July 21, 2011

The Brandon Inge Files

It started like this, "How does it feel for the Tigers to be bringing in someone and paying him $10 million a year to be your back–up?" 

Back in '04 when the Tigers were flirting with Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, we went to the Tigers' caravan in Mt. Pleasant. The players were accessible and talkative, but they had to be considering they were coming off of 119 losses in '03. We were able to meet the management team, a few players — rookie pitcher Jeremy Bonderman and future one–day MVP Chris Shelton. But a highlight that night was carrying on a conversation with Brandon Inge.

When I asked him about Rodriguez, Inge laughed and said, "I like the way you think."

We talked a bit. We visited him in Lakeland several times during Spring Training. He's been a longtime favorite, even though he's been frustrating at times, e.g. "They're pitching me like I'm Babe Ruth …"

Inge has informed the Tigers that he will accept an assignment to the Toledo Mudhens if — and when — he clears waivers. He's been cut from the Tigers. I fully expect the Tigers to keep him around in a coaching position. He'll probably start next year at West Michigan as —— gasp! —— hitting coach or something like that.

Brandon, thanks for sticking around for 11 seasons wearing the Old English D proudly!

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