The Scoop on the Fielder Kerfuffle
It’s your intrepid baseball-gossip reporter, Mr. X, back for more baseball dirt. I have learned through my sleuths the reason that young phenom Prince Fielder, hates his big Daddy Cecil, and vice-versa.
The hostility Milwaukee Brewer Prince Fielder has for his father, Cecil, is so pronounced he took the occasion of his hitting 50 home runs earlier this season to say he was motivated to reach levels his father did not.
What should have been a purely celebratory moment for the youngest player in major-league history to hit 50 homers instead was a reminder of a chilly, dysfunctional relationship between a son and father, one a current star in baseball and the other a former star in baseball.
In an interview to air Tuesday night on ESPN, Cecil Fielder tells reporter Jeremy Schaap what caused his relationship with his son to sour to a point where they don’t speak and Cecil has vowed never to attend any of his son’s games.
Prince Fielder and his mother, Stacy, declined to be interviewed for Schaap’s story.
Cecil Fielder told Schaap the estrangement began when his marriage with Stacy began to break up, with each blaming the other for recklessly spending the fortune Cecil made as a player. He says his wife turned their two children, Prince and his sister, Cecilynn, against him.
“When you got a parent hammering that it’s going south and everything that’s going south, and everything south, and your daddy did it . . . I had nothing to do with it, it’s your dad’s fault,” Fielder told Schaap.
Fielder says it was wrong for his ex-wife to bring the children into their disagreements.
“With her mashing, she wanted to involve those children and I told her, to this day, that was the wrong thing to do,” Fielder said. “And the fact that she let him think he was the man, Prince felt that he could talk to me any way that he wanted to at that point and I was like, ‘Look dude . . . it ain’t going down like that.’ ”
Schaap asked Fielder what caused the estrangement.
“I’m telling you that last conversation is the reason why we’re estranged,” Fielder said. “I’m just telling you . . . if you heard how Prince was talking to me, calling me the names he was calling me.”
Fielder wants to be a grandfather to his son’s two children.
“I ain’t going to turn my back on my grandkids because my son is acting crazy,” Fielder said.
Cecil Fielder resides in Atlanta with his second wife and Prince’s sister. He is a manager of the Charlotte County Redfish, a minor-league baseball team in Port Charlotte, Fla.
Fielder said he tried to reconcile with his son at a Brewers-Atlanta Braves games last year.
It went badly.
According to Fielder, two security men came up to him inside the park and told him his son wanted him to wait outside the park. As he was leaving, Fielder said he asked Prince’s wife if he could take a picture of his two grandchildren, who were with their mom at the game.
“So I said, ‘Hey, before I leave, let me take a picture of my grandkids,’ ” Fielder said. “So this girl says it’s up to their father. I said, ‘I will never, ever go to a baseball game to see my son play. I ain’t going.’ I will watch him play, but I ain’t going. Because that was probably the worst thing that I have ever dealt with on the baseball field or at a ballpark. My son, this kid that I raised in baseball, telling me to leave the ballpark. I ain’t never going. Until he grows up enough to talk to me like a man, I ain’t going.”
Schaap’s interview with Cecil Fielder is to air on “E:60,” an ESPN newsmagazine show to debut at 6 p.m. Tuesday.[youtube Y19tb2ZoSIY]