I’m sure you’ve read by now Ian Kinsler’s “I hope they go 0-162” comments from his interview with ESPN The Magazine. If not, the full story is on ESPNDallas.com here.
Kinsler has managed to have Rangers fans’ emotions do a complete 180 with about six or so words. Well, he at least he did that for me. I hated to see Kinsler leave the Texas Rangers and it was odd to see him working out in a Tigers uniform so far this Spring.…that is, up until about three hours ago when I first got this push alert:
Since then…for the last few hours, all I’ve read (and have written) are tweets and comments about how hated Kinsler is going to be around these parts now. Is it for good reason?
Honestly it seems like almost every player that leaves here, leaves with negative comments or experiences with Jon Daniels. And I can’t say that I completely disagree with what Kinsler said in regard to how and why Nolan Ryan left the organization.
While we the fans have had some harsh, knee-jerk reactions to Kinsler’s comments, the Rangers players and organization are taking the high road.
Tanner Scheppers wished Kinsler luck. Jon Daniels called Kinsler a “key member” of the Rangers best teams and said he’s “entitled to his opinion”. All Wash would really add is that the team “won’t go 0-162. Guaranteed.”
(Way to go out on a limb, Wash)
Anyway, everyone on this side of the fence said exactly what we as fans want them to say, right? They stayed calmed, even complimented Kinsler. And while that’s all fine and good (and expected), this tweet about sums up the fans’ thoughts:
We’re geared up, right? June 24th here we come! Bring it, Kins, we’re ready to boo! The funny thing is, Kinsler has always played with the chip on his shoulder that came with being pushed off of his college team and not being drafted until the 17th round. He thrives on being antagonized. Booing him might just get us a home run over the left field scoreboard and a stolen base. In that way, I think he’s much different than Josh Hamilton.
Will that stop me? Probably not. Why not?
One of the things that Kinsler said that really bothered me is not that he wished a 0-162 season on the Rangers, although that is not my favorite thing anyone has ever said. It’s the way that he made it a point in this ESPN The Magazine story to talk about what a NON-leader he is or even wants to be. In two different portions of the story he made a point to say that 1. He was “bogged down” by the leadership expectations in Texas and that 2. He’s looking forward to being a Detroit Tiger so he’s able to “go play and have fun”, because that team is Miguel Cabrera’s and Justin Verlander’s; not his.
Think about every player that you consider great. And let’s just say “elite” since that is what Ian wants to be considered. Think elite in any sport.
They want the AB with the bases loaded. They want the ball as the shot clock winds down. They want the team on their shoulders. Kinsler just wants to “play and have fun”. Well you know what, that is why his physical game has declined. Because his mental game is weak. Surely you remember his heat comments.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think he has good years left as a player and he could have a great year for the Tigers. But that’s because he feels he has new chip on his shoulder…the truth is that Miggy and Verlander will do all of the heavy lifting.
And maybe I shouldn’t interchange elite and great. I mean there are a ton of elite players that aren’t leaders; outstanding physical talents. And vice versa. But the true greats of the game are leaders.
Which I guess goes to prove that not everyone is made to be a leader. That’s what makes it a special role. And…hey…that’s what gives the leaders others to lead.
Man…I miss Michael Young.
June 24th. See y’all at the ballpark.