Kelly Gavin, Texas Rangers
Prince Fielder was introduced to the local DFW media on Monday afternoon and proved to be a couple of things — a shy guy who's a man of few words and a guy with a bit of a chip on his shoulder.
The former Detroit Tigers first baseman, who was dealt to the Rangers last week for Ian Kinsler, is coming off a career-worst season that ended unceremoniously with an awful postseason performance as the Tigers were eliminated in the ALCS by Boston, who went on to win the World Series.
Fielder hit .279 with a .362 on-base percentage, the second-worst OBP of his career, to go with a career-low 25 home runs and 106 RBIs. Those numbers would've been second on the team for the Rangers behind Adrian Beltre for RBIs and third in home runs behind Beltre and Nelson Cruz.
On Monday, Fielder said he's ready for a fresh start after he drew some criticism in Detroit for his "bad" season and his comments after the Tigers were eliminated.
"Everybody was on me a little bit about my performance, rightfully so," Fielder said. "I sucked. I didn't have to be reminded of it. Hopefully, we can make some memories here."
Rangers general manager and team president Jon Daniels was quick to defend his new player, from himself.
"That's a pretty good year for sucking," Daniels said.
Indeed it is. If Fielder can give the Rangers at least that in 2014, that gives them the middle-of-the-order bat they so desperately craved last year.