The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Prince Fielder so much new with Rangers, takes field day before first official workout

  • Print

SURPRISE, Ariz. - When a grounder ricocheted off Prince Fielder's mitt during his first workout with the Texas Rangers, he quickly held it up and proclaimed with a smile, "It's new."

So much is new this spring for the All-Star slugger. He's in Arizona for spring training, not Florida. He has a No. 84 on the back of his uniform, not No. 28. And he is on a new team.

"It felt good. It was a lot of fun," Fielder said. "Nice easy day, I had a lot of fun meeting my new teammates. So yeah, I'm excited."

Fielder joined other veteran Rangers players on the field for more than an hour Wednesday, taking grounders and some batting practice on the day before the first official full-squad workout. It was also the first day in camp for shortstop Elvis Andrus, who was also part of the session.

After cutting off his dreadlocks during the off-season and going through some mixed martial arts workouts, Fielder appears trim. Asked he if had lost any weight, Fielder chuckled and said he didn't know for sure since he doesn't allow any scales in his house.

"I feel great. Lost a couple of pounds cutting the hair, so that helps," he said. "I just want to be athletic and not carry around so much weight. ... I have no idea what it is, but I think I lost something. I definitely lost something."

The Rangers acquired Fielder from Detroit in November in exchange for All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler. Fielder was only two seasons into a $214 million, nine-year contract he signed with the Tigers before the 2012 season, when the Rangers also interested in him.

Texas manager Ron Washington reiterated his plan to have Fielder batting third, after Andrus and before Adrian Beltre, who led the American League with 199 hits last season.

"Prince Fielder, he's always been the protector, now I'm going to make him the protectee," Washington said.

The past three years, Fielder batted behind that season's MVP — Ryan Braun in Milwaukee in 2011 and Miguel Cabrera the last two years with the Tigers. Beltre has said it is Fielder's turn to be an MVP.

"Nice, that sounds good," Fielder said. "I'm not going to argue that. I hope that happens."

Fielder was the only player at first base Wednesday, while there were multiple players at the rest of the infield spots. He took grounders and made some throws, extending a segment by going "one more, one more" after a wide throw to second base that he didn't want to be his last. He seemed at ease with the ongoing banter initiated mainly by third baseman Beltre and Andrus.

When middle infielders worked on turning double plays, Beltre came to the other side of the diamond and rotated with Fielder taking throws.

Beltre told the middle infielders, "We got it, don't worry about it" after Fielder made a nifty pick of a throw in the dirt.

"Everybody's laid back, they work hard," Fielder said. "That's all you ask for, good people who work hard and everybody wants to have fun, which is a big deal when you have to be together with people for so long."

Before talking to reporters for about 10 minutes, Fielder changed from his uniform to a black T-shirt with Mickey Mouse's face on it. On the back was the No. 28, the number he wore through his 1,322 career major league games so far, with Milwaukee (2005-11) and Detroit (2012-13).

"I just want Prince to be Prince. I don't want him to come here and try to think he's got to take us on his shoulder," Washington said. "I just want him to do what he does and let everyone else do what they do, and everything will work out."

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Cheapskate: Publicity

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. Baby peregrine falcons. 21 days old. Three baby falcons. Born on ledge on roof of Radisson hotel on Portage Avenue. Project Coordinator Tracy Maconachie said that these are third generation falcons to call the hotel home. Maconachie banded the legs of the birds for future identification as seen on this adult bird swooping just metres above. June 16, 2004.
  • Ruth Bonneville Winnipeg Free Press January 18, 2011 Local Standup -

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who do you think will win NHL's Calder Trophy for rookie of the year?

View Results

Ads by Google