ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 01: James Shields #33 of the Tampa Bay Rays throws a pitch against the Texas Rangers during Game Two of the American League Division Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 1, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Wow, how did I not hear about this earlier?
I'm including a couple sections of the press release down below, but the Cliff Notes version is that there's a new book out by James Shields (with writer Bill Chastain). And he talks primarily about pitching, the 2010 Rays, and part of the 2011 season as well. And seriously, how the heck did I not know about this?
I haven't read the book yet, so I have no idea how good it is. But considering how much I love Shields and how cerebral he can be, I'm pretty excited to give it a try.
Now, in his brand new book September Nights, Shields teams with MLB.com sportswriter Bill Chastain to tell the story of the Ray's rise and reveals his and his team's secrets for success.
September Nights covers the stretch drive of the 2010 season. The Rays entered September knowing they had to fight off the "Beasts of the East" - the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox-in order to win their second American League East title in three seasons. Tension mounts as the season reaches high gear. Not only is the team striving to win a pennant, they also know they are running out of time. The Rays are a "small market" team, and many of the team's top players will not be back in 2011 because they have outgrown their contracts and can command salaries far above what the Rays can pay them. Can this close-knit team accomplish their goals in the little time they have remaining as teammates?
Series by series, and sometimes batter by batter, Shields takes you inside the workings of a major league team in a historic season. He displays a smooth narrative style while offering insights into the Rays, opposing teams, the art of pitching, and what's going on in his mind throughout the Rays' stretch run.