Brandon Inge might have been misquoted…

by billfer on March 6, 2008 · 24 comments

in 2008 Season,Injuries,Spring Training,Trade Rumors

inge-triples.jpg
Inge connects for RBI Triple. credit TheCouga

Yes. It’s another Brandon Inge story. Inge may yet be the Tigers back-up catcher when the season begins because it became clear today that Vance Wilson won’t be ready. And backpedaling from his Sunday statements that rose the ire of many (including your local blogger), Inge is amenable to catching.

He told Danny Knobler today that he regretted how his comments about catching sounded. He also said he had no problem catching.

Jason Beck follows with a report from a radio appearance by Al Avila. Beck had this quote from Avila:

“Brandon came in actually today and talked to Jim [Leyland]. He felt that he was misquoted in the newspaper, things were taken out of context and he actually came in today and said that he’s willing to catch. From his point of view today, he’s expressing that the way that things that were written weren’t exactly the way he expressed it, he was just frustrated that one game but if he’s going to be with the Tigers he’ll be happy. At this point you can count on Brandon Inge being a Detroit Tiger and he’ll catch when we need him.”

Considering that multiple reporters came with the same quotes makes me think he was accurately quoted. As for the comments being out of context, I don’t really know what the context could have been. However the text may have not captured the sentiment. Without hearing it there’s no way to know either way. But it does seem consistent that he was speaking at the peak of frustration. At least their is recognition on Inge’s part that what he said wasn’t good.

Regardless, the money part of the quote comes at the end when Avila declares we “can count on” Inge as a Tiger. Is the trade pursuit over or is it simply that fans should count on him not to complain?

 
 

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Stephen March 6, 2008 at 11:39 pm

Quoted out of context translated: ‘Crap, I wish I hadn’t said that.’

rings March 7, 2008 at 12:15 am

Stephen’s right: someone, his agent or the Marlboro Man, has set him straight. Finally.

Good…let’s get back to baseball talk, instead of our utility guy!

Jeff M March 7, 2008 at 12:25 am

Echo Stephen.

I own a #12 Inge jersey, so I’m certainly no Inge-hater, but his quotes over the past couple months don’t sit well with me. I’m sure he regrets his words, but I doubt they misrepresented his feelings. Even if he soberly realizes his mistake in trying to rationalize a .200 average, that doesn’t change the fact that he mentally rationalizes a .200 average.

I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, but it seems unlikely that he has taken responsibility for the holes in his game.

Larry March 7, 2008 at 1:42 am

He may not have a professional disagreement with the Tigers but personally you have to feel for the guy. Pro ball is what can you do for me today. And all Brandon Inge has is given is his all. The ultimate team player. You cannot win without team players. Whether they start every day or come off the bench. He is extremely unselfish and he probably realizes that he doesn’t have the bat to be an every day player. I’m sure in his heart that with the right situation, he could become the complete player. For right now let’s be glad that he is a Tiger.

Vince in MN March 7, 2008 at 2:15 am

Brandon Sez: “Things are being taken out of context, they’re quoting me like I’m Shakespeare”

rings March 7, 2008 at 8:54 am

Larry – you are correct, but the same “he’s given his all” argument can be made for 95% of professional athletes, and BI doesn’t deserver more or less consideration than any of the others.

Inge was here in ’03. So what?

So were Nate Cornejo, Mike Maroth, Craig Monroe, Gary Knotts, Warren Morris and Ramon Santiago – yet there’s no legion of die-hards singing the praises of these guys. I don’t “feel” for him any more than I felt for these guys when they lost their starting jobs or careers. They ALL wanted to be starters and stars in this game, too, but had to accept the fact that someone else was better than them and play their roles or move on in life.

The irritating issue for guys like myself – who are admittedly more “anti-Inge” – is that Branon is seemingly given extra credit, and rabidly defended, for doing nothing more than anyone else (and often much less). He’d be a wonderful utility guy for this team, but he’s proven that in his heart, he’s unable to be unselfish and play his role, even if its a short-term role (with the opportunity to be a starter – C – again in ’09).

HE has created this current situation. No one else. Because he’s likable, he’s been given more opportunity than anyone else of his achievement to keep a job, earn his $$, avoid the subject to the media, and be a good teammate, but he’s been unable to take the high-road that nearly everyone else has.

charlie March 7, 2008 at 9:00 am

so much sentiment about inge…i sometimes wonder if the pro/anti inge factions are drawn along democrat/ republican lines.

Jeff March 7, 2008 at 10:13 am

Can we please institute a moratorium on Inge discussions?

Kathy March 7, 2008 at 10:21 am

Have to agree completely with stephen. But don’t worry, he’ll open his big mouth again probably after he catches a few games in a row. After all,these new comments come after he had two “happy” days in a row out in CF and his beloved 3rd base position.

thefume March 7, 2008 at 10:34 am

I agree with Inge that this whole thing got blown up out of proportion. Is Inge saying I don’t hit as well behind the plate as I do when I’m in the field that much different than Sheffield early last season saying I’m not hitting as well as the DH as when I’m in the outfield? I don’t remember the uproar then. You could say Inge had more of a downer mentality when he said it, but the actual impact of the statements are very close.

If I was an athlete my answer to every question would be “both teams played hard.”

Dave BW March 7, 2008 at 10:50 am

That was awesome, Vince :)

BaseballinDC March 7, 2008 at 11:33 am

Inge is clearly ambivalent. I sense he both loves the Tigers and wishes he could play every day, preferably at third, which he simply cannot on a team of this caliber.

Inge would be do well, given his sentiments, to impose a moratorium on talking to the press until he sorts things out in his own head. Otherwise we’re going to keep hearing a sort of “Jekyl and Hyde” performance from him.

Inge will, I suspect, remain a fan favorite for all he’s given the team. He’s earned it by playing hard when the team was awful. Now that it’s loaded with talent, it really doesn’t need him any longer. He’s not good enough to start for Detroit but too good to be a utility man long term.

When he is traded, I suspect he’ll still get cheered when he takes the field at Comerica, even it he’s in a different uniform.

Joey C. March 7, 2008 at 11:53 am

I can’t say I was overly upset by Inge’s comments to begin with. I get frustrated with his lack of owning up to his poor production at the plate, but I think expressing his frustration over a demotion is certainly understandable. When i first read his comments about his first game catching, I thought that he was just blowing off a little steam, expressing his understandable disappointment, and trying to get beyond it. It wasn’t until Leyland responded with such alacrity to those comments and stated to the press that Inge wasn’t going to catch because he won’t force him to do what he doesn’t want to do, that Inge’s comments were given greater weight as being cancerous. Inge is not a cancer. He’s not a good hitter, but he’s not a cancer. It’s early in spring training, and he’s adjusting to a recent demotion. I think we could all cut him a little slack.

Kevin in Austin March 7, 2008 at 1:33 pm

MLB.tv question – can any of you watch the spring training games at downloads of anything faster than 400k? I’ve got a premium subscription, but that’s the max I can watch right now, I’m wondering if it is just a spring training thing…

ez March 7, 2008 at 1:46 pm

Even I, the Chief Engineer of the Ant-Inge Express, admit that Inge could be a huge asset as a super-sub and more importantly as a back-up catcher.

Unfortunately I don’t believe his heart will ever be in either of those roles. He has backtracked off of his comments, but I think those early comments reflect how he truly feels.

He doesn’t want to be a distraction, but given the media coverage and the raging debates in blogosphere I don’t see how this situation won’t continue to be a distraction on what otherwise should be a glorious year.

Here is to hoping he either gets traded, or we all stop talking about it….

In other news, didn’t the Tigers make a couple of trades this offseason?

Kevin in Austin March 7, 2008 at 2:21 pm

Sure did ez. Unfortunately none of them for a reliever. I’m as excited about this offense as anyone, but I am deathly afraid of our bullpen. I think we’ll need a lot of spot starts during the season, and as a result, we’ll need several innings out of our pen. Someone is going to have to step up.

tdatb March 7, 2008 at 2:23 pm

Inge will be back starting at third as soon as Miguel “The New Sieve” Cabrera, (the original “Sieve” being Dean Palmer,) hurts himself trying to actually reach a ball his fat “DH-only” carcass can’t get to because he knows that Edgar “Stone-Feet” Renteria won’t even try to make a play on it.

They may be able to hit but the “Defenseless Duo” on the left side of our infield will cost us far more than they’ll produce for us. Look for ERA’s to be a full run or more higher for the Tigers this season between the left side ineptitude and Carlos Guillen’s many episodes of leaving the bag at first to try and make plays better left to
Polanco.

Kevin in Austin March 7, 2008 at 2:31 pm

tdatb= Inge’s dad?

Mark in Chicago March 7, 2008 at 3:05 pm

This is getting out of hand. It’s spring training, we should be talking about filling holes in the bullpen, what young players surprised us as possible ML-ready contributors, and hoping we can stay reasonably healthy during the season.

Brandon needs to stop talking, as he’s only creating a more negative perception of himself. As Ron Burgundy would say, “why don’t you sit a few plays out, champ”. I’m sure Brandon is hurt and frustrated, but at the end of the day, he is a professional getting paid to do a job. It’s fine if he wants to request a trade, but there aren’t many takers in March for a .240 hitter that plays great defense. That’s not anybody’s fault. But it’s up to Brandon whether or not he wants to complain or cause tension. And other teams don’t want those guys in their clubhouse, either.

I hope he feels better getting these things off his chest, but he’s only hurting himself by doing so.

tdatb March 7, 2008 at 3:47 pm

“tdatb= Inge’s dad?”

Nope, just a guy who knows the value of good defense at third, especailly when a team uses a shortstop that has neither the range nor even the inclination to try to get to anything that isn’t hit right at him.

I grew up watching Aurelio Rodriguez vacuum up balls over at the hot corner and rifle them to first or second while hitting for roughly the same average as Inge but with far less power. About the only regular third baseman I can recall playing for Detroit in my lifetime that combined a good stick with a good glove was Fryman. Since we don’t have him, I’d much rather see Inge’s defense over there saving us from Renteria than Cabrera letting even more balls get through.

I just hope Jacque Jones’ legs are in good shape, ’cause he’s gonna need to be doin’ a whole helluva lot of running out there in leftfield to get to the stuff the “Defenseless Duo” lets get through them this season.

What good is adding 200 runs to a team when it means giving away 300?

JoJo Sun Devil March 7, 2008 at 3:57 pm

He needs to catch. We need a back up catcher. Vance Wilson still is not playing. What is Vance Wilson’s purpose anyway?

billfer March 7, 2008 at 4:01 pm

tdatb-

You’re overstating the defensive problems. The Tigers will give up 30-40 runs of defense at third base with Cabrera there over Inge. But Renteria will not be worse than Guillen was last year and is likely to be better. The addition of Cabrera’s bat more than offsets this.

And it’s not like a third baseman is able to cover for a sub par defender at shortstop anyways – I don’t care how good he is defensively. This is coming from a staunch advocate of Inge’s defense.

EZ March 7, 2008 at 4:10 pm

“What is this? Bizzaro World?”-Comic Bookshop Guy.

Bilfer, I 100% agree with everything you just said…

Now if only we could get some relief pitching….

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