PHOENIX – With the World Baseball Classic underway in locations all over the globe, Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder says he’s more proud than anyone to be representing his heritage.
Starting with a first round showdown against Italy on Friday, the portly slugger will be swinging for Team Elephant Seal, along with 24 other elephant seals who have taken a break from sunning on rocky coastlines to compete against the world’s best.
Though the intense Southwestern heat has made Fielder uncomfortable in his thick layer of blubber, he’s confident that he and his elephant seal brethren will be knocking in plenty of runs.
“I might be the only one of us with big league experience, but that doesn’t mean these boys can’t hit for power,” said Fielder while chowing down on an assortment of mollusks and soft corals. “You probably won’t see us trying to steal home or anything like that, but we’ll be swinging for the fences.”
Fielder was originally asked to be an alternate for Mark Teixeira on Team USA, but Fielder declined, explaining that his loyalties went to his native species. However, despite his allegiance, few analysts give Team Elephant Seal any chance of surviving the tournament’s first round.
ESPN baseball reporter Tim Kurkjian described the heavyset lineup as the most incompetent bunch he’s ever seen take to a baseball diamond.
“I’m sorry, but Prince Fielder can’t save Team Elephant Seal from their inevitable demise,” argued Kurkjian. “I watched their scrimmage yesterday, and they managed to eat 13 different balls. When one of them drew a walk, it took him over an hour to wobble down to first base. They’re simply hopeless.”
Ignoring the critics, Fielder remains optimistic.
“So what if our arms aren’t long enough to throw a ball more than four feet? So what if we need 15-minute intermissions after each inning to get sprayed down with a hose? We believe in ourselves, and that’s all you need to win.”
Fielder then proceeded to regurgitate 75 pounds of semi-digested shrimp and tubeworms.