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03/31/08 12:49 PM ET
Fielder shakes off flu to start opener
Slugger back after missing exhibition finale, Sunday workout
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- It would take a lot more than a bout of the flu to keep Prince Fielder out of the Brewers' Opening Day lineup. Fielder, who missed the team's exhibition finale on Saturday and its workout at Wrigley Field on Sunday because he was under the weather, was listed in his usual No. 3 spot when the Brewers' lineup was posted Monday morning. What would it have taken to keep him out? "I would have to have the Ebola virus," Fielder joked Monday morning. "Seriously, I don't like missing games. I would have to be really sick. I would have to be unable to help the team at all. If I can walk around at all, I'm going to play." Fielder first reported feeling aches and pains on Saturday, before the Brewers played the Royals to wrap up their Spring Training schedule. The Brewers bussed to Chicago on Sunday afternoon for a workout, but after players unloaded at Wrigley Field, Fielder rode by himself to the team hotel. "Ned [Yost, Brewers manager] and my wife both told me I wasn't going out there," Fielder said. "I had no choice." The extra day of rest "really helped," said Fielder, who watched baseball all day, including the Braves-Nationals Opening Night game. There were no surprises in Yost's lineup. Second baseman Rickie Weeks led off, followed by center fielder Tony Gwynn Jr., who was playing in his first big league Opening Day. Fielder was slated to hit third, followed by left fielder Ryan Braun, third baseman Bill Hall, right fielder Corey Hart and shortstop J.J. Hardy. Pitcher Ben Sheets hit eighth, followed by catcher Jason Kendall.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.