Earlier Tuesday, the relative peace and quiet of spring training was shattered by Ian Kinsler–or to be more precise, comments Ian Kinsler made in an ESPN The Magazine article. In the profile by Robert Sanchez, the former Ranger and current Tiger rips his old team, particularly general manager Jon Daniels, over his 2013 season and the trade that sent him to Detroit in exchange for Prince Fielder.
Some choice highlights from the piece:
During that time, it was well-known throughout the game that there was a power struggle going on between [former team president Nolan] 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."
"I'll miss all my teammates," he says. "I'll miss Elvis [Andrus] and [Adrian] 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."
I believe this is the textbook definition of shots being fired. As expected, that triggered a massive rush to get comment from Daniels, who couldn't wait to unload some equally heated invective on ... wait, what's that?
"It's not worth defending," Daniels said. "I'm really proud of the group we've got here, the decisions we've made, the people we have in place and what we're building. Based on how he feels, the trade is probably a good thing for all parties involved."
Okay, so Daniels isn't exactly putting his former player on blast. But what about Ron Washington? He's a fiery sort, and I bet he won't take this lying ... what's that you say?
Rangers manager Ron Washington said Kinsler's comments wouldn't impact the team and that he was always someone who "spoke his mind."
"We won't go 0-162," he said. "Guaranteed."
Washington added: "We've got to take this and deal with reality. We're not a bad team."
Fine, Washington won't throw more fuel on the fire either. But how about Kinsler's ex-teammates? I mean, he did say he wanted them to lose their ass (hopefully not literally). That's got to make for some irritated ... oh come on, really?
"He's my buddy, we've had a lot of good times here," shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "It's a new year, he's there, we're here, we have to be focused on our own season."
Left-hander Matt Harrison was mentioned in the article as one of the players Kinsler would miss most in Detroit. Harrison chalked up Kinsler's comments to "him just being competitive."
"He was a great guy, a great teammate, played hard every day, was one of the leaders in the clubhouse," Harrison said. "Maybe it's some frustration or something, I don't know."
Kinsler himself seemingly wanted nothing more to do with his own comments either, even throwing out the time-tested "I was taken out of context" line.
"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."
Kinsler did not, however, go into detail as to what the proper context of calling someone a sleazeball is.
Thankfully, though, there was one man out there willing to add his own misguided opinion into this hullabaloo.