The latest to offer an opinion (or in this case a “take”) bout the Prince Fielder-vs.-the-Giants affair: Jim Rome.
I get that baseball’s code is arcane, vague and indecipherable. And that only the guys who actually play the game understand it. But you don’t need to be a major leaguer to know Fielder was way out of line with that celebration and that there’d be some retaliation. Of course, Fielder thought it was unjustified: “If that’s what they gotta do, let them hit me once, if it makes them feel better.” Actually, Prince, it pretty much made everyone in baseball feel better.
To the first part of that sentiment, I offer the rebuttal that while baseball’s code may have arcane elements, it’s hardly indecipherable. Hell, there’s a whole book dedicated to the very notion of describing it in detail. (It drops Tuesday, for those of you scoring at home.)
As for the rest of it, though, Rome pretty much nails it, quoting Fielder’s answer to a question about whether it was worth it. “Hell yeah,” he said. “That’s something I did with me and my teammates. It has nothing to do with them. You’re damn right it was worth it.”
It’s the sentiment of a lesson un-learned. Prince is a smart guy, and was raised amid big league clubhouses by an All-Star father, Cecil Fielder. He knows the game, he knows the Code, and he knows that there’s a price to pay for such a blatant violation.
Which makes it all the more curious. Perhaps this is the latest salvo from a member of the me-first generation, whose embrace of individual expression trumps tradition in nearly every circumstance. For personal reasons, Prince has repudiated his father; perhaps he’s also out to repudiate a system in which his father believed.