Immature, childish & bush-league. These words are not what one should think of, when talking about one of baseball's most prolific players, much less the leader of any professional team. However, Prince Fielder and his teammates have been anything but professional lately.
Celebrations have always been a part of baseball, much like they have been in any other sport. Most of the time, on-field shenanigans can be respectable, as long as it doesn't go overboard and as long as it doesn't single out a specific individual or team.
And as a fan, it can be entertaining to see what the players celebrate when the situation warrants that kind of response.
But let's be a little professional about this. Prince hitting a walk-off homer is awesome. It speaks magnitudes about his ability and his power, and the pure act of winning a ball game in such a way is to be commended.
What followed the home run was ridiculous. Acting out a bowling alley scene is something one would expect if they were watching a little league girl's softball game, although I don't ever recall something so childish when I was growing up watching my sister play.
What would possess a 'professional' team to do such a juvenile act? Simply put, there is a lack of a mature leader on the ball club.
Prince is the self-proclaimed 'veteran' on the team, but he lacks the experience and fortitude to take this team on his shoulders and carry it with any amount of respect.
You can already see how the rest of his team mates have looked to him to be the "chosen one", and if that's something they have all agreed to, then he should play the part. Leave the antics to little leaguers and play the game with the respect and honor that it deserves.
Prince also needs to check his emotions at the door when he enters the stadium. Chasing a team into their own clubhouse, regardless of how angry and upset you are, is childish. There are ways to deal with such misdoings, but chasing around other players like some thuggish bully is not one of them.
If Prince really wanted to be the leader of the Brew Crew, he would take a step back, assess the team, and rally them into being more focused on winning ballgames. He needs to understand how to be a professional, respect his team mates, as well as those that sit in the opposing dugout.
He might want to give Albert a call, and pick his brain on how to do this, as he seems to have his team in the hunt every year and produces similar, if not better numbers than Prince. And Albert will garner multitudes of respect, from fans and players alike, mostly because honors the game with his dignity.
Perhaps if Prince would spend more time trying to help his team mates be better athletes and less less time practicing cheerleading routines, this team would be looking at the rest of the NL Central from the top down, instead of looking at them from the gutter.
Prince has the true potential to be something great, perhaps one of the all-time greatest players in baseball history. But if he truly wants to achieve a kingly status of greatness, he must first put off the childish, princely acts. Only then will he be able to honorably wear the World Series crown.