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Baseball

Kinsler: Texas GM a ‘sleazeball’

– Ian Kinsler was expecting this kind of reaction – even if he didn’t agree with the way his comments were portrayed.

Kinsler, who was traded from Texas to Detroit in the offseason, said some critical statements attributed to him in an ESPN The Magazine story were taken out of context.

Kinsler was quoted as calling Rangers general manager Jon Daniels a “sleazeball.”

“I’m not happy about it. I think that the story was written for drama, and taken a little out of context,” the Tigers’ new second baseman said. “I understand there were some things directed at the GM, but as far as my teammates and the fans, there’s nothing negative to say about that, and I think the quotes taken about the general manager were taken a little out of context.”

In the ESPN story, Kinsler blamed Daniels for the departure of Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan, who left the organization in October.

“Daniels is a sleazeball,” Kinsler was quoted as saying. “He got in good with the owners and straight pushed Ryan out. He thought all the things he should get credit for, Ryan got credit for. It’s just ego.”

Kinsler was also quoted as saying he hopes the Rangers lose every game this season.

Cubs hire Lilly as special assistant

Ted Lilly has been hired by the Chicago Cubs as a special assistant to Theo Epstein, the team’s president of baseball operations.

Chicago said he will spend time with the team during spring training, visit minor league clubs during the season, evaluate amateur players ahead of the June draft and scout professional players.

Around the leagues

Detroit outfielder Andy Dirks is expected to miss three months because of a back problem that requires surgery. … Stephen Strasburg pitched two scoreless innings in his spring debut for Washington, but Phil Gosselin took advantage of Nationals rookie manager Matt Williams defensive shift in the eighth inning to give Atlanta an 8-4 win. …

Left-hander Mike Gonzalez, 35, has agreed to a minor league contract with Washington and will compete with Xavier Cedeno for a bullpen job. …

Two-time AL Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana agreed to a minor league contract with Baltimore as he tries to come back from the second major operation on his left shoulder. Santana would get a $3 million, one-year deal if added to the 40-man roster.

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