San Diego Padres second baseman Ian Kinsler — at age 37 and playing for his fourth team in the last three seasons — has been enduring a tough year at the plate so far. But when he hit a sixth-inning, three-run homer at Petco Park Thursday night, he picked a novel and surprising way to celebrate — by cursing out the Padres’ home fans. Kinsler’s outburst was reported by The San Diego Union-Tribune.
In video of the home run celebration, Kinsler can be clearly seen shouting, “F*** you! F*** you all!” — which Deadspin described as not being a gesture “that will generally endear you to the people cheering on your dingers.”
Kinsler later denied to The San Diego Union-Tribune that his profanities were directed at Padres fans, saying instead that he meant the words for his teammates. “It’s an inside thing… I was trying to get everyone fired up,” Kinsler claimed.
Kinsler, a three-time All Star for the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers earlier in his 14-year career, has been struggling at the plate so far in the 2019 season. He currently holds a dismal batting average of just.175 and an OPS of.574. Before Thursday’s game, Kinsler had hit four home runs and five doubles among his 21 base hits in 120 at-bats, per Baseball Reference.
Kinsler — who once controversially criticized Latin American baseball players for what he felt were excessive displays of emotion on the field — also emphatically flipped his bat after blasting the deep home run well over Petco Park’s left field fence, as MLB.com reported.
Ian Kinsler with the casual A++++ bat flip pic.twitter.com/Ephjz7cVjX
— Starting 9 (@Starting9) May 17, 2019
But after the game, mosts media and online attention focused on his equally emphatic curse words seemingly directed at Padres fans, many of whom have been critical of Kinsler for the past several weeks. Many fans believe that Kinsler has been a weak link on a team that appears to have at least a chance of qualifying for the postseason for the first time since 2006. The Padres currently sit at 23-21, in third place in the National League West.
Ian Kinsler told his own fanbase tonight to “go f*** themselves” after homering. pic.twitter.com/yMKRDrmM2C
— Max Wildstein (@MaxWildstein) May 17, 2019
During the 2017 World Baseball Classic, in which Kinsler played for the United States team — which ultimately won the tournament — the veteran second baseman made what The Washington Post called “groan-inducing” comments about players from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
“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 said at the time. “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.”