Goatriders of the Apocalypse

The compelling fate of Sam Fuld(!)

Toward the end of 2007, one James Carbunckle Hendry* recalled a number of young talents from the team's minor league system. One such player was a young Jewish guy who stands about as tall as a bar-room stool. Naturally, he won the hearts of Cub fans everywhere, particularly after making a spectacular double-play that involved him slamming into the ivy before accurately firing the ball back to first base.

Fuld(!) is not the first little man to win over the Cub Fan Nation. His predecessor was Augie Ojeda, who was well-loved in Chicago until he stabbed us in the heart by having a productive October for the D-Backs this past year. Before Ojeda, it was Doug Dascenzo, who was also well-loved in Chicago until he stabbed us in the heart by being mediocre.

For whatever reason, and maybe it has to do with his strong showing in the Arizona Fall League, Fuld(!) has catapulted to the top of the Untradable Prospects list. He is well-respected by Hendry, and at this stage it is almost a given that Fuld(!) will not only be on the roster in April, but he may even be the starting center fielder.  (Okay, okay, enough with the Fuld-Exclamation Points)

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let us stop to remember that Fuld, whose heart grew three sizes larger that day, or something, is a little guy who is unlikely to blossom into Willie Mays - or, for that matter, Corey Patterson. Maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves by saying that he's untradable, or even starter material.

That said, he's certainly valuable ... as a bench player. I see Fuld as a guy who can play any outfield position in a pinch, who will hustle his little butt off play in and play out. As things stand, Fuld is likely to join Ward as our two outfielders, and I anticipate that Hendry will continue to shop Matt Murton - who, quite frankly, I would value over Fuld.

It's unlikely that Jim will grab Lofton, no matter how sensible it is, and for that reason Lil' Sammy should get some at bats this season. Hopefully he will continue to hustle and perhaps he will ingrain himself eternally into the minds of Cub fans everywhere as a modern day Chicago folk-hero. But will he ever be a productive starter? Nah.

*I don't actually know if his middle is Carbunckle, but it sounds funny so I went with it

Murton

Yes, I kind of prefer Murton because of his bat potential. But with this team, if Fuld can play all three spots, Lil Sammy is more valuble. Murton can't play Center. And in a pinch Mr. DeRosa can play on the green stuff.

Sam Fuld as Jewish?

Actually, he's of Jewish heritage rather than being a practicing Jew. Carrie Muskat had a piece on the Cubs website a few months ago that talked about how his father was Jewish but his mother was Catholic, which according to Orthodox Jewish law would make him non-Jewish by birth. And while he said he celebrated both Christmas and Chanukkah, he was explicit that he considered Christmas to be "a big deal" and exciting because of the gifts. Too bad he missed out on the Chanukkah tradition of eight days of (smaller) gifts!

Not that it has anything to do with his athletic ability. I hope a scrappy guy like him can stick on the roster at least as a late-game reserve and pinch hitter. There aren't too many guys that can go 0 for 6 and still have a 0.333 OBP, thanks to three walks.

Re: Sam Fuld

Fuld is an interesting guy. His father is a Jewish college professor, his mother is a Christian (he celebrates both holidays.) Like Ron Santo, Fuld has Type 1 diabetes.

Sam went to two "brain schools" for high school and college (Phillips Exeter for prep, Stanford for college) and was drafted twice by the Cubs. His accomplishments/merits include the following: 2000 - Preseason 1st Team All-American; 2000 - 19th on Baseball America's 100 Top High School Prospects list; 2002 - 1st team College All-American OF; 2006 - Florida State League All-Star OF and 2007 - Arizona Fall League Most Valuable Player. Like Theriot, Fuld is a "heart and soul" player, he'll give you everything he's got. Let's not sell this fella short! IMO he will beat Pie out for the job by June.

If you come to a fork in the road, take it - Yogi Berra

Re: Sam Fuld

I freely admit to rooting for some of the Jewish guys like Fuld. Between the first and fifth grades I lived in a suburb of Cleveland called Shaker Heights - many of my youthful friends were Jewish so I developed an appreciation for this culture and their cuisine. To this day I love a good deli!

I also found out that my great-grandmother was Jewish so technically my father could become a citizen of Israel if he wished. IMO we should respect and admire how all of America's minorities contribute.

If you come to a fork in the road, take it - Yogi Berra

Samson Fuld

I agree that Fuld is definitely not untradeable but I don't understand all the pessimism surrounding him. Looking at his minor league numbers, he seems far better than Pie (K/BB ratio, OBP, and even AVG - all things that the Cubs are trying to beat into Pie's skull this offseason). You can argue that he doesn't hit for power but that seems to be what the Cubs are trying to get Pie away from (compacting his swing and becoming a "spray" hitter or whatever the hell Muskrat wrote). On top of it, his minor league numbers are pretty similar to Jacoby Ellsbury's, who's almost certain to start in center this year. I'm just saying his upside seems a lot better than a guy who'll crash into brick walls recklessly.

Sam Fuld

Why all of the optimism about Sam Fuld? All he is small and scrappy player. What good does that do us?

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