Prince Fielder underwent neck surgery on July 29 for the second time since 2014. According to Ken Rosenthal, the 32-year-old slugger isn’t technically retiring. Instead, Rosenthal reported, “He is medically disabled and doctors will not clear him to play.”
That’s an important distinction in the semantic/contractual world. It means Fielder will receive the $96 million remaining on his contract, which runs through 2020. The Detroit Tigers are on the hook for $6 million per year. The Rangers, meanwhile, have an insurance policy that will pay 50 percent of their $18 million annual commitment, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
The real number that is staggering in the story of Prince Fielder is 319. That’s the total number of homeruns in his 12 year career. It’s also the EXACT same number his father, Cecil, hit in 13 MLB campaigns. Read that again….both Cecil and Prince Fielder hit 319 homeruns a piece. What!?!?!
To say that’s a numerical anomaly would be an incredible understatement of Seinfeldian dry sarcasm. How does that happen?!?!? The number 319 is the baseball cosmic equivalent of deja’ vu or kismet when it comes to the Fielder family. If this is indeed Prince’s last hooray, what a weird stat-nerd way to go out. Baseball is all about numbers and statistical analysis, and this one can’t be explained by any earthly science, it;s truly baseball gods at work.