It’s laughable that Ian Kinsler said that his disparaging comments about Jon Daniels and the Rangers — in which he called Daniels a “sleazeball” — were “kind of taken out of context.” I mean, if just doesn’t make sense because there’s no context in which “sleazeball” really looks good. But if you’re inclined to give him even a little benefit of the doubt, do so no longer.
Buster Olney talked to Robert Sanchez, who interviewed Kinsler and wrote the article about him. Sanchez explains that the “out of context” defense is pretty laughable:
“When I heard that I thought to myself, ‘I have dozens and dozens and dozens of pages of transcripts, of which about a quarter of it is Ian complaining about the Texas Rangers, how things went down, how upset he is about it and just blasting away at Daniels.’ And at some point in the interview, when you’re listening to this and you’re listening to the recording of it and then when you’re reading the transcripts of it, it’s overwhelming. You can’t avoid that part of it. So Ian might think it’s drama. To me, I saw it as Ian being Ian and Ian showing his true feelings.”
Sanchez said Kinsler brought up Daniels “over and over and over again” and that part of Kinsler’s m.o. over the course of his career has been to use slights, perceived or otherwise, to provide motivation for himself. That maybe he was doing that here.
Which, if that’s what he needs to do, great. But man, stand behind what you say. If you’re going to call someone out, don’t pretend you didn’t the day after the interview comes out. The “out of context” thing is beyond weak.
Back during the 2015 playoffs the sorts of New York media types who love to find reasons to criticize players for petty reasons decided to criticize Yoenis Cespedes for playing golf the day of a playoff game. The Mets won the series with the Cubs during which the controversy, such as it was, occurred and it was soon dropped.
It was picked back up again in 2016 when Cespedes, while on the disabled list with a strained quad, was seen playing golf. Despite the fact that everyone involved said that golf did not contribute to his injury and that golf would have no impact on his injured quad, it was deemed “a bad look” by a columnist looking to get some mileage out of bashing Cespedes for having a hobby that probably half of all ballplayers share. They did it when he showed off his fancy cars too, by the way, even though just about every ballplayer has a fancy car or three. When you’re a superstar in New York — especially when you’re one with whom the media is not particularly close for various reasons — you’re going to catch hell for seemingly nothing.
Now there’s a new twist to the Cespedes golf saga. Yoenis himself says that his poor start — he’s hitting .195/.258/.354 and leads the league in strikeouts — is due to . . . not enough golf! From the New York Times:
He gave a possible reason for the poor start this weekend: not playing enough golf, a hobby beloved by many baseball players. And, yes, he is serious.
“In previous seasons, one of the things I did when I wasn’t going well was to play golf,” he said after a game on Friday in which he struck out four times but still drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. “This year, I’m not playing golf.”
The story says Cespedes quit golf last summer because he worried that it was contributing to hamstring problems. He’s thinking about going back to it soon, as he thinks it’ll help his swing. Given that he’ll catch hell either way, he may as well do what he wants.