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Enough is Enough

May 14, 2012

Baseball

Detroit Tigers fans have screeched for the release/trade/demotion/public execution of longtime 3B/C/INF/OF/Scapegoat Brandon Inge for…  a long time.

Well, a few weeks back they got their wish.  The Tigers released him outright and he was quickly gobbled up by the Oakland Athletics.

Brandon Inge enjoyed facing Tigers pitching for the first time in his career.

Naturally, he talked about how he was looking forward to facing his old team.  Boy, was he ever.  He knocked out a grand slam, then cranked a 3-run jack the very next day.

Then came more howling from Tigers fans.  Why couldn’t he do that here?  Where was this Brandon Inge for the last 29 years here?  Why didn’t they keep him?  Why didn’t they dump him sooner?  Why is his new jersey green and yellow?  Why is yellow… yellow?

All these questions and more were asked by Tigers fans, and answers were demanded.  Even after the Oakland series ended, the queries continued.

The demands, the questions, the ludicrous speculation, and general tomfoolery needs to stop, and it needs to stop right now.

Brandon Inge was a polarizing figure in Detroit sports.  For better or worse, Inge has always had his supporters and his detractors.  He crushed 27 homers in 2009… but hit only a few of those after his total of zero in the Home Run Derby.  He played a multitude of positions through his Detroit career… but it was typically after losing his previous spot on the field.  Detroit fans wanted his head on a spike outside Comerica Park long before the baseball gods claimed his locker.

Professional athletics are littered with stories of players who were just around too long.  Bobby Higginson comes to mind, as he continued to play on with a big contract and tiny contributions.  When a player is awarded a fat contract (remember that Inge is still on the books for somewhere around $5 million), the team is going to give that guy every opportunity to live up to those expectations.  In the eyes of the fans, he wasn’t.  They resented that he continued to get the chance to play, despite what seemed to be a fairly obvious lack of production.

Two big flys against his old team shouldn’t change anything.  Have you seen his numbers?  He’s only batting .227, with a .300 OBP.  That’s right about on par with the best that the Tigers have received from his bat in the last couple of seasons.  Even with his great series against Detroit, he’s still the same old Brandon Inge that you all know and love.

Brandon Inge making a play at 3rd base for Detroit.

A big series doesn’t change him.  It certainly shouldn’t change what you think about him.

Folks, you can remember a controversial player however you want.  Some will remember Inge for being the guy who stayed too long.  Others will remember him as a player who was part of a lot of good and a lot of bad.  They’ll remember the insanely athletic defensive plays and some of those big home runs he delivered years ago.  Remember when Inge batted with Craig Monroe and Marcus Thames at 7-8-9 and each of them hit 26+ homers in that magical 2006 season?  Those guys were a key reason that the Tigers went to the World Series.

These aren’t reasons to keep a guy around long after his production has dipped.  Neither should a couple of dingers make fans beg forgiveness for getting what they wanted when he was released.

It is what it is.  There will be more Brandon Inge’s, for better and for worse.  Just appreciate the good times and realize that everybody’s star will eventually sputter out in professional sports.  Some careers fizzle out more spectacularly because they happen to twinkle a little closer to our eyes than the rest. It doesn’t mean that they are the only ones burning out that way.  Just that they become our supernova.

Enough is enough.  Let the career of Brandon Inge burn out the way it’s supposed to.  Somewhere else.

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About mattpocket

I am the Sports Director at 88.3 FM WXOU Radio, out of Oakland University. I am the play-by-play voice of the Oakland Golden Grizzlies. I've been to two NCAA Tournaments, been heard on ESPN, and won 9 Michigan Association of Broadcasters Awards. Follow me on Twitter. @cornerpocket422 You can tune in to The Corner Pocket every Friday from 3-5 pm with my cohost Bryan and Everson and myself, featuring the best guests, such as Dave Birkett, Jim Nill, and Bruce Buffer.

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One Comment on “Enough is Enough”

  1. Grieser Says:

    i cant remember a time where ive ever agreed so strongly with you in my life. hell must be freezing over.

    Reply

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