In an interview with ESPN the Magazine, Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler said he hoped his former team, the Texas Rangers, goes winless in 2014 and called Rangers GM Jon Daniels “a sleazeball.
From ESPN Dallas Ft.-Worth: “I hope they go 0-162,” Kinsler told ESPN the Magazine’s Robert Sanchez last month, in a story published this week. “I got friends, and I love my friends, but I hope they lose their ass.”
Kinsler said in the story that he was asked to bear too much of a leadership role with the team after Michael Young left and didn’t like being asked to move to first base in 2013 to make room for middle-infield prospect Jurickson Profar (something the club didn’t do, after Kinsler voiced his reluctance). He also didn’t like how he was informed of the trade to Detroit, something that Daniels wasn’t happy about, either.
Tuesday in Lakeland, Kinsler tried to set the record straight:
Kinsler: “There’s not much to say about it. It’s written. It’s out there. I’m not happy about it. The story was written for drama and taken a little out of context. But it is what it is, and I really don’t have anything else to say besides that.”
Question: Have you talked to anyone from the Rangers since it came out?
Kinsler: “No. I just got in from BP. I haven’t had time to. I understand there are some things directed at the GM. As far as my teammates and the fans, there is nothing negative to say about that. I think the quotes about the general manager were taken a little out of context.
“I think you guys will get to know me a little bit better than that and understand that. But right now it is what it is.”
Question: About “0-162,” is that just a matter of being a competitor?
Kinsler: “It’s a matter of telling a joke, to be honest with you.”
Question: And “I hope they lose their ass,” is that the same?
Kinsler: “Yeah. I’ve told that to my ex-teammates to their face. So it’s not anything new to them. They probably are hoping the same thing on our team. So it’s definitely competitive and a little bit of a humor quote, I guess. But like I said, it’s drama, and it sounds good the way it’s written, so that’s the way they’re going to go with it.”
Question: Are you saying the most regrettable part of it is the name calling?
Kinsler: “I thought that was a little ridiculous. It seems a little childish. But that’s what’s written, and there’s nothing I can really say to reverse that or reverse people’s opinions. It is what it is, and that’s basically it.”
Question: Do you plan on reaching out to Jon and address the story and the comments that were made?
Kinsler: “No, there’s no reason to. He’s a grown man. He’s intelligent enough and had enough conversations with me to understand where I stand. That’s really it.”
Question: When did you get first get an inkling that this would be played up the way it is?
Kinsler: “Probably about a week ago.”
Question: When you saw it, you thought, “My phone is going to light up.” And has it?
Kinsler: “Yes. That’s exactly right.”
Some Rangers responded to Kinsler’s comments Tuesday, via the Dallas Morning News. “He’s a competitor,” Daniels said of Kinsler. “That’s part of what this is about. I hope our players are (angry) about it. We’ll find out what we’re made of by how we handle our business. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished here.”
As an organization, our unity hasn’t dissipated one bit,” manager Ron Washington said. “The reason this organization is moving forward is the hard work that Jon Daniels and his group has done to try to supply us with players we can compete for a championship with. Opinions are just that. It doesn’t make it reality. To me, Jon Daniels has been one of the best general managers in the game.”