Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Above the fold - Inge, Inge, Inge

Just as the always put upon Jan memorably complained about her sister on The Brady Bunch with the bitter chant "Marsha, Marsha, MARSHA!", we (being me, myself, and I) here at TWFE cry, "Inge, Inge, INGE!"

Thus the 24 hours of Inge continues at TWFE with a tour around the Tigers blogosphere.

Just like the unwashed fan rabble, the Tiger bloggers have somewhat mixed feelings over the Inge situation (I think it's safe to call it a "situation") as well. The blogging elite believes Inge is best suited for the role of super-sub, but aren't exactly happy with his crying like Nancy Kerrigan did after getting poleaxed in the knee. "WHY? Why me?!"

We start at Roar of the Tigers, where Sam is awfully upset at just the thought of Inge moving on...

Brandon Inge leaving would make ME kinda like a kicked puppy. SAD FACE.

But Sam perks up knowing that this controversy too, shall pass.

Hopefully this news about Inge agreeing to report to Spring Training as a catcher is a sign that all his sulkiness has been sulked out, and he’s ready to suck it up and be the goofball team player we all know he can be again. I don’t mind a little sulkiness in the winter. But come summer (early spring, whatever), all that junk should be purged from everyone’s systems.

Factoring in the age and injury history of several Tigers, Inge may be get the playing time he desperately wants. Even if he doesn't get 600 AB's, if the Tigers win, and win plenty, methinks Inge doth complain little... Winning cures all.

At The Daily Fungo, Mike is at DEFCON 1, bunkered down and doing his best to avoid the drunken, obnoxious hordes of Massholes and New Yawkers invading Arizona for the Super Bowl. Despite the crisis in the desert, Mike emerged long enough to take Inge to task for his "woe is me," "I wanna start" attitude.

Bottom line: At 30 you’re as good as you’re gonna get. Your successor is, perhaps, approaching his peak.

You do the math.

So, leave the attitude in South Carolina and go to Lakeland with a more cheery disposition, won’t you?

I agree, enough is enough. It's one thing to complain about losing your job to someone you think isn't as good a player. But that doesn't fly when you are talking about losing your job to a young superstar like Miguel Cabrera. He would start at 3rd for all but 1 or 2 teams. even that might be a stretch.

If Inge bides his time, he'll be back in the line up as a starter in 2009. It'll be at catcher, but he'll be back in the starting 9...

Billfer looks at both sides of the Inge coin at The Detroit Tigers Weblog. After weighing both the good and the bad, Inge accepting a bench role, and the Tigers keeping him, is the best possible resolution for all involved.

As for what it means for the team, this settles any ambiguity about what will happen if Vance Wilson isn’t ready. The Tigers also have a player they can stick all over the field and get some solid defense. It also gives Brandon a chance to re-establish some value for either a future starting gig or a possible mid season trade. This is pretty much what had to happen for both sides, and I’m glad it’s working out.

The catching issues is what clinches keeping Inge for me. The Tigers have no depth behind their rapidly aging, declining and very highly paid incumbent, Pudge Rodriguez, and his 34 year old, Tommy John surgery recovering backup, Vance Wilson. It can't be repeated enough. There is no MLB caliber catching in the Tigers system. None. Zip. Nada. Nil. With Inge, even if he's not totally happy about it, there is now a catching safety net.

At Bless You Boys, Ian is all for Inge staying with the Tigers, even if Lynn Henning isn't happy with Inge never calling him back...

Somewhere, Lynn Henning is jumping up and down, and tearing papers into shreds. "What? Why didn't he tell me? I called him two dozen times! This is the epitome of rudeness, Mr. Inge! Bad form!"

Bad form, indeed! A golf clap for Mr. Casselberry please, for knocking our sometimes holier than thou media down a couple of pegs. Hopefully we'll see no more hissy fits disguised as columns from Henning.

As always, Tiger Tales looks at the Inge "situation" logically. That logic tells Lee that Inge moving back to a utility role is very good news...

This is good news as he can be a very valuable supersub filling in at catcher, third base and outfield. With his athleticism, it's also possible he could occasionally play other other infield positions. He would be especially valuable if Vance Wilson is not ready to return from Tommy John surgery at the beginning of the season. With this possibly being Pudge Rodriguez's last year as Tiger and with no replacement ready, it is also conceivable that Inge could become the team's starting catcher in 2009.

The logic of Inge's athleticism being used to it's fullest as a uber-utility man seems to have been grasped by EVERYONE but Brandon Inge himself.

That's "Above the Fold" for Tuesday, 1-29-08! It also brings to an end the "24 hours of Inge." (Well, more like 22 hours, but who's counting?)

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