BREWERS FIRST BASEMAN
The 2011 All-Star Game MVP and free-agent-to-be is making a run at NL MVP, hitting a career-high .304 with 26 HRs and 85 RBIs.
Dan Patrick:Things got heated with the Cardinals last week. What happened?
Prince Fielder: [Brewers reliever Takashi] Saito hit Albert [Pujols]—obviously not on purpose. Then, I don't know if it was on purpose, but one got away from their guy. They gave us a warning, and it was over after that.
DP:The Cardinals' Jason Motte hit your teammate Ryan Braun. Did you know they were going to try to plunk someone?
PF: It's in your mind. It's not that big a deal. Obviously it sucks being the one getting hit. Braunie's all right. Nobody got hurt. You don't want to make too big a deal about it. Then you forget what the real goal is.
DP:How many teammates would it take to hold you back if you got hit?
PF: I don't get mad anymore. I've given that up.
DP:Complete this sentence: If Albert Pujols is going to get that amount of money, I should be getting ... what?
PF: I don't know.
DP:Are you up there with Pujols?
PF: I don't think so. I have a lot more years to play at the level I'm playing at. He's been doing what he's been doing for 10 years now. [A guy] with 400 home runs. A guy who hits .330 every year. I'm doing all right. But I'm definitely not at that level yet. I have a few years to go before I get there.
DP:Have we seen your best?
PF: I hope not.
DP:What do you want to get better at?
PF: I want to be a complete hitter. I'm not saying .300 is the goal, but I just want to make the pitcher throw strikes.
DP:You're hitting right around .300.
PF: There's still times I'll chase the ball out of the zone and get myself out.
DP:Which pitcher frustrates you the most?
PF: [Braves closer Jonny] Venters. I met him at the All-Star Game, and he's a cool guy. And he's really tough on me. When a guy is nice and nasty at the same time, it's not fun.
DP: You're not supposed to be friends with pitchers.
PF: He got me. The sinker at 97 from the left side ... I'm not used to that.
DP:Did you play football in high school?
PF: No, I didn't. In high school they always wanted to post your weight when you're on the team. I was like, "You don't need to put my weight up there."
DP:So you would have played if they didn't list your weight?
PF: I probably would have played. In high school you want a girlfriend. You don't want them to see that. You're trying to camouflage stuff.
DP:Were you three spins in high school?
PF: Oh, yeah.
DP:What position would you have played?
PF: That's the thing. I was still quick. They wanted to put me on the offensive line. I wanted to have a little more glory.
DP:Do any of your teammates ask if you were named after Prince the musician?
PF: All the time.
DP:Are you a fan?
PF: Prince is cool.
DP:How many Princes make up one Prince Fielder?
PF: About five.
• Feelin' Blue
Boise State coach Chris Petersen told me he wasn't happy this off-season when the Mountain West Conference said the Broncos couldn't wear blue uniforms on their blue home field. When I suggested to Petersen that he coaches a bona fide football powerhouse and doesn't need the blue-field gimmick any more, Petersen would have none of it. "We don't even think twice about [the color of the field]," he said. "Maybe because we're around it so much, but it doesn't even look strange to us."
Last week South Carolina banned players from using Twitter, and other college football programs will likely follow suit. Oklahoma's Bob Stoops hasn't outlawed tweeting, but he told me he's concerned. "Unless you show yourself to be a fool with it, I'll allow you to do it," Stoops said he told players. "As soon as it gets in the way of what we're doing, putting out information on our team ... you're out of it."
• Line of the week
Adam Sandler refuting reports he called Nnamdi Asomugha in an attempt to recruit him to the Jets: "What do I have to offer to that man? The only advice I could give him was how to run a 40 a little slower."
Now Hear This
Listen to the podcasts at danpatrick.com
1. Josh Hamilton puts a positive spin on the trials of his 2011 season.
2. Steve Spurrier on lofty expectations for the Gamecocks.
THE FINE PRINT: The Braves' Dan Uggla hit in 28 straight games to raise his average to .220. S&P upgraded his rating to Joe D-minus.
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II/1DEUCE3 PHOTOGRAPHY (PATRICK)
BRIAN LOSNESS/US PRESSWIRE (PETERSEN)
NOEL VASQUEZ/GETTY IMAGES (SANDLER)
JOHN BIEVER (FIELDER)