It’s a well documented story that former ball player, Cecil Fielder, no longer talks to his home run hitting son, Prince. I’m not getting in to the “He said, she said” angle of the whole thing – family business should stay within the family – but it is interesting to hear Big Daddy Cecil’s take on the whole thing. Despite all the drama and hard feelings Prince has gone through regarding his father, Cecil thinks it’s a matter of time before the two begin speaking again. Prince, despite those issues, has really flourished in his short MLB career and is one of the largest spectacles in the game. No matter what happens with the relationship between father and son, here’s to hoping that it remains out of the public eye as much as possible. And, on queue, here’s an interview transcription of Cecil! Fielder joined 790 The Zone in Atlanta to discuss why he thinks things will change, when he predicted Prince would win the Home Run Derby, if he feels he’s missing out on his son’s accomplishments, and he compares his situation to the Griffeys.
On Prince winning the Home Run Derby:
“We’re getting a little older so I couldn’t stay up like I used to… I couldn’t stay up, man. I’m old … Anyways, I told my wife after the first round, I said, ‘Let me tell you something, he’s going to win that home run hitting contest. Look, when that boy starts sending that ball to center field, hitting it way up there to that damn catwalk, it’s over. He ain’t stopping because he has so much ability and so much strength straightaway… I told her he was going to win that home run hitting contest then!”
On his relationship with his son:
“No, that ain’t changed but you know what, it’s going to change. It’s all about time. I understand my son wants to be who he is by himself but you can’t do that. You’re never gonna get away from what your father did. I laid down the rug for you, the red carpet was laid out before you was born. At the end of the day, he’s going to come back and act like he’s my son again. I just got to give him his space and be proud as I am every time I look up on SportsCenter. It’s just one of those things where I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, enjoying myself and at some point, that’s going to make itself better. It is what it is and I’m just going to keep it moving.
On missing out on his son’s accomplishments:
“I don’t feel I’m missing out. The only thing I think is missing is the relationship we did have. If you go back through the archives, Prince is with me all the time… My momma said it to me best, she said, ‘You have nothing to be ashamed of or be upset about because you’ve done everything possible for that kid to be who he is today.’ When she said it like that, I stopped trying to force the issue, stop trying to force Prince to come on, man… At the end of the day, I didn’t leave my son or my son wasn’t raised by no woman… Prince was a professional baseball child, so my son never had to put that kind of emphasis on anything about me not being there for him… I am the most proud father in the world. I think it’s a lot of BS that went on that led to us not talking but I’m not about to get into that. I think his mom had a lot to do with that but anyways… I gave him everything I got, I gave him all the knowledge. You hear my son speak and I think it’s me if I close my eyes because my son has been raised in the game. He understands the game of baseball. He’s got ice in his veins; nothing makes him nervous. I was trying to stay in the big leagues. A kid like that, who is a number one pick and got a silver spoon and the carpet laid. It’s a very fine situation, it’s the Ken Griffey Jr. situation. Those kids ain’t got no problem. They’re doing what they do.”
On coaching kids recently:
“Once I retired, I kind of wanted to get away from the game but once something is in your blood, you’re never able to get away from it. It’s something that I really, really enjoy doing. Managing for me was another turn on… It’s another rush and I think I really enjoy doing that so hopefully this coming season, I get an opportunity to do that too.”