Tag:Minka Kelly
Posted on: May 23, 2011 6:36 pm
Edited on: May 23, 2011 11:25 pm

Rays' Shields keeping ball in the park

One key reason why Tampa Bay's James Shields currently leads the AL in both complete games (three) and shutouts (two), ranks second in innings pitched (76 2/3) and fourth in ERA (2.00)?

He's doing exactly what he set out to do this spring: Keep the gopher balls away.

Last year, his 34 home runs allowed were the most in the American League.

This year, his seven surrendered do not even rank in the top 10.

Shields told me this spring that he thought there were a couple of easily explainable reasons why he was so disappointing in 2010 at 13-15 with a career-high 5.18 ERA.

"Bad baseball luck," he said during an early-March conversation in Port Charlotte, Fla. "Take away two or three bad games, and my ERA's 3.60 and nobody's talking about it."

Shields, who dominated the Marlins with 13 strikeouts in Sunday's complete-game win, figured that if he could minimize home runs in 2011, his ERA would drop. And if those two things happened, he'd be well on his way to a rebound year.

Those seven homers allowed in 2011 translate to one surrendered per 42 batters faced.

In 2010, he yielded one homer per 26.4 batters faced.

Not even close.

"I wasn't as good as I wanted to be last year," Shields said. "But there were a lot of positives: 200 innings [203 1/3, to be exact], 180-odd strikeouts [187]."

He keeps going at his current pace in 2011, there will be far more positives this season.

For both Shields and the Rays.

Likes: Texas' Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz and Philadelphia's Chase Utley all coming back this week. ... Knuckleballers. Boston's Tim Wakefield and the Mets' R.A. Dickey just keep on truckin'. ... Lars Anderson's Sports Illustrated cover story this week on the tornado devastation in Alabama. Beautifully done and heartbreaking. ... Music from the old Detroit band The Rockets on iTunes. Loved them back in the day (late '70s, early '80s) and had much of their stuff on vinyl, but it was never released on CD. Hadn't heard the songs in many years, but they stand up very well to the test of time. A shame they never hit it big nationally, because they could rock. ... Minka Kelly on the new Charlie's Angels in the fall. Hello girls, this is Charlie. ...

Dislikes: Red Sox-Cubs 1918 throwback uniforms.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Really love your peaches
"Wanna shake your tree."

-- Steve Miller Band, The Joker

Posted on: November 1, 2009 5:32 pm

Philadelphia: Sports Central, USA

PHILADELPHIA -- If you're a Philadelphia sports fan, this weekend is heaven. If you're a sports fan in Philadelphia, ditto.

And if you love rock and roll -- specifically for now, Pearl Jam -- then you're beside yourself with glee.

The only issue is traffic during what surely is a historic weekend at the city's Sports Complex -- a cluster of stadiums and arenas at the intersection of Broad St. and Pattison Ave., between downtown and the airport off of I-95. Over the four-day period between Friday and Monday, the area is bringing in a few hundred thousand fans.

The Phillies are hosting World Series games Saturday, Sunday and Monday evenings in Citizens Bank Park.

The NFL's Eagles hosted the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field, located across Pattison Ave. from the baseball park.

The NHL's Flyers host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday at 5 p.m. at the Wachovia Center, located next to Lincoln Financial Field.

Meantime, Pearl Jam is closing the old Spectrum, which was the home to all of those great Dr. J, Moses Malone, Maurice Cheeks and Bobby Jones 76ers' teams, with four concerts. The last two were Friday and Saturday nights.

"This is a heck of a place to be right now," Phillies closer Brad Lidge says.

All three World Series games are sold out, of course, as were the Eagles game on Sunday and the Pearl Jam concerts.

The Phillies' Raul Ibanez was among those in attendance at Friday's show. A friend of the Seattle-based band from his days playing for the Mariners, Ibanez received a shout out from the stage as Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder led the crowd in a "Raul!" cheer. (Pearl Jam owns Seattle Mariners season tickets in Safeco Field).

Lidge skipped the Friday night concert (the off night between Game 2 in New York and Game 3 in Philadelphia) but sure hated to.

"I wasn't able to go because I've got family in town," he said. "I wish I was there. They're one of my favorite bands.

"This is a great spot to be right now. Where else would you rather be?"

As for the sporting events, so far the results have been mixed. The Phillies were beaten by the Yankees in Game 3 on Saturday 8-5, blowing a 3-0 lead in the process.

The Eagles, though, crushed the Giants 40-17 on Sunday as a lead-in to Game 4 of the World Series.

Likes: The Daily Beast checking in with baseball's all-time all-star team of wives and girlfriends, playing off of the current Yankees' pairings of Alex Rodriguez and actress Kate Hudson and Derek Jeter and actress Minka Kelly. Check the Beast out here, it's a highly entertaining list. ... A couple of soul-cleansing runs through the streets of Philadelphia the past couple of days, down Ben Franklin Parkway, past the Philadelphia Art Museum and along the river down Kelly Dr. Great fall colors on the trees right now. ... The Philly Cheesesteak (with Whiz) sandwich for lunch today at the Reading Terminal marketplace. Great stuff. ... The Glee cast did a fine national anthem before Game 3. I'm still not much for the television show, but they were good. And they got one of the better receptions from the crowd that you'll see for a national anthem singer. ... Nice work by my Monroe (Mich.) St. Mary Catholic Central Falcons in winning their opening high school football playoff game Friday night, a 42-22 romp over Harper Woods. Well, eventually it was a romp, after SMCC allowed a 28-0 lead to become a 28-22 nailbiter by early in the fourth quarter. Next up: A victory Friday over Blissfield. ... Loved the extra hour's sleep Saturday night, hate the early darkness all winter.

Starbucks should have an express line. Those of us who want a simple cup of coffee are stuck behind 12 people ordering overly dramatic drinks and wait far too long.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Now we went walking in the rain
"Talking about the pain from the world we hid
"Now there ain't nobody nowhere nohow
"Gonna ever understand me the way you did
"Maybe you'll be out there on that road somewhere
"In some bus or train, traveling along
"In some motel room, there'll be a radio playing
"And you'll hear me sing this song
"Well if you do you'll know I'm thinking of you
"And all the miles in between
"And I'm just calling one last time
"Not to change your mind
"But just to say I miss you baby
"Good luck, goodbye"

-- Bruce Springsteen, Bobby Jean

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com