Josh Hamilton welcomes Ian Kinsler to Rangers doghouse


Prior to Tuesday, there was probably no active player in Major League Baseball that Texas Rangers fans hated more than Josh Hamilton. Ian Kinsler may have changed that when he ripped his former team in a recent interview and said he hopes they go 0-162 this upcoming season.

Shortly after Kinsler’s comments went viral, Hamilton sent the following tweet:

Seems like he’s enjoying the company, no? Hamilton erased any positive feelings Rangers fans had toward him when he called them “spoiled” and said Dallas is not a baseball town. He was later booed mercilessly when he came to town with the Los Angeles Angels and even needed to request extra security for his family.

Kinsler should expect the same reaction from Rangers fans when he visits with the Detroit Tigers.

Ian Kinsler: I hope Rangers and ‘sleazeball’ GM go 0-162

Ian-Kinsler-RangersIan Kinsler is excited to start fresh with the Detroit Tigers after being traded for Prince Fielder. Unlike many players who are dealt, Kinsler is not wishing the best for his former team.

In an interview with ESPN the Magazine that was published on Tuesday, Kinsler called Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels a “sleazeball” for the way he has handled himself in recent years. For starters, Kinsler thought trading friend and former teammate Michael Young to the Phillies after the 2012 season was a huge mistake that left Kinsler with a role he disliked.

“It hurt us,” Kinsler said. “He held everything together. … I was bogged down. 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.”

The 31-year-old infielder said the Rangers asked him to move from second to first last season to make room for 19-year-old Jurickson Profar. Kinsler refused and told the team the youngster would have to earn it just like he did. By trading Kinsler, the team has now created a vacancy for Profar to fill.

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Report: Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler trade agreed to

Prince Fielder TigersThe Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers have agreed to a blockbuster trade involving Prince Fielder and Ian Kinsler, per a report.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman says the deal has been agreed to pending physicals and approval from Fielder, who has a limited no-trade clause.

Fielder had a down season with the Detroit Tigers last year, and it was believed he was distracted by his impending divorce. Fielder signed a 9-year, $214 million deal with the Tigers prior to the 2012 season and is owed $168 for the next seven years. He has a limited no-trade clause, but it’s believed he would accept the trade.

The Rangers have made it known that they were aggressively pursuing a big bat this offseason, and it looks like they have landed one. Trading Kinsler will also open up room in the infield for Jurickson Profar. Between Kinsler, Profar and Elvis Andrus, the Rangers had a surplus of middle infielders. Kinsler is guaranteed $62 million over the next five seasons (he has a $10 million option for 2017 that includes a $5 million buyout).

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports says the Tigers will be paying the Rangers $30 million of the $168 Fielder is owed.

Fielder did not perform well in the playoffs and didn’t seem exceptionally bothered by the team losing to the Red Sox in the ALCS. The Tigers could want to free up money for Max Scherzer, who will be a free agent after next season.

Ian Kinsler calls out Texas Rangers fans for lack of support

Ian-Kinsler-RangersThe Texas Rangers pulled out a victory over the Los Angeles Angels in their final game of the season on Sunday to force a one-game playoff against the Tampa Bay Rays. The one-game playoff on Monday night will determine which team gets to participate in the other one-game playoff that is now the wild card round.

With the coming down to game No. 162, you would think the game would have been sold out and then some. Instead, there were roughly 9,000 seats left empty in Arlington. Ian Kinsler was not proud of that.

“We’ve been to the postseason three years in a row,” Kinsler said, via ESPNDallas.com. “We’re fighting for our playoff lives. I’m just a little disappointed this place wasn’t sold out and rocking. You can’t say it’s the Cowboys because they were on the road. The fans were chanting ‘baseball town’ and stuff like that, and we can’t sell out.”

Perhaps the most ironic part about the absence of a sellout was that the 40,000-plus Rangers fans who were in attendance could be heard chanting “baseball town” at Josh Hamilton at one point, which is a reference to some comments the former Ranger made after leaving the team in free agency.

“The fans that were here were amazing,” Kinsler added. “They were allowed to chant ‘baseball town’ because they were here supporting us. It was a little disappointing to see the place wasn’t sold out today.”

Fortunately for the fans who chose to stay home and watch football all Sunday afternoon, the Rangers closed out the regular season with their seventh-straight victory. If any fans regret not heading to the stadium to support their team, they have another opportunity to do so on Monday. Something tells me that one will be a sellout.

H/T Hardball Talk

Ian Kinsler totally faceplanted on a slide

Ian Kinsler is generally a master on the bases. 160 stolen bases in his career and only 33 caught stealing. He even has a +39.4 value as a baserunner throughout his career, according to Fangraphs. But this season his baserunning value is -0.9. I’m guessing all of the negative points came on the embarrassing slide seen above.

After singling to lead off the bottom of the first for the Rangers on Thursday against the Tigers, Kinsler went to third on a hit by Elvis Andrus. For some reason he totally screwed up on his head-first slide into third base and completely ate it. Nothing but dirt all in the face. His teammates in the dugout were laughing and loving it, and even Kinsler was smiling afterward and seemed to be a good sport.

Here are a few more awesome photos of it:

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Ian Kinsler says he didn’t know Josh Hamilton was drinking, nor did anyone else

When the details began emerging about Josh Hamilton’s relapse earlier this month, many people were outraged to learn that he was with Ian Kinsler the night he decided to drink. Those who jumped to conclusions wondered, “What type of friend and teammate is Kinsler?” As Hamilton explained during his statement after the relapse, he was extremely deceptive the night he had what he described as a “weak moment.” Over the weekend, Kinsler reiterated the fact that he was unaware Hamilton had been drinking.

“Josh is taking care of it,” Kinsler said according to the Star-Telegram. “He’s open and up-front about it. It’s not really my place to talk about it. I know I was there for part of the night. I’ve kind of gotten over it. I’m focused on the season. I support Josh. I’m completely supportive of him. I think all of his teammates are and all the coaches are. We’re going to be here for him and whatever he needs.

“I’m not too concerned about what people say. I was there. I know what happened. People can say what they think was happening or what they want to say about the situation. There were, seriously, eight people in that bar. I don’t know how many people were focused on us. We weren’t out in the middle of the bar.”

The shadiest part of the story for me was Hamilton’s assertion that he dropped Kinsler off and insisted he was going home. Assuming Kinsler is telling the truth about being unaware that Hamilton was drinking, wouldn’t he be concerned that his teammate — who happens to be a recovering alcoholic that suffered a relapse in 2009 — was just hanging out in a local bar with less than a dozen people? Kinsler may not have actually known Hamilton had a drink, but that would have raised a major red flag for me.

H/T Eye on Baseball

Baserunning, Ian Kinsler Carry Rangers to Game 5 ALDS Win

We’ve already addressed the awesomeness that is Cliff Lee for the Rangers. He pitched Game 1 and Game 5 of the ALDS and beat the Rays both times, allowing only two runs over 16 innings. What also should be addressed is that Ian Kinsler hit three home runs in the series, including a big two-run bomb off Rafael Soriano in the 9th to give Lee a much bigger margin for error. Kinsler went 8-for-18 with five runs scored and six RBIs in the five-game series. He hit three long balls and would have had a strong case for ALDS MVP if they gave out such an award.

What also must be added is the way the Rangers beat the Rays in Game 5. As LBS contributor Alan Hull and I discussed, baserunning was a deciding factor in the game. Shortstop Elvis Andrus scored the first run of the game going from second to home on a simple ground ball to first, all because Carlos Pena and David Price took their sweet time on the putout. Andrus should have been held at third, and he wouldn’t have scored after Vladimir Guerrero flied out to end the inning. That’s one run given away by the Rays, but they weren’t done, and credit must be given to Andrus for the aggressive running.

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