05/02/07 5:03 PM ET
Kinsler feels Rangers have talent to win
Infielder acknowledges April has been frustrating
By / MLB.com
peterSS: How do you feel this year with the club, do you think this year is the year?
Ian Kinsler: So far this year has been a little bit of a struggle. The month of April wasn't too kind, but we just need to keep our heads up. We know we have a good club and hopefully the wins will start coming our way.
PLAYER: You seem to have excellent bat speed. What size bat do you use.
Kinsler: I use a 33 1/2 inches, 31 1/2 ounces. I have used that since rookie ball.
boflex: How has Ron Washington handled the rough start to the season so far?
Kinsler: He's been very positive with the team. Obviously, he is a little frustrated like all of us because he knows what we are capable of doing.
Ian: Hello. I was wondering, what are your main ambitions this year after such a great start? In the future, do you hope to represent the USA in the 2009 World Baseball Classic? From Ian Hughes, 15 years old, in the south of England.
Kinsler: Yeah, I would love to represent the United States in the World Baseball Classic, but that is still a couple of years away. Michael Young and Mark Teixeira said they had a great time competing in the World Baseball Classic.
tomback24: Out of all of your cousins, who is your favorite?
Kinsler: You are, okay?
allie5: When you were growing up, who was your idol?
Kinsler: Off the field, Superman. He could do it all. He was my idol. But as far as baseball is concerned, Cal Ripken Jr. was a guy who I wanted to be like.
Thanatos: You've hit a ton of home runs this year, compared to last year especially, what factors have played into your increase in power numbers?
Kinsler: This offseason I worked hard with our weight coach Jose Vasquez. I worked my legs more than I have in the past. I think that weighs into the power numbers.
Thanatos: What is a normal day like for you when you have a night game?
Kinsler: I wake up around 10 a.m. and eat some breakfast. I hang out around the house with my wife, watching TV or playing video games. Then I go to lunch about 12:45 or 1 p.m. After lunch, I head to the ballpark. At the ballpark I have the option of 3:30 hitting, which I participate in often. Then stretch is at 4:20 and batting practice (BP) starts at 4:40. After BP I start getting mentally prepared for the game.
Thanatos: What pranks have been pulled on you as a Ranger, and what pranks have you pulled on other teammates?
Kinsler: We don't play too many pranks on each other, but we do play a lot of childish games. For example trying to get your teammate to say 'who.' It is funny to everyone for some reason.
Thanatos: Sammy Sosa is often thought of as a future hall of famer -- what is it like to spend so much time with him?
Kinsler: It is unbelievable to have Sammy Sosa as a teammate. In my eyes and other baseball players' eyes, he is one of the most mentally strong people to play in this game.
Thanatos: Who has been the greatest influence on you?
Kinsler: My dad. He was my coach until high school started and that is where I learned the game.
wood1378: What is the attitude in the locker room right now?
Kinsler: The attitude is a little frustration. Last night was a rough game for us and we want to get on a hot streak at the beginning of May.
ArkHawgs: How do you fight off outside pitches so well that you force them to throw you inside? The way you pull pitches is amazing.
Kinsler: I stand very close to the plate and always make sure my front foot is down early.
klodabest: How is Kenny Lofton on the team?
Kinsler: Kenny Lofton is a great teammate. He is a proven winner and he is someone who you love to have on your side.
jellingham: What goals have you chosen to achieve this year?
Kinsler: I don't believe in setting goals because goal setters always seem to fall short of the goal they set.
txkal05: What kept you from signing a contract extension this spring?
Kinsler: I didn't have too much control of the situation. All of the control was in the Texas Rangers' hands. I am still under their control for the next four years so the urgency to get a contract done wasn't that high.
wood1378: What is it going to take for you guys to be 15 games over .500 this year? More pitching? More hitting?
Kinsler: I think we have what it takes with the addition of the new manager and the players that we signed this offseason. It's up to the players to perform on the field. If we do our job we should win the West.
Thanatos: Which all-time great second baseman would you say you are most like or would most like to be like?
Kinsler: Ryan Sandberg. He was great on both sides of the ball and also stole bases.
Thanatos: If you could break one Major League record, which record would you like to break?
Kinsler: The consecutive game streak by Cal Ripken Jr.
HawaiiGirl: What type of music do you like to listen to?
Kinsler: I enjoy all kinds of music. The top of my list is country music and rap. Not far behind is rock and then whatever is on the radio.
Thanatos: Do you play fantasy sports or leave it on the field?
Kinsler: I play fantasy sports but only football. The offseason is a great time to enjoy what the NFL has to offer.
sambadkat: Who is the toughest pitcher you have faced this year and how did you fare against him?
Kinsler: The toughest pitcher we have faced this year is Roy Halladay. The two toughest pitchers I faced last year were Johan Santana and Jose Contreras.
Neil: Who does Ian Kinsler look up to on the Rangers squad?
Kinsler: Michael Young is someone that I would like to be similar to on and off the field. He is a very consistent person. I believe consistency is the key to success in this game.
Kinsler: Thanks for your time today. I have enjoyed answering your questions. See you at the ballpark. Go Rangers!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.