He knew he was going to be awed by his new teammate. In fact, he was looking forward to it. This was more than a year ago, and Prince Fielder had just signed his huge contract with the Tigers. So most of the talk was about him.

But some of his talk was about Miguel Cabrera.

Or more precisely, what it was going to be like as part of a hitting tandem with Cabrera.

"Going to be fun, man," he said. "Going to be fun."

Fielder was right to this extent. It's already been fun for him to be Cabrera's teammate — fun and productive for both sluggers. They combined for 74 homers and 247 RBIs last year.)

Cabrera, who hits third, has a cleanup hitter behind him that pitchers, in picking their poison, don't want to face, either.

And Fielder has the hitter in front of him whom he considers the best in the game.

He even called him "the best ever" last year.

As good as he is, on most teams, Fielder would be the best hitter in the lineup.

But not this one.

And while he isn't in awe of many contemporaries, he is of Cabrera.

Fielder has a succinct way of describing his friend's prowess.

After a long home run to right by Cabrera, you'll find Fielder at his locker, shaking his head and saying, "He's Miguel Cabrera."

Three hits in a game, and you'll find Fielder strolling back from Cabrera's locker after congratulating him, saying the same thing: "He's Miguel Cabrera."

As if the name alone defines excellence.

Fielder is a man of few words on most subjects — "yeah" or "it's cool" are responses to many questions — and certainly few when the subject is himself.