A season after the Tampa Bay manager put outfielder Sam Fuld to the mound to warm up for the sole purpose of giving a reliever extra time in the bullpen, Major League Baseball closed the loophole.
MLB has amended Official Baseball Rule 3.05 regarding such shenanigans. The change will “prohibit a manager from sending his current pitcher out to warm up with no intention of having him pitch because a relief pitcher is not ready to enter the game.”
Maddon does raise an interesting question about all this:
How do they know the intentions are not to pitch him? How would you know that? You could easily leave him in there for one hitter if you had to. My concern would be you could still send out your previous inning’s pitcher to warm up and then pull him out of the game before the first batter. That’s still OK, correct?
We’ll see if this affects the game at all. It will do one thing: we will probably never see the “legendary” Sam Fuld pitch again…unless we wish really, really hard to the all-powerful DJ Kitty while wearing our Super Sam capes.
Joe Maddon will still find a way around this, just watch. #mansagenius
I like to consider myself a coordinated person. I make a living running after baseballs in the outfield, sometimes dodging bullpen mounds, dancing along unpadded walls, even leaping over oncoming teammates on occasion. I think I could more than hold my own on those Japanese obstacle course TV shows. But when Evan Longoria lined a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 12th inning against the Yankees during the last game of the 2011 season to put us in the playoffs, and it came time to climb the three steps that lead from our dugout to the field, I lost all semblance of body control. I ate it. Face-first.