By Matthew Postins
Dear Ian Kinsler,
I get it. You’re ticked. So you lashed out through the media. It’s a time-honored tradition. I actually don’t think less of you for what you said, unlike Josh Hamilton. Your comments were directed at the team, Ian, not the fans. That’s why when you and the Tigers see the Rangers in Arlington in July you’ll only receive a smattering of boos from the locals. I won’t boo. I’ll applaud. You busted your butt here for nearly a decade. You deserve an ovation.
Some fans probably agree with your comments about Jon Daniels and Nolan Ryan’s unceremonious departure. But let’s talk about something that you talked about in the ESPN.com article – leadership. Or more to the point your lack thereof.
In an article for another site I write for I took you to task for some things you said about leadership in the locker room, most notably “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.”
I’m a leader at my job. It’s not always fun. But I’ve been there for nearly five years and there’s an expectation that I be a leader to those I supervise. Sure, I could bury my head in my cube and just do MY job. But if I don’t serve as a leader then it hurts the team. So I do it, even on those days when I don’t want to or I’m so overwhelmed by my own tasks that I don’t have the time.
Leadership was not written into your contract, Ian. But it was expected, via the unwritten rules of the professional locker room. Vets pass their knowledge to rookies and when rookies reach a certain age they do the same. That’s how it works. Your words made it sound like you didn’t want to be bothered with assuming that responsibility. Yet, you want to whine about the “leadership void” in the clubhouse created by losing players like Hamilton, C.J. Wilson and, most notably, Michael Young.
You can’t have it both ways, Ian. Professional teams face attrition every year. It’s unrealistic to assume that Young would always be there to lead the team. Young is one of the best leaders Dallas-Fort Worth sports has ever seen. He did it quietly and professionally, and by his example he provided you the tools to do the same, Ian. If you weren’t willing to step into that role, that’s on you.
A reader of my other article mentioned that felt it was “unrealistic” to expect everyone to want to be a leader. I would agree. Not everyone is cut out or wants to lead. Apparently Kinsler falls in that category. That’s what makes his trade smart for everyone involved.
Kinsler goes to a Tigers team where he doesn’t have to lead.
The Rangers are relieved of a player who, the longer he stayed, could have poisoned the clubhouse.
You can be part of the problem or part of the solution, Ian. By your own admission, you were part of the problem.
Another colleague of mine on this site made a great point in the wake of this article. The Rangers completely underestimated what trading Michael Young would do to the team dynamic. I didn’t understand why some people turned on him after that 2012 season. He had one sub-par year and people were ready to ride him out on a rail. I’ll never understand that.
Ian Kinsler says he wants the Rangers to go “0-for-162.” Rangers manager Ron Washington guarantees the Rangers won’t go “0-for-162.” What kind of odds are you offering, Ian?
Jerry Jones attends the Academy Awards. I wonder if he was there to convince Harvey Weinstein to lobby the NFL to raise the salary cap again?
Actually, I’m really concerned that Jones is going to confuse Pharrell Williams’ dance moves with actual athletic ability and try to draft him as a wide receiver.
Wade Phillips tweets – yes he tweets – that he had a better record after 56 games as Cowboys head coach than Jason Garrett. Then Phillips takes it back, saying he’s just surprised that Garrett has coached as many games as he had with the Cowboys. Wade probably shouldn’t talk trash. Doesn’t suit him.
The Dallas Mavericks’ run to the postseason may be petering out. After that sensational February against bottom-feeders the Mavs seem to have come back to reality. They lost three straight to Chicago, San Antonio and Denver and it left the Mavs clinging to eighth place. The Mavs did bounce back in a big way with the win over Portland Friday night, but it’s going to be a tight race to the postseason. The culprit? Defense. So someone asked Dirk Nowitzki the easiest thing to fix:
“I’m speechless bro,” he told reporters.
Yeah, that’s a problem.
One thing to keep in mind – it’s not necessarily a bad thing if the Mavs fall out of playoff contention. If the Mavs finish with one of the Top 20 picks in the draft they get to keep it and don’t have to ship it to Oklahoma City as part of a previous trade.
By the way, the Stars retired Mike Modano’s jersey Saturday night. Wish I could have been there. I was in Nacogdoches to witness (hopefully) Stephen F. Austin’s completion of a perfect Southland Conference regular season. But had that not been on the line I would have paid scalpers’ prices to get in. Modano was everything to that franchise for a long time and richly deserves this honor. For many of us Sun Belters, he’s the reason we got into hockey.