Lakeland, FL-  After spending more than a week so far in spring camp, it’s clear that the anticipation for the 2012 Tigers season is off the charts.  Big crowds, great weather and excited fans have made this one of the best spring camps I have been a part of.  Add a dose of Prince Fielder and opening day can’t get here soon enough.

When the Tigers signed Fielder in the off season, it was clear Mike Ilitch meant business.  What wasn’t immediately clear was how Prince would fit.  The Tigers already had a superstar at first base in Miguel Cabrera and a small part of me wondered how two of the game’s giants would co-exist.

It didn’t take long for the answer to become clear.  Fielder and Cabrera seemingly have become best buddies.  An interview I did with the duo earlier in the week provided a glimpse of just how much they like each other.  I told Cabrera that not many mega stars would be willing to switch positions to accommodate the new guy.  Cabrera’s answer was really telling.  “He’s a superstar too," he said.  "He makes the team better.  We want to win.”

Still, this was Cabrera’s team.  His willingness to embrace the move to third speaks volumes.  You can also tell that Fielder appreciates Cabrera’s efforts to welcome him to the Tigers family.  Jim Leyland has to be ecstatic at how the chemistry of this team has developed.  When Cabrera is not singing the praises of Fielder, he is reminding people about the other superstar in our midst, Justin Verlander.  There is plenty of credit to go around.

The duo also seems genuinely excited about hitting back to back in the lineup.  As Cabrera said, “Pitchers see Prince behind me in the lineup; they have to bring it to me.”

 Now that’s a classic line.

Both Fielder and Cabrera know they will intimidate opponents on a nightly basis and they love it.  Fielder knows it can be an advantage.

 “Intimidation is part of the game and we have it,” he said. 

While they will spend the summer scaring the daylights out of opposing pitchers they have been more than accessible to fans this spring, often spend a good part of the day signing autographs.

Fielder and Cabrera have a chance to become part of something special here in Detroit.  All signs this spring point to the fact that they will have a lot of fun doing it.


03/16/2012 09:43

I must say this is gonna be a good year with Cabrera and Fielder on the team in that order.
What i like the most is the fact that Cabrera moved back a few bases to let Fielder have the first base. And he's right, in that, once a pitcher looks over and sees fielder standing their that just, kind of puts a roadblock on weather to walk Cabrera or not. it's gonna be a hell of a year. Can't wait till opening day myself. Are you ready to call what is in my opinion gonna be a great memorable year for the Tigers? I think we're world series bound, and this time, i bet we get their. Every day on my Mader Morning Jam because I'm in michigan, the listeners, always ask me to take a piece of the show to talk about Tiger Baseball. It's exciting to hear from the world wide fans about their favorite moments of the game and for me to be able to tell them mine. It puts a smile on my face that my listeners like me, love this wonderful team, and a game which was born on the radio, but works well anyway you slice it.
I think this line-up is gonna rock the whole season and to me, with the three superstars in place, leland has a big advantage over the rest. We'll see how this year goes.
So all i can say is "Lets Play Ball!"
Hey Mario, Thanks, for doing what you do. I really enjoy your play by play work.

Jerry Mader


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