ST. LOUIS, MO: Prince Fielder #28 of the Milwaukee Brewers strikes out against Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals beat the Brewers 4-2. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
We're well into the new year, now, and some people are wondering why Prince Fielder is still a free agent. It's really not a mystery.
It's January 10, and all anybody wants to talk about is Prince Fielder. Also Iran and Santorum and M83 and probably The Verge and Matt Garza, but also Prince Fielder. Prince Fielder is a free agent first baseman in baseball, and a lot of people are wondering why. Why hasn't Prince Fielder signed? For a free agent, it's not too late, but it's getting pretty late. When will Prince Fielder find a destination?
I find the whole thing to be curious. Not the part where Prince Fielder is still a free agent. The part where people don't understand why Prince Fielder is still a free agent. To me, there isn't any mystery. Prince Fielder is still a free agent because he's really bad at baseball.
You probably don't believe me. If you believed me, you wouldn't be wondering what's going on. But all you have to do is look at the footage with your own two eyes. There's no denying the truth, here. Shall we begin? I have a lot to get through.
We'll start with the basics. Does Prince Fielder have any power? Power's usually something you look for in a free agent. Unfortunately, Prince is sorely lacking.
When Fielder really gets into a pitch, he can hit it almost to the warning track. But he doesn't do that very often. More of his at bats look like this:
He frequently hits the ball like Ichiro in a cast. If he hits the ball at all. Prince Fielder also struggles with his plate discipline.
He swings at pitches nowhere near the strike zone and doesn't swing at pitches in the middle of the strike zone. This is another way in which Prince Fielder is worse than a lot of other players.
So we've established that Prince Fielder pretty much can't do anything at the plate. What about in the field? Unfortunately, this is unfortunate. He isn't very good at handling ground balls.
When the ball does find its way into Fielder's glove, he will very often make a sucky throw.
So Fielder can't play offense and he can't play defense. Can he run?
No, he can't even stand up without falling down for no reason. Running is out.
To make matters worse, Fielder has a bad attitude. He is mean!
Mean, and almost impossibly lazy. Maybe because he's aware of his limitations, Prince Fielder will very frequently try not to play baseball.
One time he stole sunglasses from a fan because he forgot his own like an idiot.
And as the cherry on top, Fielder occasionally suffers from crippling social anxiety.
There's really no question to me why Prince Fielder is still a free agent. Prince Fielder is still a free agent because he is an absolutely terrible baseball player who can't hit or field or throw or stand up or say words sometimes. He is represented by super-agent Scott Boras, and Boras has floated alleged "statistics" while insisting on a long-term contract worth $200 million, but baseball teams aren't stupid. They've looked at the film, and they know that Prince Fielder is horrible at everything. Hence the current standstill.
Will Fielder find work? Will Scott Boras get him a contract? Boras has a proven track record of doing great work for his clients, so it's not out of the question that Boras could scare something up. But more interesting than the matter of Fielder's future employment is the matter of Fielder's past employment. How is it that a player with so little going for him played so often for so long in Milwaukee? It's that kind of misevaluation that has allowed the Brewers to go this long without a title.