Originally written on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 10/24/14
BRADENTON, Fla. -- No matter what his numbers might say, Brandon Inge isn't ready to call it a career. Inge, who turns 36 on May 19, is batting just .156 with no home runs and no RBIs in 12 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates this spring. Perhaps Inge is clinging to the fact that he did have some success after the Detroit Tigers released him last April. He joined the Oakland A's and batted .226 with 11 home runs and 52 RBIs in 74 games. But in August, as the A's were battling for a playoff spot, Inge sprained his right shoulder and then reinjured it in September. Tigers orthopedic surgeon Dr. Stephen Lemos performed arthroscopic surgery to repair the injured joint, which forced Inge to miss the end of the regular season and the playoffs, including a first-round series against the Tigers. Although Inge knew that the surgery and his age might scare off some teams, he said he never considered retiring. "I think I'll play until someone just physically kicks me out of the game," Inge said. "I'll play as long as I can. If I'm enjoying something I do -- and that goes for anyone in any aspect of life -- you should probably do it as long as you can." The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Inge to a minor-league deal right before spring training this season. "I had to come in here and just get healthy," Inge said. "It was a weird offseason, coming off surgery. I got my shoulder prepared this offseason as much as I could, but it's nothing like getting back into baseball activities. "At this point, it's feeling pretty good. I'm just going to make sure I go out and get my time in." Inge, who still lives in Michigan, trained in the offseason with former Michigan football strength and conditioning coach Mike Barwis. "A couple days a week I'd do some mixed-martial-arts training with Mike Barwis," Inge said. "He's the only one I would probably trust with that. He's so good at all that stuff, making sure I wouldn't get too injured. "It's good for full-body workout and just good mind release -- if you don't get knocked out every five seconds." The versatile Inge would seem to be a good fit for a National League team because of his ability to play so many positions. This spring, he's added another one -- first base. "It's so much fun, I like it over there," Inge said. "I might be the shortest first baseman in the league, but still it's fun to play over there. I'm appreciative that they've given me that opportunity to kind of broaden my defensive horizons." Inge has accepted the fact that he won't be offered a job as a starter, but still believes that he can help a team. "In the role that most teams are looking for, yeah, I can play for a lot of teams at this point," Inge said. "I love baseball. I play because I love this game. I love what it's about. "I want my kids to experience how baseball is and just the true form of baseball. For me, it's just about playing." Some of Inge's former teammates agree that he still has a lot to offer. In fact, Brandon McCarthy, now with the Arizona Diamondbacks, told AZ Central's Nick Piecoro that the A's might not have made the playoffs without Inge. McCarthy feels Inge's veteran presence and keep-it-fun attitude were a calming influence for the young Athletics.. "Theres guys (like Inge) that make you feel more comfortable, that loosen you up," McCarthy said. "Theres a whole trickle down effect to it thats impossible to quantify, but it does exist in there." Inge said he was just being himself and was thrilled that the A's all welcomed him with open arms. "I'm a little goofy and like to have fun and play around," Inge said. "This is baseball. This is not open-heart surgery. "We're supposed to have fun here. We're supposed to play hard and put a good team on the field for the fans." With Opening Day less than a week away, Inge is aware that he's on the bubble in terms of making the team. But he said he's not worried about that. "Right now, Pittsburgh's been very good to me," Inge said. "I'm very, very thrilled with the opportunity that they've given me this spring. "Obviously, just being a baseball player, I want to play, and if any team thinks that I can help their ball club, I would obviously go that route. "There is a point where if I'm not going to perform as good as the next guy, of course, I would hang it up and say that's my time. But as for right now, I'm still not quite yet ready."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Memorabilia dealer at center of Todd Gurley scandal fired

Colt McCoy on learning he was starting ‘it’s about f—ing time’

Four Questions for Game 3 of the World Series

Percy Harvin not planning on changing

Ricky Williams: People are let down when I turn down weed

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Randall Cobb: Contract situation played role in slow start

Notre Dame WR faces discipline if he hooked up with porn star?

PGA president calls Ian Poulter ‘lil girl’ for Nick Faldo comments

Belichick declines to address Revis' reported tardiness

Texas mayor delays Halloween for Friday night football game

C-USA hired PR firm to help Marshall’s playoff chances

Big trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks, possibly more

Blazers, Seahawks owner Paul Allen gives $100M to fight ebola

'FIFA 15' glitch turns goalie into headless giant with no arms

WATCH: HBO releases trailer of 'The Offseason: Kevin Durant'

Broncos corner snags INT, then takes pregnant wife to hospital

Gurley dressed up as a pirate for Halloween, yelled, 'Free me'

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Nick Saban pens touching letter after high school coach dies

NBA Replay Center readies for its debut on Opening Night

WATCH: Former NBAer delivers vicious flying elbow Down Under

RNS looking to add agents with existing client rosters

Would World Series win make the Giants a dynasty?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.