By: Jeff Riger
Former Tiger Prince Fielder seems to be the gift that just keeps giving.
After Fielder was traded to the Rangers, late last Thursday night, comments continued to roll in from the old Tigers first baseman. First there was the teleconference with the Texas Media on Friday where Fielder said “Whatever I did last year, I’ll do the opposite this year. It was cool. The season went fine. It is what it is. You can’t take it back. We went to the playoffs. We didn’t go as far as we wanted to go but everybody is still alive.”
I especially love the last part of that quote where Prince made sure to tell the media that everybody is still alive, which to me means, Tiger fans should just move on already. Yes he played awful in the most important games of the season and he got paid a ton to do so, but, hey, nobody was killed, so all is good. Right?
And then came Monday, when the Rangers held a press conference to announce their new first baseman.
“Last year was last year” Fielder said. “Everybody was on me a little bit about my performance which is rightfully so. You know I sucked, but I didn’t have to be reminded of it; (laughing) so hopefully we can make some better memories here.”
I give credit to Fielder for always speaking his mind, even if he says things that will infuriate the fan base. However why can’t athletes, not just Fielder, understand that when they don’t perform, they’ll get booed. Despite what many players, coaches and managers have said, fans care just as much, if not more than the people getting paid to be in the game. And, the only way fans have to express themselves is to boo, go on social media or call our radio station. It’s never anything personal. Play well and people love you, don’t and they loathe you. It’s a pretty basic equation. It’s annoying to hear Prince admit that he sucked and then make a joke about the spectators reminding him of it.
Fielder was also asked about his comments after game 6 in Boston after the Tigers were eliminated from the ALCS. You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones where Fielder didn’t seem fazed by losing the series, minutes after it was over. The ones where he repeated over and over and over again that he had kids and he had to go and take care of them. Yes, those comments…
Well, Prince thinks it was unfair for fans or media members to hold those words against him.
“I think it was unfair, because if I was throwing helmets, I would have been a crybaby. Either way, I was kind of screwed” Fielder said.
I actually think fans would have loved it if he threw a couple helmets.
Last time I checked Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Torii Hunter, Miguel Cabrera, Austin Jackson and every other player that was interviewed after the ALCS didn’t throw helmets nor sent the message that they were already over the loss and they weren’t “screwed.”
Fielder also admitted that he was surprised that he had been traded and that he accepted the deal because he thought it would benefit parties, him and the Tigers.
And then there is the matter of his number…
Fielder will be wearing number 84 in Texas. When asked why he decided to switch to the new digits from the number 28 that he donned in Detroit, he said “I just wanted a new number-fresh start, fresh number.” A reporter then asked Prince if he could go a little deeper into the reason for the number change and Fielder said “84 is the year that I was born and it’s just fresh, so I think it works.”
Fielder then mumbled under his breath “that’s as deep as I’m going.”
Could it be that Prince has decided to wear number 84 to remind every Tiger fan that the guy Detroit brought in to win a World Series is now in Texas wearing the year on his back of Detroit’s last World Championship? Is it one last parting dig to Detroit and the fans that wanted him gone so bad?
It could be I suppose.
I didn’t think of the theory, but I might agree with it.
What about you?
Listen to the audio clip below to hear more from Fielder’s introductory press conference in Texas.