Prince Fielder: “I can’t play Major League Baseball anymore”

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Prince Fielder, walking away from the game due to medical necessity after a 12-year career, gave an emotional press conference in Arlington, Texas today, bidding his playing days adieu.

With his children by his side and the entire Texas Rangers team in attendance, Fielder offered tearful words about how his wife and family are there for him as support, Fielder said what no ballplayer every wants to say: “I can’t play Major League Baseball anymore.”

Fielder, who wore a neck brace during the presser due to his recent surgery, said that his kids wouldn’t allow him to be upset. But there was no avoiding the powerful emotion he was feeling as he said goodbye to his life as a major league ballplayer. He said “I don’t feel any less about myself,” and he thanked his sons, sitting to his left, for always making him feel like he was “the best.” He then thanked his agent, Scott Boras, sitting to his right, for being there for him since he was 19 or 20 years-old, joking that “getting contracts . . . that helps too.”

Fielder said “I thought I was just gonna cry in the car,” but the tears flowed. Watch:

After Fielder spoke Rangers manager Jeff Banister said, “he’s our teammate. He’s as important to our organization than the guys that are on the field right now.”

Fielder was a unique player and a unique presence in Major League Baseball. His presence will be missed.

Shohei Ohtani agrees to $30 million deal for 2023 with Angels

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani agreed to a $30 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels for the 2023 season in the two-way superstar’s final year of arbitration eligibility before free agency.

The Angels announced the deal, avoiding a potentially complicated arbitration case with the 2021 AL MVP.

Ohtani’s deal is fully guaranteed, with no other provisions. The contract is the largest ever given to an arbitration-eligible player, surpassing the $27 million given to Mookie Betts by the Boston Red Sox in January 2020, a month before he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ohtani is having another incredible season at the plate and on the mound for the Angels, regularly accomplishing feats that haven’t occurred in the major leagues since Babe Ruth’s heyday. He is a strong contender for the AL MVP award again alongside the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, who has tied the AL home run record and is closing in on the batting Triple Crown.

Ohtani is batting .276 with 34 homers, 94 RBIs and a .888 OPS as the Halos’ designated hitter. He is 15-8 with a 2.35 ERA and 213 strikeouts as their ace on the mound, and opponents are batting only .207 against him.

The 28-year-old Ohtani still will be a free agent after the 2023 season, and his future could be tied to the immediate fortunes of the Angels, who will complete their seventh consecutive losing season next week. The Angels didn’t trade Ohtani at the deadline despite being out of the playoff race again, and Ohtani is wildly popular among the club’s fans.

Ohtani repeatedly has said winning will be an important factor in choosing his home beyond 2023, and Angels owner Arte Moreno is currently exploring a sale of the team.

Moreno’s leadership has been widely criticized during the Angels’ mostly miserable run of play since 2009, and a fresh start with deep-pocketed new owners could be the best chance to persuade Ohtani to stay with the franchise he joined in 2018 from Japan. Ohtani immediately won the AL Rookie of the Year award, and he rounded into unique form last season after recovering fully from Tommy John surgery.