DETROIT -- Ian Kinsler sent his go-ahead two-run homer Monday night 396 feet to left field, according to MLB's Statcast™, and sent the Tigers from a potentially crushing loss to a 5-4 win over the Mariners. He hopes it sent a message a little further upstairs towards the Tigers' front office.
"I would like to send any message I can -- text message, email, whatever," Kinsler said.
His message is that the Tigers still have a chance to salvage this season. Whether Monday's win changes anything is a lot less clear than the results on the scoreboard.
"Yes, we have weaknesses. Yes, we have strengths, just like any team," Kinsler continued. "But baseball's crazy. Every year you see something crazy happen in this game and you have to continue to compete, and you have to continue to play hard, and hopefully the guys upstairs see something positive and try to shore up those weaknesses."
Speculation continues to build on both ends whether the Tigers will buy or sell at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. A report from USA Today cited sources inside the organization saying the Tigers are preparing to put David Price and Yoenis Cespedes on the market ahead of free agency. At the same time, some other clubs monitoring the Tigers told MLB.com that the team isn't expected to decide whether to buy or sell until the end of the week.
A wait-and-see stance essentially puts the onus on the players to prove this team deserves a chance at a late-season run. Kinsler wants to see this team take that brief window and make a point.
"I hope there's urgency in this clubhouse," Kinsler said. "If you're asking me personally, absolutely. I've been running for the postseason since 2009, year in and year out. I don't want to do the other thing. I don't want to just play baseball for no reason. There's a lot of opportunity here, and I think everybody understands that and hopefully there's still urgency here.
The Rangers finished no worse than second in the AL West and won at least 87 games each year from 2009 to 2013, all with Kinsler. They lost back-to-back World Series in 2010 and 2011, lost the AL Wild Card game in 2012 after blowing a six-game division lead in late August, then went into September 2013 battling Oakland.
Kinsler played a big part in Detroit's fourth straight division title last year, and his struggles have been part of the Tigers' fall to third place this season. Monday's win, combined with a Royals loss to the Pirates, marked the first time the Tigers made up a full game in the standings since July 4, but they remain 9 1/2 games back. They made up a half-game on the Astros for the second Wild Card position, now four games back.
It's not their job to make the moves, Kinsler said, but it was their play that put management in this decision.
"It's our fault," he said. "We're playing the games. It's a tough industry. The Tigers' organization has to make a decision. Obviously for the past however long, 6-7 years, they've had the best interests in mind. Whatever they do, we have to roll with it, and hopefully it's something that we can look at as a positive in here and get going."
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.