Ian Kinsler minced no words during an interview with ESPN the Magazine about his trade from the Texas Rangers to the Detroit Tigers. Kinsler has a chip on his shoulder the size of Texas, and it was put there by Jon Daniels, the Rangers general manager, if you take Kinsler's side.
Kinsler called Daniels "a sleazeball" for pushing out Nolan Ryan as team president and said he hopes the Rangers "lose their ass and go 0-162" without him. Kinsler also didn't like that he found out about the Prince Fielder trade well before Daniels got around to telling him personally.
UPDATE: Kinsler reportedly has said his comments were taken out of context — at least as they relate to the team going 0-162. That was a joke, Kinsler says. Not sure about Daniels being "a sleazeball," though.
If you want raw, emotional honesty from an athlete interview, here ya go:
During that time, it was well-known throughout the game that there was a power struggle going on between Ryan and Daniels, who had acquired the title of president of baseball operations last March in a front office restructuring that ultimately led to Ryan's departure after the season. Kinsler squarely blames the man who traded him. "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."
Honesty is one thing, but reality might not coexist too well with Kinsler's point of view. Everybody loves Nolan Ryan, but it sure seems like it was his ego that couldn't handle Daniels being the main decision-maker that turned the Rangers into a power.
Taking the totality of the interview into context, Kinsler seems like someone motivated by the tiniest perceived slight. Even when Tigers' GM Dave Dombrowski tried paying him a compliment, Kinsler turned it into an "I'll show him."
Before the 2013 season, Kinsler didn't like when the Rangers asked him to move to first base to make way for top prospect Jurickson Profar. Kinsler refused, and the story implies that Profar hitting poorly as a rookie utility player was viewed partially as Kinsler's fault, and that those events led to the Rangers trading him.
Going back further, Kinsler called the trading of Michael Young a mistake because it left a leadership void. Probably true, but Young also is one of Kinsler's best friends, and his departure put responsibility on Kinsler to be a leader — something he admits he wasn't up for. It "bogged" him down and affected his play. Kinsler seems bitter about that (he seems bitter about a lot of things), but rather than accepting responsibility for failing, it's all Daniels' fault.
If all of this motivates Kinsler into have a better season, good for him. Excessively trashing Jon Daniels makes him look small, though.
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