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Prince Fielder and Cutting Out Early

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Yessssssss, my minionsss
Yessssssss, my minionsss

Commitment is a scary proposition or so the gender stereotype goes. It strikes me as one of those modern aphorisms that ends up not holding water scientifically although I can envision an evolution behavior-based argument for it actually existing. Someday I might get around to investigating that, but for now, it elicits no more than a personal shrug, as I possess a mere velleity toward uncovering the truth in that matter at this time.

What I do carry a yearning torch for is Prince Fielder discussions and not only because it can help drive site traffic, but also because I have been using him as a sort of symbolic philosophical argument in my head about the entirety of the nature and conditions of our fandom. Now is not the proper time to discuss those feelings either, for I have not imbibed the requisite volume of port to so embolden myself.

Rather, a single sentence, treated almost like a throw away matter, caught my eye this afternoon. In a Fox Sports article about Prince Fielder that focused largely on how much sense the Cubs made for Fielder, and which contained laughably little actual information, Rosenthal relayed that according to one source, Fielder's agent, Scott Boras, is looking to add an opt-out clause into Fielder's contract. The baseball world is familiar with those having just experienced CC Sabathia leveraging his into an extra $30 million dollars.

Sabathia's clause, though not negotiated by Boras, took effect three seasons into a seven-year contract signed after leaving Milwaukee following his age-27 season. Prince Fielder is a free agent seemingly leaving Milwaukee following his age-27 season. Both were born in California. Those and other similarities are as striking as they are ultimately pointless. I'm sure that if Fielder signs a contract similar to Sabathia's from 2008, the media will adequately backfill the narrative, but in all truth what's matters at the moment is the general idea, not the specifics.

One of the primary concerns about Fielder is the length of contract that Boras is seeking and some fans are skittish about committing so long to Fielder. That's perfectly understandable, especially with Boras stepping up the rhetoric to now try and work Pujols' contract into the conversation. No thank you, Mr. Boras! Prince Fielder is not Albert Pujols just as he is not CC Sabathia nor is he Phil, the person who was supposed to have arrived with my pizza 20 minutes ago. I am hungry, Phil.

Given the legitimate concerns about how Fielder might age in his mid-30s, I believe that an opt-out clause, seemingly a favorable concession for the player, would alleviate the worries for some fans. But to what end? And at what point is it no longer something you would be in favor of? Part of the argument for signing Fielder is that while the Mariners are unlikely contenders in 2012, a player of his quality does not appear every season and so the team ought to capitalize on the opportunity at present and hope to build for 2013 or later. However, what if Fielder demands an opt-out after just two seasons? Would that then be wasted money for the team with Fielder ditching right when they finally need him? Or would it still be worth it?

Without actual details, only speculation is left to us, but it doesn't have to be of the mindless sort. Give it a think, you might find that it's an interesting back and forth.