Oh, would he have preferred Comerica Park's baseball field at midday Friday to that media crowd and its cameras closing in on his locker.

Prince Fielder's passion is playing baseball. Talking he could do without, unless it's kibitzing and giggling with his clubhouse and batting-order sidekick, Miguel Cabrera, or with a random Tigers teammate who can easily light Fielder's bearded face with a schoolkid's grin.

But the interview routine is not his bag. On the eve of tonight's Division Series game between the Tigers and Athletics at Comerica Park, Fielder initially fouled off questions as if they were fastballs on the strike zone's fringe.

Only when talk turned to his teammate, specifically Cabrera, did the Tigers first baseman become animated.

"I've had the best seat in the house," Fielder said of his on-deck perch as Cabrera blasted his way to the Triple Crown.

But that "best seat in the house" Fielder raves about has been akin to the mansion your next-door neighbors just built — it benefits everyone's property values. Fielder has been Cabrera's benefactor as pitchers who dreamed about intentionally walking Cabrera feared putting aboard a runner ahead of Detroit's cleanup masher.

It is a pairing straight from the 2011 Milwaukee Brewers, for whom Ryan Braun won the National League's Most Valuable Player trophy, in part because Fielder stood behind him.

"It's good," Fielder said of his roles in Milwaukee and with the Tigers, which became his new employer after he blindsided all of baseball signing a January contract good for nine years and $214 million. "I just try to do my part.

"But, he's the man," he said, with a nod to Cabrera's locker. "He's the best hitter in baseball."