GM wants team's focus on field, not Kinsler

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels spoke to the media Tuesday in Arizona in response to the criticism of Ian Kinsler in today's ESPN The Magazine story.

Daniels did not want to get caught up in name-calling, something he said in ESPNDallas.com's story earlier today. But he does hope his team can use the comments -- Kinsler said he hopes the Rangers go 0-162 -- as motivation.

"I hope our players are pissed about that. I do," said Daniels, acknowledging that Kinsler is a competitor. "I think we’ll find out what we’re made of, and how we go about our business and handle our business."

Daniels did attempt to clarify a few things from the story, namely Kinsler's assertion that Daniels' ego drove Nolan Ryan out of town.

"On the Nolan stuff, what he said there, and again I haven’t read it verbatim, but I get the gist of it," Daniels said. "That’s just not accurate. I’m not going to get into it any more than that, other than that it’s simply not accurate."

Daniels did explain what happened when the Prince Fielder-Kinsler trade happened and why he wasn't able to reach Kinsler sooner. He noted that on a conference call with reporters that night that the organization apologized that it couldn't reach Kinsler before word got out.

"I was actually on a flight at the time," Daniels said. "Dave and I had finalized the deal probably about an hour or two before the deal. But with the cash involvement, we needed the commissioner’s office’s approval. It was $30 million they were sending our way. And then, Prince had a no-trade, so he had to sign off on it. So we had to wait for everything.

"It came down, and we got a green light while I was in the air. By the time that had happened, it had already gotten out. I wasn’t able to call until we landed. Thad (Levine, assistant GM) had called, reached out. Bottom line: He found out via social media. Unfortunately, that’s not the way you want somebody to find out about that sort of thing."

Kinsler also admitted that he was "bogged down" and not ready to lead.

"They wanted me to lead these young players, teach them the way to compete, when the only thing I should be worried about is how I'm performing in the game," Kinsler said in the story.

Daniels' response to that?

"It was something we had talked about internally and also with Ian when he signed the extension -- the nature of any good player with tenure on a club," Daniel said Tuesday. "I think he expressed a desire to be himself. Everybody leads in different ways. Some guys are more vocal than others, some guys more by example. Obviously, based on what he said, it wasn’t for him."