Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Contemplating Prince Fielder

Prince Fielder and the Texas Rangers are expected to
announce today that doctors will not clear him to return to
playing baseball in the wake of a second cervical fusion.
The MLB Network promo proved accurate: Prince Fielder tells Harold Reynolds it's time to say good bye.

In the promo, it means the rotund slugger is about to hit a home run. Today, it means he's going to end his career for medical reasons.

Fielder, 32, underwent a second cervical fusion in his neck late last month, and today he and the Texas Rangers are to announce that the medicos will not OK his return to playing baseball.

He's had a miserable season: .212/.292/.334 with eight homers as the Rangers designated hitter before bowing to the neck miseries. The eight homers, oddly, pulled him exactly even with his father Cecil Fielder in career homers, 318.

(As somebody retweeted into my timeline Tuesday: Big deal. I hit exactly as many homers as my dad too.)

Fielder is in the fifth year of the nine-year contract he signed with the Detroit Tigers, and he'll get his money: $24 million a year in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, $18 million of it from the Rangers and $6 million from the Tigers. I begrudge him none of it. Before his neck issues emerged, he was a durable, productive hitter.

I did wonder as the 2011 offseason approached which free-agent-to-be was the better bet for a megacontract, Fielder or Albert Pujols. Fielder was younger, Pujols in better shape. As it turned out, the answer was neither.

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