Brandon Inge has come to terms, sort of, about losing his starting gig. He will report to camp with pitchers and catchers and is ready to do what ever it takes to get on the field.
In breaking his media silence Inge said he was disappointed. He also went on to explain his mindset a little bit
“I look at it this way. My absolute preference would be to stay in Detroit as the starting third baseman. My next preference would be to stay in Detroit, starting at any other position. Next on the list would be to start elsewhere at third base — and fourth would be to stay in Detroit as a bench guy.”
As for catching, Inge said, “I can still do it. I’ll do whatever helps this team win as many games as it can. That’s the hand I’ve been dealt and I have to make the best of it.
Inge lovers and Inge haters are likely to break down his statements (and there’s more than just the quote, click through for the rest) in the same polarizing way they break down much of what Inge does. I’ll do what I usually do and hang out right in the middle.
The guy just wants to play everyday. I can’t fault a guy for that attitude and it’s pretty much exactly what I’d hope for from a player. He also sounds very hungry, which could bode well if he can translate any of that into performance. He’s also advocating doing what he can to help the team win. He’s also got an eye towards being the starter in 2009 which could help the Tigers who don’t have a ready replacement.
He still doesn’t seem to own any of his demotion and views it as something that happened to him. I have no problem with that attitude if he had replicated 2006 last year and they still went and got Cabrera. But Inge played his way out the starting role. Much like the Ted Williams comment, and the Babe Ruth comment, and the other statements made during his struggles this last year, he hasn’t recognized that his performance is part of the problem.
As for what it means for the team, this settles any ambiguity about what will happen if Vance Wilson isn’t ready. The Tigers also have a player they can stick all over the field and get some solid defense. It also gives Brandon a chance to re-establish some value for either a future starting gig or a possible mid season trade. This is pretty much what had to happen for both sides, and I’m glad it’s working out.