DETROIT -- Former Detroit Tigers slugger Prince Fielder's first trip back to Comerica Park this week since he was traded to the Texas Rangers back in 2013 has conjured memories of the high-profile swap, one that sent Fielder -- and $30 million -- to Texas and brought back infielder Ian Kinsler in the deal.
Kinsler is savvy enough to understand that their two names are linked, in a way, at least as far as fans and media members like to pontificate on the matter. A plate appearance or a noteworthy play for one usually brings mention of the other.
But as far as Kinsler is concerned, he doesn’t think much anymore about Fielder or the trade that brought him to Detroit.
“People will, but I don’t,” Kinsler told ESPN.com before Friday’s game against his former club. “And I’m pretty sure he doesn’t.”
The emotional charge that comes from facing his old organization, with which Kinsler spent eight years, has abated. Last season, he said, still felt a bit different when he played the Rangers, but this year those residual feelings have lessened considerably.
Kinsler, who some felt was being pushed aside in Texas to give young prospects greater opportunities, insists he have no regrets with what happened, or his feelings after the trade. “That’s only human, to have emotions,” he said. But he has effectively cut the cord -- keeping in touch with only a few of his old teammates -- and he’s happy in Detroit.
Certainly, that much has been reflected in the way he’s performing at the plate recently.
The 33-year-old second baseman has gone on an offensive tear recently, with 11 hits and six RBIs in the past five games. In Saturday’s game, he went 2-for-5, hitting a three-run shot with two outs in the ninth inning to record his 48th multi-hit game of the season, which currently leads the American League. In the past 21 games, Kinsler has had two or more hits in 12 games, and he is batting .416 (33-for-76) with 21 runs, eight doubles, two triples, three home runs and 15 RBIs during that span.
Conversely, Fielder is 2-for-11 in the first three games of the series. But Kinsler doesn’t feel the need for comparisons. That's for other people to worry about.
Armed with more distance and perspective from the trade, Kinsler views it now as nothing but a welcome change in scenery.
“It turned out to be, yeah,” he said. “It’s a good place to be. There’s no hidden agenda. The owner is all in, the [former] general manager, Dave Dombrowski, was all in. [Current] general manager Al [Avila] is the same way. There’s no difference between behind the scenes and in your face.”