According to Jim Leyland, Prince Fielder, above had the flat on the Florida Turnpike near Orlando and could return home easily enough on the emergency tire, but not all the way to the game. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News)
Port St. Lucie, Fla. — They don't drive clunkers, that's for sure.
But a flat is a flat, and it can happen to anyone.
The Tigers' Prince Fielder was scratched from the lineup for Thursday's game against the Mets at Tradition Field because of a flat tire en route from his home near Orlando to the ballpark.
"He called us right away and felt terrible about it," said manager Jim Leyland, "but they put one of those little 50-mile tires on as a replacement and he wasn't sure if he could get down and back on it.
"So I told him to just stay home."
According to Leyland, Fielder had the flat on the Florida Turnpike near Orlando and could return home easily enough on the emergency tire, but not all the way to the game.
"I didn't want him to chance it." the manager said.
There's no shortage of long trips for the Tigers this spring, however.
"He'll go to Jupiter instead (on Saturday against the Cardinals)," Leyland said.