That “Big Game” James nickname? Well, it’s actually sort of a joke. Thing is, new Royals ace James Shields, acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in a six-player deal late Sunday, obtained the moniker before he ever threw an inning in the major leagues. A former teammate in the Rays’ farm system, Chris Flinn, was aware of Shields’ fandom for the L.A. Lakers and former great James Worthy, and he referred to Shields as “Big Game” James in the clubhouse. The first time Flinn used the nickname, which is shared by Worthy, Shields fired seven shutout innings in his next minor-league start.
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