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Wednesday, October 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Kinsler a fit for Tigers

Ian Kinsler says he is happy playing for the Detroit Tigers, and views this time as the second half of his career. (Associated Press)
Ian Kinsler says he is happy playing for the Detroit Tigers, and views this time as the second half of his career. (Associated Press)
Associated Press

Ian Kinsler says joining the Detroit Tigers has been a bit of a relief so far.

His team is in first place and he’s among the league leaders in hitting – and that’s about all he has to worry about when he shows up at the ballpark each day.

“I’m here to play baseball. I’m here to win, I’m here to help the team any way I can and perform,” Kinsler said. “That’s really it.”

“I’m not worried about taking care of any young kids, or making sure dress code is met, or anything like that. Just here to play ball and help the team,” he said.

Kinsler, a former Spokane Indians player, was sent to Detroit in the offseason blockbuster trade that moved Prince Fielder to Texas.

And although Detroit made the deal with financial flexibility in mind, it also was getting an accomplished player.

Kinsler has certainly lived up to his end of the bargain to this point. The 31-year-old second baseman was hitting .316 entering Saturday’s game at Seattle.

It looks like Kinsler has a shot to hit over .300 for the second time in his career.

He’s been more than just a steady replacement at second base for Omar Infante, who left via free agency.

Kinsler has been a catalyst for the Detroit offense, fitting in well on and off the field.

“He’s actually funnier than I thought he was. He always looks very serious,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “Managing him, he’s outstanding – couldn’t ask for more.”

After being traded by the Rangers, Kinsler was quoted in an ESPN The Magazine story as saying he hoped Texas would go 0-162 this season.

He later said he was joking, and he bristled a bit when asked about that comment last week, when the Rangers arrived in Detroit for a four-game series.

Kinsler was asked if any of the Rangers had given him any good-natured grief about his remarks.

“They thought it was funny, like everyone probably should,” Kinsler said.

“The way that it was taken was serious, but it’s supposed to be funny. They saw it as funny, I saw it as funny.”

Kinsler played eight seasons in Texas, and the move to the Tigers enabled him to start fresh with a team full of veterans.

Manziel to throw out first pitch for Indians

For one night, Johnny Football will try his hand at baseball.

The Cleveland Indians announced that Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel will throw out the first pitch before Wednesday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox.

“Manzielmania” has already hit Cleveland with full force, even though training camp won’t open until late July.

Fans will get their first glimpse of the celebrated Heisman Trophy winner when he takes the mound at Progressive Field.

The Browns moved up in the first round of the NFL draft to select Manziel with the 22nd pick.

The former Texas A&M star will battle hometown product Brian Hoyer for the starter’s job in training camp.

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