Ian Kinsler defends profanity-laced celebration to pump up Padres teammates

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports

San Diego Padres second baseman Ian Kinsler admitted to using profanity while celebrating a go-ahead home run on Thursday, but doesn’t exactly regret it.

Mired in a slow start to his Padres tenure, Kinsler launched a three-run bomb to left field that gave his team a 4-2 lead in the sixth inning. It was key not only for himself, but for the Padres, which had dropped three straight.

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After crossing the plate, Kinsler threw up two middle fingers and appeared to yell “F--- you all” at the home crowd.

“Yeah, I regret using the profanity out in front of everyone like that a little bit, but at the end of the day, it’s about winning games for me,” Kinsler said, via The Athletic on Friday. “Like I said last night, I’ve been struggling and to come up with a big hit like that was an emotional jolt.”

The Padres brought in Kinsler this offseason on a two-year deal to bring stability to a young clubhouse and mentor top infield prospects Fernando Tatis Jr. and Luis Urias. However, so far his major contribution has more so been his “veteran presence” rather than any offensive “veteran presents.”

Through 133 plate appearances, Kinsler is slashing just .177/.233/.339, a line that is 46 percent worse than league average. His -0.7 WAR is fifth-worst in baseball, a half-win lower than even Chris Davis.

Padres veteran Ian Kinsler did not use the kindest language in front of home fans on Thursday. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Padres veteran Ian Kinsler did not use the kindest language in front of home fans on Thursday. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Is more attention better for Kinsler and the Padres?

Now it seems that one of Kinsler’s biggest contributions of the season may be putting the Padres in the news.

“The more attention we get on this club right now, the better,” Kinsler said. “We want people in the seats; we want fans at our ballpark; we want to make this a home-field advantage; we want people to understand that we’re a good team and we’re trying to get over the hump.

“And sometimes, I hate to say it, but things like this can help that and put a microscope on the club.”

More attention would certainly be welcomed for the Padres, even if this isn’t the way many fans and ownership may have wanted. Things could have gone better for Kinsler, who earned an undisclosed fine from the league. But it’s also turning more eyes to the Padres, who are one of nine NL teams with a winning record and just two games out of the final Wild Card spot.

Padres fans gave Kinsler a smattering of boos when he led off Friday’s game, but they came around when he hit a single in his second time through the order. With more hitting like Thursday, it will be easy to forgive any profanity — inside joke or otherwise. And Kinsler’s teammates still have his back.

“We see the work he’s putting in behind the scenes,” first baseman Eric Hosmer said after Thursday’s game. “We see all the stuff he’s doing, how he continues to be even if he’s not playing the way he wants to play right now. So I think that’s why you see a lot of the emotion. That’s why you see the guys fired up.”

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