The Detroit Tigers introduced their latest addition to the team, newly acquired second baseman Ian Kinsler. As usual in these introductory conference calls, it's all happiness and light, everyone saying all the right things. That's to be expected, but nothing out of the ordinary was said by the Tigers or Kinsler.
Kinsler was asked to describe himself.
"I’d rather someone else tell you what they think of me. Personally, I believe that I’m a guy that’ll bring whatever I have that day. I’m gonna give all of that, I’m gonna play hard and play to win, and try to do the little things to win.
"That’s really what it’s all about when I play, is making sure my teammates are having fun and focused on winning, and that I’m doing the same."
"I’m an emotional player. I like to scream and yell and jump up and down and show emotion when I play. And I’m gonna try to bring that as best I can every day."
Kinsler was Hawaii when the trade went down, but much like Prince Fielder, he knew a trade was likely. After spending his entire career in the Rangers' organization, he's excited to come to Detroit.
"I’ve been with the Rangers organization since I was drafted in 2003, so it’s gonna be a new journey for me, As far as the organization I got traded to, I’m excited to be a part of it. From the other side, they’ve always been a team that’s really tough to play. You can tell they’re in a win-now mode."
"They have the pieces to do that. I’m glad to be a part of those pieces.
He's spoken to new manager Brad Ausmus as to where he fits in Detroit's revamped batting order, but he doesn't have a preference as to where he'll hit.
"That’s something that we hash out in spring training."
When asked about his somewhat down 2012 (.277/.344/.413, 13 home runs, 72 RBIs, 85 runs) , Kinsler's reply won't please those who are fans of advanced metrics.
"The only two stats I look at when the season's over is runs scored and RBI — how many runs did I produce?"
When asked about his not-so-good numbers at Comerica Park (.200/.298/.329, 3 home runs, 18 RBIs in 140 at bats), Kinsler's explanation was a reasonable one - it was due to the Tigers' excellent starting pitching.
"It’s definitely a tough place to play because of the starting pitching. Also, the fans are very good there," he said. "I definitely think about the good games over the bad games."
"I’m excited to call it my home and hopefully kick that trend."
Being his number in Texas has already been long retired by the Tigers, (the 5 was Hank Greenberg's), Kinsler hasn't made a decision as to what his new one will be. But he had only raves for the Tigers' fan base.
"When I was an opposing player there, the fans were electric. You always hear about the Red Wings and the Lions, and obviously the Pistons have had their times they’ve been great, and the fans are as supportive as anyone in the country."
At the very least, Kinsler knows how to get on the good side of the fans. He'll only remain there if his production doesn't continue to decline.