ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 17: Infielder Ian Kinsler #5 of the Texas Rangers rounds 3rd base after a home run on the first pitch of the game against the Tampa Bay Rays September 17, 2013 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Ian Kinsler was on a family vacation with Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre in Hawaii when news broke Wednesday that he had been shipped to Detroit from the Texas Rangers. He didn't return any text messages from reporters.
At least Kinsler's two best friends on the team were able to say their goodbyes, because Texas fans never were.
When the Rangers lost to Tampa Bay in the AL Wild Card tiebreaker game back on Sept. 30 in front of a home crowd at Rangers Ballpark, no one in the building really thought it'd be the last time they saw Kinsler in a Rangers uniform, and turns out, no one was correct in that thinking.
So, below is an open letter to Kinsler from the Rangers fan base, who had their ups and downs with Kinsler throughout the years.
(breaks out old-school paper, and fountain pen)
Well, it's been real. Real fun. Real frustrating. Real.
We've said all along that you're the most polarizing player this franchise has, and maybe ever has had. Josh Hamilton took that title, but it wasn't really until after he was gone. It's been that way with you for a long time.
You were always good for a big hit to lead off the game, or win the game. You had big games in the postseason, torturing the Rays in the 2010 and 2011 ALDS series, turning that legendary double play in St. Louis in the 2011 World Series, many others.
You also frustrated us all. The slump-shouldered pop-ups, the base-running blunders, getting picked off at first base, many others.
We'll always appreciate your love for this city and your constant plugging away at trying to make this a baseball town, something that will probably never be done, but not without a staunch effort from you that bordered on Dallas Cowboys trashing from time to time. We'll always appreciate that you were "that guy" that other teams hated and your team loved. The RBI single in that big June win over Oakland when you did your best Jason Terry impression on the way to first base to draw the ire of the A's. Stuff like that is awesome, and you could always be counted on to be a thorn in the opponents' side.
But maybe it's just time. Time for you to move on. Time for the Rangers to move on. Just time.
Clearly, the 2011 World Series loss was a crushing defeat for this team, and now, just two starting position players remain from that team, the new, unquestioned faces of the franchise, your buddies, Elvis and Belts.
Sometimes with heartbreaks, it's best to move on. We only wish we'd had the chance to say goodbye.