Prince Fielder signs with the Detroit Tigers

Well here it is. The day we always knew would arrive has finally come and Prince Fielder is officially no longer a member of the Milwaukee Brewers. Some held out hope that the Brewers still had a chance and that the lack of big offers coming in early meant that he'd accept the Brewers original 5 year offer. It was a nice dream, but a dream that ultimately would never come to fruition. The Brewers made their pitch, Scott Boras didn't think it was good enough and that was that. We moved on, signed other guys and played the waiting game on Prince. We waited and waited and waited some more. We waited so long that we started saying things like "Maybe Prince will decide to be a free agent next year instead and come back on a 1-year deal!" We convinced ourselves that there wasn't an offer over 6 years out there and if that was all there was then we could match it, we could get Prince back! With Prince Fielder coming back the Brewers would be better than last year, heck, they'd be better than ever!

And then Prince Fielder signed a 9 year two-hundred-and-fourteen million dollar deal with Detroit.

I won't get too into the place where Prince Fielder decided to sign too much because who cares, but I will say this: it was about the money. It wasn't about playing first base because the Tigers already have a first baseman (who could move to thrid and be bad) and a catcher (who should probably move to first in the next couple years.) He'll be a DH in a year tops. It wasn't about winning (even though they are a lock for the AL Central for at least the next two years) because they are still in the AL and have to go through Boston and/or New York to get to the World Series. It wasn't about family because the chances of his family getting shot/hooked on drugs/turned out just went up about 5000%.

The reason Prince Fielder is a Detroit Tiger is because of the money and that's pretty much the only reason he is a Detroit Tiger. This isn't a bad thing. If someone is going to offer that to him he deserves it and he should take it. The Brewers certainly weren't going to (and thank god for that.) Good for you Prince. Get that money dog. I wish someone would pay me $214 dollars to write this site for the next nine years. I can't imagine what I'd do if you added six zeroes after that. That being said, Detroit? Really?

(While we're here how the hell does Detroit have the money to offer contracts like this? The population has dropped 25% in the last decade, the auto industry is a thing of the past and the city itself is going bankrupt. If I owned that team I'd be less concerned with Prince Fielder and more concerned with getting the hell out of Detroit.)

But enough about that, let's talk about Prince Fielder in Milwaukee.

Prince Fielder is one of the greatest Milwaukee Brewers of all time. No doubt. In my mind it goes like this:

  1. Robin Yount
  2. Paul Molitor
  3. Ryan Braun
  4. Prince Fielder

Is that wrong? Is it crazy to think that Prince Fielder should probably be higher? Consider this: Prince Fielder is the Brewers all-time leader in career OBP, second all-time in slugging, OPS and homeruns (#1 Robin Yount had almost 3x as many PAs); third in walks, sixth in RBIs, eighth in doubles and number one in our hearts. From the day Prince Fielder became a Milwaukee Brewer you just sort of knew he'd be one of our all-time greats and he never did anything to shake that feeling. He came up, he hit and he continued to hit until the day he left. He was everything we dreamed he'd be on draft day and more.

The thing that I will always remember about Prince Fielder in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform isn't one of his 230 homeruns, but all the balls he didn't hit. I can't think of another player who elicited more "oohs" and "aahs" when he missed than Prince Fielder. The phrase "murdered the ball" is thrown around a lot in baseball circles, but when Prince Fielder swung and missed you had no doubt in your mind that the baseball would have died if he had just managed to make contact with it. No player has ever drove an entire stadium's imaginations wild quite like Prince Fielder when he didn't hit the ball.

That isn't to say his hits weren't great too. You probably have never experienced true baseball joy until you've seen Prince Fielder leg out a triple. It wasn't just the idea of a fat man running either, it was the effort and the look of sheer determination on his face that made it such a spectacle. Prince Fielder only hit 9 triples as a Milwaukee Brewers, but I will treasure each and every one of them. Prince Fielder hitting a triple is why I watch, read and write about baseball.

And then there is his homeruns which were just spectacular. Each one seemingly going further than the last they were always a sight to be seen. The great thing about the Prince Fielder era was that it didn't matter if the Brewers won or lost, if you went to a game and Prince hit a homerun you always felt as if you got your money's worth. Still, so many of them came in key moments with the game on the line that you never truly thought the Brewers would lose as long as Prince had at-bats remaining. That's something that is very hard to quantify, but to a fan is extremely valuable. Believing that someone can always come through for you is what being a fan is all about.

We've been completely spoiled these last few years because we've had not one, but two players that we could believe in during those moments. In a strange way the existence of Ryan Braun has made Prince Fielder underrated. He's still one of the top five first baseman in the game, but I don't feel like we truly know what we're losing right now. Maybe it's the numbers obsessed society we live in that has made us this way. I'm guilty of this myself. I know that Prince Fielder's "production" has been replaced through the team's upgrades at shortstop and third base, but what I sometimes forget is that Prince Fielder can't be replaced. The Milwaukee Brewers could be a better team next year, but it won't be the same as these past few years. They'll be a team I still love, but they won't be remotely the same.

The Brewers just lost one of their four best players of all time. We're going to miss him. The team will be fine and life will go on, but there is no way that losing him doesn't suck. You can replace his numbers, but you can't replace the feeling.

Vince Morales is the guy who runs this site. He likes the Milwaukee Brewers, pro wrestling and beer. If he offended you he is very, very sorry.

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16 comments on “Prince Fielder signs with the Detroit Tigers

  1. Great piece. It sucks. I am still mad at the Brewers for not resigning Molitor. If he had played for the crew a few more seasons, id have him above Yount, btw. With Moose Haas at 3. Jk

  2. Beautiful… seriously, great article… i choked up, i smiled, and i laughed my ass off watching fielder run in my head. thanks dude

  3. Jim's Timeout on said:

    Your ode to Fielder is spot on. He was a leader and so passionate about baseball, the team and winning. Braun (or someone) needs to step up and take over the leadership of the club. He will be sorely missed but Fielder will always be a Brewer originally and for many great years.

    I think you miss what attracted him to Detroit though, his years spent there with his Dad and his comfort level with that city, and perhaps the Midwest in general. Yeah Detroit’s got a lot of problems but it is a hard-working city that deserves a player like Prince. Hey, at least he’s not with the Cubs, right? (Absolutely).

  4. Why your not writing for the MJ or SI is beyond me. This is a great article.

  5. Anonymous on said:

    What about his inside-the-park home runs?

  6. Mike Illitch (Tigers/Red Wings Owner) loves the City of Detroit. He brings great players here to bring some hope for the people who live here.

  7. Wonderful post. My thoughts, exactly.

  8. Anonymous on said:

    As somebody who has lived in Detroit their whole life, I am offended. I understand you may be upset that we go one of your players, but I don’t think it is acceptable to attack the city of Detroit. Lets focus on the sports and not on the hometowns. Detroit may not mean much to you, but it does mean a lot to the people that have lived their through its ups and downs.

  9. shut your crybaby ass up! he went to detroit cause this is were his daddy played. And why wouldn’t it be about the money?

  10. Thanks for writing this. It was a great article.

  11. Anonymous on said:

    He didn’t attack Detroit, good grief. Don’t get bent out of shape at people who state facts, and then complain on a website meant for BASEBALL as your only statement. You make other people from Detroit look bad.

    Anyhow, no one has hit more than 38 homeruns at Comerica since it opened, even Cabrera hasn’t cracked 40 with the Tigers. Probably why other than Verlander the Tigers have such massive differences in stats at home vs. the road. Anyhow, let’s hope Prince beats the trend like we all expect him to.

    • Well caberea will place the ball with runners in scoring poss. I can bet Prince is going to hit 40 out of commerica out in left this was the best deal detroit could have made. Prince grew up here and will retire a tiger! GO TIGERS!!!

  12. This is why MPD is the best brewer blog. Great ode to “beast” I’m gonna miss him.

  13. Don’t talk crap about something you know nothing about. Detroit is my home

  14. Try and find a city that sells out it’s mediocre at best sports teams as consistant as Detroit does, look at what the fans did for the Lions for god sakes…..they sold out games when they went 0-16. This is a baseball town bottom line, many greats have come here, played here, and loved it here. They have a better combo with Prince than Milwaukee did (Give me Cabrera over Braun any day) not to mention the MVP and Cy Young award winner and a closer who was rocky but still perfect. This team has been closer than the Brewers have been the last 6 years and when you mention Yankees and Red Sox, the Tigers have proven in both of their post season appearances they can handle the Bronx Bombers. Prince and Miggy will be all-stars for the next 5 years together at least! Bless you Boys!

  15. His family’s chances of getting shot, hooked on drugs, really?? He’s going to live in the suburbs. Are you high?

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