Cecil and Prince Fielder share a moment at Miller Park in 2002. (AP file)
Cecil Fielder, though, has already weighed in with some public comments about his estranged son. During a MLB Network Radio interview with Casey Stern and Jim Bowden on Tuesday, Cecil — who played for the Tigers from 1990-96 — said that he and his son are trying to repair their relationship.
Said Cecil Fielder:
"Well, we're having a few chats. We're doing a lot better than we were. Time heals all wounds, man. Everybody has to come back together at some point. Number one thing, I'm just happy for him. I think everybody was a little anxious for him to get signed. With what happened to Albert [Pujols], everybody was waiting for Prince to go off the board so I know there's a lot of stress off of him and I know he's happy so, hey, that's the most important thing."
Only Prince Fielder can confirm whether that statement is true or not, but it'd be a radical change from just a few months ago if it were. Back in June, Cecil told the Yuma Sun that the two hadn't spoken since seeing each other in Atlanta the year before. "I wanted to drop a right on him instead of talking to him," Cecil said of the meeting, which obviously did not go well.
Cecil also did an interview with ESPN's Jeremy Schaap in 2007 and said the estrangement started because of his contentious divorce from Prince's mother, Stacy. Prince has never spoken at length about his reasons for the split from his father, but it's probably fair to say that money has played a large role in the feud. Cecil went through some highly publicized gambling and real estate problems after his playing career and Prince accused him of taking part of his signing bonus without permission. Cecil, meanwhile, laid a lot of the blame for his money problems on his ex-wife, which apparently did not sit well with Prince either.
With Prince reaching the pinnacle of his dad's old profession, you really hope that he and Cecil can someday see eye to eye and finally reconcile. Fathers aren't meant to be apart from their sons and it'd be nice to see Cecil sharing in the love that Prince has for his own two children. But it's obviously a complicated situation and it's hard to tell if the fact that Prince is playing in his dad's old city will help heal the relationship — or strain things even further.
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