Joe Maddon apologizes for Monday’s shenanigans with Sam Fuld

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You knew this was coming.

According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, Rays manager Joe Maddon apologized to the umpiring crew earlier today for the confusion during last night’s game against the Brewers.

For those unfamiliar, Sam Fuld — who pinch-hit for J.P. Howell in the top of the eighth inning — came out to warm up on the mound in the bottom of the inning. However, he was eventually pulled for Cesar Ramos without throwing a pitch. The only reason Maddon was able to get away with it was because home plate umpire Bob Davidson was told (or was at least under the impression) that Fuld was injured.

“I wasn’t trying to get away with anything,” he said. “I was not aware of that, I was not clear on that. That is my fault, nobody’s elses.”

“I think it was a total miscommunication, I never said anything about an injury,” Maddon said.

Maddon got the nudge after receiving a phone call from MLB’s VP of Operations Joe Torre earlier today. According to the Associated Press, Ron Roenicke had no dispute with the pitching change in question, though it’s worth noting that he was ejected along with hitting coach Dale Sveum two innings earlier. It’s fair to say this umpiring crew isn’t very popular in Milwaukee tonight.

Jered Weaver dealing with “dead arm”

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Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.

Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.

Ian Kinsler doesn’t think Puerto Rico or Dominican Republic players play the game the right way

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Update: Whoops…

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Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:

I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.

The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.

Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.

Jim Leyland also got in on the action:

Go Puerto Rico.