing 95, 96 miles per hour by the end of the year. My body feels great. I have a great workout going right now. I work really hard on my body and I work really hard on my arm, and that’s one of the reasons why I have been so successful in throwing 200 innings every year, so I plan on doing that again. I’m ready to rock.”