James Shields: Ex-Teammate Jonny Gomes Helped Me Develop As Leader

Jonny Gomes still is leaving his fingerprints on October, apparently.

James Shields has emerged as a leader — first in Tampa Bay and then in Kansas City — over the last nine seasons. According to the Royals ace, Gomes played a role in that development. [tweet https://twitter.com/PeteAbe/status/524305603041054720 align=’center’]

Shields and Gomes were teammates with the Rays for three seasons from 2006 to 2008. Gomes, who had been drafted by Tampa Bay in 2001, then signed with the Cincinnati Reds before the 2009 season, kick-starting a six-year stretch during which the outfielder also played for the Washington Nationals, Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox. Gomes won a World Series with Boston in 2013.

Gomes, of course, is known for his hard-nosed brand of baseball. Shields carries himself with a similar demeanor, earning a reputation as a workhorse who wants the ball every fifth day. Gomes and Shields are close in age — Gomes turns 34 in November, Shields turns 33 in December — but evidently that doesn’t matter.

The Royals certainly are hopeful Shields parlays his leadership into a solid effort in this year’s World Series against the San Francisco Giants.

Thumbnail photo via Peter Aiken/USA TODAY Sports Images

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