Before this week, the only thing we knew about Prince Fielder’s recent struggles at the plate was that
well, he was struggling at the plate. This was concerning, but players go through slumps — it’s part of the game.
But this week, after Tori Hunter made comments in a radio interview about Fielder having problems off the field, it was reported that Fielder had filed for divorce from his wife in late May.
Now I think it’s a commonly accepted fact that professional athletes’ personal lives are usually not the media or public’s business and should remain “personal.” This is an interesting case, though, because it appears that Fielder’s personal life is negatively influencing his production — something that is both the public and the media’s business.
The evidence speaks for itself, too. Fielder enters tonight’s series-opener with the Kansas City Royals batting .262 with 17 home runs and 81 RBIs on the year. Now this stat line is nothing to scoff at, but considering the Tigers are paying him 23 million dollars this season, the numbers are relatively low. Especially in his last 10 games, where he has just five RBIs and no home runs.
And speaking of home runs, his last one came on July 24. Compared to the 30 he finished with last season, his recent lack of power is noticeably concerning.
So it’s not that the public or media are trying to pry into Prince’s personal life for some TMZ-esque drama. We see one of the Tigers’ best players struggling at the plate and would like some answers. Maybe Fielder’s struggles are unrelated to his marital problems, but it seems like a pretty strong coincidence.
If his production had remained consistent this entire time, than his personal life wouldn’t be a story at all, because that’s what it is, personal. However, since it’s evidently hurting his play, well that is a story, whether it’s personal or not.