Welcome, Ian Kinsler

Ian Kinsler was an instant fan favorite from the minute he broke into the big leagues in 2006.  A hard swinging, fast, top of the lineup guy who plays old school baseball (including the socks) and is a female favorite (so says my permanent roommate).

He had a 20/20 year in 2007, and 30/30 year in 2009 and 2011. He’s been an above average player every year, and even though he had a down HR/SB year in 2013 (13/15), he actually posted the 2nd highest VORP of his career, 5.3, last year.

But frustration stemming from back to back WS losses and raised expectations across the Rangers organization did not suit Kinsler well. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the fans down here in Texas were happier to get rid of Kinsler than the Tigers were to move Fielder along.

Kinsler had always been regarded as a difficult personality in the clubhouse, and for whatever reason he didn’t get along with Rangers’ GM Jon Daniels. When Nolan Ryan was forced out last year, that led to even more apparent discontent from Kinsler, which manifested itself in popups (from HR seeking upper-cut swings), loafing down 1B on ground balls, and lapses in concentration on the base paths (11 CS against 15 SB was the 2nd worst % in the AL last year).  As one Texas commentor (-er?) wrote “I look forward to watching Kinsler get picked off of 1B  in a Detroit uniform next year.”

Well, ESPN asked Kinsler about the Rangers this week, and Kinsler didn’t leave anything in the clip. He stated his desire for the Rangers to go 0-162, and referred to Jon Daniels as a “sleazeball.” I don’t know Daniels, but that’s the first such characterization that I’ve heard. Daniels was professional in his response, preferring to leave it alone. I do want to note that Kinsler said his quotes were taken out of context. No word if he meant that he wanted the Rangers to win a few games.

Kinsler was a key cog for those AL Championship teams, and he still has the talent to be an All-Star player in Detroit. Let’s just hope that the change of scenery will result in an attitude change as well.

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In other news, Andy Dirks will be out until approximately June. This is troublesome because Dirks was slated to start in LF, and he’s really the guy who should be filling in for an injured starter. Looks like Rajai Davis will be the starter and that his backup will be filled internally. I don’t know much about Rajai Davis, other than he gets a lot of “stolen bases” whatever those are. But this news, coupled with Kinsler’s word bombs, didn’t make for a merry Spring Training Tuesday. Hopefully Jud can restore the shine with some Lakeland lowdown.

 

14 Comments

  1. Jim EggersUSMC

    March 5, 2014 at 2:13 am

    When he was here in Spokane in his first time in pro ball, my friends in the Sports Journalism biz said that he was very good on the field but a giant azs around teammates and was short tempered with fans. I was reminded of this by one of them when the Tigers got him. So, as long as he performs well, we’re OK???

  2. jud

    March 5, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    80% chance of rain tomorrow …but if rained out I should be able to get to fridays game

  3. Coleman

    March 5, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Actually I think it would be a worse curse if they went 162-0 and then lost the first round of the playoffs. But that’s just me.

  4. jud

    March 6, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    big time rain today….tomorrow Tigers night game at Tampa with the Yankees…you can hate the Yankees all you want but they have the nicest Spring Training set up along with the Tigers, around. Joker Merchant is excellent but the Yankees have the # grotto of ex players, thats amazing…more tomorrow

  5. jud

    March 6, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    big time rain today….tomorrow Tigers night game at Tampa with the Yankees…you can hate the Yankees all you want but they have the nicest Spring Training set up along with the Tigers, around. Joker Merchant is excellent but the Yankees have the # grotto of ex players, thats simply amazing…more tomorrow

    • Jim EggersUSMC

      March 6, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      Funny you should mention ex Yankees… I am just finishing Richard Ben Cramer’s acclaimed bio of Joltin Joe DiMaggio, and this man was not a good person by anyone’s measure. So, again- I ask: do we care what kind of human being a ball player is if he can perform on the field to our expectations/satisfaction???

  6. judpma

    March 6, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    i was thinking about this while the rain cones down but in the game Raja Davis hit the triple guys who are fast like Jackson round the bases so fast the bow way out so that its almost a circle the are running rounding first….Davis is different he cuts the bases so fast and tight, he almost runs a straight line between bases..I bet he takes 10-15 less steps than most fast guys on a triple.While he was running I thought he was running 65 ft softball bases …he is crazy fast!!!

  7. jud

    March 7, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Went down early to Lakeland before heading over to Tampa for the game tonight. Tigers are wearing their plain blue batting practice tops. I mention that because I am watching pitcher fielding drills and I can recognize some players, but there are so many fighting for a couple spots I don’t recognize many of them. There are no names and numbers on the BP tops…
    Any way these pitcher drills were always kind of a joke with Leyland..lot of laughing and screwing around. The drills I am watching seem to be taken a little more seriously. Maybe cause guys are fighting for spots or maybe its because of Asmus ..I don’t see JV and I know I woud recognize him. I am outside the fence about 100 feet away. Its still pretty wet from yesterdays rain but it always amazes me how efficient and fast the ground crew gets things done. This whole complex is beautiful. And theres lots to take care of…

  8. jud

    March 7, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    The Yankee complex is in the back of the giant parking lot to Joe Roby stadium, home of the Buccaneers…as hard as I try I can’t get out with my 4G verizon. I have notes and will post when I am back at the hotel on wifi

  9. jud

    March 7, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    Marte balks in winning run…wont matter he looks exactly like Coke from the right side. batting practice pitches
    all 86-87 nothing on them

    Joba..Ortega..Nathan all looked over powering..Sanchez was ok

    3 stolen bases is like a months worth for Detroit..this team can run..wow and its different guys each day

    Lombardozzi is like a talented Kelly. he can run and hit…Castillanos runs good.

    I failed to mention before that I have seen Jackson bat 6 times now and he has hit the ball on the button all 6 times. he looks good

    Robby Ray is going to be just fine.
    if the pen is joba..ortega..ray…pukdonen..nathan….rondon…from what I have seen in 3 games the Tigers might go from worst to first….you read it here

  10. jud

    March 7, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    you don’t get much info about your team on the road in spring training. where at home games even the old guys working at the stadium know alot
    ..
    At Steinbrenner stadium the absolutely best thing is the grotto just outside the entrance to the field. there are big rocks with brass placques of retired Yankee numbers. One for each going right up..1..Martin, 3 Ruth, 4 Gerhig, 5 DiMaggio, 7 Mantle, 8 Yogi, 9 Maris, 15 Munson……..etc….it is the coolest display ever. People whisper when in there…the ground is spotless…I am not anywhere near a Yankee fan but I am in awe when I walk thru there.

  11. jud

    March 8, 2014 at 12:15 am

    I read the post game article because at the park you are blocked of a lot of info. we were walking out on the balk for example. Joba was throwing a lot of breaking balls and so was Ray. maybe it was the plan and there were some walks. but both got out of there inning. wheres as Marte just like last time was straight and pounded…we didn’t see Miggy take BP here but before the Cardinal game he went over the berm with acouple and hit the 420 CF sign in BP…he looked “normal” to me

  12. jud

    March 8, 2014 at 10:43 am

    haven’t seen Krol yet.

  13. AlanLouLance

    March 9, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Ausmus about Iglesias “There is going to be a point where if he can’t get on the field b/c of the injury, we’re going to have to make a decision.”