Sounds like Mr. Pop-up Slump Shoulders got his feelings hurt a bit. In this story, published in ESPN the Magazine, Kinsler calls Jon Daniels a “sleazeball” for the way he pushed Nolan Ryan out of the organization, and said he hopes his former team doesn’t win a game this season. Those two comments I really didn’t have a problem with. I don’t like the way Daniels and the Ranger ownership pushed Nolan out of his leadership role with the team. On this I agree with Kinsler when he says about Daniels,
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 also understand a player on another American League team wanting the competition to lose every game. I hope the Tigers go 0-162, as I do the Angels, the Athletics, the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Rays, the Orioles, and so on.
What I do have a problem with is some other things that come out in the article, particularly those about Kinsler’s attitude and his leadership. The article confirms many of the things I and others have said about Ian over the last two years or so. He’s selfish and he doesn’t play hard when he gets his feelings hurt.
First, after the Rangers traded Michael Young to the Phillies, the team had a leadership void in the clubhouse. So, they looked to their veteran second baseman to help fill that void. That seems reasonable given that Ian would have been the longest tenured Ranger at that point (I believe, someone can check me on this). However, Ian didn’t want anything to do with that role:
“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.”
God forbid they ask a veteran “superstar” (I use the term loosely) to step up and take a leadership role, helping younger players get better for the benefit of the entire team. But, Kinsler was only worried about himself.
Second, when the Rangers brought up Jurickson Profar they asked Kinsler to consider playing 1B. For Ian, this was just too much to ask:
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.
Again, Ian wasn’t concerned with what might be better for the team. He was only worried about himself and his pride. Would moving Ian to first and putting Profar at second all season paid off? Who knows. It’s clear that the Ranger brass felt that was the best move, either for that season or for the future of the team. Either way, Ian refused to move, and the Rangers gave in. The team missed the playoffs for the second year in a row, and Ian posted his second worse statistical season.
Really, all this story does is confirm what we already knew. Daniels’s ego couldn’t exist with someone as loved and adored by fans as Nolan Ryan. And, Ian Kinsler is a selfish player, who isn’t a leader, and performs poorly when he gets his feelings hurt. Just one more reason to believe the trade for Prince Fielder put the Rangers in a much better position moving forward.