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Ian Kinsler says vitriolic comments critical of Texas Rangers ‘were taken out of context’


Assume damage control position. Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler jumped headfirst into backpedal mode on Tuesday regarding the inflammatory comments he made about the Texas Rangers that were published this week in an ESPN The Magazine interview.

Kinsler called Rangers general manager Jon Daniels a “sleazeball” and also stated that he hopes his former team goes 0-162 in the upcoming season (“I hope they lose their ass” was how Kinsler put it specifically) among other colorful and undeniably bitter comments.

But guess what? According to Kinsler, all those comments “were taken out of context.” It’s unclear how calling a person a “sleazeball” can be taken out of context, but let’s allow Kinsler to do some clumsy sidestepping during his damage control dance as he attempts to explain it himself.

Kinsler addressed the brewing controversy at the Tigers spring training facility on Tuesday. His comments, as transcribed by USA Today.

Kinsler: “There’s not much to say about it. It’s written. It’s out there. I’m not happy about it. The story was written for drama and taken a little out of context. But it is what it is, and I really don’t have anything else to say besides that.”

Question: Have you talked to anyone from the Rangers since it came out?

Kinsler: “No. I just got in from BP. I haven’t had time to. I understand there are some things directed at the GM. As far as my teammates and the fans, there is nothing negative to say about that. I think the quotes about the general manager were taken a little out of context.

“I think you guys will get to know me a little bit better than that and understand that. But right now it is what it is.”

Question: About “0-162,” is that just a matter of being a competitor?

Kinsler: “It’s a matter of telling a joke, to be honest with you.”

Question: And “I hope they lose their ass,” is that the same?

Kinsler: “Yeah. I’ve told that to my ex-teammates to their face. So it’s not anything new to them. They probably are hoping the same thing on our team. So it’s definitely competitive and a little bit of a humor quote, I guess. But like I said, it’s drama, and it sounds good the way it’s written, so that’s the way they’re going to go with it.”

Question: Are you saying the most regrettable part of it is the name calling?

Kinsler: “I thought that was a little ridiculous. It seems a little childish. But that’s what’s written, and there’s nothing I can really say to reverse that or reverse people’s opinions. It is what it is, and that’s basically it.”

Question: Do you plan on reaching out to Jon and address the story and the comments that were made?

Kinsler: “No, there’s no reason to. He’s a grown man. He’s intelligent enough and had enough conversations with me to understand where I stand. That’s really it.”

Question: When did you get first get an inkling that this would be played up the way it is?

Kinsler: “Probably about a week ago.”

Question: When you saw it, you thought, “My phone is going to light up.”

Kinsler: “Yes.”

Question: And is it?

Kinsler: “Yes. That’s exactly right.”

Interesting. And arguably disingenuous. While his comments about hoping the Rangers don’t win a single ballgame this season could be taken out of context, again, it’s nearly impossible for Kinsler’s scathing diatribe directed at Jon Daniels to be taken out of context. When a person calls another person a sleazeball it is just that: A person calling another person a sleazeball. Simple as that.

Unless the reporter omitted the question, “What is one word you would not use to describe Jon Daniels?” And then Kinsler said, “Daniels is a sleazeball.” That’s about the only way for it to be taken out of context. And even if that was the case, how does Kinsler explain everything he said critical of Daniels after calling him a sleazeball. The only way he possibly could get out of it is if he insisted now that his fingers were crossed or something.

And when Kinsler says, “…it sounds good the way it’s written,” is he insinuating those aren’t his actual words? That the words aren’t exactly the ones he used? Sure, a writer can use colorful, descriptive language around a quote to help add “drama,” as Kinsler put it, but a quote is a quote is a quote. Either he said those things or he didn’t.