Former Cub Sam Fuld wasn’t on the short list of likely candidates to succeed Joe Maddon, but now it seems he won’t be on the list at all. According to a report from MLB Trade Rumors, Fuld has declined requests to interview with the Cubs, Mets, and Pirates. That makes the second potential Cubs candidate to remove himself from consideration for their vacancy after Carlos Beltrán rebuffed them Sunday.
Far from a great player, Fuld developed a minor cult fandom in Chicago, Tampa, and Oakland as a scrappy outfielder who just went balls-out (but not like Alex Bregman) at all times. Referred to as “a manager’s dream and a trainer’s worst nightmare” and a crash test dummy with a death wish,” Fuld managed to carve out an eight-year career before retiring in 2015.
He immediately moved into a front office role with the Phillies, aided by his relationship with Gabe Kapler, who had previously coached Fuld with Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic. As major league player information coordinator, Fuld’s role is to “integrate the use of information in all areas of on-field performance and preparation and make recommendations regarding the most effective areas of future research and analysis.”
Kapler was recently fired by the Phillies and will actually be interviewing with the Cubs this week, so Fuld could be in line for that job. Then again, Philly is said to be interested in Joe Girardi, Dusty Baker, and Buck Showalter, so they seem to be targeting more of an old-school vibe. At just 37 years old and with a decided analytical bent, the Stanford-educated Fuld would be a better fit for a more forward-thinking organization.
With that in mind, it’s a little puzzling that he’d turn down the chance to gain a little more interview experience with a team like the Cubs. Unless, of course, he believes they’ve already made their choice and would just be pumping him for information.