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April 14. 2013 12:56AM

Kevin Gray's On Baseball: Fuld Show continues


Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Sam Fuld, right, is congratulated by teammate Evan Longoria after he scored against the Cleveland Indians in the fourth inning of a game last week. (Chris Zuppa/Tampa Bay Times/MCT)

The Sam Fuld Show continues for two more days at the big theater on Yawkey Way as the Red Sox host the Tampa Bay Rays.

This is where Fuld, a former bat boy at the University of New Hampshire, had four extra-base hits in his Fenway Park debut in 2011.

A hot stretch that April raised to .396 his league-leading average, and the "Legend of Sam Fuld" was born.

The 31-year-old's style of play is made for SportsCenter. He makes diving catches in the outfield and slams into brick walls and chain-link fences.

"I heard that the world is covered by 75 percent water, and the other 25 percent is covered by Sam Fuld," Rays pitcher David Price told Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.

Athough Fuld is a Type 1 diabetic, he does not wear an insulin pump during games, saying it's probably not a good idea given the occupational hazards of playing the outfield.

Fuld, a Durham product and Phillips Exeter graduate, owns a lifetime .357 average at Fenway Park, including a homer run. He will be looking for a spot in the lineup against Clay Buchholz in today's contest at 1:35 p.m. Another righty, Ryan Dempster, will start Monday's marathon-day game at 11:05 a.m.




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FISHER TRACKS: In the curious case of Ricky Romero, the former Blue Jays ace continues to work on his delivery and mechanics at Toronto's spring training complex in Dunedin, Fla. The plan calls for Romero to ease into game action with Single-A Dunedin. Once he passes the test in Florida, Romero once again may be joining the Fisher Cats, where he spent three seasons (2006-08) and made a brief rehab stop in 2009.

Dodgers closer Brandon League, who signed a three-year, $22.5 million contract extension in the off-season, appears to be worth the money. After struggling throughout spring training - posting a 7.88 ERA in eight innings - the former Fisher Cats reliever saved his first three games in 2013. League was the Eastern League Championship Series MVP in 2004.




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FARM REPORT: Winnisquam of Tilton righty Jordan Cote, selected by the Yankees in the third round of the 2011 draft, will begin the season at Staten Island in the New York-Penn League. The Class A short-season affiliate begins the season June 17. Until then, Cote will continue working out at extended spring training in Tampa. Joey Maher of Bedford, also part of the 2011 draft class, has been assigned to the rookie-level Gulf Coast League, where the big righty made three starts and seven appearances last season.

Nashua North graduate Brad Zapenas, on the mend from shoulder surgery, completed his throwing program with the Cubs and has been cleared to begin playing games at extended spring training this week. When the Cubs assigned players to their minor-league affilates earlier this month, Zapenas was left behind in Mesa, Ariz.

"It's difficult not being able to play games during spring training and then see the guys break to their teams while I had to stay back, but I've had to stay positive," Zapenas said. "Staying in Arizona has helped me on a lot of things, not just my rehab, and it' a nice feeling that I should be joining a team in a few weeks with a long season still to go."


Staff writer Kevin Gray covers pro baseball for the New Hampshire Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News. His email address is kgray@uninoleader.com.


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