Maddon clarifies use of Fuld on Monday

Maddon clarifies use of Fuld on Monday

Maddon clarifies use of Fuld on Monday
MILWAUKEE -- Prior to Tuesday night's game against the Brewers, Rays manager Joe Maddon cleared up the confusion stemming from his use of Sam Fuld in Monday night's game.

Evan Longoria had just given the Rays a seven-run lead via a three-run homer in the top of the eighth when Maddon sent outfielder Fuld in to warm up on the mound prior to the Brewers' turn at bat.

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.

Once Ramos was ready, Fuld left the mound without pitching to a batter. The confusion came because the umpires got the idea that Fuld had injured himself when he had not, which was the explanation the umpiring crew gave after the game when they were asked why Fuld did not have to face a batter.

"We got away with violating a rule," Maddon said. "There was no shenanigans or misinformation, I just think it was a miscommunication between me and [home-plate umpire] Bob Davidson. And quite frankly, I don't understand why there's been such a big deal made about it. It was a total honest mistake."

Maddon said he told Davidson he needed Fuld to warm up because he needed some extra time to bring the other pitcher into the game.

"Because I don't want to use Peralta," Maddon said. "So Joel had started to run in and we got him to go back. And we tried to get Ramos in there, so in an 8-1 game, we don't have to use Joel Peralta. And that was it. And [Davidson] said something to me [when Ramos came in] that, 'You can have as many as you need,' which retrospectively tells me that he may have thought it was an injury. That's when you normally get to throw as many pitches as you want. So that's why I'm saying it was a total miscommunication. He misunderstood me. I never said anything about an injury. That's what happened."

Maddon took full responsibility for what happened. He talked to Joe Torre, Major League Baseball's executive vice president of baseball operations, on Tuesday, and he also apologized to the umpires.

Milwaukee had no problem with what Maddon did Monday night.

Brewers bench coach Jerry Narron, who was managing in place of the ejected Ron Roenicke, thought the same thing Monday night as Maddon -- that because Fuld had already entered the game in the top of the inning as a pinch-hitter, he was not required to pitch to a batter after taking the mound.

Roenicke found himself watching from an uncomfortable vantage point in the clubhouse. But he said he was not bothered by Maddon's stall.

"Not at all," Roenicke said. "I think there's times when you get caught. You plan to do something. OK, Peralta is coming in the game. Then all of a sudden you can score three or four runs and you don't want him in the game. That's what happened. You're not ready for it.

"I don't have a problem when you're trying to protect a pitcher from coming in and throwing and reducing the risk of an injury. I don't care if it's on the other side or not. It's not that pitcher's fault in the bullpen. If he comes in and needs more time, that doesn't bother me."