The story is most certainly a few days old by now, but it's taken me at least that long to digest and process my feelings toward the Ian Kinsler story that is set to be published in the March 17 issue of ESPN The Magazine.
It's always a bit difficult to hold comments against a player too much when he's been traded away from the only franchise he's ever known. On the other hand, when a former fan-favorite makes comments like Josh Hamilton did a year ago in regards to the fans in Texas, feelings get hurt and everyone has a sour taste in their mouth. So when Kinsler, a definite favorite of the female fanbase in Texas, goes all-in on slamming the front office and the clubhouse culture, people tend to pay attention.
In the article, Kinsler has some choice words directed toward Rangers GM Jon Daniels, the most noteworthy of which involves calling Daniels a "sleazeball".
Daniels is a sleazeball. 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.
While I don't necessarily disagree with Kinsler's premise that many within the organization began sporting an inflated ego, I'm not really sure what can be gained by name-calling. Naturally, after the article surfaced, Kinsler was quick to jump in with the taken-out-of-context defense, which was quickly squashed when Robert Sanchez released the audio of the interview with Kinsler.
Honestly, I don't have a single problem with Kinsler saying he wants the Rangers to go 0-162. Beyond the fact that it was likely a joke to begin with, any competitor wants other teams to do poorly, especially a team that is full of former teammates.
I think was was most disturbing were Kinsler's comments relating to leadership.
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.
For a club that has a farm full of young infield talent, the notion that Kinsler wasn't a fan of being a mentor is, to say the least, disturbing. Looking deeper, one would be led to believe that his feelings on the matter didn't only just now become news to the Rangers organization, and could go a long way toward explaining why the club was so willing to deal him and take a chance on Prince Fielder producing through the majority of the remaining seven years of his contract.
In the end, it's also a testament to the idea that players play, managers manage, and the front office does, well, front office type things. When those duties involve removing emotion from the equation and trying to make the team better, it's the sign of a competent GM, not a sleazeball.
It remains to be seen whether or not the trade will pay dividends on the field, but at the very least, it's filled a hole at first base and provided an opportunity for the former top prospect in baseball to prove his worth. If the move works, Daniels will look like a genius. If it fails, he'll look like goat. Whatever the case, he'll have at least done his job, even if it sometimes means hurting some feelings along the way.