Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler may have thought he was off the record when he made some pointed comments about his former team, the Texas Rangers, in a recent issue of ESPN The Magazine, according to Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News. Robert Sanchez, the man who interviewed Kinsler, disagrees with the assertion that Kinsler didn't think he would be quoted.
In the interview, Kinsler claimed that he hoped the Rangers "go 0-162" this season and called general manager Jon Daniels a "sleazeball." Those and other incendiary comments have resulted in backlash toward Kinsler, who is now being labeled one of the most self-absorbed players in baseball. Kinsler claimed that his statements were taken out of context for dramatic purposes.
However, in a chat held by Sherrington on Wednesday, a fan asked what part of Kinsler's seemingly unambiguous criticisms could have been taken any other way. Sherrington responded with the following:
"I have it on pretty good authority that Kinsler thought he was speaking off the record, which doesn't mean he didn't mean it. Just that he didn't know it would end up in print. Not much of a defense, really."
The response from Sanchez:
A couple of other journalists chimed in as well:
@MileHighRobert My goodness. I knew this was coming, but couldn't imagine it would be so blatant.— Wendy Thurm (@hangingsliders) March 7, 2014
@MileHighRobert Sheesh, even if Kinsler WAS off the record, how does that make him less of a dick?— Bill Menezes (@bmenezes) March 7, 2014
While it's possible for comments to be taken out of context to maximize their entertainment value, it does seem hard to believe that an athlete would think he was off the record at any point during a magazine interview. The statements from Sanchez, Thurm and Menezes suggest that this latest backtracking is likely a farce and that Kinsler simply regrets saying the things he said in public.
In a column that accompanied his chat, Sherrington did note that Kinsler's opinions were not unique in recent history. Former Face of the Franchise Michael Young, former team president and CEO Nolan Ryan and former bench coach Jackie Moore, all highly respected within the sport, have publicly had friction with the current Rangers front office.