MLB Notes: Prince Fielder done after second surgery
Tue., Aug. 9, 2016
Texas Rangers slugger Prince Fielder will have to quit playing baseball after his second neck surgery. A person with direct knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press that Fielder isn’t formally retiring, but that doctors won’t give the six-time All-Star medical clearance to play again. That person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday because there was no official announcement from the Rangers or Fielder about his future.
The Rangers said only that Fielder would hold media availability Wednesday when the team returns home after an eight-game trip. Texas won at Colorado 7-5 on Tuesday.
Fielder , who is signed through 2020, had a cervical fusion on July 29 to repair a herniation between two disks in his neck. That was done just above the area where Fielder had the same procedure in May 2014, only 26 months earlier.
He will finish his 12 MLB seasons with 319 career homers, the same number that his father Cecil Fielder had in 13 seasons but fewer games.
Before surgery in 2014, Prince Fielder had MLB’s longest active streak of 547 consecutive games played. He played in 809 of 810 possible games from 2009-13 with Milwaukee and Detroit, after playing at least 157 games each of the three seasons before that.
The Rangers acquired Fielder from Detroit in November 2013 for second baseman Ian Kinsler.
Fielder hit .247 with three homers and 16 RBIs over 42 games in 2014 before the first surgery. He came back to play 158 games in 2015, when he hit .305 with 23 homers and 98 RBIs but slowed late in the season. The stout first baseman and designated hitter will finish this season at a career-low .212 with eight homers and 44 RBIs in 89 games.
Fielder was only two years into a $124 million, nine-year contract when he got to Texas. His annual salary is $24 million each of the next four seasons, of which $6 million is due from the Tigers as part of the 2013 trade and the remaining $18 million from the Rangers, though half of their liability is expected to be covered by insurance.
Over 1,611 major league games with the Brewers (2005-11), Tigers (2012-13) and Rangers (2014-16), Fielder hit .283 with 1,028 RBIs. The only other father-son duo with more than 300 homers each is Bobby and Barry Bonds. Cecil Fielder got his 319 homers in 1,470 games over 13 seasons with five teams.
Ortiz bobblehead ‘offensive’
The Red Sox canceled a David Ortiz bobblehead promotion when the figurine turned out to be “racially insensitive,” said team president Sam Kennedy. The bobblehead depicts Ortiz addressing fans at Fenway Park following the Boston Marathon bombings. Kennedy says it didn’t resemble Ortiz much and was not fit for distribution.
“My personal reaction was it was offensive and, to me, kind of appeared racially insensitive.” Kennedy said.
Didgers disappointed in Puig
Days after a demotion to the minors, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig posted videos to his Snapchat account Monday night of him partying with his new Triple-A teammates. The series of videos came after Oklahoma City’s 3-2 loss at the Iowa Cubs. Puig posted videos of him and his teammates dancing, singing and chanting, often using profanity.
“We are aware of what Yasiel posted on social media … this is a matter we will address internally,” Andrew Friedman, Dodgers president of baseball operations, said.
Clearing the bases
Angels’ Tim Lincecum accepted a demotion to the Los Angeles’ Triple-A team. Lincecum plans to report to Salt Lake City this week. … Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez will only start in Thursday’s finale of the series at Boston before playing his final game in pinstripes at home on Friday night. Rodriguez will be released following his final game and will shift into a role as a special adviser. … Giants manager Bruce Bochy was released from a Miami hospital after spending the night there with an undisclosed illness. … Washington’s Bryce Harper is out of the Nationals’ lineup for the second consecutive game because of a stiff neck. Harper has not played since leaving the Nationals’ game Saturday against the Giants. … The White Sox put OF Avisail Garcia on the DL with a right knee sprain before Tuesday’s game against the Royals. … The Marlins placed closer A.J. Ramos on the 15-day DL with a right finger fracture. … The Cardinals placed Michael Wacha on the 15-day DL with shoulder inflammation. … Cubs IF Tommy La Stella refused to report to Triple-A Iowa after being optioned to the minors and Chicago placed him on the temporary inactive list. … Indians OF Michael Brantley saw a specialist and the team said he has symptoms consistent with chronic biceps tendinitis. … Cleveland manager Terry Francona did not manage the Indians in Tuesday night’s game against the Nationals after complaining of chest pain while speaking to reporters before the game. The Indians say Francona was examined by the Nationals Park EMT and remained at the stadium.
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