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10/09/08 4:40 PM ET

Shields workout day interview

Rays' Game 1 starter discusses his impending assignment

You heard Joe talking about how you used to get a little bit too amped up in years gone by; and did you think that was a problem, and what did you do to address that this year?

JAMES SHIELDS: I didn't think it was a problem. That's just the type of pitcher that I am. I like to get amped up. I like to get fired up for the game, and I treat every game the same. I think I'm able to control my emotions a little bit more and hone my aggressiveness into my pitching.

So I don't think it's a problem.

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I think you once said that your dad was a big fan of Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax. Can you tell us something he told you about those players, and did you learn anything from your dad about those guys?

JAMES SHIELDS: I think one of the main things I've learned and my dad told me is that those guys were bulldogs. Those guys are old school pitchers, they go deep in the game. I like to consider myself more of an old school pitcher.

No matter how many runs I give up, I try to go deep in the game and keep us in the game, and I think that's what I'm all about. Watching those guys in LA, those guys are amazing. But the main thing is that those guys are aggressive. They're just bulldogs out there, and that's how I like to be.

What's your dad's name?


Just talk about facing David Ortiz. He's put up some good numbers against you. What problems does he pose for you?

JAMES SHIELDS: Oh, man, I mean, David Ortiz, I've always told people he's one of the most feared hitters in the box. This guy gets in the box and he pretty much covers the whole entire box.

We've just got to be careful. I'm going to try to hopefully get the guys out beforehand, and if he hits one off me, hopefully it's a solo home run. But I'm going to try to change my approach a little bit as far as he goes.

But other than that, I mean, he's going to hit you at any time, at any time of the game, and he's definitely a threat. But I'm going to pitch my game and try to do my best.

After having such an intense series during the regular season with the Red Sox, what's the feeling in the clubhouse heading into this series?

JAMES SHIELDS: We're excited. We're excited. I think being able to play Boston in this series is a pretty exciting series. It seemed like every single series we played Boston this year was like a playoff game, whether they came to our yard or we were at Fenway. It's a playoff atmosphere when we play each other, and that's great, and I think these are the two teams that need to play each other right now.

A lot of guys when they come up into professional ball or whatever, pitchers, they want to throw the heat, the fastball, and your change up is obviously your major weapon. Can you talk about the development of that pitch and when you realized you would need that to be successful at this level?

JAMES SHIELDS: I remember -- I get asked this question a lot. In '02 I had surgery on my arm. I had some rotator cuff problems, some labrum problems.

I was throwing pretty hard back then, and I knew after the surgery I knew I wasn't going to have the veal owe that I normally had, and I knew to become a Major League Baseball pitcher, you needed to have an offspeed pitch that you can throw at any time on any count.

I was just throwing with my brother Sunday and messing around with some grips and found one that worked for me and went with it. I call a change up an equalizer. I think it's one of the best pitches in baseball, and it's been working for me.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.