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Ian Kinsler talks about playing for Israel

6/29/2011

HOUSTON -- It started out as a simple question from a reporter from a Israeli website, and now Ian Kinsler is getting more questions about it.

Kinsler, the Rangers' second baseman, said he wouldn't mind playing for the Israeli national baseball team if it qualifies for the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

"It would be cool to play in the World Baseball Classic," Kinsler said prior to the Rangers' game with the Houston Astros on Wednesday night. "Israel has nothing to do with me. Honestly. It would be Ok. I don't know if we have a bullpen."

According to Jewish Baseball News, Kinsler's father is Jewish and his mother is Catholic.

During an interview with the Israeli website Walla (walla.co.il), Kinsler was asked about playing for the Israel National team if he doesn't get an invite to play for the United States.

"There is no determining factor, I would just do it," he said. "If the United States did not ask me to play on their team, I would like to join another team, if asked."

The WBC is expanding from 16 teams to 28 and Israel is among the countries that has been invited to participate in a new 16-team qualifying round in 2012 along with the likes of Brazil, Great Britain and Thailand.

According to WBC eligibility rules, several major leaguers are allowed to represent Israel, including the Rangers' Scott Feldman, Boston’s Kevin Youkilis and Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun.

When asked about his last name being Jewish, the Kinsler said with a smile, "It started out Kinslish or something like that."