When Ian Kinsler stepped to the plate last night against his old team, there were some boos throughout the park but mostly there were cheers. That was until Kinsler launched a pitch from Colby Lewis into the Texas night for a solo home run in his very first at bat.
What happened next has had fans and media alike buzzing.
As Kinsler began his trot around the bases, he glanced over to the Rangers’ dugout and gave them a sort of small wave. Most of us didn’t think about it at the time until the game came to a close and then it went from, “I can’t believe that guy homered in his first at bat,” to “that was a really classless move on his part.” Not sure how you go from one extreme to the other but apparently Lewis agreed with the fans who believed that.
“It’s unfortunate, I feel like it’s unfortunate but that’s just me,” Lewis told the media after the Rangers’ sixth straight loss. “I’m not going to sit here and bad-mouth Kins, I really enjoyed Kins and I enjoyed my time playing with him and I enjoyed him as a teammate; disappointed, that’s the word.”
There’s a lot of frustration with the Rangers right now and for good reason. They lost their sixth straight game on Tuesday night, they’re buried in the cellar of the AL West, the injuries have continued to pile up, and we’re not even to the All Star break.
While I believe Lewis was frustrated that he gave up a home run to his former teammate in his very first at bat of the game, I think where Lewis is coming from is more of a place of frustration and being upset at how the season has transpired to this point. When spring training came to a close, most believed this team could hang with the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics for the division lead and be able to make their move in late August or early September to solidify a spot in the playoffs.
Now all this team, and the fans, are hoping for is some sort of miracle in the second half of the season just to get into one of the two wild card spots.
It wasn’t a classless move in my opinion nor was it “showboating.” Kinsler never expected to hit a home run in his very first at bat in a place he had spent so much of his career. When it happened, it took him by surprise and he may have done the first thing he could think of. It wasn’t an over the top gesture or celebration, it lasted all of two seconds, it was more like that trash talk between friends when one gets over on another.
No harm. No foul.
This morning, as we’re all waking up remembering what transpired at the ballpark with the former Ranger, questions have come up as to whether or not Kinsler would pay the price for his little “wave.” Could Joe Saunders, who takes the mound for Texas tonight, really be wanting to fire a good ole mid-90’s fastball right at Kinsler as a type of payback? Was his “wave” really that serious?
There was no bat flip there was no taunting involved. If Kinsler had been traded to Texas from another team and he was new to this fan base, would we still be calling it “classless,” or would we be standing by our guy telling the opposing fans to, “grow up?”