The Perception Of Ian Kinsler


I’m looking forward to the infusion of Ian Kinsler hate that I expect to flood in over the next week or so, based on his preference not to move away from 2nd base. We can never forget, he is no Michael Young; he is no Face Of The Franchise. He’s clearly not a team player. He’s clearly selfish.

Quick, queue the “He doesn’t care,” or “All he does is pop up from trying to hit home runs all the time,” or “He has a low batting average, therefore he’s not a good hitter” diatribes. Suffice to say I cannot wait for that nonsense to circulate.

Listen, if you manifest some sort of feeling from all this — disappointment is understandable — I can get behind your reasoning. I, too, dreamt of an infield featuring Elvis Andrus, Jurickson Profar, and Ian Kinsler once upon a time. The issue I have is how writers, and fans, use situations like these as a platform to make cheap points, in an attempt to satisfy a baseless agenda. It’s childish. Often times reactionary people operate under a heavy dosage of recency bias, and use it to equate players like Kinsler to people like Michael Young, who tend to get appreciated more once they’re gone. It’s a lot like being at a funeral for a person whom you knew universally to be an asshole, yet everyone who speaks about them has nothing but kind words to say.

Let’s not forget that, despite the sensationalist praise Young received from the media during his tenure in Texas, he was no angel. He complained when he was moved off shortstop in favor of Elvis Andrus; he lamented being moved off third base in favor of Adrian Beltre, and even demanded a trade. That’s not the stuff of a leader, so we can’t pretend what events actually transpired, didn’t.

I’ve never understood why the media and fan base in Arlington possess a disinclination towards Kinsler. Maybe it’s because the majority of his charity work hasn’t been in the public eye; maybe it’s due to the notion that he doesn’t play baseball to give a good quote after the game ends. I don’t know.

What we are dealing with are the facts, and the fact is that Ian Kinsler has provided north of 27 fWAR during his career in Texas, about 4.0 fWAR per year. There’s no other position on the diamond where his value plays up as well as 2nd base, which is why Jon Daniels probably isn’t losing much sleep on Kinsler not opting to play 1st.

The only thing I find sad about all this is that, sans an Elvis Andrus trade, which right now doesn’t appear likely, we’re going to navigate into 2013 with Jurickson Profar in the Minor Leagues. I was really looking forward to seeing him on the Major League roster, adequately filling the shortstop shoes Elvis Andrus would be leaving him on his way to Arizona.

But hey, you don’t always get what you want.