- NotGraphs Baseball - http://www.fangraphs.com/not -

The Dark Side of the Fuld?

Despite the fact that he enters play Saturday with a line of just .245/.303/.372 (.277 BABIP), it’s entirely likely that — owing to a combination of defense, park adjustment, etc. — it’s entirely likely that Sam Fuld is an average major leaguer. Add to this some notable biographical details — that he went to Stanford, for example, or that he has diabetes and worked for STATS, Inc. and went to Phillips Exeter and is Jewish — and one finds in Sam Fuld the makings of a Nerd Among Men.

Fuld himself problematized that narrative on Friday night, however. In the top of the fifth inning, with Fuld on first, Fuld’s teammate Sean Rodriguez grounded to Royals second baseman Chris Getz. Attempting to start the double play, Getz flipped to shortstop Alcides Escobar, who’d moved over to second to take the throw. What happened after that is what you see in the expertly embedded GIF at the top of this post.

Though Escobar played out the duration of the inning, he left the game after that. Kansas City starter Luke Hochevar hit Fuld with a 2-1 fastball in the latter’s next plate appearance.

Asked whether he felt the play was dirty, Fuld replied as follows:

“No, I didn’t. I took a normal slide. I just think it was late. It was kind of a slow hit ball. I didn’t commit to sliding until late. I went in and wasn’t trying to go in high or anything. It was a normal slide to me and it just got him good,” Fuld said. “I figured they weren’t going to be too happy about it because he’s their everyday shortstop. But I know my mental approach was just take a normal slide. I didn’t commit to second until the last second.”

Fuld’s comments seem entirely reasonable. They also seem precisely like what one’d say if he had purposely spiked the other team’s shortstop.

Clearly, the only way to apprehend the truth in this matter is by appealing to the teeming masses — which, voila: