In an interview with ESPN the Magazine, Tigers infielder Ian Kinsler said he hoped his former team, the Texas Rangers, goes winless in 2014 and called Rangers GM Jon Daniels “a sleazeball.” From ESPN Dallas Fort-Worth:
“I hope they go 0-162,” Kinsler told ESPN The Magazine’s Robert Sanchez last month, in a story published this week. “I got friends, and I love my friends, but I hope they lose their [expletive].”
Kinsler said in the story that he was asked to bear too much of a leadership role with the team after Michael Young left and didn’t like being asked to move to first base in 2013 to make room for middle-infield prospect Jurickson Profar (something the club didn’t do after Kinsler voiced his reluctance). He also didn’t like how he was informed of the trade, something that Daniels wasn’t happy about either.
The 0-162 thing shouldn’t be terribly shocking, even if it seems like poor sportsmanship. You don’t become a professional athlete without being incredible competitive, so Kinsler likely would love for every team but the Tigers to finish 0-162 — even if that’s not actually possible.
As for Daniels, maybe Kinsler’s privy to insight we don’t have. But the points of contention above speak better of the GM than they do of the infielder, and hardly seem sleazy.
Moving Kinsler to first base would likely have made the team better. Profar was one of the hottest prospects in baseball and remains a renowned defender in the middle infield. That the veteran Kinsler didn’t want to learn a new position to make way for the younger player is understandable, but not at all something that merits ripping the GM.
Daniels is, after all, the guy who built a perennial contender in Arlington, not to mention the one who gave Kinsler his five-year, $75 million contract extension early in the 2012 season.