Rangers respond to Kinsler's comments
Daniels calls criticisms 'not accurate'; Washington defends general manager
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Texas general manager Jon Daniels addressed Ian Kinsler's recent comments in an 'ESPN the Magazine' article, calling them "simply not accurate" and reaffirming his belief that the Rangers organization has always handled its business professionally.
Kinsler, the former Rangers second baseman who was traded to Detroit earlier this offseason in exchange for Prince Fielder, said he hopes the Rangers go 0-162 this season. He blasted Daniels' handling of his trade and of Nolan Ryan's exit, saying the Rangers GM pushed for Ryan's departure because of his ego.
"That's just not accurate," Daniels said. "I'm not going to get into it any more than that, other than that it's simply not accurate.
"On the stuff about 0-162, now listen, obviously he's a competitor. That's part of what it's about. I hope our players are [ticked] about that, I do. I think we'll find out what we're made of, and how we go about our business and handle our business. But I'm very, very proud of what we've accomplished here over the years."
In the article, Kinsler insinuated that he was disappointed in finding out that he had been dealt through social media. Daniels clarified Tuesday that the deal hadn't been finalized when the information leaked.
Daniels had been waiting for a green light from the commissioner's office because the deal involved the Rangers sending $30 million to the Tigers. Fielder also needed to give the OK because of his no-trade clause. The trade went through while Daniels was on a flight, and by the time he landed, the news had broke.
That didn't stop Kinsler from calling Daniels a "sleazeball," based on what Kinsler thought was a deliberate attempt by Daniels to drive Ryan away. Daniels said he wasn't going to address "the name-calling stuff."
"If anything, this probably reinforces that the trade itself was probably a good thing for all parties involved," Daniels said. "Ian was a good player on the greatest teams in franchise history. He was a key part of that. We're moving on, he's moving on."
Rangers manager Ron Washington hadn't read the article during his morning media briefing, but he lightheartedly guaranteed that his club wouldn't go 0-162. Upon reading the story, however, Washington called an impromptu media gathering to clarify his thoughts.
"Opinion is just that, it doesn't make it reality," Washington said. "To me, Jon Daniels has been one of the best general managers in the game, and everything that he's ever done, he's done it simply because it's going to make our team better."
Washington compared Kinsler taking a shot at Daniels to someone on another club taking a shot at one of his players on the field, saying "it hurts all of us."
He's also puzzled as to why Kinsler would make those comments about the Rangers' front office.
"They're very straightforward, very honest and whatever we do -- I'm a part of it -- we do to make the organization better. And Jon Daniels is the leader of this organization."
For the most part, Rangers players either declined to comment or brushed off Kinsler's words as immaterial.
"He's my buddy, we've had a lot of good times here," shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "It's a new year, he's there, we're here, we have to be focused on our own season."
Left-hander Matt Harrison was mentioned in the article as one of the players Kinsler would miss most in Detroit. Harrison chalked up Kinsler's comments to "him just being competitive."
"He was a great guy, a great teammate, played hard every day, was one of the leaders in the clubhouse," Harrison said. "Maybe it's some frustration or something, I don't know."
The article addressed Kinsler's leadership, however, noting that the organization had asked Kinsler to play a more vocal role in the clubhouse. Kinsler, evidently, preferred to keep to himself and also shunned a move to first base to free up prospect Jurickson Profar for the second base job.
Daniels says he has developed a thick skin for comments like Kinsler's during his eight seasons on the job, but he still doesn't like hearing them.
"It's part of the gig, but it doesn't make it easier," Daniels said. "I've got young kids, they're in school. I don't know if my son is hearing about this. You kind of just stay true to who you are and the people who are here that know what we do day in and day out."
But what if his team does go 0-162? Would there be any further changes?
"Probably over my head," he kidded.