Ian Kinsler, Jon Daniels Showdown at the Texas Rangers Corral

Ian Kinsler fired off his own shots, but should he have handled this differently? (Image: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Ian Kinsler should have known better. When he was asked by an ESPN reporter about what happened during his time in Texas, about Nolan Ryan, and about Texas Rangers’ general manager Jon Daniels, he should have taken the high road. There was no reason to go where he went with his comments.

But, alas, the comments were made and there was nothing he could do about it. Well, apparently no one told Kinsler that because just a few short hours after the story was released and it had made the rounds through just about every social media outlet there was, Kinsler tried to take every word of it back.

Not only that, but he came with the most famous phrase used by athletes and media alike when they say something stupid.

“I was taken out of context.”

Unfortunately for Kinsler, that particular ESPN writer still had the audio saved and he made sure that the Detroit Tigers’ second baseman couldn’t throw him under the bus without a response.

Robert Sanchez, the said ESPN writer of the Ian Kinsler piece in ESPN The Magazine, went on Buster Olney’s podcast and was prepared to fire back to make sure his name didn’t get dragged through the mud.

What Sanchez had was the audio from the interview he did with Kinsler – every, single, second of it.

In it, you can clearly hear Kinsler call Daniels a “sleazeball” and no matter what context you can call someone that, it was clear as day that it was no misquote. There was no mistaking what Kinsler said during the entire clip Sanchez brought to Olney’s show. There was no questioning in what context Kinsler said what he said.

He was caught red handed, but even though the former Ranger wanted to talk big, he couldn’t own up to the words he had said. Just one time I wish someone would own up to the words and either apologize for being in the heat of the moment, or just own up to them altogether and not back down from them. At least most of us might have respected Kinsler a little more had he went that route instead of that old, tired, and used up phrase.

However, what this story has also done is re-ignited the debate the fans in Texas have been having since former bench coach Jackie Moore was let go. Actually, he wasn’t let go nor was he fired; the Rangers just didn’t renew his contract.

Is Jon Daniels really that bad of a guy? Moore, Michael Young, and now Ian Kinsler have all fired shots at the general manager on their way out. Sure it sounds like just sour grapes, especially since both Kinsler and Young were traded out of town, but the “Team Nolan” crowd has used this to fuel their fire about their disdain for JD.

I’m not on one side or the other. I won’t sit here and say Nolan Ryan had nothing to do with the success of the team in 2010 and 2011 but I certainly won’t give him 100 percent of the credit either. There are those on certain radio stations who want to say it’s a jealousy thing, and a credit thing, for Daniels and that’s why he pushed Nolan out of town. Heck, even Fort Worth Star Telegram columnist Randy Galloway has said as much in his many, ‘JD is the devil’, type columns.

But here’s the point a lot of people are trying to make; it’s not the general manager’s job to be buddy-buddy with the players. Doing that would hinder them from doing their job effectively and to the best of their ability. If you become friends with the guys who are playing the game on the field, and you spend time with them outside of what they do in front of sold out crowds, how do you trade them somewhere else without having second thoughts?

Shouldn’t a general manager be the most cold blooded person in the front office? Isn’t he the guy who makes the decisions on where to trade certain players and when to make those moves? I can’t imagine being traded is much fun especially if you’re a guy who just signed a five-year extension two years earlier. There are players who have families in these respective towns they play in and they want to make a home in said towns.

If you have been with one team long enough, more than likely you’re purchasing a home, raising a family, and starting to feel comfortable in that place. Then, all of a sudden, you’re told that you’re no longer playing in this town, we’ve sent you to this other town.

That can’t be the easiest thing to hear because not only are they worried about what they’re going into with this new team, but they’re also worried about what they have to do with their family, their kids, where they go to school, will they have to pull them out of school and start over somewhere else, what other changes will they need to make in order to make certain adjustments?

If a general manager took all that into account, do you think for a second that he wouldn’t re-think a trade that makes the team better? Isn’t his job to do exactly that – make the team better?

I don’t know what happens behind the scenes and I won’t pretend that I do, but I certainly won’t try to make one guy or the other look like the bad guy, especially in Kinsler’s case. He can say what he wants and he can flap his gums as much as he sees fit. However, at the end of the day, the deal that sent him to Detroit in return for Prince Fielder improved this team.

Whether Daniels is a “sleazeball” or not doesn’t make one bit of a difference in this particular case. What does matter is how it was handled. You can be a fan of Kinsler’s if you want; I have no problem with that. As I told one person who tweeted me and told me they would always be a fan of his, it’s fine to be a fan, but you have to realize that this particular situation could have been handled far better than it was.

About Todd Kaufmann

Growing up in San Diego, CA, Todd made the move to Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas in the spring of 2008. Since then, he has covered events such as the Byron Nelson Classic, the Colonial Tournament, the AT&T Cotton Bowl, numerous home games for the Texas Rangers as well as high school football around the metroplex. He and his wife Kerri make their home in Little Elm, Texas with their daughter, Hannah, and yellow lab, Ranger. Contact: Website | Facebook | Twitter | More Posts

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