Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Sports

A tearful Fielder brings career to a premature end

ARLINGTON, Texas — Prince Fielder wiped away tears, pointed to his two sons sitting next to him and talked about being in big-league clubhouses since he was their age.

Still wearing a neck brace 12 days after a second cervical fusion, Fielder, 32, wept Wednesday as he said health issues were forcing him to end his 12-season career.

"To not be able to play, it's going to be tough," said Fielder, once one of the most durable players in the majors.

His sons — one who turns 12 next week, the other 10 — sat with him, mostly with their heads down and also shedding tears. They have been regulars at the ballpark with their dad, much like he often was with his father, Cecil, who played 13 seasons.

"The kids actually love baseball more than Prince. It was a sad moment," teammate Elvis Andrus said. "You rarely see him like that."

When the Rangers acquired him from the Tigers in November 2013 for 2B Ian Kinsler, the first baseman had played at least 157 games every year since 2006. But Fielder played only 289 games in Texas because of two neck surgeries.

"Even though I know I struggled personally this year, this was actually the most fun I've ever had and the best I've ever felt mentally about baseball," Fielder said. "That's the only thing that really hurts about not being able to play is that my brain was really good, with my body, just, you know, it just gave out."

ORTIZ HURT: Red Sox DH David Ortiz left in the ninth inning after fouling a pitch from Yankees RHP Dellin Betances off his right shin. Ortiz, 40, who is retiring after this season, had to be helped off. Earlier, Boston said RHP Steven Wright will miss his start today with a jammed shoulder and inflammation. LHP Eduardo Rodriguez will start in his place.

STREAMING SERVICE: The Walt Disney Co. announced it would pay $1 billion for a minority stake in MLB Advanced Media's spinoff media company, BAMTech. The companies will collaborate with ESPN to launch a "multisport" subscription streaming service.

ASTROS: Two-time All-Star CF Carlos Gomez was designated for assignment.

METS: INF Jose Reyes, out since July 26 with a left oblique strain, is set to begin a rehab assignment today with Class A Brooklyn.

NATIONALS: RF Bryce Harper sat out a third straight game because of a stiff neck.

YANKEES: RHP Nate Eovaldi was pulled from his start in the second inning with right elbow discomfort.

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