BOSTON -- Prince Fielder may have been the first Tiger who got passed the disappointment of losing in six games to the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship Series.
Fielder's words suggested that he already was over the Tigers' elimination less than a half-hour after a 5-2 loss in Game 6, but his actions seemed to tell another story.
Fielder was one of the first players to talk to the media in the cramped visiting clubhouse. Yet as the media were wrapping up interviews with the final few players who had not yet spoken, many of whom already had showered and dressed, Fielder sat at his stall still in uniform.
Fielder is a very private man, so it's no surprise that he didn't spend much time talking about the disappointment of falling short of a return to the World Series.
Asked whether the loss would linger, Fielder said: "Nah."
Asked to expand on that answer, Fielder sad: "I got kids, man. You gotta be a man about it. I got kids. If I'm sitting around pouting, how am I going to tell them to keep their chins up if something doesn't go their way? Definitely, it's over."
Fielder acknowledged there was disappointment as a team. "We didn't win," he said. "If I didn't get any hits and we'd have won everything, it would have been all right."
The Tigers had taken a 2-1 lead on the Red Sox in the sixth inning and looked as if they might be able to break the game open with Fielder on third, Victor Martinez on first and no outs. But Fielder was caught between third and home for what turned into a double play.
"I was trying to keep us out of a double play," Fielder said of being halfway home on a ground ball Jhonny Peralta hit to second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia tagged Martinez, going from first to second, and then fired home. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia hustled up the third-base line and tagged Fielder, who made a desperation dive that landed short of the base.
Asked whether he thought it would have been better to go home rather than stop, Fielder said: "Yeah, probably. But it's over, bro."
Asked whether it was tough knowing that there would be no game to play Sunday, Fielder said: "It's not really tough, man. For me, it's over. I got kids I gotta take care of, I got things to take care of. For me, it's over, bro."
Told fans might not be able to understand how he could get over it so quickly, Fielder said: "Because they don't play."
"If you have responsibilities," he said, "it should be. You shouldn't take your work home. I gotta still be a father and take care of my kids. I gotta move on."
Fielder said baseball was a game of disappointments.
"Failure is part of the game," he said.
Fielder said the players had expectations that weren't met.
As for other people's expectations, Fielder said: "If you try to live up to other people's expectations you're not going to be a very happy person."
Fielder hit .225 (9-for-40) with one double, no home runs and no RBIs in 11 playoff games. He had three walks and seven strikeouts.
Fielder has failed to drive in a run in 18 straight playoff games dating back to Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS. Bill Mueller holds the record of 24 straight games, for the Giants and Red Sox.
When a reporter suggested again that fans might not understand how easy it was for Fielder to put a disappointing postseason behind him, he said: "What am I supposed to do?
"You play hard. You give it all you've got and then there's life. I got two boys I gotta take care of. I'm not going to sit around and be pouty all day and try to help them become men if I'm over here pouting. It is what it is, bro."
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