With the shocking news that Prince Fielder signed a 9-year, $214 million contract with the Detroit Tigers, many Detroiters are pondering that question with hundreds of others.
Granted, Prince's nickname is far down the list that includes questions like the following:
"Who will play 1st base this season? Miguel Cabrera or Prince Fielder?"
"When Victor Martinez comes back to DH, does that mean Cabrera will have to play 3rd?"
"Are the Tigers becoming the New York Yankees of the Midwest?"
"Does this make the Tigers the best team in the American League?"
"Detroit owner Mike Ilitch is going all-in to win a World Series. Will this do the trick?"
There hasn't been this much buzz in Detroit since the 2006 World Series. Most of that can be attributed to the Tigers showing they're willing to open the checkbook to compete financially with the Yankees and Red Sox of the world.
When Martinez suffered a freak ACL tear a couple weeks ago, it was doom and gloom. Detroit needed to find a replacement for arguably one of the best switch hitters in the game and someone who could protect Cabrera in the lineup if it wanted to keep its hold as the team to beat in the AL Central.
Fielder was always a "never going to happen" move because he wanted a long-term deal and, with the current roster, the Tigers likely couldn't offer more than a 1-year contract.
I had been clamoring for Detroit to offer Fielder a 1-year deal worth anywhere from $20-$30 million because, the peacemaker that I am knew it would have been a win-win for both sides: Fielder gets a big pay day and then, when the Tigers don't need his services for V-Mart anymore, it would allow him to hit the free agent market when teams like the Dodgers could pony up $200-plus million.
I supposed Ilitch, 82, desperately wants to win a World Series in his lifetime. That desire made him feel more than comfortable to offer Fielder a 9-year deal with an annual salary of $23.77 million.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON?
Now, "Little Daddy" will man the position his father, Cecil Fielder, played for the Tigers from 1990-96.
It was Cecil "Big Daddy" Fielder, however, that was the main reason most speculated Prince would never come to Detroit.
Due to his Cecil's gambling problems, money issues became the root of his parents getting divorced. The $47 million Cecil earned in his playing days evaporated. Most of it disappeared in casinos while other millions were lost in bad investments.
The situation finally erupted when Cecil took $200,000 of Prince's MLB signing bonus.
The father and son weren't on speaking terms for years. While time has healed some wounds and Cecil and Prince have spoken recently, the wounds aren't those that can be covered by a band-aid; we're talking about knife wounds resembling that of a stabbing victim.
Maybe coming to Detroit is a major way to begin the healing process.