Ian Kinsler, telll us how you really feel.
The newly-acquired Tigers second baseman lobbed a bunch of parting shots at his former team, the Rangers — specifically GM Jon Daniels — in an ESPN Magazine story that posted online Tuesday morning. Kinsler is apparently still upset the team traded his veteran mentor/team leader, Michael Young, prior to the start of the 2013 season. He also details a power struggle between Daniels and former Texas team president Nolan Ryan, who left the team earlier this year and took a position with the lowly Astros.
Here are the pertinent quotes from Kinsler on Daniels, who — gasp — only left him a voicemail informing him that he was traded to the Tigers for Prince Fielder in November:
“Daniels is a sleazeball,” he says. “He got in good with the owners and straight pushed Ryan out. He thought all the things he should get credit for, Ryan got credit for. It’s just ego. Once we went to the World Series, everybody’s ego got huge, except for Nolan’s.”
Do those inflated egos also include you, Ian?
Oh right, Kinsler — maturely — wished the Rangers would also go 0-162 this season:
“I’ll miss Elvis and Beltre, Mitch [Moreland], Matt Harrison and [Ron] Washington.” But the frustration — with his play, with the team, with the organization — is still so raw. “To be honest with you, I hope they go 0-162. I got friends, and I love my friends, but I hope they lose their ass.”
Who knew the Kinsler situation with the Rangers was so bitter? You could, potentially, see why he’d be annoyed last year, since the team wanted him to move from second base to first to make room for Jurickson Profar but is that alone the reason Kinsler would call Daniels a sleazeball? It’s not unreasonable for a team, in this case the Rangers, to want a 32-year-old, highly-payed player to assume some leadership roles.
And being a leader in the Rangers’ clubhouse sounds considerably taxing:
It fell to him to police the clubhouse, making sure players got to meetings on time and didn’t wear earrings in the weight room. “I was bogged down,” he says. “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.”
It’s interesting Kinsler would come into Tigers camp and air this dirty laundry, even if the tenor of the original ESPN story is that he’s primed and ready to return to form with his new team. Since his 30/30 season in 2011 Kinsler’s numbers have dropped across the board, so Detroit better hope these quotes serve as a motivational tool for their new second baseman who’ll be pocketing $16 million this season.
For what it’s worth, after the story began to hit the web this morning Kinsler offered up an explanation: