- The Washington Times - Monday, October 1, 2007

Prince Fielder says he wants to shut his father up.

Cecil Fielder says his son needs to grow up.

After Prince became the youngest player in history to hit 50 home runs Tuesday night, the Milwaukee Brewers first baseman said his goal is 52 — one more than his father hit in 1990.

“My dad had 51,” Prince said. “Then he can’t say anything.”

The two haven’t spoken to each other in three years.

In June, Cecil said: “I don’t think he’s grown up yet. Until he can move on and talk to me like he’s my son, we don’t need to talk.”

Prince said: “You’ve got to look at who’s saying it. Let’s be honest. He’s not really the brightest guy.”

In 2004, Prince said: “My father is dead to me.”

Prince holds a grudge — maybe because Cecil lost the family’s money through bad investments and gambling, maybe because of Cecil’s bitter divorce from Prince’s mother, Stacey, or maybe because Cecil took $200,000 of his signing bonus.

But the grudge is Prince Fielder’s to hold.

Prince doesn’t like his father, and members of the media keep asking about him.

He should be upset.

Barry’s foul ball

The ball Barry Bonds hit for his record-breaking 756th home run should not be branded with an asterisk, and the Baseball Hall of Fame should not accept it.

“It’s a historic piece of baseball history,” Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey said.

It used to be a historic piece of baseball history.

Now it’s ruined.

Historic artifacts should remain unharmed.

The Declaration of Independence doesn’t include notes on the side, some guy’s opinions on the founding fathers.

The ball hit by Bonds shouldn’t include an editorial from fashion designer Marc Ecko.

Ecko bought the ball in an online auction, and then set up a Web site for fans to vote on the ball’s fate.

The asterisk-marred ball won out over sending it to Cooperstown unblemished or launching it into space.

Bonds called Ecko “an idiot.”

The home run king is right.

The ump was out of line

Milton Bradley is right — this time.

Bradley, the often volatile outfielder with his fifth team, went off on first-base umpire Mike Winters last week.

Except it wasn’t his fault.

Bradley and Padres first base coach Bobby Meacham said Winters baited Bradley.

In fact, Meacham — not known as a volatile person — went after Winters first.

Bradley followed, and then manager Bud Black tried to restrain him.

In fact, Black restrained him so much that Bradley fell to the ground and tore his right ACL.

Three days later, Major League Baseball suspended Winters for the rest of the season.

Umpires and referees are out of line. They should officiate the game, not be a part of it.

Not only was Winters out of line, but if he used certain magic words toward Bradley, then the outfielder was justified.

He should have taken the bait, because sometimes the bait dangler deserves it.

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