Prince Fielder gave his reaction this morning to the news that his friend and former Milwaukee Brewers teammate Ryan Braun had won his appeal of his 50-game drug-related suspension.
"That's great," Fielder told a group of reporters shortly before the Detroit Tigers' workout. "Obviously, I don't want him to miss those games.
"I don't really know much about it, but I'm happy he was able to clear his name."
Fielder said he hadn't been in touch with Braun about the suspension nor the appeal. Fielder said he had his own matter to concentrate on for much of the off-season: "I was trying to get a job there for a while."
Asked to describe his friendship with Braun, Fielder said, "We were close. We came up together. We hung out pretty good."
Braun and Fielder formed a powerful 3-4 combo in the order the past several years, including two playoff appearances. Tigers manager Jim Leyland cited that success as a reason he has decided to bat Miguel Cabrera in front of cleanup hitter Fielder.
Fielder was asked what kind of pride he took in Braun's winning the National League MVP last season.
"I think it's awesome that I played with him and he won," Fielder said. "But I think that's all his hard work paying off. I was just there to watch. My hitting behind him really doesn't matter. You still have to hit the ball."
Braun spoke publicly today for the first time about Thursday's decision.
He criticized the media for leaks of the positive test, saying that for the person accused, it means "you're 100% guilty until proven innocent." But, he says, "at the end of the day, the truth prevailed."
Tigers' Prince Fielder 'happy' for ex-teammate Ryan Braun
Detroit Free Press | Feb 25