After Prince Fielder shocked the baseball world by signing a nine-year, $214 million contract with the Tigers late last month, Cecil Fielder was quoted as saying that the relationship with his son was “doing a lot better.” Obviously something has changed over the past few days, because Cecil had some harsh words for Prince before his induction into the Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame last night.
“As a father, of course you’re proud of what your son’s been able to accomplish on the field,” Cecil Fielder, 48, said. “But as a father also you worry about how he is growing as a man, how — I want to say this correctly — how he is communicating with everybody that had something to do with how he got to where he is. And that part of my son, I think we’re all a little disappointed.”
Cecil said that Prince has no relationship with members of his extended family and that he was thrown out of the family room when he went to see his son play in Atlanta a couple of years ago. He also claims that Prince “hides behind” his agent, Scott Boras, to avoid answering questions about his family.
“There’s a lot of people that wish he would get over whatever he’s got going on with his self. … And once he gets rid of that, I think those people he needs to reach out to other than me, I think hopefully he will.”
“I know what I did for my son, and he knows what I did for him,” Cecil Fielder said. “I’m going to take the high road, stay away from it and not cause any friction. … You play for the Tigers, I played for the Tigers, do your thing. … If you want to stay stuck whatever cocoon you’re in, stay there, but I’m not going to join you.”
Cecil painting his son as the bad guy isn’t anything new, but keep in mind that he went through a contentious divorce with Prince’s mother, gambled away a lot of the family’s money and allegedly took $200,000 of Prince’s signing bonus when he was drafted by the Brewers in 2002. It’s a complicated situation and Prince obviously has his reasons for keeping his distance.
Ultimately this stuff isn’t our business, but like it or not, the status of their relationship will be a pretty familiar storyline now that Prince has followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the Tigers.