Remember when Inge wasn’t talking?

by billfer on March 3, 2008 · 39 comments

in Players

Brandon Inge, who keeps saying he just wants to play everyday, gets a chance to play and complains about it.

“Catching right there absolutely reinforces that third-base is my all-time love,” Inge said. “It’s not even a question. If it came down to it, where I was just catching, I’d have to find a way to separate it. I don’t know if I can, because I take too much pride in the catching aspect.”

and

“I’m a much better hitter this year than I have been in a long time,” he said. “That feeling that I got today was much more of a downer feeling. Don’t get me wrong: The actual catching part of the game [was] fun. It was awesome. But what fires me up is the offensive part. It’s very frustrating to me.

“It’s a fine line. I’m not saying that I’m frustrated about them making me catch. It’s frustrating because the way I feel offensively, and then how I feel catching offensively. It’s two completely different things. My mind’s not in it. Mentally, if you’re not into hitting, you’re not going to hit. Especially with the game plan I have now offensively, it’s tough.”

I had no problem when Inge didn’t speak to the media in the aftermath of the trade. He didn’t demand a trade, but in a conversation with Dombrowski he stated his preferences. I had no problems with those preferences. I’m sympathetic to the fact that he didn’t want to become a role player at this point in his career. I appreciate the fact that he wants to play everyday and would be disappointed if he was “ok” with a bench spot. He, like the majority of athletes, has a tremendous amount of confidence in his abilities. Again, no problem there.

I don’t begrudge him his contract and I’m not going to tell him that “he should feel fortunate” because who am I to say how someone should feel? He was lucky to be in the situation he was, playing for a really bad team that really didn’t have other catching options. Most would have been relegated to AAAA status.

I railed against those that said he got the contract based on one good year because he actually strung together 1800 at bats where he was an adequate hitter (774 OPS).

But these quotes were enough to put me over the edge. Stop talking Brandon and play.

What does this stream of consciousness even mean? I noted the other day that Inge had reached base in 7 of his first 9 at-bats but I wasn’t ready to come to the conclusion that Inge was a better hitter. And now that he posts an 0 for 2 it’s all because of catching? I’m not going to pretend to know what it’s like to catch and focus on hitting. I’m sure it is tough and it’s probably a reason why there aren’t many great offensive catchers. But the last part of his statement makes no sense. Actually none of his statements make sense.

He takes such pride in catching, but third base is his love, and the offensive part of his game is what fires him up. I’m not sure these things can all even coexist.

Inge wants to play, and yet he’s whining about an opportunity to get that playing time. He’s also giving himself an out for when he struggles. Where is all this self-confidence in his abilities now?

It’s disappointing and frustrating to me because I really think Brandon Inge would be a huge asset to this team. His versatility and experience could be valuable coming off the bench and he could afford the team considerable roster flexibility as well as insurance while picking up 300 at-bats. I’d love to have a hungry Inge who is out to prove the world wrong and show he should be playing everyday. But I don’t want a petulant Inge who is ready to concede a .200 batting average if he’s forced to put on shin guards and chest protector.

It’s clear to me now that Inge not talking to reporters this winter was the best course of action. He was only alienating a few reporters. Now he’s carving away the supporters he did have. As Ian noted (and I agree with pretty much everything he said), Inge should just look to Bobby Higginson’s fall as a fan favorite.

I guess I just don’t understand what Inge is hoping to accomplish with these statements? Is he trying to expedite a trade? It seems that might work, but that the Tigers might be less interested in trying to find him a starting gig and might just want him gone. Try being a back-up on a team with little chance for the playoffs.

At the same time he isn’t endearing himself to potential trading partners by complaining. Maybe, and I think this is a strong possibility, is that Inge didn’t really think this through. Maybe he changes his tune in a day or two. Jim Leyland though did get the message and doesn’t intend to play Inge at catcher in the near future.

 
 

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charlie March 3, 2008 at 9:44 pm

i don’t really care about inge one way or the other. if he gets what he wants…good for him. if he doesn’t…too bad…suck it up, this is pro ball and it is competitve.

my greater concern is the catcher position on the tigers. they have a lot of strength on this team, everyone talks about the rotation or the bullpen being potential trouble areas…well i think catcher is the problem area. pudge can’t catch everyday anymore, wilson is hurt and may not be ready for some time (if ever) i just have this feeling that trading mike rabelo may be the piece we wish we had back.

i sure hope if they do trade inge, it is for a catcher and i would expect we would have to include someone else.

rings March 3, 2008 at 10:21 pm

Obviously, I’m on record here with my view on BI, but I’ve never had anything against him other than he was not deserving of the starting third base job and was overrated by many.

Now, he’s embarrassing himself and turning the vast majority of his impressive fan support against him. (Read the comments on Knobler’s story today: http://www.mlive.com/tigers/index.ssf/2008/03/tigers_inge_says_hell_struggle.html

As I’ve long stated, he’ll not get nearly the breaks or deference in another organization as he does in Detroit. In fact, he’s most likely to be regarded as a mercenary and probably begging for a job in three years if he keeps going about his business in this manner. If he thinks he’s in danger of “becoming a permanent utility guy” now, just wait until he pulls this nonsense at his next stop coming off a .236 year.

He’s really being very silly and selfish with his ongoing commentary after Leyland gave him a free pass to avoid the subject on the second day of camp with their office “press conference.” Since then, he’s commented almost daily on his situation.

The only think I don’t understand now is why Jim Leyland is putting up with him as this is the type of pouting that earned DY an immediate ticket out of town. I understand he likes him personally, and that Brandon Inge is an asset to the team with his defensive versatility, but this stuff isn’t helpful or productive – its ongoing whining, complaining – and potentially – career selbstmord.

Chris in Nashville March 3, 2008 at 10:46 pm

In my opinion, if he is complaining now, he’s going to continue complain. We have a shot to be an unreal team, why let someone try to tear away at the team chemistry like this has the long term potential of doing? Give him his wish ASAP.

On another note, for any gamers out there, today feels like the day before Christmas, because MLB 08 the Show comes out tomorrow. I dowloaded a demo and the game is unreal, can’t wait to be about a 1/3 of the way into the ’08 season in about a week. First thing I’m going to do as a fake GM? Trade Inge. Had to bring it full circle.

ivantopumpyouup March 3, 2008 at 11:07 pm

‘Inge wants to play, and yet he’s whining about an opportunity to get that playing time. He’s also giving himself an out for when he struggles. Where is all this self-confidence in his abilities now?’

That’s a really good point, and I think this self-contradiction of his is the main reason I’m so frustrated with him. I actually preferred when he kept his mouth shut. Alas.

Vince in MN March 3, 2008 at 11:15 pm

I’m not surprised at this. I didn’t really expect the quiet, introspective version of Inge to last – and now the “Babe” is back. Hopefully there is some real substance to the Dodgers rumors and he will shortly be taking his .238 BA to the NL.

Jim March 3, 2008 at 11:38 pm

I’ll trade places with him.

jvwalt March 4, 2008 at 3:13 am

I’m far enough away (Vermont) that I don’t see Inge’s comments on air or in print, so I can’t assess his tone or demeanor, or how his disgruntlement might affect the team. That said, I will offer a word in his defense.

If I were Brandon Inge, I would feel the same way about a return to catching. Look at his batting numbers: in three years as a catcher, he was an absolutely terrible hitter. When he switched to 3B, his hitting improved quite a bit. It has since fallen back, but it’s still an improvement over his numbers as a catcher.

Given that background and his age, this is a very dangerous moment for Inge’s career. If everything breaks right, he has several more years as a regular 3B earning multi-millions per season. If things go badly, he becomes an itinerant role player, changing teams every year, earning a whole lot less, and probably having a much shorter career.

Looking at the situation objectively, Inge is a marginal major-league regular who probably won’t have a long career in any case; as such, his complaints don’t carry much weight. Yes, for the good of the team (and his own reputation), he should shut up and cooperate. But if I were him, I’d be desperately concerned about my future, and I don’t know if I could restrain myself from expressing my fears.

billfer March 4, 2008 at 5:22 am

Comparing Inge to Young isn’t fair. Young was on his very last legs after missing half of the season due to off the field issues. Brandon is whining. Big, big, big difference.

Andrew March 4, 2008 at 7:15 am

Dear Brandon,

I enjoyed your stay here in Detroit and think you are a stand up sort of fellow.

With that said – “There’s no Whining in Baseball!”

And one more one-liner for you to remember –

Don’t sing it, just bring it.

Kathy March 4, 2008 at 8:01 am

Of course, he’s trying to expedite the trade. So help me God, I’d let him go to Toledo and play 3rd base every day (oh, that’s Hessman’s job, isn’t it) and let him be satisified “playing at the position that makes him happy.” A cancer.

Sam March 4, 2008 at 8:02 am

I hope he is gone by March 15th. That is when I will be down in Lakeland, and I really don’t want to embarass myself by telling him how I feel. The guy is making 6 million this year and has a chance to get a ring. By being a supersub, he would get about 400 abs (if he produced).

They must get rid of him now. This team is not about Brandon Inge, yet he continues to make himself the biggest story in Spring Training.

Did Marcus Thames whine like this when he had to back up an inferior Craig Monroe?? Do you see Grilli whining when he refuses to sign his renewed contract?? Did Make Maroth moan when he was left off of the post season roster 2 years ago?? How about Chris Shelton when he batted near .400 last spring and was still sent to Toledo.

Brandon, IT IS NOT ALL ABOUT YOU. You bat .236 with 14 HRs swinging for the downs every AB you deserve to be on the bench. You then go 3-5 and say “I am much better offensively this year!”, What a JOKE.

-Sam

Kathy March 4, 2008 at 8:26 am

And the thing that bothers me the most is the disrespect to his manager, Jim Leland. Disgraceful!

tiff March 4, 2008 at 8:29 am

I thought his whole thing was that he wasn’t going to be a pain in the clubhouse, even though he didn’t like his situation?

I’m sure the media keeps asking him “so,how do you feel about catching?” and he’s probably just answering the question. But still. Just refuse to answer it, Brandon!

And now that the media is getting good quotage from him, no way are they going to stop asking him about it. What a cycle.

Zappatista March 4, 2008 at 9:47 am

Poor Brandon…..,ya it sucks, but you ARE A PROFESSIONAL baseball player making 4 million a year. I have been outspoken that he is my favorite Tiger, BUT he can not be allowed to dictate a trade/position/playing time. If he could have hit north of the mendoza line, this would be a non-issue.

The Spot Starters March 4, 2008 at 9:56 am

I don’t understand how he keeps yapping and complaining. He’s making 6 million a season and is not willing to do what he needs to do to help his current team win. Add that on top of the fact that he’s a lousy hitting player at a power position and I don’t see how there’s much of a market for the guy. If he really wants to get traded so badly it seems like the best thing to do would be to do whatever they ask you to do and be nice about it and just keep privately asking for a trade.

He just doesn’t seem like the sort of guy or player that any team would want.

stormhit March 4, 2008 at 10:54 am

He keeps yapping and complaining because he keeps being asked questions about it. I highly doubt he’s searching out reporters to go tell how unhappy he is. But if it’s a matter of responding truthfully to a reporter or giving some BS sports cliche answer, I prefer honesty.

Plus, to look on the bright side, the other side to the quote is that when he’s catching he tries really hard to succeed at it.

Ken from Cincinnati March 4, 2008 at 11:23 am

The first thing that I thought of when reviewing Inge’s comments and the comment thread was not how much I dislike Inge, but instead how much I like Marcus Thames. That guy has more offensive skill in his big toe than Inge and he has been absolutely silent about playing time. I mean, I haven’t heard one complaint. Hell, it seems like he doesn’t even want to be shopped around. He likes his organization and his teammates, recognizes his worth and relevance in baseball, and simply makes the best of it. Love that guy.

ez March 4, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Bilfer,

It is nice to see you have finally seen the light. Inge is a spoiled brat, who thinks only of himself and can only THANK HIMSELF for the position he is in. He hit himself out of the lineup and refuses to accept his own responsibility. But why should he accept responsibility when he has had legions of fans and the Detroit media bamboozled for years and thereby apologizing for him?

Look at the nonsense you wrote above.

“I railed against those that said he got the contract based on one good year because he actually strung together 1800 at bats where he was an adequate hitter (774 OPS).”-you.

I clicked on your 1800 at bats and see that it runs from ’04 through HALF WAY into ’07. Hmmm…. So your defense of Inge’s contract extension he signed at the end of ’06 includes half of the at bats he tallied in ’07? How is that flux capacitator working in the Delorean? You have managed to find a span of 1800 AB’s where Inge managed to turn the suck down. But the 1800 you quote cannot possibly be why he got the extension. Physics as we know it doesn’t allow for it.

He did get the extension because of one year filled with late inning game-has-been-decided mop up “Rob Deer” home run specials. Inge feasted on dead fastballs off of bad pitchers during a playoff run where we eventually lost the division to Minnesota on a game where Inge choked massively. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/DET/DET200610010.shtml If you look at this box score you will note Inge’s home run. But look closer. As he always did that year, he hit that homer when we were up 4-0. Then when the game gets tight Inge massively choked. He had the world’s friendliest gift scoring on a clear error in the 5th that lead to a run. He got charged with a real error for a run in the 8th that gave up the lead we had all game. He struck out twice with runners on third and less than 2 outs, including having the bases loaded. I can’t wait until you or someone else says: “But that is anecdotal, you need to use a larger sample size!” Really? Like using a sample size to justify a ’06 contract extension and including OPS numbers from ’07? There is the folly of massaging numbers. My anecdotal box score is far more representative of Inge as a player than all those 1800 AB’s. And MLB agrees with me, for no other team wants any part of that contract extension.

And speaking of desperately trying to defend Inge, finding a 774 OPS and NOT using all of his most recent year’s statistics makes you look desperate indeed. Why not use all of ’07? Oh yeah, because his average and OPS drop and his strikeout ratio goes through the roof.

The fact is this: you were wrong on Inge then. Subsequently he never has lived up to one decent year of power and one decent year of average. The fact the Tigers can’t unload him is proof positive that the rest of MLB agrees with this assessment and my anecdotes.

One of the attributes often given to Inge by his apologists was that he was a “team guy”. I completely disagreed then. He was handy in that he was always available for quotes for the media and his adoring fans could read them every day. What a great “team” guy.

But when his play became ever increasingly deficient he blamed everyone but himself. And now he is a complete detriment to the team with his refusing to do what is asked of him. What a great “team” guy (please note the dripping sarcasm).

It is of no surprise to me that he has turned into the Britney Inge I have long known him to be. He is now so bad with his whining and attitude that not even the most avid Inge Apologist can say “LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE! SHE IS NOT WELL RIGHT NOW! She was being pitched to like she was Babe Ruth… LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!!!”

ivantopumpyouup March 4, 2008 at 3:22 pm

“We have a shot to be an unreal team, why let someone try to tear away at the team chemistry like this has the long term potential of doing?”

Jim Leyland don’t buy into no chemistry bunk!

Kyle J March 4, 2008 at 4:45 pm

Very classy post, ez. If you’re not allowed to use 1,800-AB samples (or 1,500 AB if you want to remove the first half of 2007) to analyze a player’s performance at different stages of his career, then I assume no sample size is large enough.

Anthony March 4, 2008 at 5:07 pm

I didn’t like Inge as a starting 3rd baseman, but I liked him as a potential catching solution this year part-time and next year full time. He doesn’t want to do that, and its his right, and I understand it.

I don’t understand how he cannot take responsibility for his failures as a player, and understand his place in the game. He was essentially rewarded for his loyalty to the team with that bad contract. It was a bad contract the minute he signed it, but an obvious tip of the hat from Ilitch, Dombrowski, and Leyland. Now that contract along with his abysmal numbers (which would be considered solid as a catcher) are preventing him from being moved. Its mostly his fault. He needs to live with it, and most improtantly, own it. I don’t want anyone on a team I root for who doesn’t claim accountability. He would prefer to be a AAAA third baseman when he could be a borderline all-star catcher (and remain a fan-favorite).

He signed the contract so he should shut the heck up and play whatever position the team needs him to.

Also, he was in fact pitched to in a similar manner than Ruth and Ted Williams. The difference is that pitchers don’t go after dangerous hitters and stay out of the strike zone for the most part, out of fear of getting burned. They pitch Inge outside of the strike zone because they know he’ll swing at bad pitches. Big difference.

I won’t miss him. Its too bad Isiah Thomas isn’t a MLB GM or we could already have gotten rid of him.

Ryan March 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm

“My anecdotal box score is far more representative of Inge as a player than all those 1800 AB’s.”

Ez, unless you are dripping sarcasm that I’m not picking up, what the (man I wish I could use a string of colorful profanity here) do you think you are talking about? Do you not understand things? Do you think Hideo Nomo is one of the ten greatest pitchers ever? Brandon Inge is not a great player. Quite possibly not a good player. You couldn’t have made that case any more poorly. One more quote.

“Look at the nonsense you wrote above.”

I don’t like to attack someone personally, but that is the tone of your above post (directed against this site’s author), and I feel that gives me the license to respond in kind.

Kathy March 4, 2008 at 6:12 pm

Team cancer!

Nate March 4, 2008 at 6:28 pm

If you remove the data from ’07, and just look at his production before the contract the numbers don’t change that much:

1566 AB, .770 OPS. Not great, but not terrible either.

Was there a better alternative available at the end of the last year? How much more would the Tigers have had to pay this hypothetical third baseman?

I’m not arguing that he lived up to the contract last year, but I don’t think it was quite as ridiculous a decision as EZ does (and always has, to his credit).

Also, since EZ regularly says that Inge only hits meaningless home runs, I do feel it only fair to point out that 23 of Brandon’s 41 home runs in the past two years occurred when the difference in the game was only one run. In 2006, I guess you could say that EZ’s point is true: 8 of his home runs (a little more than a quarter of the ones he hit) did occur when the difference in the score was greater than 4 runs.

None of this means he should be a starter on our team, or even an option for the future at catcher. I don’t think he’d be an all-star at catcher; I imagine his offensive decline will continue as he gets older.

billfer March 4, 2008 at 7:20 pm

EZ – You got me. I’m desperately defending Inge because I have such incentive to do so.

I’ll admit to poorly writing my assertion. It says what it says so that’s fine. I’ll now clarify my intent with the statement about the 1800 at-bats and the contract.

My point was that Inge had more than one good season. That said “one good season” was actually several adequate seasons. The contract was of course based on 2004-2006. (as others have noted that span constituted over 1500 ABs with an OPS of 770 so I was clearly trying to massage the numbers). 2007 was included because for the first half of the season Inge was quite good.

It made for 1800 ABs and 2000 plate appearances, a span which was not insignificant. A continuous span large enough to indicate that Inge’s 2006 success was not a fluke as it represented nearly 3 full seasons worth of trips to the plate.

Yes, Inge’s career line is poor. It was miraculous that he was even around in 2004. But there is still a clear and distinct shift in performance that between the 2006 and 2007 seasons rendered his career performance not at all indicative of his value at the time. I could break out CUSUM, EWMA or Shewhart charts to show that a new mean level had been established, but considering your disdain for objective information or data why bother.

In fact, if I was as desperate as you claim I could have included Inge’s numbers from 2003 after he returned from his AAA demotion to further lengthen the time line that he didn’t suck.

But I’m done with this argument. There’s no point in continuing. You accuse me of cherry picking 3.5 seasons of data to make Inge look good while you select 8 homers to make him look bad.

I’ll stick by my 2000 plate appearances, you stick to your two dozen stories which you repeat time and time again. Who’s the desperate one?

Inge rightly deserves criticism for his offense in the second half last year (and the early part of his career). He deserves criticism for the last game in 2006 and for baserunning mistakes and for tagging third when there was no force out. He deserves criticism for his statements on Sunday. Which was the impetus for this post in the first place. I just step when the criticism is unwarranted or misplaced.

rings March 4, 2008 at 7:34 pm

While I’ve certainly never been an Inge defender, the stats or his performance is irrelevant here. The decision has been made (long overdue, in my opinion) that he’s no longer Detroit’s starting third baseman. However, I do think he’s making a terrible mistake the way he’s handling the entire situation.

Thames has never complained about his role behind Monroe and others, but I’m sure he’d like more AB’s. Maroth was a great community guy and took 21 losses in ’03, but never complained publicly about being left off the ’06 playoff roster or being jettisoned before his payday. C-Mo had moments of huge ego, but took his release/trade like a man and never cried to the reporters who surely asked him about his feelings. Chris Shelton was demoted for better offensive performance than BI, and failed to make the team in ’07 despite hitting .400 in S.T. and watching Casey hit under .200 for a month, and yet he never pouted after his release. Carlos Pena lost his job, suffered demotion, and bounced around several organizations before quietly resurrecting his career elsewhere.
As Bilfer states, many fans are equating Brandon with Bobby Higginson, rather than the above examples.

The Tigers’ job is to win, not please Brandon Inge. Obviously, he’s going to be paid the remaining $$ in his contract, but he’s destroying his fan support and potentially limiting his ability to stay in the game in the future by trying to dictate where he will or won’t play. Lots of folks have been disappointed with their roles at times, but I can think of few who’ve handled it with less grace.

billfer March 4, 2008 at 7:40 pm

Well said rings. I’m pretty sure it’s not the least bit coincidental that Leyland commented on Thames:

http://tigers-thoughts.blogspot.com/2008/03/my-inge-rant.html

EZ March 4, 2008 at 7:43 pm

Nate,

Thanks for seeing my consistancy. Also, 7 of those 8 meaningless jobs in ’06 were at the end of the year where we dwindled a double digit lead away to MinneHaHa. Though, you are right on ’07. Of the very few homers Inge hit this year many were in fairly critical situations. Though, a handful of dingers compared to 150 whiffs and a putrid average does not speak well of Inge. And I know you aren’t advocating that he played well in ’07.

Nate and Kyle,

I think you need to look at the body of Inge’s work, including catching when looking at his stats. For most of his career, particularly early, Inge couldn’t hit a thing. Inge finally did learn to hit a bit by going the other way and by doing so he posted his .287 year. After that pitchers took him more seriously and changed their approach on him. His average has dipped ever since. As for his one power year (27 dingers) many of those were hit in situations where the approach from the pitcher was different than if the game had been close. For that reason, I believe, you have seen the one abberation year of 27 dingers. Inge feasted on bad pitchers throwing dead nuts fastballs in games out of hand. That is not the approach used by pitchers in tight games. Inge has not been remotely close to 27 since.

Kathy, I completley agree.

Ryan,

You did a nice job of articulating. Believe me, I felt the stream of obcenaties :) I appreciate your defense of Bilfer. My posts can be acrid, yet I think Bilfer (through gritted teeth perhaps) would acknowledge how many times I have complimented him, his work, his site, and his loyalty.

Bilfer and I have heated debates about sabermetrics. We don’t agree at all on those. Today I think I rightly, albeit strongly, called out Bilfer for using some massaged stats. I think Bilfer realizes my post was not a personal attack. But to show I am not a complete monster, I apologize to Bilfer for any offense in writing style. Though, I won’t back off on the gist of my rebuttle to his 1800 statement.

Also, I think Bilfer would say that you need one jerk in any room to keep things lively, provided said jerk isn’t over the top. One would also hope said jerk had a point. I don’t think I have been too over the top and have not been repremanded or booted by Bilfer. Yet. And I do think I at least have a point. Apparently, you don’t think I have a point at all.

So, let’s talk about that…. Stats and metrics are important. They are wonderful tools. But I contend you use these tools too often in a massaged way. They are not nearly as good as you claim they are. Though, let me REPEAT that they are useful and important.. They help us make some determinations and stop ridiculous comments like (for example) “David Eckstein’s tremendous heart willed Granderson to slip and thereby hand the Series to the Cardinals”. Ok, I get that you need to quantify and quantifying helps prove that comment asinine. But quantification breaks down eventually or can be used to advocate stupidity. For example the reason why you don’t see “opptimized line-ups” in MLB is because of approach and nuance. Oh sure, it makes for good conversation in February, but we aren’t rolling dice here. Moving your 3rd and 4th hitters to lead off and second (or whatever the nonsense usually is) will not get you the half a run a game the computer models say they will. Why? Because the opposing manager can adjust his approach and that is a human element that can’t be quantified.

OPS? Great stat. OPS+ great stat. Range factor? Fair stat at best. Optimized line-ups? Dungeon’s and Dragon’s. There are good saberstats and there are bad saberstats.

Ryan, you may hate anacdotal evidence but there are times when it is valuable… Inge’s baseball IQ is awful. And it can be shown by anacdotal evidence… Tagging 3rd with no force. Getting picked off of third by a throw from catcher to pitcher. (yes, that is good work on Clemens and Posada, but you still need a runner gullible enough to fall for it, and in 50 years only Brandon has), getting doubled off of second on a 400 foot flyout of a 1 run game because he didn’t pay attention to how many outs there were, NEVER moving a runner along in the NY playoff series despite numerous chances, that last KC game in ’06… Inge has gaffes like no other. And those anacdotes add up. The proof is the fact that we can’t trade Inge unless we eat that ridiculous contract. Someone above made the brilliant comment that Inge is an athlete, not a baseball player. I believe the numerous and profound anacdotel evidence is proof of this.

I am not saying anacdotel evidence is more important than sabermetrics. I am saying that both have uses and limitations. For whatever reason my Inge debates usually segue to this topic.

If you can’t at least see any points in my original post or this follow up then I would suspect you of being deliberatly obtuse.

Which is fine. Agree to disagree.

EZ March 4, 2008 at 8:00 pm

Bilfer,

You say I only have the same two dozen stories? How about his lifetime stats? How about plunging average from his .287 campaign? How about plunging power from the abberation ’06 year?

Some of your metrics are great. And some are massaged nonsense.

I have never disdained objective information. We just don’t happen to agree on ALL sources of information.

You can recall all the stats you want from then to justify the deal then. However it turns out I was right and it was a bad contract. And speaking of small sample sizes only 30 MLB teams agree with me. You keep your 2000 at bats, they know more than the Cashman’s and Epstein’s of MLB.

Steve March 4, 2008 at 8:06 pm

I think in time things will work out. Spring Training goes for a bit and moving a player of Inges questionable ability and contract takes time to work through.
Bottom line on Inge for me is either; take the job we have for you as a sub and let us way overpay you for doing it or try winning anything with K/C or another schlep rock team playing everyday,,, we can move you to someone. Take your pick. That said I hope he stays because he has a lot to offer, but if he acts like he has been lately —- Later !

If he really wants to prove his worth and ability how about ultimate fighting ?, those guys sure arnt getting 6 mil. per year (nor can they play third ;) .

Hey Inge how does your job look now?

Steve

Kyle J March 4, 2008 at 10:20 pm

To summarize:

Using 1,800-at-bat samples is “massaging stats.”

Analyzing a single box score is “representative” of a player’s fundamental abilities.

Pretty difficult to reconcile those viewpoints.

wolvalum March 4, 2008 at 10:42 pm

As someone who spent a significant amount of time behind the plate in high school, I wholeheartedly disagree with Brandon’s complaints. While a catcher doesn’t get the “pitches off” that the rest of the defense gets, and it can be taxing on the legs (though adequate conditioning makes this a moot point), he’s embellishing his argument.

An inherent benefit of catching is being forced to pick up the spin on pitches and key in on the ball from release-to-glove. If anything, it provides an advantage in the way he’s able to approach hitting. Many catchers aren’t poor hitters because of a disadvantage built-in to the position’s demands, but because it’s a position so important to a defense that hitting often takes a backseat to steady defensive play.

Brandon’s problem is that he’s established a mental disconnect, an excuse for a lack of focus at the plate. This mental aspect cannot be overcome unless he makes the decision to overcome it. He’s made up his mind; a trade is the best avenue the Tigers can pursue.

Jim March 5, 2008 at 12:15 am

Where’s Stephen? I miss him.

Kathy March 5, 2008 at 10:19 am

Probably on the political trail. I miss him too.

Joel March 5, 2008 at 2:22 pm

“However it turns out I was right and it was a bad contract. And speaking of small sample sizes only 30 MLB teams agree with me. You keep your 2000 at bats, they know more than the Cashman’s and Epstein’s of MLB.”

So according to this argument the only thing preventing the Yankees and Red Sox from trading for Inge is a bad contract? 30 MLB teams NOT making a move does not confer agreement.

Mark L March 6, 2008 at 6:11 am

The bottom line is:
There are thirty starting third baseman in MLB. Inge is the 31st-best third baseman, when you consider both fielding and hitting, and the relative importance of each for a third baseman. How, then will he win the starting job he so desperately wants? Only through others getting injured, I suppose.
OK, maybe you can find a team with a third-baseman who is worse. (Because #5 and #26 are in the same system, for example) This will probably be a poor team with no interest in paying $19 million to a mediocre player of his age who may already be past his prime, and has lately shown a bad attitude.
So, it looks like we are stuck with Inge and will need Leyland to work his magic to improve his attitude, convince him to catch some, and use him as a replacement for the inevitable injury.

Chris in Dallas March 6, 2008 at 11:52 am

I certainly think there are teams out there with worse 3B than Inge. Discounting his horrendous ’07 at the plate, he’s been an average hitter (OPS+ of 109, 100, 98 and *gulp* 80 the past 4 years) and a plus fielder. The $19 million price tag is the reason he’s still a Tiger. I also tend to think he’s not the starting 3B because of the Jones trade in November, not the Cabrera trade in December. If they hadn’t previously made the Jones deal, I could see a world where Cabrera was the LF and Inge the 3B.

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