Over my, now nearly, 27 years on this planet it seems as though I have heard every cliché in the sports book. I know that the season is a marathon and not a sprint and I’ve heard all about how we lost this game as a team. My absolute favorite is how that one player on the opposing team is the proverbial “Tiger Killer”. Jim Thome has held this distinction for a number of years as his numbers against my beloved Detroit Tigers have been out of this world. Having said all of that, it has recently come to my attention that the true “Tiger Killer” is in our midst. He is one of our own. Anyone with half a sports brain knows where I am headed with this….that’s right, it is Brandon Inge.
Everyone knows the name, and whether you love him or hate him it is inevitable. Every spring, his name creeps into our vocabulary whether we try to avoid it or not. He has become our own Tim Tebow, without the props to god…that guy who people seem to root for, much to the chagrin of people who know the sport. Sure he tries hard, but is it really worth it? Lets take it beyond his actual numbers on the field. Brandon Inge has been bad for this team. Forget the dismal batting average, or the awful strikeout numbers, or even his average fielding ability. Brandon Inge is a cancer eroding this team from the inside out. We hadn’t gone a week after signing Prince Fielder, arguably the biggest name in free agency, before word got out that Brandon Inge wasn’t happy that he didn’t have a spot saved for him in the everyday lineup. It was like dejavu all over again.
Flash back to when Pudge Rodriguez became a tiger. A certain catcher in our organization wasn’t happy that he was no longer going to be an everyday player. So we did him a favor and moved him to third. Now flash forward a few more years and the tigers make another big splash by bringing Miguel Cabrera into the fold to play third. Once again, Brandon Inge was unhappy because he was forced to change positions. Here is a guy who struggles to stay above the Mendoza line and for some reason he is allowed to openly complain about being replaced in our lineup.
Excuse us, Brandon, we didn’t realize that our attempt to win the world series by adding quality players wasn’t good for your career. If anything you should be thanking us for putting up with your below average numbers for all these years. If this was Boston or New York you would have been relegated to the minors, riding busses and sleeping in 2 star hotels. So do us a favor and just keep your mouth shut. Don’t spread your negativity through our clubhouse worrying about where you fit in. Sit back, relax and enjoy the view from the bench. Furthermore, when you do get the opportunity to contribute…make contact! It’s the least you could do for torturing the fans of this town for all these years.
As opening day rapidly approaches in Detroit, I look towards the sky and plead with the powers that be ,that anyone but Brandon Inge becomes our starter at second base. Its time to move on to the next plan, the next wave of talent, and to put the true tiger killer out of his misery once and for all.
Baseball in the D is alive! Go Tigers!
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