Joe Maddon apologizes for Monday’s shenanigans with Sam Fuld


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.

Clayton Kershaw completes spring training with a 0.00 ERA

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Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.

In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.

The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.

The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.