Does it seem as if Brandon Inge wants to burn every bridge he has left?
First, we hear Inge doesn't want to come off the bench, he thinks of himself as a starter. He's no longer a "super-sub,' at least in his mind. So the Tigers agree to trade him. Simple enough. Or so we thought.
So much for a simple trade. There's a snag. No one wants to trade for a $6 million a year black hole on offense without the Tigers eating a great deal of his contract and accepting never-gonna-be's in return. Thus, Inge grudgingly agrees to play wherever the Tigers ask. He does make it a point to remind the Tigers and the media he'd much rather be traded so he can start.
The Tigers ask Inge to catch. He does so...But he bitches and moans to the media the entire time that he hates catching, claims it affects his (already weak) hitting, and LOVES 3rd base. He loves it soooo much! Obviously, Jim Leyland and the Tigers notice.
Trying to keep him happy, the Tigers acquiesce, and Jim Leyland says he won't make Inge catch if he doesn't want to do so. All is well, right? Wrong. Inge is still unhappy.
So here's where we stand. Inge wants to be traded. The Tigers would LOVE to accommodate him, but no one wants a .240 hitting corner infielder with an inflated sense of self. The fans, once squarely behind Inge, have turned against the once fan favorite. Those fans, struggling to get by in a Michigan economy leading the nation in every NEGATIVE economic indicator, have grown weary of the very well paid Inge and his very public pouting. When your fans are having their homes foreclosed and jobs disappear, I think being a tad more appreciative of your situation would be appropriate.
All this has me asking, who in the Hell is running the team? From all accounts, it's Brandon Inge. The Tigers seem to be bending over backwards to meet his demands.
And our esteemed Tigers bloggers have noticed...
Kurt @ Mack Avenue Tigers:
I have to admit, I may have supported Inge, but I’m sorta sick of his attitude, too. It’s time to catch or play backup or whatever it asked. Make yourself a good team player, and maybe a team will want you. But what kind of team wants a guy who doesn’t even want to be on a contender? If anything says “doesn’t want to win,” it’s that. And frankly, I don’t need guys like that on the team I root for, either.
Eno @ Where Have You Gone, Johnny Grubb:
But he's becoming more of a sore thumb, and doesn't appear to particularly care about that. Strange behavior for a quote-unquote team guy, if you want to know.
I've been around long enough to know that when a guy starts planting the seeds for failure, then he's already halfway there. At least.
Billfer @ The Detroit Tigers Weblog:
I guess I just don’t understand what Inge is hoping to accomplish with these statements? Is he trying to expedite a trade? It seems that might work, but that the Tigers might be less interested in trying to find him a starting gig and might just want him gone. Try being a back-up on a team with little chance for the playoffs.
At the same time he isn’t endearing himself to potential trading partners by complaining. Maybe, and I think this is a strong possibility, is that Inge didn’t really think this through.
Mike @ The Daily Fungo:
Ridding themselves of the bitter Inge is probably a bigger priority than Dave Dombrowski is letting on. And the guess here is that if he does deal Inge you can bet it will be for more than spare parts.
Ian @ Bless You Boys:
Yet while it's certainly more interesting to read candid statements than hackneyed cliches, Inge is toeing a thin line between being appreciated for his frankness and being perceived as kind of a whiner. And there are already some who view him as a malcontent and potential clubhouse cancer. (I think there's quite a way to go before I join that mob.) Detroit sports fans can turn on a guy fast. Ask Bobby Higginson.
Even the biggest Inge backer of them all, Samara @ Roar of the Tigers, can't believe what she's hearing:
But the problem here with Brandon Inge and catching is simple, and I hate to admit it, but he admits it himself.
His mind is too tiny to handle catching and hitting at the same time.
He said it first! He freely admits that the mental stress of catching and hitting all in the same game is too much for him to handle. It’s not that he can’t catch, or that he can’t hit (last season notwithstanding): his brain just can’t contain the two concepts at once
There isn't a more even handed, level headed group of sports bloggers than the Tigers bloggers. Hell, I'm more profane, reactionary and knee-jerk than all of them combined. Yet everyone is condemning Inge for his actions. He's no longer getting the benefit of the doubt. His actions speak just as loudly as his words, and both are saying "I WANNA PLAY 3RD BASE!"
We all have a soft spot for Brandon Inge because he's one of the few survivors left from the ugly era of losing we'd all rather forget. He's the longest tenured Tiger, and up to this season, as been a team first player. You cannot forget his charity work with U of M's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. Inge is part of the community.
But just as other fan favorites have eventually gone by the wayside(Craig Monroe and Mike Maroth, to name two) because they just weren't good enough, or fit in with this new era of Tiger baseball, it's time for Inge to move on as well.
I wanted to buy into Inge taking on the super-sub role, and his taking over at catcher in 2009. Now, I'm counting the days till some sucker takes Inge off of the Tigers' hands.
This team is too good, with too much at stake, to put up with Inge's "You can't make me catch, I wanna play 3RD BASE!" shenanigans. Even if the return is pennies on the dollar, he's got to go.
Inge has had his time to voice his displeasure. It's time to shut the fuck up, and play where the Marlboro Man asks. If that's too much for him to handle, bitch in private, don't take it to the media.
I don't want to hear it anymore.