No, Ian Kinsler, you were not taken out of context

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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.

There was another miscommunication between the Phillies and Pat Neshek

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Back in June 2017, then-manager of the Phillies Pete Mackanin and reliever Pat Neshek had some miscommunication. In a series against the Cardinals, Neshek worked a five-pitch eighth inning and it was believed he would come back out for the ninth inning, but he never did. Mackanin said Neshek said he didn’t want to pitch another inning. Neshek said he was never asked. There was also some miscommunication the game prior. Neshek thought he had the day off; Mackanin said Neshek said he wasn’t available to pitch.

Mackanin is no longer the Phillies’ manager, but the miscommunication between Neshek and the team apparently persist. Neshek was notably absent during the Phillies’ hard-fought 5-4 win over the Cubs on Monday night. The game featured a struggling Seranthony Domínguez pitching two innings, yielding three crucial runs in his second inning of work.

Manager Gabe Kapler called the bullpen and instructed Neshek to begin warming up to prepare to face Albert Almora, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Kapler rang the bullpen after Domínguez walked Jason Heyward, who batted ahead of Almora. Neshek wasn’t warmed up yet. Domínguez was able to retire Almora on a sacrifice bunt, which was reviewed and gave Neshek some extra time to get ready. He was ready for the next batter, Daniel Descalso, but at this point Kapler no longer wanted to bring Neshek into the game. Descalso lined a triple to left-center field, scoring two runs and came home himself when shortstop Jean Segura‘s throw caromed off of his foot out of play.

Recounting the situation, Neshek said, “I got on the mound and threw two pitches. [Kapler] said, ‘Is he ready?’ And I said, ‘No. I’m not ready yet. I’ve thrown two pitches.” Neshek was asked how long it takes him to get ready. The veteran said, “A minute. Not 20 seconds. I’m, like, the best in the league at getting ready. My whole career has been coming in like that.”

The Phillies were able to eke out a 5-4 win. Had they lost the game, Kapler and Neshek would likely have been under the microscope for the awkward situation leading to a crushing defeat. Kapler drew plenty of criticism over his bullpen management last year in his rookie managerial season. That included bringing in lefty reliever Hoby Milner into a game in which he hadn’t yet warmed up.

Maybe it’s just a coincidence that the manager who struggled with bullpen management last year nearly mucked up a win last night, and maybe it’s just a coincidence that a reliever who’s had prior issues with communication had another communication mix-up. Maybe it’s not. It’s worth noting that the Phillies needed three innings from the bullpen to protect a 2-1 lead over the Cubs on Tuesday. Kapler called on rookie Edgar Garcia for two outs, lefty José Álvarez for four, and then brought in Juan Nicasio to close things out in the ninth. No Neshek, even as Nicasio got into trouble. Nicasio would surrender the tying and go-ahead runs, resulting in a deflating 3-2 loss.