When word came down that Ian Kinsler was a Detroit Tiger and Prince Fielder wasn't, reports surfaced Kinsler learned about the swap via media reports while vacationing with his buddies Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus in Hawaii.
That was worth being upset about, as it's not a way anyone wants to learn they've been traded. The list of Ian Kinsler complaints that seem valid end just about right there though, as ESPN The Magazine has an interesting story on the former Rangers second baseman making the rounds on Tuesday and setting the baseball world ablaze with some fiery comments.
Kinsler goes hardcore on his former boss, Rangers GM and president Jon Daniels, calling him a "sleazeball." He also chimed in about the Rangers asking him to switch positions to accommodate the career path of super-prospect Jurickson Profar — a move Kinsler agreed to and later recanted, to which the club said "OK." He also complained that too much leadership responsibility was put on his shoulders following Michael Young's departure following the 2012 season. That, despite the fact that Kinsler was the longest-tenured Ranger and was making $15 million per season. Oh, and then he topped it all off by saying he hopes the Rangers go "0-162," which is just humorous and that they "lose their a**."
He later came out and said in Detroit papers on Tuesday that the comments were taken out of context and called the article's author childish for using the comments. It's easy to see the 0-162 comment being said in jest and turned around for dramatic effect in the story. But the comments about Daniels and his power struggle with Nolan Ryan, the position switch and the clubhouse chemistry are hard to envision being out of context. They are what they are.
It's a shame Kinsler feels the need to make all these comments about his former club after he's gone. Clearly, there was a problem with the chemistry in the clubhouse last season, and Kinsler's not the first guy to say that. He references the tipping point coming in September when he got into an on-field argument with the club's other perceived leader, Adrian Beltre, that spilled into the dugout and into the tunnel.
As for Kinsler's old teammates and manager, they aren't putting much stock into Kinsler's comments and are saying the right things, that he was a huge piece to the Rangers' success (which he was) and gave them several good years (which he did).
“Kinsler has always been a guy that spoke his mind," Ron Washington told reporters Tuesday morning. "That certainly doesn’t affect us, that he said we’d go 0-162. We’ve got to take this and deal with reality. We’re not a bad team. Going 0-162 isn’t a part of our mind or something I even think about.”
Tanner Scheppers said he hopes Kinsler doesn't get booed a la Josh Hamilton in his first return to Arlington, which he now most likely will.
“I have nothing but good things to say about Kinsler," Scheppers told the Star-Telegram. "I am sure the quote was probably taken out of context. He just doesn’t seem like that kind of guy and if he did, he was probably just joking and trying to get a reaction. It’s going to be a shame when he comes to Texas and he gets booed, especially for all the great things he’s done for the community. I feel if you leave, you should just leave in peace.”
Fact is, Kinsler was always the most polarizing Rangers player. People loved him, and other people couldn't stand him. That will probably remain the case after the initial fallout from this article. Expect a healthy mix of cheers and boos the first time Kinsler is announced by Chuck Morgan at Globe Life Park. It won't be an all-out chorus of boos like Hamilton's return in 2013, but it won't be all love and cheer, either.
And Kinsler did that to himself.