Please don’t be so shallow to boo Ian Kinsler tonight. It’ll be shameful. It’ll be classless.
And, most of all, it won’t bother the former Rangers’ All-Star one bit.
Why? Because, in case you haven’t noticed, Kinsler is getting the last laugh. A big, hearty one.
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Before you fabricate artificial hate for the guy who was a core player during the most successful stretch of baseball in Rangers’ history, remember the circumstances of his departure. As in, he didn’t ask to leave. He didn’t want to leave. He was traded, in exchange for Prince Fielder.
And don’t conveniently forget that Kinsler was a 30-homer/ 30-steal/ 30-double producer in 2011, when he finished 11th in AL MVP voting.
Sure he popped up a lot while he was here, but he was also an All-Star for three of his eight seasons in Arlington. And sure he popped off after he was traded away, but his comments certainly aren’t tar-and-feather worthy.
“I hope they go 0-162,” Kinsler told ESPN The Magazine back in March. “I got friends, and I love my friends, but I hope they lose their ass.”
Kinsler’s getting his wish. The injury-ravaged Rangers won a game yes, but, in general, they are indeed losing their ass. Entering tonight’s first visit of the season by the Tigers, they are five games under .500 and headed for their worst, most irrelevant season since 2008. Not only that, but the man general manager Jon Daniels acquired in exchange for Kinsler – Fielder – had season-ending neck surgery after hitting just three homers in 42 games. And Kinsler’s replacement at second base – Jurickson Profar – has yet to play in a game this season because of various injuries.
Boo if you must, but Kinsler couldn’t have scripted this season any better. He’s hitting .294 for a Tigers’ team that comes to Arlington leading the AL Central.
Look, this isn’t the return of Josh Hamilton or Lamar Odom or Lee Harvey Oswald. This isn’t Public Enemy No. 1. It’s Ian Kinsler, a good guy and a great player on Rangers’ teams that went to consecutive World Series.
His post-trade crimes? Wishing failure on the team that dumped him, and calling Daniels a “sleazeball.”
Said Kinsler to MLB.com this week, “If people want to boo me for saying something bad about the front office, that’s their prerogative. I guess we’ll see.”
Don’t boo Kinsler tonight. The Rangers are worse off without him. And, as a fan base, we’re better than that.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.