Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler was the star attraction Thursday at the Academy Sports store in Grapevine. He was joined by Jon Daniels, Jim Sundberg, Darren Oliver and Doug Mathis. Interesting note: The right-handed-throwing Mathis signs autographs with his left hand, and the left-handed-throwing Oliver signs with his right hand. Seriously.
Back to Kinsler, who confirmed what his general manager had said earlier in the day. Daniels, during the Khalil Greene conference call, said that the players were fired up for the 2010 season after the changes to the roster. Daniels wasn't in ear-shot when Kinsler said the following about the off-season/2010 campaign.
"We basically covered every question we had going into the off-season, with very little spending money," Kinsler started. "JD made some very smart moves at the winter meetings. You never like to see a teammate get traded, especially someone who did so much for the organization in four years like Kevin [Millwood], but JD and the rest of his guys thought that move was necessary.
"When we were able to get Vlad [Guerrero]... the signings we had before that were exciting, but to be able to get Vlad, it just got us all excited. We realize that this is our year. It's all up to us now."
As for sliding down the order from the leadoff spot, Kinsler seems just fine with it.
"I'm not one-dimensional," said Kinsler, who was a 30-30 man in 2009. "I think I can do a lot of things. I think I can handle spots all through the order, whether I'm hitting second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth or seventh. It's looks like, right now, it's probably going to be fifth.
"Hitting behind Mike [Young], Josh [Hamiltion] and Vlad, I think I'm going to have a lot of RBI chances. Just as long as Vlad doesn't clear the bases every time."
-- Jeff Wilson