I had a discussion this morning with a co-worker about Prince Fielder. We were wondering together how long it would be before Prince hit a home run this spring, and how long it would take for people to start connecting the dots between Fielder's lack of power production and his new vegetarian diet. Apparently, we aren't the only one's wondering that as Tom Haudricourt mentions it this afternoon in his blog post.
Vegetarians have a hard time getting their protein. Protein is what supplies muscle power. You can drink all the shakes and eat all the peanuts that you want - it's just not the same. There could very well be something more than coincidence here with Prince.
Besides, isn't becoming a vegetarian a weird life-decision for someone like Fielder to make? He said he did so because of a book his wife got him that described how certain animals were treated and slaughtered for food.
"After reading that, (meat) just didn't sound good to me anymore," Fielder said. "It grossed me out a little bit. It's not a diet thing or anything like that. I don't miss it at all."Notice that nowhere in Prince's explanation does he say, "I did it because I think it will make me a better ball player." If it's fair to criticize a player for being fat and out of shape, which we do all the time, I think it's fair to criticize this. The organization, and we as fans, have an expectation that players are going to keep themselves physically fit so they can play the game at the peak of their abilities. Fielder's stats so far this spring are suggesting that perhaps he's not doing that. If his power drought continues, criticism of his vegetarian diet will be fair game. Pardon the pun.