Ian Kinsler didn’t know what type of reception he’d receive in his return to Rangers Ballpark on Tuesday.
He received a mostly favorable one and then proceeded to launch a solo homer into the left-field seats, giving a little wave to the Rangers’ dugout as he began his home run trot.
Kinsler said he was happy to return and has fond memories of playing on the 2010 and 2011 World Series teams. But he made a few comments in an ESPN article that didn’t sit too well with some fans after the Rangers traded him to Detroit in exchange for Prince Fielder.
“I have no idea what to think about it,” Kinsler said of the reaction he expected before the game. “I gave it everything I had when I played here. I spoke my mind at times, I kept my mouth shut at times, but I enjoyed my time. I enjoyed playing here, putting the Texas Rangers uniform on. That’s my side of it and whatever the other side is, we’ll find out.”
Kinsler created a stir this spring when he wished the Rangers would go 0-162 and also took personal shots at general manager Jon Daniels, calling him a “sleazeball.”
Kinsler said he had no regrets about what was said.
“They exactly are what they are,” Kinsler said. “I know what I meant by it. I didn’t lie. I didn’t say anything I thought was wrong.
“I had a pretty good understanding they weren’t going to go 0-162. It was made to be funny with a little bit of competitive streak in it. Everything directed towards the general manager was maybe a little uncalled for, but at the time that’s what I was feeling.”
Kinsler said he hasn’t spoken with Daniels since last season, and reiterated that he wasn’t pleased with how he’d been traded. Daniels also regrets how that news was delivered to Kinsler, who was vacationing with a few Rangers teammates and saw it on TV.
“I’m pretty upfront, tell people how I feel, that’s the way I would handle the situation,” Kinsler said. “But I’m over it, I’m past it, I’ve moved on.”
Matt Harrison is not ready to call it a career and believes he can pitch in the big leagues again.
Harrison made his first appearance in the Rangers’ clubhouse Tuesday afternoon, three weeks after undergoing spinal fusion surgery on two disks in his lower back.
Harrison was in good spirits and is confident he can get back to pitching in the future.
“I feel more confident,” said Harrison, who underwent two surgeries to repair a herniated disk in his lower back early in the 2013 season. “I think there’s a good chance I can get back if I do the rehab the right way.”
Harrison said he looks to Colby Lewis as someone who has returned from a surgery that most haven’t. Lewis had hip resurfacing surgery last August and is the first known pitcher to return from that.
Harrison hopes to do the same with the spinal fusion surgery.
“He made it back, so why not me?” Harrison said. “Hopefully it’s something I can get back from.”
Derek Holland feels he’s ready to go on a rehab assignment, but that decision will be made by Rangers officials this week once he goes through pitchers’ fielding practice.
Holland threw 80 pitches in a simulated game Monday in Arizona.
“I don’t know what else there is left to do,” Holland said. “I’m ready to kick the door down. I want to get out there and do whatever I can to help the team.”
Briefly• Rangers prospects Jorge Alfaro and Joey Gallo were selected to participate in the Futures Game next month. Alfaro, a catcher at High A Myrtle Beach, is on the World Team roster, while Gallo, a third baseman at Double A Frisco, is on the U.S. Team.
• TCU night is Wednesday at the Ballpark. Football coach Gary Patterson will throw out the first pitch, and members of the baseball team that reached the College World Series this month will be honored. Discounted tickets for TCU students and alumni are available at www.texasrangers.com/tcu, and the first 1,000 fans who purchase the tickets will receive a Rangers cap in TCU purple.