Jan 26, 2014, 10:44 AM EDT
It’s premature to call this a Best Shape of His Life report — we need a bit more — but be it known that Prince Fielder is officially on BSOHL watch:
He has dropped weight. He has dumped the dreadlocks in favor of a high-and-tight haircut. He will move into the featured No. 3 spot in the Rangers’ order.
“He’s going to get the MVP,” Adrian Beltre said Friday night during the club’s awards gathering at the Gaylord Texan. “It’s his time to win it. My job is to protect him so that he gets there.”
That report from Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning news. A photo of his high-and-tight haircut is there too. It’s shorter than it was even for his introduction as a Ranger a couple of months ago. It’s hard to tell whether he’s really dropped a lot of weight given the angle of the shot and the fact that he’s wearing a suit. Everyone looks good in a well-made suit.
The more interesting thing about the article is that it spends most of its time talking about the concept of lineup protection. The protection he was said to give Ryan Braun and then Miguel Cabrera as he hit cleanup for most of his career. And how, now, he’s going to hit third and how that is going to do him wonders.
I find this all fairly questionable and, ultimately, unverifiable. Most studies of the concept either debunk or diminish the concept of lineup protection. Braun and Cabrera are great hitters so they’d hit anyway and the evidence that they hit better because of Fielder’s presence skews heavily anecdotal/assertive. People say he provided protection, ergo he does.
And, sure, maybe Fielder will have an MVP-season in Texas this year. If he does I’m sure a lot of people will attribute it to him moving up to the three-slot. I’m also sure those who do will diminish the impact of moving to a ballpark that is far better tailored to his swing than Comerica Park was.
Oh well. Offseason talk.
- Greetings from All-Star week in Minneapolis 19
- And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights 65
- Joey Gallo earns Futures Game MVP honors after leading Team USA to victory 7
- Major League Baseball needs to shift the All-Star week schedule 51
- Braves suspend Dan Uggla one game for being extremely tardy on Saturday in Chicago 39
- Cliff Lee on track to return to Phillies’ rotation July 21 5
- MRI shows biceps strain, no structural damage, for Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann 2
- Settling the Score: Saturday’s results 22
- Shocker: the Red Sox publicly criticize A.J. Pierzynski after cutting him (192)
- Masahiro Tanaka diagnosed with partially-torn UCL in elbow (114)
- Giants broadcaster says Angel Hernandez “does not belong in the big leagues” (102)
- David Ortiz is not pleased that his name got pulled into the John Lackey-Nelson Cruz thing (99)
- Woman knocked unconscious during fight between A’s and Giants fans outside AT&T Park (84)