Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Legend of #13

Twitter can be an incredibly entertaining tool. Just ask Rays’ outfielder Sam Fuld.

The 29-year old exploded onto the MLB scene by rocking the Boston Red Sox on ESPN Monday night. Fuld had 4 hits in 6 at-bats with 3 RBI and a homerun.

He could’ve hit for the cycle, but in his last plate appearance Fuld opted to dig for a double rather than stop at first, which would’ve secured his place in Rays’ history as the second player to hit for the cycle (BJ Upton is the first and only player in Rays’ history).

In the 5th inning of last night’s outing, Fuld tied the game by scoring Kelly Shoppach in on a shallow dribble two feet in front of home plate. Neither Adrian Gonzalez nor Jason Varitek could make the play and Fuld reached first safely.

Fuld has also displayed his athletic ability throughout the young season by running down and catching difficult balls in the outfield.

The Twitter world is blowing up with “Legend of Sam Fuld” hash-tags (#LegendofSamFuld). So much so that his teammates have joined in on the fun.

They’re similar to what we used to see with the Chuck Norris myths. “Chuck Norris doesn’t sleep. He waits,” so on and so forth.

One such #LegendofSamFuld saying making the rounds is “I’ll keep rooting for Sam Fuld…if he lets me.”

They’re cheesy and slightly sophomoric, but they’re fun and lighthearted which is a positive sign that the Rays’ fan base is starting to come around after the dismal start.

Fuld’s legend has definitely made the fans forget another legend; at least for the time being.

The Legend of #13 is turning into a nightmare. I refuse to call him by his first name because of how he treated the Bay area.

I’d be more than happy to give him his recognition, but he didn’t respect St. Petersburg when he arrived in Boston. He adhered to the fun when the Boston media ripped the Rays’ fan base, and he didn’t even attempt to defend the team or the fans.

It could’ve been easy for him to answer the questions with something vanilla like, “Tampa was great, but I’m in Boston now and I’m focused on winning this organization a championship.” Canned. Non-malicious. Simple.

Instead #13 added fuel to an already heated rivalry.

It wasn’t until a month or so later that he even acknowledged the Bay area via a small clip in the St. Petersburg Times. I, for one, wasn’t going to give him credit for something players do once leaving their longtime organizations.

Now, #13 is a villain in a hostile Boston town. He’s batting an anemic .152 with one RBI in 46 at-bats. The “boo birds” were clearly heard in yesterday’s loss after #13 flied out to leftfield in the 8th.

Funny, I don’t recall him getting booed while playing leftfield in the Trop.

While #13’s legend diminishes, Fuld’s grows. Sam Fuld is in a no-pressure situation. You can see that he’s having fun and his loose nature is clearly paying dividends.

#13 is struggling with his new batting stance, as well as striving to adjust to the pressure cooker that is the Boston media.

Hitting and winning are contagious. You want to surround yourself around that kind of collected and confident energy. And that’s the sort of impact Sam Fuld brings to the Rays as well as the Bay area.

May Sam’s legend grow.

And may the karma persevere.

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