Fielder: ‘Not worried’ about Chase Field boos
On Tuesday night, Prince Fielder will find out whether D-backs fans really hold a grudge.
Fielder will be back at Chase Field for Game 3 of the National League Division Series on Tuesday, and odds are that D-backs fans will boo the living daylights out of him. This is more than the usual jeers Fielder hears when the Brewers are on the road. This is personal.
It’s payback for what D-backs fans perceived as Fielder’s snub of Arizona outfielder Justin Upton in this year’s State Farm Home Run Derby, held in July at Chase Field. Fielder was named captain of the National League Derby squad and got to choose his three teammates.
The final spot went to Fielder’s longtime teammate Rickie Weeks, the godfather of Fielder’s children. That did not sit well with the locals, who jeered both Fielder and Weeks during the Derby, and showered more boos on Fielder when the Brewers returned for a regular-season series one week later.
Now the Brewers lead the best-of-five series, 2-0, and can clinch a trip to the NL Championship Series as early as Tuesday’s Game 3, which begins at 8:30 CT on TNT.
What does Fielder think of the fan reception that awaits?
“I don’t know. It’s the playoffs and we’re up 2-0,” he shrugged. “I’m not really worried about their fans too much.”
No Brewer draws more jeers when the team is on the road than the slugging first baseman. That’s what happens when you’re the high-profile son of a former Major Leaguer, a first-round Draft pick and one of baseball’s big-time home run hitters.
Some of Fielder’s teammates believe he actually feeds off the energy from the crowd, no matter now negative.
“It seems to motivate him,” left fielder Ryan Braun said. “He’s always seemed to thrive in that atmosphere.”
And Braun made an interesting point: Arizona should actually be fans of Fielder, since it was his home run in the All-Star Game sealed home field advantage in the World Series for the National League.
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