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Ron Washington Guarantees Texas Rangers Won’t Go 0-162

Ron Washington and Ian Kinsler, worlds apart.  (photo: Keith Allison/Flickr)
Ron Washington and Ian Kinsler, worlds apart. (photo: Keith Allison/Flickr)

Responding to Ian Kinsler’s ESPN the Magazine interview, the skipper of your Texas Rangers snorted at Kinsler’s wish that his former team go winless in 2014:

“We’ve got to deal with reality,” Washington said. “We’re not a bad team.”

Washington spoke with Kinsler shortly after the trade that sent him to Detroit last fall for first baseman Prince Fielder. Washington said he thanked Kinsler for his contributions to the club and parted on what he thought were good terms.

“He was a big part of our championship run,” Washington said. “Those are his feelings. I’m not worried about that type of stuff.”

Meanwhile, Kinsler has spent the day backpedaling on the story, explaining the 0-162 comment as a “joke” that any of his old teammates would understand and saying that his calling Rangers general manager Jon Daniels a sleazeball was “taken out of context.”

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.”

And Evan Grant writes that more attention should be focused on another revealing aspect of the article, in which Kinsler seemingly admits that he wasn’t up to the challenge of leading younger players:

“I was bogged down,” Kinsler says in the story. “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.”

There is truth in that. And it’s probably a realization the Rangers had made and a reason they were willing to make the Kinsler deal, even if it meant taking on more money in Prince Fielder. Fielder isn’t exactly a leader either; he’s a performer. And offensively, he’s one of the best. Kinsler, has been above average at his specific position, but regressing more and more towards the median. If, as a highly-compensated veteran and owner of two AL Championship rings, he couldn’t bring himself to help teach young players how to compete, then he simply wasn’t being a fully-invested teammate.