"I hope they go 0-162," Kinsler told ESPN The Magazine's Robert Sanchez recently in a story published this week. "I got friends, and I love my friends, but I hope they lose their ass."
Rangers manager Ron Washington said Kinsler's comments wouldn't impact the team and that he was always someone who "spoke his mind."
"We won't go 0-162," he said. "Guaranteed."
Washington added: "We've got to take this and deal with reality. We're not a bad team."
Kinsler's comments surprised some Rangers players, and although many declined comment, a few players spoke up.
"I don't think he's going to get what he wants," pitcher Tanner Scheppers said. "I have all the respect in the world for Ian. He's taught me a lot, but he's now with the Detroit Tigers. I wish him luck and I wish luck for everybody."
In the story, Kinsler vents about his frustrations with the Rangers, citing issues with the team and general manager Jon Daniels. His disdain for Daniels is clear, as he calls him a "sleazeball" and blames Daniels' ego for pushing Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan out the door.
"It's not worth defending," Daniels said. "I'm really proud of the group we've got here, the decisions we've made, the people we have in place and what we're building. Based on how he feels, the trade is probably a good thing for all parties involved.
"Obviously, he's a competitor. That's part of what it's about. I hope our players are pissed about that. I do. I think we'll find out what we're made of, and how we go about our business and handle our business."
Kinsler said in the story that he was asked to bear too much of a leadership role with the team after Michael Young left and didn't like being asked to move to first base in 2013 to make room for middle-infield prospect Jurickson Profar (something the Rangers didn't do after Kinsler voiced his reluctance). He also didn't like how he was informed of his trade to Detroit, something Daniels said he wasn't happy about, either.
Daniels said he was on a plane to Tucson when the trade was leaked and that he left Kinsler a voicemail once he landed. Daniels also emailed assistant GM Thad Levine while in the air, asking him to contact Kinsler and his agent.
Pitcher Matt Harrison, one of the former teammates Kinsler says in the story he'll miss, agrees with Daniels about the second baseman's drive and the need to respond.
"He's on a team we're trying to beat," the left-hander said. "I don't want them beating us and going to the playoffs, and I'm sure he was trying to say the same thing. No matter how good a friend you are, once you step in between the lines, all that goes away."
Kinsler responded to the story Tuesday at the Tigers' camp in Lakeland, Fla.
"I saw it. There's not much to say about it," he told reporters. "It's written. It's out there and I'm not happy about it. I think the story was written for drama."
Kinsler said he has no intention of reaching out to Daniels.
"There's no reason to," Kinsler said. "He's a grown man. He's intelligent enough and has had enough conversations with me to understand where I stand, and that's really it."
Josh Hamilton, a former teammate of Kinsler's who left the Rangers to join the Los Angeles Angels prior to the 2013 season, also got in trouble with a comment about his former team, saying Arlington wasn't "a baseball town."
"At least I won't be the only villain in Texas now," the outfielder told the Orange County Register.
Hamilton also sent a tweet to his former teammate.
Not any fun being in the Texas doghouse, is it @IKinsler3?
- Josh Hamilton (@thejoshhamilton) March 4, 2014