Kinsler all smiles in return to Arlington

Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) celebrates after hitting a home run during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

Matthew Emmons/Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

ARLINGTON, Texas – Ian Kinsler is enjoying his return to Texas.

He was chuckling about his 0-162 comments he made in spring training about his hopes for the Rangers this season. He was shagging fly balls in the outfield hit by Adrian Beltre’s son before the game. And then he was all smiles as he launched a first-inning homer off Colby Lewis and waved at the Texas dugout as he rounded first base.

It was typical Kinsler, who was back in Arlington for the first time since his offseason trade to Detroit.

Kinsler said he wasn’t worried about the reaction he’d get from the home crowd in Texas and he enjoyed is eight years with the club.

He received a mostly positive reception in his first at-bat. Of course that was before he homered.

Kinsler, who came into the game hitting .294 with eight home runs and 35 RBI, was also all smiles in talking about his first season with Detroit.

"It’s been pretty smooth, it’s been pretty easy," Kinsler said. "Great organization. Great coaching staff. Great clubhouse. Veteran guys. Know how to win. Been around winning. It’s a good environment to be a part of. It’s been an easy transition."

That doesn’t mean that it was easy for Kinsler, who still lives in Texas during the offseason, to come to Globe Life Park. He said he nearly went to wrong parking lot when he got to the ballpark.

While Kinsler has talked with some of his former teammates since the trade, he still hasn’t talked to general manager Jon Daniels. Kinsler was critical of Daniels in the ESPN The Magazine article. While he said some of his comments were "a little uncalled for" he doesn’t see a conversation happening anytime soon.

"I haven’t talked to JD since last season," Kinsler said. "I never talked to him through the trade process or through anything that was going on, given a heads or maybe this might happen or we’re possibly thinking about trading you. There was no communication. I have nothing to say to him and he probably has nothing to say to me."

Kinsler said he had no hard feelings towards Daniels for his handling of the trade now.

"I’m over it," he said. "I’m passed it. I’ve moved on."

While Kinsler has moved on, he does have plenty of fond memories of his time in Texas. He said the summers of 2010 and 2011 when the Rangers went to the World Series stick out most.

"Those two summers I spent here were probably the two best summers I’ve had playing baseball," he said. "Those are something I’ll definitely remember. Obviously I’ll remember growing up here. This is where I started, came up through the organization. My first big-league hit was at this stadium. My first big-league home run was at this stadium. There were a lot of firsts for me and a lot of accomplishments at this ballpark."