Cabrera has said that injuries make him play better, because they force him to focus. Fielder agrees. "When something is hurt, you're not going to be your best, and sometimes people are afraid of that," he says. "My thing is, I'm going to be the best I can."
For Cabrera, the joy is not just hitting home runs or winning games. It's standing at third base, smiling and calling to a batter he knows well: "Bunt it over! I'm gonna throw you out!" Fielder says that in the cage, he tells himself that his sons, Jadyn, 8, and Haven, 7, are alongside him, monitoring his work ethic.
"I imagine them watching me doing whatever I'm doing," Fielder says. "I'll hit all day if it calls for it. Not because I think it might help me get a hit that day. Just to be at peace with it, to know that I've done absolutely everything that I could to help my team. I'll hit for as long as it takes for me to be at peace."