Hard as it might be to believe, Tigers utility man and fan-favorite scrappy dude Brandon Inge is not too impressed with the Tigers decision to summarily replace him with the Quarter Ton Couple of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.

Understandable for Inge, coming off his worst season at age 33, a season in which he took a minor-league demotion like a champ, is now chuffed at the prospect of losing his job. Who knew?

Brandon Inge used to be an above-average baseball player. After his move out from behind the plate, Inge turned some fine third base defense, league-average offense, and every day durability into two seasons worth around 8 Wins Above Replacement (depending on your flavor). The ravages of age took over as Inge started missing games and his defense returned to the league-wide baseline.

Inge was downright terrible last season. His power disappeared and, despite a decent walk rate, he failed to get on base. At all. Not even once! Despite insisting he’s in the Best Shape of His Life and not at all interested in platooning, Inge probably sits behind even Don Kelly on the Tigers third base depth chart.

Brandon Inge has one more guaranteed year on his contract before an all-but inevitable buyout ahead of 2013. At 34 years old, he likely isn’t as bad as his 2011 season showed but still a long way from serving as an everyday player on a team with title aspirations. His outrage is understandable and only endears him to loyal Tigers fans further.

As a fan, it is very easy to commiserate with a player clinging to his big league career like grim death when the ownership of your team spends two-hundred million dollars securing superior options, thereby rendering the scrappy lifer all but obsolete. “He’s like a mascot! Little Binge is so cute, trying to run around with the big boys. No quit in that one, no sir. Now when do the two portly guys with all the home runs show up?

Comments (27)

  1. There’s always room for him in the National league.

  2. After the article posted on here about Miggy moving to 3rd I was going to write a comment along the effect of “play Inge, he gets on base and plays good D. Miggy and Prince can platoon 1B/DH.”

    However, after trying to pull up some statistical backup I realized just how bad he was last year. Horrible OBP and middling defense. Immediately deleted my comment…

  3. Impressive 1980s pre-teen Can lit shout out.

  4. Son of Interflux

  5. According to a person within the tigers clubhouse, Brandon Inge was a much better player while he was taking steroids. He apparently wasn’t on them last year.

  6. ..so I’ve basically spent the last hour wiki-ing (?) all things Gordon Korman in a megablast of nostalgia. Thanks Drew. No that’s not sarcasm. I vividly remember reading the baseball scenes in I Want To Go Home… Rudy Miller was a boss player, man. 1.000+ OPS easy.

    • I didn’t say I didn’t know how to play third base, I just said I don’t play third base.

  7. my question is why don’t the tigers move either cabrera or fielder to DH for at least the 2012 season

    • They think they are a better team (even defensively) with Cabrera at 3B, Raburn in LF, Delmon Young at DH, and Santiago at 2B than with Cabrera at DH, Raburn at 2B, Delmon Young at LF, and Kelly/Inge at 3B

  8. Parkes: in what other industry can CEOs say that they’ll only invest in the product once the revenue is there?

  9. You can’t just disclaim “i don’t know anything about economics” and then follow through with an economically incorrect statement. Such a blogger trick.

  10. I really just came here to say that there must be some weird subliminal Gordon Korman media thingy going on, because I totally wiki’d him yesterday for absolutely no reason whatsoever. I remember being so jealous In school that a kid like me was an accomplished author…who’s books I loved. I’m totally going to rename my band Nuclear Teacup.

  11. Not sure if I’m missing some sarcasm (a crime of which the internet has made us all guilty, at one time or another), but I’m pretty sure “chuffed” isn’t quite the word you want in the second paragraph.

    • I think it works okay. Dictionary.com gives two definitions, one that quirks and one that is the complete opposite. Which means it doesn’t really work.

  12. Wow, the comments got weird.

  13. It actually makes more sense to have Inge @ 3B and Cabrera in left then it does to have Young in LF and Cabrera at third. If Inge rebounds (and he was a 700 OPS bat in his return, SSS be damned) he’s significantly more valuable than Delmon.

    You can criticize Inge all you want for being a crybaby, but the fact of the matter is the Tigers would be better off with Inge at third base in the same lineup as Cabrera and Fielder. He’s coming off a lousy season, yes, but he should be starting on that team considering he’s been a 2~ Win player the past few years.

    To put it in perspective Inge’s WAR in 2010 is greater than Delmon’s career WAR. And Inge was worth 2.1 WAR last year.

    • Two seasons ago. They’re probably better off with Kelly at third, not Inge.

      • Unless you think Inge is going to repeat the 197 BA, which I don’t, then he’s a better option than Young.

        I can’t believe you of all people would suggest Kelly is a better option. Kelly is an even weaker hitter than Inge, and his D at third is tough to evaluate given he’s played so few innings there.

        I’m not saying Brandon Inge is this amazing player, but he’s better than Kelly, and he’s better than Delmon Young. The IFFB and ISO were pretty fucked for him last season (Inge), but nothing else (contact, LD, swinging strike) were radically different.

        Giving Inge till May to see if he can hit better than he did last year would be worthwhile for the Tigers. They’d have a better IF D, and they’d keep Delmon at DH where he belongs. It would save Porcello/Fister who are GB pitchers instead of the god awful cabrera/fielder alignment at 1st/3rd.

  14. His comments do not endear him to TIger fans. We would like a World Series Title and Inge will have to suck it up and stop complaining. If he is lucky, he will play a valuable role as a defensive replacement at 3b. And hopefully, 3b regularly on the days Verlander starts (they won’t need the extra offense). Suck it up Brandon and hopefully you will have a nice ring to sport at seasons end.

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