(ARLINGTON, Texas) — If his new jersey number is any indication, new Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder is embracing his new team.
The Rangers introduced Fielder on Monday, several days after acquiring him from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Ian Kinsler.
Fielder will have to adjust to a new team, a new city, and a new ballpark, but the 29-year-old is most excited for his new number: He is going from No. 28 to 84.
“I just wanted a new number — a fresh start, a fresh number,” Fielder said. “Eighty-four is the year I was born. I think it works. That’s as deep as I’m going.”
Many have criticized Fielder for the numbers he put up with the Tigers in 2013. He batted .279 with 25 home runs and 106 RBIs, but posted career-lows in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and long balls.
“Everybody was on me a little bit about my performance, rightfully so,” Fielder said. “I sucked. I didn’t have to be reminded of it. Hopefully, we can make some memories here.”
Rangers general manager says Fielder will bat third in the lineup, something that he isn’t used to but will embrace fully.
“Prince has protected so many players, it’s his turn to be protected,” Washington said.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire