Just Asking Questions: FEAR NOT! It Was Taken Out Of Context!

Texas Rangers Second Baseman Ian Kinsler

Hey all, it’s Jaq again, and I am Just Asking Questions.

How about the Fixx lead us off with our question:  “Why don’t they do what they say… say what they mean?  One thing leads to another.”

You ever seem to notice how many athletes are so misunderstood by us in the bleachers?  I mean, how often have you heard someone say something really astounding, challenging, or downright nasty, and then when it gets reported, it’s all “Hey, man, I was taken out of context.”

Taken out of context.  An eraser of a phrase which is supposed to be a get out of jail free card (another cultural reference in this article—I’m on fire!).

For an example of someone who claimed he was taken out of context, I give you Ian Kinsler, unhappy tradee from the Texas Rangers to the Detroit Tigers.  If, that is, one believes what he said when he was quoted in an ESPN article as calling his former general manager a “sleazeball.”  When the blowback came, Ian Kinsler said he was taken “out of context.”

He did explain he wasn’t talking about the fans or his former teammates, but no one said he was.  He didn’t deny saying the GM was a “sleazeball.”  And, frankly, I don’t get in what context that characterization becomes benign.

I’ve never heard anybody use the name “sleazeball” as a term of endearment.

He also said he wished his former team went “0-162.”  That, of course, proved how cool he was with the ex-teammates, since he was OK with them winning a few exhibition games that year.

Or did I take him out of context there?  (He did say that was a joke, by the way.  I’m sure his five-minute stand up set is quite hilarious.)

Here’s a question:  Why didn’t he just say he meant what he said, and he didn’t like the general manager, and so there?

And, for that matter, why doesn’t everyone either stand behind their remarks or apologize for them?

The New King James has it pretty well said in Matthew 5:37, when Jesus is quoted as saying:  “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”

Why don’t they (you, me) say what they mean?  Why not?

And, if you speak, and it turns out to be something bad, how about “I’m sorry.”  It’s quicker to say than “taken out of context.”  And, for that matter, it is just so much more appropriate.

When confronted with his comments, Ian didn’t do either.  He said he was taken out of context and was making a joke.  I haven’t read yet that anyone has publicly dogged him for these comments from the Rangers, but don’t you think someone might have a little something in game to say?  Or do?

At least in this case, Ian Kinsler offered a kind of explanation of the context of his comments.  The explanation was rather unconvincing to this writer, but I don’t act as Ian’s judge.  He has a Judge to whom he is responsible.  It’s not me.

That said, how about just speaking appropriately, and when one doesn’t, man up and say, “Yeah, I said that, and I meant that”?  Or, when appropriate, “yeah, I said that, and I was wrong.  I’m sorry.”

Ian said he wasn’t going to talk to the GM, and that the GM was a grown man and knew where he was coming from.  In short, Ian may not be sorry for having said what he said.

For you and I, though, let’s have this take away:  Say what you mean, mean what you say.  Let your “yes” be “yes.”  And, if you speak controversially, either don’t back off what you said or express sorrow for it.

Simple and effective.  Or maybe, as Paul writes (KJV):  “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”  Colossians 4:6.  Then, you don’t have to worry about being taken out of context.  And probably won’t even need to worry about apologizing.

No joke.

This is Jaq, and I’m just asking questions.  Later.