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Ian Kinsler calls out Rangers fans for not packing ballpark

Sep 30, 2013, 10:15 AM EDT

Ian Kinsler Getty Getty Images

Last week Reds outfielder Ryan Ludwick called out Cincinnati fans for their lack of energy. Our own Craig Calcaterra noted that Ludwick had put himself in a no-win situation and, sure enough, a short time later he quasi-apologized.

And now Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler has done more or less the same thing, calling out Texas fans for not packing the ballpark Sunday:

We’ve been to the postseason three years in a row. We’re fighting for our playoff lives. I’m just a little disappointed this place wasn’t sold out and rocking. You can’t say it’s the Cowboys because they were on the road. The fans were chanting “baseball town” and stuff like that, and we can’t sell out.

Todd Willis of ESPN Texas notes that the Rangers announced a crowd of 40,000, which meant there were about 9,000 empty seats. But the issue isn’t necessarily whether Kinsler has a point or not, but rather that players making millions of dollars per season ($13 million in Kinsler’s case, to be exact) calling out fans for not paying money to come watch them play baseball always comes across poorly.

  1. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Most clubs would kill to sell 40,000 tickets a game. 40k of a total of 49k sounds to me like the stadium was pretty well full. Maybe if Kinsler had to work 50-60 hours a week in order to make $35,000 a year and being asked to spend $45 for each ticket, $20 for parking, $9 for a beer, $7.50 for a damn hotdog, and $6.50 for a soda, then maybe he’d shut the fuck up and be grateful anyone comes to see them at all. I love going to the games, but it’s simply not affordable to go regularly. Most people I know can only afford to go to a small handful of games a year, let alone a team that struggled to make the playoffs (and may still get bounced out) while in the worst division in the league.

    • texassportsfan2 - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      I really like Ian as a player and am a huge Rangers fan, but he needs to shut up about ballpark attendance. Rangers have had one of the largest attendance numbers in MLB this season, as in the last 4 seasons. Personally, I can’t afford to go to every home game. It’s too expensive. And I’m not willing to sit up in the nosebleed section…..I’d rather watch the game at home on TV. (The empty seats yesterday were predominantly in the nosebleed sections). Plus, I either watch or record EVERY Rangers game…..that’s 162 games of tv revenue for you, Ian! Millionaires, geesh……

      • tkjacobs99 - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        Since the game time was changed from 7:07 pm to 11:05 am on Saturday afternoon, I think the attendance was very good for such short notice.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      After performing some research, I discovered salary levels are lower than I guess-ti-mated.

      Per capita money income in the past 12 months (2011 dollars), 2007-2011 $25,548.

      Makes $13,000,000.00 Kinsler look like even more of a jackass.

    • paperlions - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:14 PM

      Plus, on days like Sunday, if you are a sports polygamist, you can watch both baseball and football at the same time….or switch to football as soon as the baseball game is over rather than spending an hour making it back to your car and back home….and while watching at home you can enjoy better, cheaper beer and better food and cleaner bathrooms without waiting in lines (usually).

      I love going to the park, but there is something to be said for flexibility and affordability.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:45 PM

        Figured you for a polygamist.

      • paperlions - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        Figured you would appreciate that word choice.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:02 PM

        I did, but you could get all gender-bendy and say “sluts” instead too. I’ve started referring to Viagra as “slut pills” since that’s how the Rush Limbaughs characterize birth control pills.

      • paperlions - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:13 PM

        I was going to add “polyandrist” as an option, but I wasn’t sure what the noun form for polyandry was and didn’t feel like seeing if there was one.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        I think that’s it.

    • miketreedy - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:44 PM

      The Cowboys weren’t playing in Arlington but were on TV at the same time. Excuse me for deciding to go to neighborhood sports bar where I got to watch both games at once. It also saved me over an hour drive time, $35 for a ticket, $20 for parking and $5 more for every beer I drank. I think I made a good choice.

    • 18thstreet - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      Far be it from me to defend Kinsler here, but you have no constitutional right to a beer, a soda, and a hotdog at the game. Baseball concession prices are no different than what you pay at movie theaters. If you don’t like the price, don’t buy the popcorn.

  2. brianjoates - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    Would have been a nice move then to see a guy making millions buy up those tickets and donate them to a youth organization to fill the park.

    The home viewing experience is much better for friends and family, especially with multiple sporting events taking place. Plus way less expensive.

    • texassportsfan2 - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      That would be terrific. You know there are plenty of kids who would love to go to a game!

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:10 PM

      Roy Hibbert does this very thing Brian. He has a section at Bankers Life know as “Area 55.”
      It only holds 55 people. But dude holds auditions and chooses who gets the seats by grading the auditions. Sure…it’s only 55 people. But it’s 55 people to every Pacers home game.

      • pdowdy83 - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:53 PM

        Thats pretty awesome. That means he is buying 2255 tickets a year. Probably costing him over $50,000 if he is outright buying them. For a guy making millions that isn’t a huge chunk of money but it is still a very nice gesture.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:58 PM

        Oh it’s legit. And Roy pays for it himself. And I must clarify…it’s the 55 people Roy chooses AND their friends and/or family members…for the entire season.

  3. drewsylvania - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    Shut up, Ian.

  4. aidanscawley - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    Especially damaging for the Rangers considering all of the Hamilton drama in the beginning of the year. A lot easier to invalidate a “traitor’s” remarks than the ones of the current faces of the team.

    • texassportsfan2 - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:19 AM


      • aidanscawley - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:09 PM

        The Rangers got into quite the tiff with Hamilton early in the year when he lashed back at Dallas for being a “football” town. Unless you were talking about my second sentence, in which case, yeah, that wasn’t very coherent, my bad.

  5. larrybrown43 - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    On Sunday the NFL is king.

    • historiophiliac - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      Baseball Town

  6. beefytrout - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    to be honest, I was surprised to see as many empty seats as I did. That being said, Mr. Pop Up needs to be more concerned with hitting with men on base.

    • texassportsfan2 - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      Sunday afternoon games are rarely packed… any baseball stadium.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:52 AM

        But, they are in a playoff hunt. It wasn’t a regular Sunday afternoon. And, fyi, there were plenty of people at Tigers games on Sundays this year.

  7. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    It’s almost as if Hamilton had a point. Imagine…

    And I absolutely agree with brianjoates above: this year’s Rangers team is making over $125MM in salary. Why don’t the players and owners get together to buy n& offer up those unused seats to folks who couldn’t otherwise afford them? They would get a full house, and probably make a few extra fans in the process.

    • texassportsfan2 - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:21 AM

      EVERY team should do that, sabathia…..

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:15 PM

        agreed. While I respect that MLB and its teams a private businesses, they are given such generous public financial support and special treatment under the law they should really do more for community service. There is not anything “free market” about baseball teams so I don’t see any reason they can’t be required to do more than other “normal” businesses.

      • gloccamorra - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:58 PM

        You’re right – it isn’t that hard, it costs little and it’s great PR. The Padres’ Sunday home games are ALL “Salute To The Military” games, that’s why they wear the camo jerseys, and there’s a whole section of active-duty Marines at every Sunday game, and veterans and their families scattered around the stadium. The games aren’t sell-outs because the team hasn’t been in a playoff hunt since 2010, but it helps define the team’s connection to the community. All teams can and should do something like that.

    • 18thstreet - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:33 PM

      Yes, why don’t the players just hand over their money to the owners? That’s a fair solution for everyone.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:37 PM

        Why don’t players and owners hand some of their money over to the communities in some systematic fashion that would allow the communities to rely on that source of income? I know they do some, but they could certainly do more.

  8. lightcleric - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    I’ve always thought attendance was a stupid thing to attack. With the cost of going to a game these days + the hassle of traffic etc. (I’ve heard this is part of the reason for Tampa’s attendance) I can’t bash any fan base for not filling the stadium. We can’t all be like that cab driver in NY who skipped work to go to games.

    The only time I ever did it was with the Marlins when they played in Sun Life because it would look comically empty, but if my team was owned by Jeff Loria, I’d stay away, too.

  9. thesmedman - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Mr Kinsler,

    Maybe if you and your colleagues hadn’t blown a lead for the second year in a row there’d be more “joy”. Why not just focus on winning games?

  10. coloradogolfcoupons - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Kinsler, we have noted that, after signing the $15 Million/yr extension totaling $75 M last year, you went in the tank. You choked a 13 game lead over the A’s last year and started this Sept 5-15. You have the worst popup swing in history. Your manager is embarrassing to Forrest Gump, and you wonder why there are not 49,000 fans paying five bucks for cold, greasy, overpriced hot dogs? Get a clue, boy. We’ve seen you in action when pressure is on, and it’s not a pretty sight.

  11. indaburg - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Dear Ian,

    40,000? Shut up.


    The Rays

    • texassportsfan2 - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      Good one….

    • historiophiliac - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      But they’ve been a Baseball Town since like after I was born — and their stadium isn’t shitty and hard to get to. They’re just jealous of Detroit.

  12. oobjvboobjvb - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    First, dumb dumb DUMB thing to say. But what are we really complaining about here? 40,000 fans? Fact is 40,000 a game would draw 3.2 million in a season. How many teams topped that total? Four. Rangers were 5th with just under that at 3.135 million. So just because the park holds 50K, then the only way the Rangers can have good fans is to draw 4 million? He is in essence complaining about capacity. The Rangers were only outdrawn by the Dodgers, Giants, Cardinals and Yankees. Saying anything about fan support is ludicrous at best, especially when how many fans the seats hold is the standard. Ridiculous. The A’s should be the ones complaining. Better team than the Giants, won their division easily, and drew barely half the fans SF did.

    As for Kinsler, we the fans are there supporting you to the tune of over 6 million turnstile clicks in the past two seasons. How about you shut up and figure out why you can’t do anything but hit popups.

  13. absolutsaints - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Kinsler just popped out again…

  14. markofapro - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    When the Rangers suck, fans will turn on them. Ian, STFU. This doesn’t help.

  15. luttrell04 - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    Well there are 3 reasons why I can’t go to the playoffs. 1. It is a 6 hour drive from where I live at. 2. And if the tickets was not too high I would buy some tickets. 3. If I could have a place to stay at I would come. I don’t have any family or friends to go with stay with or ask me to go to the games. so Texas Rangers players keep your mouth shut til u can lower the prices & have some places to stay & don’t go up in prices to stay at. i just rather watch the game on TV.

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