Everyone loves the fat kid
As recently as a week ago, most Brewers' fans were calling for the head... and stomach of Prince Fielder. How quickly things can change.
In his last five games, Prince has been absolutely killing the baseball. Fielder has gone 6-17 with four home runs, six RBIs and seven runs scored.
As best as I can tell, most of the hostility for Prince comes from his speaking out in Spring Training over his unhappiness with the raise the Brewers gave him. The bad feelings intensified on May 15th when Ryan Braun signed a long-term deal. I doubt Fielder's recent success has anything to do with the Braun signing, but it's hard to ignore his numbers since that time. He has raised his batting average from .252 to .280. His on-base percentage has risen from .353 to .369. Most notably on the rise has been his slugging percentage. Fielder is now slugging .474 after only slugging .410 at the time of the Braun extension.
Prince has gotten off to slow starts before so his slow start this year shouldn't have been too much of a surprise. The heightened expectations of the team as well as the 50 bombs Fielder hit last year made people crave more than maybe they should have been.
So why no love for Prince? Is it the contract? Is it something as petty as Prince being a vegetarian? How about his poor defense? What about the fact that a lot of fans blame Prince for the Yovani Gallardo injury? Or sadly, is it simply about the color of his skin? I really, for the sake of baseball, society and humanity, hope that it has nothing to do with that.
A lot of the love for Prince has come back recently and I am 100% positive that if he keeps swining a hot bat over the summer he will be as beloved as any Brewer on the team.