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Prince Fielder Prefers to Bat in Front of Miguel Cabrera in Tigers’ Lineup

No matter how they order it, the Detroit Tigers will have one of the best 3-4 lineup combinations in baseball. They already had Miguel Cabrera batting fourth last season behind Magglio Ordonez. Mags won’t be back, but they are replacing him with Prince Fielder.

During an interview with ESPN’s Karl Ravech Thursday, Prince said he’d prefer to bat in front of Miggy. He likely prefers to bat third because the guy hitting in front has the protection and generally sees better pitches.

Unfortunately for Prince, it does not look like he’ll get his preference. Tigers manager Jim Leyland already has a batting lineup in mind:

    1. Austin Jackson
    2. Brennan Boesch
    3. Miggy Cabrera
    4. Prince Fielder
    5. Delmon Young
    6. Alex Avila
    7. Jhonny Peralta
    8. Andy Dirks, Clete Thomas, or Don Kelly
    9. Ryan Rayburn

Outside of Cabrera and Prince, it’s not too intimidating, but they should have enough support to put up some good numbers. The thing that worries me about the rest of their lineup is that many of their guys had career seasons last year (Avila, Peralta, Boesch) and I’d be worried about a natural dropoff in production.

Miguel Cabrera Likely to Play Third Base, Prince Fielder First Base for Tigers

The Detroit Tigers shocked the baseball world by stepping in to sign Prince Fielder Tuesday. The deal is as hefty as the bulky first baseman — 9 years for $214 million, according to reports. The terms of the contract, as well as the structure of the Tigers’ current roster, makes the signing a surprise.

Detroit already has Miguel Cabrera signed for four more years with $86 million remaining on his contract. He played outfield and third base for the Marlins, but has played first base almost exclusively for the Tigers. Cabrera reportedly told a Venezuelan newspaper he expects to play third base to accommodate Prince, and a few other reporters confirmed those plans.

On top of Cabrera and Prince manning the corners, the Tigers will have Victor Martinez back after next season. Martinez’s torn ACL, which took him out for the season, is probably the reason the Tigers jumped into the Fielder contract talks. Victor is set to make $25 million from 2013-14 and he was already DHing most of the time with Alex Avila catching. If Miggy can’t work at third base, the Tigers will have three sluggers with only two positions to play them in a few years. I suppose they will wait for that time to come before worrying.

The good news for Tigers fans is that they will have one of the strongest power lineups in baseball. The bad news is they may have more sluggers than they have positions on the field. Oh yeah, they also have Prince signed until his 36. Hopefully for their sake there is an opt out clause.

Brewers, Prince Fielder Celebrate with Sully from Monsters, Inc. (Picture)

Since August, the Milwaukee Brewers have been riding a “beast mode” theme to their offense. When players get hits, they put their arms up like they’re monsters scaring children in the movie Monsters, Inc.

Prince Fielder is the player who started the whole “beast mode” theme for the Brewers (read the entire story behind it here). When his team faced a do-or-die Game 5 against the D-Backs, they broke out all the stops. They dressed a stuffed animal of “Sully” from Monsters, Inc. in a Brewers jersey and celebrated with it on the field and in the clubhouse following the Game 5 win over Arizona.

The entire idea may seem silly — and it is — but it’s fun little things like this that help teams build chemistry. The Angels had the Rally Monkey, the Cardinals have a rally squirrel, and the Brewers have their beast mode. Hey, it works.

Prince Fielder and Sons Grossed Out by Gatorade’s Protein Recover Drink (Video)

Prince Fielder may have been named MVP of the All-Star Game after hitting the difference-making three-run home run off C.J. Wilson, but he shouldn’t be expecting an endorsement deal from Gatorade anytime too soon. Fielder had his sons with him at the podium after the game and they were all distracted by the postgame beverage. Simply put, they were all grossed out by Gatorade’s Protein Recover drink. Check out the video:

After seeing that reaction from Prince and his sons, it shouldn’t surprise you that another prominent athlete had the exact same reaction to the drink. Could be worse, at least the squirt bottle didn’t blow up in his face.

Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks Booed at Home Run Derby

The 2011 Home Run Derby was pretty enjoyable, but there was one key element missing from the competition: Justin Upton. The young Diamondbacks outfielder is a reserve for the NL All-Star team but was left off the Home Run Derby team despite wanting to participate. For the first time, the Home Run Derby selected team captains from each League and allowed them to choose their teammates.

Prince Fielder was the captain of the NL squad and he chose Matt Kemp, Matt Holliday, and teammate Rickie Weeks to participate. Holliday only has 12 home runs on the season compared to Upton’s 15, so one could argue that was a stretch. But Diamondbacks fans were more upset that Fielder showed favoritism by picking Weeks, who is not known as a power hitter (though he does have 17 this season).

Arizona fans, who as we learned are much more hardcore than we ever thought, let Prince and Weeks hear it with boos. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says fans booed Prince during afternoon batting practice and throughout the Derby.

Weeks also was booed throughout the Derby. He didn’t know why he was being booed, and he didn’t care for it. “You don’t want anybody booing you,” said Weeks. “I didn’t know what it was about at first. I guess I understand. It is what it is.”

As I said, Diamondbacks fans are much more hardcore than we ever thought, and this is just one more example. But they have a right to be upset. The Home Run Derby is a time to showcase some of the best power hitters in the game. Upton hits some of the longest home runs in baseball. With the game being played at Chase Field, he was a natural fit. Prince and MLB blew it with this one and the boos make sense.

Tim McCarver Thinks Albert Pujols Has Taken the Heat off Prince Fielder

Anyone who watches FOX Saturday baseball on a regular basis knows that Tim McCarver provides some of the strangest commentary possible. The TV show Family Guy parodied him with this sad but hilarious clip that explains everything.

Even when McCarver isn’t providing analysis on games, he’s providing shoddy commentary on baseball.

In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, McCarver said that the attention paid to Albert Pujols has helped Prince Fielder. Seriously. Can’t make this stuff up.

“There has been so much emphasis put on Pujols and the Cardinals, that this has allowed Prince to relax and have a terrific year this year, unlike Albert,” McCarver said during a telephone interview. “I think Albert has taken the heat for first basemen of his ilk, and Prince is the primary one.”

“I don’t think Prince feels it like Albert does,” McCarver said. “Players deny that, but from the way I see it, I think you certainly can make a case for it. That’s one of the reasons Prince has been allowed to play as well as he’s played. All the talk has been deflected from him. It’s allowed him to play the way he can play.”

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Prince Fielder Gets $15.5 Million, Will Make Killing in Free Agency

If you’re Prince Fielder, Tuesday marked a time to rejoice. If you’re a Milwaukee Brewers fan, today is a time to remind you to start preparing for a future that does not involve the young slugger.

The Brewers and Fielder avoided the song-and-dance of arbitration by agreeing to a one-year $15.5 million contract for the upcoming season. What this means — other than the fact that Prince is now filthy rich — is that Fielder’s future earnings will be astronomical. Fielder made $18 million combined his first two arbitration years and now is pulling in $15.5 mil. That’s not a bad figure considering he’s coming off a down season where he batted .261 with 32 home runs, 83 RBIs, and an .871. This is far removed from his most productive seasons in 2007 and 2009, where he posted a 1.013 and 1.014 OPS respectively, clubbing 50 and 46 home runs.

The rising salaries for Prince despite the down year means the Brewers will have no chance at re-signing him. Even with another average season like 2010, the Brewers will NEVER be able to afford Prince. Given the high salary Fielder will command on the open market, it’s likely that the team will try to trade him, but that’s no certainty.

By acquiring Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum in the off-season, Milwaukee has made a commitment to winning now. As long as they’re winning and Prince is playing well, expect them to hang onto the slugger and to settle for the compensatory pick they’ll receive for losing a Type-A free agent in the off-season. And if the season doesn’t go as planned, expect Prince to be a goner shortly after the All-Star break.