Normally, when watching seven hours of baseball includes a blow out victory and a devastating loss to your favourite team, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little bit disappointed in your decision to waste an evening away in front of your computer taking advantage of your MLB.tv subscription. Somehow, that wasn’t the case.
And despite close games between the A’s and White Sox, Mets and Rockies, Cubs and Astros and Reds and Padres, the reason for my lack of disappointment was Durham, New Hampshire native Sam Fuld, who grew up worshiping the Boston Red Sox, but absolutely destroyed them in the first game he played at Fenway Park.
Fuld, enjoying increased playing time with the Tampa Bay Rays thanks to the surprising Manny Ramirez retirement, went 4 for 6 last night in Boston, hitting a home run, a triple and two doubles. His second double came in the ninth inning, and as he rounded first base, his teammates screamed at him to stop there so that he could record only the second cycle in Rays history, but that just wasn’t his style.
When asked if he considered stretching his double into a single, Fuld replied:
Thought about it a little bit, but only jokingly. If Brignac had tripped and fell he would have been the goat or whatever. You can’t do that. That was a sheer double. I’ll take those any day.
As manager Joe Maddon said after the game:
[Not stopping at first] speaks to Sam’s integrity, right there. He plays with such zeal and intelligence, he’s just fun to watch. I know a lot of guys who would have stopped. Some guys in the dugout said they would have slid into first base.
In the long run, Fuld likely projects to become a fourth outfielder at best, and may even become extraneous once the Rays call up Desmond Jennings, but that didn’t matter last night.
It’s amazing. You know it’s a dream come true to play and to have a night like that and help the team win like that. I don’t think you can draw it up any better than that. I definitely had more adrenaline going playing in this ballpark that I grew up going to. I didn’t know how that would play out. Hitting is a funny thing because you don’t want too much emotion involved there. But I used the adrenaline in my favor.
For more on Fuld, check out Jonah Keri’s podcast interview with him from January.
And The Rest:
The Daisuke Matsuzaka mystery remains unsolved. Unfortunately that doesn’t refer to opposing batters.
I wonder if John Farrell’s decision to put the winning run on base in the bottom of the ninth was in any way influenced by Ron Washington, who earlier in the day, walked the tying run in the ninth to avoid facing Miguel Cabrera. It ended up working well for Washington, not so much for Farrell.
FanGraphs has part three of its look into whether it’s better to draft high schoolers or college baseball players.
Jermaine Dye: A victim of Moneyball.
I wonder if Daryl Strawberry and Chalie Sheen have anything in common.
Beyond The Boxscore looks at some less than ideal lead off hitters.
Today in shocking and appalling: David Ortiz believes there should be a place for designated hitters in the Hall of Fame. In other news, Dustin Parkes thinks that baseball bloggers are the best.
Steve Kettman believes that Barry Bonds will be voted into the Hall of Fame.
Finally, atrocious, just atrocious: