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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Torii Hunter implies Prince Fielder is having off-field problems

Prince Fielder TigersPrince Fielder is having a down season by his standards, and teammate Torii Hunter implied on Tuesday that the Detroit Tigers first baseman is being affected by some off-field issues.

Hunter was appearing on the “Ryan and Rico” show on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM when he talked about Fielder. Hunter says he heard fans being critical of Fielder and wanted to defend his teammate. He was asked about what’s going on with Fielder when he offered a response.

“Prince is a strong guy, man. A lot of people don’t know what’s going on in his life,” Hunter told the hosts. “But this guy is a strong guy. He’s out there every day. He won’t come out of the lineup no matter what’s going on off the field or on the field. He’s a strong guy. Us as players, we know what’s really going on. And we appreciate him going out there every day, despite …”

The hosts respected Hunter’s desire to not delve further into Fielder’s issues and let it go.

Fielder did not want to make an issue of anything when asked about Hunter’s comments before Tuesday’s game at the Chicago White Sox.

“I’m gonna turn the story off. It’s fine. Everything’s fine,” Fielder said, via MLive.com’s Chris Iott.

It’s no surprise that Fielder didn’t want the story going any further. The guy really has avoided drama for most of his career. He is also incredibly reliable, having only missed one game from 2009-2012. But Fielder’s numbers are down this season. He’s batting .261/.352/.432, and his .784 OPS is his lowest since his rookie season. Fielder is not having a poor season, but he’s not having his usual all-star season. There’s still plenty of time for him to get hot and put aside any questions about whether he’s being affected by personal issues.

You can listen to audio of Hunter’s interview below:

Forearm bash to Hardball Talk

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