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Prince Fielder: “It’s over, bro”

Oct 20, 2013, 7:05 PM EDT

ALCS - Detroit Tigers v Boston Red Sox - Game Six Getty Images

Prince Fielder was by no means the biggest reason the Tigers lost to the Red Sox in six games in the ALCS. But the Tigers are paying him $214 million over nine years and he had just four hits (three singles and a double) in 24 trips to the plate against Sox pitching, so he has been a magnet for criticism. He also made a costly base running gaffe in the sixth inning of Game 6, getting caught down the third base line by catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and making a failed attempt to belly-flop back to third base.

Some players would be outwardly upset or remorseful that they are no longer playing for a championship. Fans like this because they are able to grieve vicariously through their team’s players. For Prince Fielder, though, he isn’t letting the missed opportunities get to him. Via’s Alden Gonzalez:

“You have to be a man about it,” he added. “I have kids. If I’m sitting around pouting about it, how am I going to tell them to keep their chins or keep their heads up when something doesn’t go their way? It’s over.

“It isn’t really tough, man, for me [to move on]. It’s over. I have kids I have to take care of, so, for me it’s over, bro.”

Told fans may be upset to hear him shake off a disappointing loss so quickly, Fielder said: “They don’t play.”

As much as the “they don’t play” defense rings hollow, the fans and the media shouldn’t be in the business of dictating how a player should react and feel at any time. If this is how Fielder deals with failure, all the more power to him.

  1. pawnjockey1 - Oct 20, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    That’s reminiscent of when the Cowboys lost the last game of the 2008 season at Philadelphia 44-3 before Tony Romo collapsed in the post game shower, then responding to a reporters dumb question that “if this is the worst thing that ever happens to him then he’s had a pretty good life.” The media ran with it and the fans destroyed him over that quote.

    • dcfan4life - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:54 PM

      Ya but Romo got ripped a little extra for his extremely poor performance in that game. If he through for 4 touchdowns and 400 yards and still lost then the fans and media wouldn’t have been so bad.

      • yahmule - Oct 21, 2013 at 3:41 AM

        And Cowboy fans suck copious amounts of ass.

      • thebadguyswon - Oct 21, 2013 at 5:37 PM

        LOL…they kicked Philly ass yesterday, as they usually do.

  2. pwshrugged - Oct 20, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    I get what Prince is saying and I more or less understand what he means, but… it’s not something that should really be said right in the wake of the loss. All this is going to do is further alienate the fanbase from him. Besides that, he’s lying – it was obvious all postseason long, as well as last year in the World Series, how much he was struggling, how not-fun the game had become for him, and how he’d become his own worst enemy at the plate. The smiling Prince from the regular season was gone, left with a guy who looked beat down. He can say “it’s over, bro” as much as he wants, but no matter what line of work we’re in, we all take bad days/weeks at the office home with us, so come on. The very fact that he’s opting not to pay lip-service on a question like that is a sign of abject frustration; otherwise he’d have the wisdom to say something neutral like “yeah, it was a rough series, but it’s over, and there’s no going back, so all we can do is go home and try again next year.”

    I’ll say this, though – if, as some are starting to suspect, Fielder can’t keep up with facing top-notch pitching everyday like one does in the playoffs, that contract of his is going to become an albatross long before anyone thought it would… if it’s not already, given that no Fielder would have meant that Cabrera could have played 1st or DHed, and the Tigers would have more positional flexibility.

    As much as I like him (despite the above), I wonder if the Tigers can pull a Red Sox and trade Fielder somewhere for a bag of baseballs? Especially if his contract ends up making it difficult to re-sign Scherzer (who would likely become the fourth $20M+/year player on the Tigers roster).

    • dan1111 - Oct 21, 2013 at 7:12 AM

      I have no problem with this kind of response from an athlete. He isn’t saying “I don’t care”, but rather expressing how he chooses to deal with something he obviously does care about very much.

      As for the larger issue with his contract, yeah, that is a huge problem for the Tigers. Even when he hits well, like last season, he gives so much back on defense that he doesn’t come close to being worth his salary.

      Fielder couldn’t be traded without the Tigers eating lots of money. However, it would make lots of sense to trade V-Mart, have Fielder and Cabrera share 1B/DH duties, and upgrade the defense at third.

  3. dtownbeatdown - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    I know in the long run “sports don’t matter,” but when it is something you have a passion for, and fans pour their hard earned money down the drain to watch you play while you make millions and don’t care? Majority of us are not rich and and put our faith into a team and all prince has to say is it is over, and we dont play? He has shown he hasnt cared all year… laughing with the umpire when he gets struck out or laughing and joking with the competition and inning after they just jacked one out of the park, no fire, no competitive edge to him. Everyone went from being excited to having him play for the tigers to wanting him out of Detroit immediately… at least this guy did. Send his overpriced contract to the Yankees get Cano, put Cano at third keep Iglesias at short stop, Infante stays at second, and Cabrera back at first… well just wishful thinking.

    It is one thing to lose… and it is not at all his fault, but to lose the way he did was very disappointing. Boston deserved it no doubt, everything clicked for them and they seem to have great team comradery.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:10 PM

      I still like Prince but his general demeanor the whole time he was in Milwaukee was he’s in it for the money. I can’t blame him, that’s what I’m in my career for also. That being said, now that he got his big contract this kind of reaction is no surprise to me.

      • dtownbeatdown - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:16 PM

        Yea it is just disappointing as a die hard fan. At the same rate yes, we work because we want to make money. But if we goof off or dont do our job well we get canned. But he is protected by a lengthy contract whereas we are not. His demeanor just rubs me the wrong way I suppose. Especially being from the Detroit area… if you havent heard we are doing pretty terrible over here, and to go to a game let alone a playoff game is a privilege for most fans.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:26 PM

        Hey I’m with you. I don’t like hearing this type of attitude, I’m just saying after watching for 5 years or whatever the fact that this is his attitude is no big surprise.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:28 PM

        And when players criticize fans as he did it bother me because without us there is no $209 million contract. And it bothers me when they don’t realize it.

    • 161andriver - Oct 21, 2013 at 9:08 AM

      Cano is a free agent, but forgetting that, why would the Yankees want to trade Cano for Fielder?

      Unless there is a radical new game plan that involes two first basemen, no second basemen and runs scored from veggie burger belches, the Yankees would have no interest in such a swap.

      • dtownbeatdown - Oct 21, 2013 at 2:27 PM

        I never said we would trade for him… most likely if he left the tigers the tigers would still be credited for a lot of that contract. We would pay for Cano, not trade for him. Illitch is on his death bed so I don’t think he cares much about money these days.

        And fielder was a vegetarian for like 3 months… obviously the guy is not eating “healthy,” everyone seen the beached whale flop to third base.

  4. brewcrewfan54 - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    In his defense, he’s used to coming up short in the postseason.

  5. shipdog7 - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    There were a lot of “stars” in the playoffs that didn’t produce as expected or “choked” as some have suggested. While these guys are supposed to be the best in the game, they aren’t perfect all season and beyond. Austin Jackson was a bigger failure than Fielder. Hunter never produced as he did during the season. How about those Dodgers? Cleveland and Oakland underachievers?
    Even if the Tigers can permanently fill the left field slot can that be the final piece of the puzzle? Platooning isn’t the answer. How many teams with great starting pitchers never make it to the World Series? This team is indeed a puzzle. A very expensive one at that. At what point do you cut payroll? Phil Coke was allowed to pitch to only one batter at a time. He won’t be back. How about Veras? A big disappointment. Reminded me of Valverde.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:31 PM

      I coulda told ya that about Veras.

  6. billt1969 - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    The man makes in one inning of baseball what I make in an entire year. I believe he probably doesn’t care that it’s over…whatever.

  7. rohlo - Oct 21, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    if tigers trade him,they will end up having to eat a bit of contract in the team is gonna take on that whole contract without the tigers agrreing to pay some of it still.

  8. temporarilyexiled - Oct 21, 2013 at 3:07 AM

    …when the fielder flops.

  9. db105 - Oct 21, 2013 at 5:01 AM

    Too bad MLB contracts are guaranteed.

  10. mrznyc - Oct 21, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    I’m sorry, it is a big deal – MLB is a major industry in Detroit and how it prospers or fails is based on performance – The performance of the team and the performance of it’s players. The old saw about it only being a game is bullshit – It’s a only a game in the school yard, but you do something that negatively impacts a 100 million dollar industry and it becomes a big deal. What is easy and no big deal is issuing a bunch of platatudes on your way out the door as a form of apology.

  11. ajbaxter1975 - Oct 21, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Rough ALCS for Prince “D-Cup” Fielder. Time to get in The Best Shape Of His Life in the off-season.

  12. accompanistcjp - Oct 21, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    He’s right fans don’t play – they PAY.

  13. texas1der - Oct 21, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    It’s not as though Fielder didn’t put forth effort or passion, people. He simply hasn’t had a string of success in the post season yet. Fans and management have that expectation based on his very large contract, but we can’t dictate that it happen by sheer will. Based on everything we know about his professionalism, preparation, and work ethic, I’m sure Fielder is very disappointed by his performance. However, to demand that he have the same emotional response you do, or the one you want him to have, is both irrational and immature. If he chooses to maintain an even keel, deal with it serenely, and look forward and not back, that’s a perfectly valid–even admirable–response. It’s the way real men–not media men or those with arrested development–deal with failure. It’s better than whining, blaming it on an injury, throwing equipment around, and behaving boorishly like a spoiled high school star or a preschooler.

  14. kavika6 - Oct 22, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    That “base running gaffe” was hillarious. He looked like a whale bellyflopping after a good jump out of the water at Seaworld. If he had a good attitude I would feel sorry for him and not say anything.

  15. nateboomer - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    Yeah man. These players love them some fans; especially after they lose:

    Lebron James after losing to the Mavs in 2011:

    “All the people that were rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today. I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that. So they can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal. But they got to get back to the real world at some point.”

    Detroit Lions Aaron Berry after losing to the Saints: “Y’all can go back to being Broke & Miserable,” he wrote. “now back to regular scheduled programming…”

    And now Prince (may as well add his comments to make the trifecta complete: “They don’t play”

    So glad these millionaires athletes love us peons. I tell you when it comes to their appreciation of us fans, “They Don’t Play!”

    • nateboomer - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:51 PM

      Hmm. Maybe I should have worded that last paragraph like this:

      So glad these millionaires athletes love us peons. I tell you when it comes to their “NON” appreciation of us fans, “They Don’t Play!”

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