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.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.