Tigers' Ian Kinsler clarifies controversial comments about Latino players

DETROIT – Detroit Tigers second basemen Ian Kinsler came under fire this week after talking about the differences between American players and Latino players.

The comments came before a game against Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.

Here's what he said to the New York Times:

“I hope kids watching the WBC can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays,” Kinsler told the New York Times. “That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.”

After the game against Puerto Rico (which USA won 8-0), Kinsler attempted to clarify his comments:

“What I said was that American kids can watch American players play, Puerto Rican kids can watch Puerto Rican players play, Venezuelan kids can watch Venezuelan guys play, and that’s who they emulate. That’s who they watch. That’s who they want to be like,” he told ESPN. “There’s nothing wrong with an American kid watching a Puerto Rican player and wanting to be like them, or a Puerto Rican kid watching an American player and wanting to play that way.

“You should play the way you want, and the way you feel will put you in the best position to win — the way you feel the best and perform the best. Everybody is different. I play differently than a lot of my teammates on this team; I play with a little more emotion than most players during the season. Everybody has their own style! That’s all I was saying.”

“This is what this tournament is for, to demonstrate the game in all walks of life, all over the globe,” he said. “You saw the way Japanese players play; they play different than us. The Latin teams play different than us. Everyone should be celebrated. That is what this tournament is about, and that’s why everyone loves it, ’cause you get to see people play [in front of] people from their own country and the different styles of baseball. One is not better than the other; they are just different.”

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.