By Ashley Scoby
Tigers fans have booed Prince Fielder before, so what’s a few more days of that treatment?
At least that’s the attitude Fielder has, as he’s set to take on his former team tonight at Comerica Park for the first time since he was unceremoniously traded away in 2013. Since he missed last season because of neck surgery, Fielder missed his homecoming in 2014.
This time, he’s 100 percent healthy and suiting up against his former teammates as a Texas Ranger. Although he spent two seasons in Detroit and went to a World Series with the Tigers in 2012, Fielder is treating his homecoming as casually as a drive to the grocery store.
“It’s been a little while,” he said before his team took on the Tigers Thursday night. “I’m more focused on being happy coming back from an injury. Detroit is the last thing on my mind coming back as far as baseball. I’m sure last year might have been different.”
Last season, the bitterness might still have been a little fresh if Fielder had returned to Comerica Park in a different uniform less than a year removed from his Tigers days. Regardless of the timeline, Fielder expects the reception by Tigers fans to be less than stellar.
“Well, last time I got booed, so why change?” he said with a grin.
Tigers fans were especially displeased with Fielder at the end of 2013 because of the comments he made in what ended up being his last game in the uniform. After Detroit lost in the ALCS that year, Fielder discussed the fact that he wasn’t torn up by the loss because he had kids at home and a family more important than baseball. “It’s not really tough for me,” he said then, and fans instantly felt a disconnect with the star.
“They’re fans; that’s what they’re supposed to do,” Fielder said of the negative reaction he got then.
Continuing, he admitted that he was shocked by the news he received right before he made those comments – that manager Jim Leyland was retiring.
“Jim retiring, that was actually a shock or whatever,” he said. “As far as the comments, you know, what people think of me is none of my business. It’s whatever.”