(Steve mentioned this earlier, but it's worth reflecting on what could have been; lots of videos behind the hyperlinks)
We all know the Legend of Sam Fuld. It started with a simple twitter hastag that took the sports world by storm thanks to a super-cycle at Fenway (two doubles instead of a single). Fuld rose in the shadow of Manny's retirement to that soft spot in every Rays fan's heart.
We all know the Legend can do a lot of things. He has a cannon of an arm, occasionally swings a hot bat and might as well wear a cape all the time. But have you considered Sam Fuld the pitcher? On Monday, the Rays decided to play baseball and put the Brewers in a casket with a few nails after a three-run blast from Evan Longoria in the eighth, scoring Ben Zobrist and Fuld. Before Longo came to the plate, Sam Fuld came off the bench to bat for pitcher J.P. Howell.
At this point the Rays have a seven point lead. Joe Maddon had been warming up high-leverage reliever Joel Peralta, but using his talent on this night just seemed silly. So he sent Fuld to the mound... as a distraction.
As clarified by mlb.com:
Maddon's motivation was to give left-hander Cesar Ramos enough time to warm up. Joel Peralta had been the scheduled pitcher in the eighth, but with the lead extended, Maddon wanted to save Peralta and use Ramos. Fuld had pinch-hit for reliever J.P. Howell in the top of the eighth, so to Maddon's way of thinking, Fuld technically had already filled the pitcher's shoes. Maddon believed that Fuld did not have to pitch to a hitter after warming up, since he had already established himself as the pitcher.
"We got away with violating a rule," Maddon said. "There was no shenanigans or misinformation... It was a total honest mistake."
When a pitcher takes the mound he must face at least one batter. When Maddon pulled Fuld, the assumption by the umpires was that the Legend hurt himself warming up (like that could happen). No one seemed upset, not even Milwaukee who agreed Fuld had already entered the game and was not required to pitch, but Maddon took responsibility and apologized to the umpires and MLB Vice President Joe Torre anyways.
Long story short, Sam Fuld closed the game and the Legend continues, right??? I hear he struck out the side...