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Why was Sam Fuld on the mound?

21

June

UPDATE, 6:05: Fuld said he did not tell the umpires that he was "hurt" and couldn't pitch, and has no idea why they said that. "Where did that come from? Completely made that up,'' he said. The only converstion he had with the umpire, Fuld said, was home plate ump Bob Davidson joking with him that he would be fined $5,000 for delaying the game. "And I said, just put it on Joe's tab for me,'' Fuld said. ... Fuld did get a copy of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel with the Associated Press box score listing him among the pitchers. "It's even better that they messed it up,'' he said. ... As for whether the Rays circumvented the rules, Fuld said: "Nothing we did was against the rules.'' .... Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, who had already been ejected by that point, said he wasn't aware of the particulars enough to comment.

UPDATE, 3:49: Elias says #Rays Fuld was incorrecty listed in box score as a pitcher last night; it is NOT recognized as a pitching appearance.

UPDATE, 11:05: There may have been more to the story, according to am mlb.com story suggesting the Rays claimed Fuld was injured and couldn't pitch and thus circumvented the rule that he was required to stay in for one batter.

From mlb.com:

Crew chief Jerry Layne had a different take than Maddon.

"Fuld went out there, and from what I understand, [home-plate umpire Bob Davidson] was told that he was sore or couldn't pitch or something," Layne said. "He's supposed to pitch to a batter unless he's incapacitated, but we're not doctors."

Layne said he was unsure whether Maddon, Fuld or someone else had passed along the story about soreness.

"It's a situation where, if they do something like that, they're circumventing the rules, but as an umpire, there's nothing we can do about it," Layne said. "If that's what we're told -- he's hurt, or whatever -- we're not doctors. Can you imagine if we had a guy who stayed out there because we said, 'No, you have to pitch to one batter,' and then he throws out a rotator cuff?

If they're going to buy time, they're going to buy time. There's no way around it. The only way to do it is to play with the rule a little."

The rule governing the substitution would seem to be Rule 3.05 (b), which states: If the pitcher is replaced, the substitute pitcher shall pitch to the batter then at bat, or any substitute batter, until such batter is put out or reaches first base, or until the offensive team is put out, unless the substitute pitcher sustains injury or illness which, in the umpire-in-chief's judgment, incapacitates him for further play as a pitcher.

DEVELOPING: Manager Joe Maddon said there was a simple reason he sent OF Sam Fuld to the mound to warmup for the eighth inning.

Because he needed him to kill time so LHP Cesar Ramos could get ready.

"I had no other choice,'' Maddon said.

The problem was that the Rays had RHP Joel Peralta ready but he wanted the left-handed Ramos at that point.

"The phones are really not loud here so we're trying to communicate, "No, no, no we're trying to do the other thing,'' '' Maddon said. "By Sam going out and warming up, Cesar was definitely warmed up by that time, he was fine.''

Fuld was already in the game in the pitcher's spot, having pinch-hit in the top of the 8th, so Maddon said he was not required to actually throw a pitch (as a reliever does when he comes in). "He was already in the game,'' Maddon said.

So basically, he was just a stall tactic. "Sam provided that, and he provided a lot of interesting moments for the guys on the bench,'' Maddon said. "It's something to talk about. They'll talk about it for a couple days. They came back in - of course he had great stuff, the catchers wer saying how good he looked, the typical nonsense that's gonna happen after a moment like that.''

Fuld clearly enjoyed the experience, though said he could only imagine what his wife, or other friends and relatives, must have thought if they were watching, listening to or following the game via the Internet, given that he hadn't pitched in a game since his junior year of high school.

"I didn't know exactly what was going on,'' Fuld said. "I thought maybe it had to do with having them announce a hitter. I had everythign going around my mind. I knew there was like a 99 percent chance I wasn't pitching.''

When Fuld was told to go out and warm up, his response was simple: "Really? ... Right away my mind just started race mode."

But had Fuld got the chance? "I was throwing strikes, I was pumping, I was hitting the zone. I was ready to get a guy out. I had some adrenaline going.''

His arsenal: "One pitch, my fastball.''

Maddon said in reality there was "no chance" Fuld would have thrown an actual pitch.

"I could see the Brewers looking over there, "What is going on? Fuld is not in the report,' '' Maddon said. "All the infielders were begging for one pitch, but you can't do that. You don't want to incite the other team in any way, shape or form. I was concerned about that to begin with, having to do that. I'm worried about inciting them. It was no disrespect to the Brewers. It was just a matter of the way that happened so quickly.''

Fuld was curious if he'd be listed in the box score as a pitcher - "If it is I'm definitely going to keep that box score,'' he said - but he was not.

Still, he enjoyed the experience. "This is like a position player's dream in a lot of ways,'' he said. "I looked up at the radar but I didn't get a reading. I was just thinking don't get hurt. Let it loose a little bit, but don't get hurt.'' 

[Last modified: Thursday, July 21, 2011 12:15am]

    

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