If you were waiting for that first eye-grabbing, explosive quote-machine interview of the spring, it was rolled out in front of us today courtesy of ESPN the Magazine.
Ian Kinsler didn’t mix any words when talking about his former General Manager in Texas, Jon Daniels.
“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.”
That’s the quote that we assume has everyone buzzing about. But there’s a different part of this article I want to react to. The part that we want to point out is more along the lines of something we should all be able to relate to – because not everyone in this world hates their boss or superior.
The part of the story that kind of rubbed us the wrong way was Kinsler’s defiance to move to first-base and his reasoning behind it.
In a moment of veteran pride and defiance of youth, Kinsler declared second his domain. “These guys gotta earn it; that’s what I did,” he says. “I was a 17th-round pick, so there was zero coddling. I had to put myself on the prospect map.” In other words: No kid was taking his job.
So wait a second – you’re going to sell to the media that team chemistry and leadership are important qualities to you and on a team – yet you’re going to be an ass about moving positions when it would really benefit the organization to get their top-prospect into his natural position? Something that might benefit them for far longer than you’re going to be in the plans?
Selfish move, in my opinion. It’s an act that absolutely wreaks of insecurity and the same egotistical quality that Kinsler is ripping on Jon Daniels for. Look, we all know what it’s like to be part of some team in our lives. We’re all part of a team every day if you think about it. Whether those teammates are your co-workers, your family members, whatever. Sometimes you have to take a big bite of shit to benefit the greater good of the group. That’s just the way it goes. On this, we have to side with the organization and not the player. They did nothing wrong in asking the guy to move to first base. In fact, it was the right move. ‘De-facto clubhouse leaders’ as Kinsler is called in the article don’t do things like that.
On another note, it seems that he didn’t leave on bad terms with everyone in the Texas organization.
Now, the drama behind him, Kinsler has a chance to step back. “I’ll miss all my teammates,” he says. “I’ll miss Elvis and 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 like the fire that Kinsler seems to have within him, and I admit prior to this I knew little about his personality. But at the same time we don’t think this has a good look to it. “I love them but I hope they die”. Yeah, that doesn’t jive, Ian. If I’m a Tigers player in that clubhouse right now and I catch a few lines of this article, I’m wondering if my squad just gained an entirely new brand of asshole.