Second baseman Ian Kinsler, traded from the Rangers to the Tigers in the offseason, has come out blasting his former team and its general manager Jon Daniels in an upcoming ESPN The Magazine feature by Robert Sanchez.
Kinsler, who played eight seasons with the Rangers, said he's happy he was part of this offseason's blockbuster deal that sent Prince Fielder to Texas, but he criticizes Daniels for his handling of his trade and the 2013 exit of friend Michael Young. From the story:
"There was no remorse from the Rangers," Kinsler says of the trade. "They did not care." He obviously still does. "The team had changed. It was not the same personalities, not the same players, not the same chemistry. To be traded, it was refreshing to start new."
Kinsler complained that a Dallas radio personality informed him that he'd been traded, not Daniels. Daniels did leave Kinsler a voicemail after the deal, but Kinsler never called him back.
"I want to be the one who tells Ian," Daniels told ESPN, "but literally, the story breaks while I'm on a plane to Tucson. I feel bad that's how he found out."
Kinsler did not appreciate Daniels asking him to shift to first base last offseason to make room in the lineup for prospect Jurickson Profar and also didn't like being asked to be a team leader. He turned in disappointing offensive numbers -- hitting .277/.344/.413 with 13 homers and 15 steals -- in a hitter-friendly ballpark just one year after signing a five-year, $75 million extension with the Rangers.
"I was bogged down," he told ESPN. "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."
Kinsler also blamed Daniels for pushing team president Nolan Ryan out of baseball decisions, which led to Ryan leaving the organization. He then went further.
"Daniels is a sleazeball," he told ESPN. "He got in good with the owners and straight pushed [Nolan] 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."
Kinsler said he still has friends in the Rangers' clubhouse -- including manager Ron Washington -- but he hopes his old club goes winless in 2014. From Sanchez's piece:
"I'll miss all my teammates," he says. "I'll miss Elvis [Andrus] and [Adrian] Beltre, Mitch [Moreland], Matt Harrison and 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."