Sometimes you have to read between the lines, outgoing Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. Reading between the lines Monday, you could tell he hoped fans would give Prince Fielder a break for a postgame question-and-answer session that immediately sat wrong with fans grieving the end of the team's 2013 season.
"Sometimes people make a baseball game bigger than life," Leyland said. "I'm not sure if maybe Prince was trying to see there are other things besides this baseball game. Maybe it should have come out different. [It] probably should have come out different."
Fans were reacting to what appeared to be a nonchalance about the end of the season when speaking with the media after the game.
"It's not really tough, man. It's over," Fielder said in the clubhouse after a 5-2 loss in Game 6 of the ALCS. "I got kids I got to take care of, I got things I got to take care of. It's over."
After a postseason with no RBI and a .225 average, .311 on-base percentage and .350 slugging average, resulting in boos at Comerica Park, and following a disappointing second season in Detroit in which he hit his fewest home runs during a complete season in the majors (25) and had his lowest OPS (.819), Fielder's quotes did not sit well with some.
Though the relationship between Fielder and the team's fans is not going well at the moment, Leyland has a prescription for how to win them back in 2014.
"I will say this, a few home runs in April and May and they'll be all right."