The Big Guys ('photo courtesy of J-Torto, who e-mailed this to me. It was taken in 2009.)
A tradition at The Only Colors, KJ told me this was his reaction to the signing. So naturally I had to lead with it.
Flashback: Prince Fielder displays his dad's skill with bat as 8-year-old | Detroit Free Press
Here's an article that ran in the Free Press on June 3, 1992, featuring an 8-year-old Prince Fielder looking well-fed.
Prince Fielder McDonald's Commercial 1992 - YouTube
Pretty good arm on young Prince as he strikes his daddy out in an ad for McDonalds. Prince still looked well fed. Now I guess he needs the veggy burger version.
Cecil Fielder On Prince Heading To Detriot - ESPN video
Prince Fielder's father, Cecil, talks about Prince heading to the Tigers.
Cecil Fielder also among those shocked his son signed with Tigers - JSOnline
Of course, it's been documented that the relationship between father and son has gone downhill since then, although Cecil says here it's improved a bit.
Craig Calcaterra wrote:
Anyway, the point of all of this is that I don’t see a father-son reconciliation as some necessary component of Prince Fielder going to Detroit. And, even though it would be nicer if the two of them had a good relationship than a poor one, I hope that Prince doesn’t get pestered too much about it by virtue of the public’s need to seek closure or resolution of a relationship that, by all rights, shouldn’t concern us.
Tony Paul with a nice summary of the good and bad points of the deal, notes Fielder has been quite durable. He plays 160 games a year, average.
Garret reacts like the rest of us: with shock.
He doesn't like it either. At $214 million, Fielder's new contract could prove to be a disaster for Detroit. Of course, if Fielder helps lead the team to its first World Series title since 1984 in the next couple of years, some Tigers fans may feel it was a price worth paying.
Our Twins sister site writes:
The Tigers have clearly mortgaged the future to make a stab at a championship in the next two or three years, and the ramifications of this signing will be felt throughout the AL Central for the next decade. And major questions linger about what the club's defense will look like in 2013 when they'll be forced to find room for three players that are best suited for the role of designated hitter.
Here's where I disagree. Anyone who thinks the Tigers have mortgaged their future hasn't been paying attention to the way the Tigers have done business for the past few years. The contract is expensive, but people are not viewing it through the prism of how Mike Ilitch and his team actually operate. Remember when they were supposed to be heavy sellers in 2009, trading Miguel Cabrera just to get out from under his contract? How'd that work out, pundits?
Doc Worn works his way through the timeline and implications of the move.
Jonah Keri, using ZiPs figures from Dan Symborski, thinks the Tigers are going to end up on the wrong end of this deal. And, well, by the end that very well might be true. (Hard to worry about nine years down the line, honestly.) But those numbers look a bit low to me in the early years, to honest. And I think the $/WAR figure really should be more of a sliding scale based on that sweet spot that occurs in the mid-80s to mid-90s in team wins. So in the end, I think the value of Fielder's contributions has been underestimated, too.
On $-per-Win Estimates of Baseball Players’ Worth -- JC Bradbury's Sabernomics
This is what I meant in the above. Now I'll tell you, there are various theories on this. Fangraphs and TangoTiger argue that the price of a WAR should be stable, but I really have to agree with Bradbury and others who argue the value changes depending on where a team is in the win curve.
David Schoenfield writes:
Yes, this situation will create a logjam in 2013 when Martinez returns with two years and $25 million left on his contract. But I don't think Tigers owner Mike Ilitch cares one bit about 2013 or how much Fielder will weigh in 2020. The contract is certainly excessive and likely to be an albatross by the end of it, but if Fielder helps deliver a World Series title to the Tigers in 2012, I'm pretty sure Ilitch will take your criticism and stuff it inside the crust of one of his pizzas.
Schoenfield sets the over/under at 35, citing the fact Tigers left handers haven't had high home run totals at Comerica Park. I don't think the Tigers have really had any left-handed sluggers like this. Detroit hardly even had a left handed batter in a few of those years. Curtis Granderson was as close as it came before Brennan Boesch, who is yet to play a full season. Also: Although other factors may be at work, Miller Park's fences in right field are about the same distance away as at Comerica Park. Slightly further, actually. I'd take the over and go with 38.
Here's another set of projections with details about how they came to be.
Drew Sharp takes the opposing view? Well that never happens!
It makes absolutely no sense paying two guys who basically are the same player more than $45 million annually. And anyone who thinks Miguel Cabrera "easily" could move to third base or leftfield, do you need a reminder of how badly that played out in 2008?
Signing Prince Fielder was never the plan. Just last week, I mocked the idea in print. I was going by everything the Tigers said publicly, everything they hinted at privately, and logic. That was my mistake. I'll try not to make it with this team again.
Ditto that one! Rosey won't learn his lesson and neither will I.
Ken Davidoff's take:
Of course, it's irrational, in the way that any nine-year deal is irrational, especially for a poor-fielding first baseman. But if everything in life is relative, then I like this deal far more than the Angels' 10-year investment in Albert Pujols.
I am shocked -- SHOCKED -- that Dave Cameron does not like a decision by the Tigers. That never happens!
We discussed this on the podcast: If Miguel Cabrera does in fact move to third base, what does it mean for Brandon Inge, who seems to be displaced by every major acquisition (Pudge, Cabrera, now Prince). I don't think the Tigers know for sure honestly. But I could see Inge as a late-innings replacement.
Cespedes has the final hurdle cleared to be declared a free agent. I would assume the Tigers' interest has waned, but you never know.
This NY Times story that has a bunch of links I didn't even include.