- Sam Alipour
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After six seasons in Tampa Bay, in which he recorded a franchise-record 87 wins, James Shields was traded to the Royals last December. With the move, the 31-year-old Newhall, Calif., native went from being the No. 2 or No. 3 arm to being the ace. In his first six outings with Kansas City, Shields is 2-2 with 39 strikeouts and a 1.05 WHIP. Bonus: One of those wins came in his first start against his former team on Tuesday, in which Shields threw for seven Ks in seven innings en route to an 8-2 victory.
What is your most irrational fear?
I’m always scared I’m going to lose my shoe on the mound. A shoe coming off while pitching is pretty irrational, considering they’re laced up. But I really need my shoe, man.
What was the last thing you Googled?
“Mercedes dealerships.” When you make a little more money, you want to treat yourself to something good—like a new car.
What was the best gift you ever received?
My kids, courtesy of my beautiful wife. Though I chipped in, too. So good job by me.
How about the worst gift?
A whoopy cushion from one of my best friends. I got it when I turned 30. There’s nothing like farting noises to remind you that you’re getting old.
Who is your celebrity crush?
Mila Kunis. We go all the way back to “That ‘70s Show.” Good thing my wife’s cool with it. She thinks Mila’s cute, too.
What is your most hated chore?
Washing the dishes. I’m the cook in the family, so you’d think I wouldn’t have to wash the dishes, too, right? But my wife always makes me wash the dishes.
What is the best thing about your job?
Hanging around with the guys in the clubhouse.
And the worst thing?
Giving up homeruns to Jose Bautista. Now, let me be clear, it doesn’t happen very often. But when it does, it hurts.