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.