Ian Kinsler was traded to the Detroit Tigers in return for Prince Fielder. The unfortunate part about that deal was that Ian had to find out while he was on vacation in Hawaii, thanks to a leak and a release of the news before Rangers’ general manager Jon Daniels had a chance to call Kinsler and let him know what had just transpired.
While I thought the former Texas Rangers’ second baseman would ride north to Detroit, don his new Detroit Tigers hat, and enjoy spring training with a new team and new teammates, Kinsler decided he was done being quiet about the entire situation. And by “done being quiet” I mean, he was done being nice, or politically correct for that matter.
“He got in good with the owners and straight pushed [Nolan] Ryan out,” Kinsler said of Daniels. “He thought all the things he should get credit for, Ryan got credit for.” And it didn’t stop there. In fact Kinsler decided he would, well, swing for the fences. When asked about Jon Daniels specificially, Kinsler took his wooden bat, got into a comfortable batter’s stance, and took the biggest swing he could, “Daniels is a sleazeball.” You knew Daniels was going to be asked for his response but, as expected, he took the high road. There was no way he was going to return fire and give ther former Ranger second baseman the satisfaction of telling people, ‘I told you so.’ “I’m not going to justify that,” Daniels says. “He was a key member of the best teams in the history of the franchise. He’s entitled to his opinion.”
Kinsler not only addressed the topic of Jon Daniels, he also was asked about taking over the leadership role with the departure of Michael Young. Most players would relish the opportunity to allow the younger player to learn from them, learn how things are done in the big leagues and how to carry themselves on and off the field. Kinsler, however, wanted no part of it. “I was bogged down. They wanted me to lead these young players, teach them the way to compete, when the only thing I should be worried about is how I’m performing in the game.”
He can say what he wants and, ultimately, he addressed his frustrations with the direction of the team. As Daniels said, Kinsler is entitled to say whatever he wants to say. However, what Kinsler may not have thought long and hard about is how he’ll now be seen by the fan base in Texas, who had treated him so well over the years. Sure there were those who didn’t like the guy who had a golf like swing that would make Tiger Woods jealous, but there were certainly a fair number of fans who would speak up for him and be “Ian Kinsler apologists” every chance they could. Now, even those fans will have a hard time defending these comments.
While they won’t change the kind of player Kinsler was during his time in Texas, it will change how he’ll be seen by the fans from now on.
And that might be the most unfortunate part of all. But Kinsler has no one but himself to blame.