In a recent article by Mac Engel from the Star-Telegram, the writer compared the signing of Prince Fielder to the signings of “Alex Rodriguez and Chan Ho Park as the worst ‘jewel’ signings this franchise has made this century.”
As a Detroit Tigers fan, this was one enjoyable article to read.
The deal between the Rangers and Tigers was made in November 2013. Both teams were excited about the deal, but the Tigers had the most on the line – especially considering the team was paying a significant part of Fielder’s contract ($30 million of it) NOT to play in Detroit.
The article arose from the fact that the Fielder is missing the rest of the season for another neck surgery. This will be his second one since joining the Rangers. Prior to joining the Rangers, Fielder missed a total of 13 regular-season games from 2006 to 2013 when he played for the Brewers and the Tigers. In four of his seasons pre-Rangers, he played in all 162 regular-season games.
Since joining the Rangers, Fielder has only made it through one complete season – 2015 and he was named to the AL All-Star Team for his .305 batting average, 28 home runs, and 98 RBIs. In 2016, he has played in 89 games, hit .212 with 8 home runs and 44 RBIs. Those will be his final stats for the year. Fielder is now 32 years old.
On the other hand, the Tigers have been thoroughly enjoying abilities of Ian Kinsler. Like Fielder, he rarely misses a game. He played in 161 games in 2014, 154 in 2015, and he has played in 99 so far in 2016. His batting averages have all been slightly under .300, Currently, Kinsler has 20 home runs – he seems to like hitting them off of the first or second pitch of the game. He also has 57 RBIs and 10 stolen bases (a stat that Fielder will rarely ever see).
Ian Kinsler is currently the best overall baseball player wearing the Old English D. His hitting is more reliable than the big bats of Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez and his fielding is more than remarkable. It is also evident from the latest social media posts that he is a joy to have in the clubhouse, too.
In Fielder’s final season with the Tigers, rumors were rampant. He was unhappy and the team was unhappy with him. This is clearly not the case with Kinsler.
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In hindsight, the Rangers finally realized that there were clear signs with the Fielder trade. Teams rarely unload superstars without reason. Obviously, there was a reason, but the Rangers thought they were getting the better of the deal – hey, they got a superstar and millions of dollars. Sparkly objects do get in the way of logical thought.
Kinsler is only two years older than Fielder, but their significantly different body types have distinguished them on the field. Kinsler’s smaller frame has allowed him to be more flexible and athletic preventing him from have any ________ (I’m not saying it). Fielder on the hand, well, we all know what he looks like (remember ESPN Magazine?) and it’s clear that the added weight has taken a toll on his body.
I never wish anything bad to happen to anyone, but it does feel good to get the validation that the Rangers took one for the team when they took Fielder and gave the Tigers one of the game’s best.
I’m hoping Ian Kinsler stays a Tigers for the rest of his career.