Prince Fielder Gives the All Clear for Spring Training

The Rangers won’t lose 95 games again this season.

Main reason? The artist formerly known as Prince.

After playing in only 42 games in 2014 because of a neck injury that required surgery, Prince Fielder announced at the team’s award dinner Friday night in Arlington that he’s good to go for 2015.

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“I’ll play a pick-up game right now. I’m ready to go,” he said. “I’m good. I’m 100 percent. Whatever it was before, is back.”


Obviously there are a lot of dominoes that have to fall just right to get Texas out of the AL West cellar and back into post-season contention. But without Fielder’s offensive punch, the other ones would prove ultimately irrelevant.

The injury appears to be a hiccup, as Fielder hadn’t missed consecutive games since 2007 before last season. But his bothersome neck limited him to three homers as he led the Rangers’ record-breaking parade to the disabled list and the bottom of baseball’s standings.

When acquired for second baseman Ian Kinsler last winter, Rangers fans salivated over Fielder’s left-handed bat and Globe Life Park’s short porch in right field. Predictions topped 50 homers and then … Fielder became a pain in the neck. He’s still not sure how – or even when – the injury occurred, but it eventually required the same surgery that sidelined legendary quarterback Peyton Manning for a year.

In his first public appearance in DFW since last season, Fielder was undeniably upbeat about Spring Training and beyond.

“My kids, my wife ... I drove them crazy,” Fielder joked. “I’m sure they were tired of seeing me all the time. I just tried to live through my kids. I think I wanted to play catch with them more than they did with me.”

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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