Inge makes it

After long hours by many many Detroiters and Michiganders, Brandon Inge made his first All Star game. Yes there are flaws in the All Star game, and yes it is largely a popularity contest, ad yes in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter a whole lot, but to borrow a phrase from Jim Leyland “I’m tickled” with this selection.

Inge probably wasn’t the most deserving player on the final stand ballot, I’d give that designation to Ian Kinsler. But that’s not to say that Inge wasn’t deserving of a spot on the team. The qualifications though have been thoroughly debated. And regardless of your stance on the matter, it makes for a great story. I also can’t help but wonder if any other Tiger would have received the same amount of support.

However, what really sticks out for me is the fact that people in and around Detroit came together and accomplished something. I know the something is completely inconsequential, but it is something. The downtrodden state and city bit is too overplayed for my taste, and when the Spartans and Red Wings went on title hunts there was too much made of “it would be great for the region.” This is a little different though.

Those other instances were others making us feel happy for a little while. A nice mood lifter to be sure, but we were passive participants and all we could do was hope for the best.

This was a topic that people united around, a cause they collaborated on (and the Bran-Torino voting was a terrific move by the Tigers and Phillies marketing departments), and 11.8 million times in 4 days people clicked the submit button on the ballot. It was one thing that the people of Michigan had control over and they took advantage of it.

I’ve already read into this way more than I should and this is in no way a turning point or a sign or an indication that Brandon Inge has saved the auto industry. It’s small, it’s insignificant, but it’s something. A win is a win no matter how small, and I’m all about celebrating the wins.

17 Comments

  1. MacD

    July 9, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    I was thinking the same thing. It is poetic justice that the way this guy – who gets 24% of the player of the game vote even when he strikes out three times – gets into the All-Star game is on the backs of the local fans. While I suppose he could have wished it was his peers who put him in, this just seems right for the story.

  2. stephen

    July 9, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    Inge making the all star team joins the production of the K car, Ross Perot’s presidential campaign, and the Geico caveman getting his own sitcom as great, inexplicable moments in American history. This is a great country.

  3. Coleman

    July 9, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    Fantastic post!

    I thought Inge had virtually no chance (it didn’t help that I had no idea the voting didn’t have the same limits as the original voting. I suspect that will change in the future). I think the whole process is a bit silly; however that’s the way it’s set up, and Detroit fans took the opportunity, ran with it, and got their guy in.

    Other teams tried the teaming up thing first, but Detroit-Philadelphia seem to have pretty much buried their efforts. Aside from the clever marketing, I don’t think it hurt that there is something similar about what the fans in each city like about their guy, a kind of blue-collar synergy, that made Inge and Victorino natural counterparts in some way.

  4. Chris in Nashville

    July 10, 2009 at 12:44 am

    I had a weird feeling from the beginning that Inge would pull this off. Good for him and good for my home away from home.

  5. Walewander

    July 10, 2009 at 1:25 am

    “After long hours by many many Detroiters and Michiganders”

    And Ontarians! I voted far more than is dignified for someone my age. Brandon’s had a career full of twists and turns, and I’m delighted for him.

  6. Ryan P.

    July 10, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Holy crap, Inge is actually doing the Derby.

    “…Inge said Thursday night that he received a call by someone with Major League Baseball asking him his interest in taking part in the Home Run Derby Monday night at Busch Stadium. He had told reporters as far back as last weekend that he would love to do it if he had the chance…

    “…I’m pretty sure I’m in it,” Inge said Thursday evening from a charity function he and teammate Carlos Guillen organized at Comerica Park. “I talked to a guy a minute ago about it. I was excited about it.”

    That will be fun to watch, even if he doesn’t do well. I have this feeling that Inge has the potential to hit a bunch though, since he won’t be swinging and missing ;)

  7. Kevin in Dallas

    July 10, 2009 at 8:56 am

    I don’t get the wide support for Kinsler from everyone. Guess the grass is always greener, but the numbers weigh in favor of Inge. Also, I can tell you that the local Dallas media is not surprised that Inge got the nod. Norm Hitzges (probably DFWs most recognized sports voice along with Randy Galloway) recently noted “The right thing happened here.”

    A quick look at the stats:
    Kinsler: 84/20/54/.250/.328/.494/.822
    Inge: 76/19/54/.264/.360/.500/.860

    Defensively they are close, but Inge has gotta get the nod with a higher UZR at a tougher position. Don’t get me wrong, Kinsler is a fantastic player and I love watching him on the field, but kudos to B Inge.

    • Ryan P.

      July 10, 2009 at 9:12 am

      Well, clearly the support wasn’t wider than Inge’s. But Kinsler is definitely a more well-known name.

    • Coleman

      July 10, 2009 at 9:22 am

      Since someone is bound to suggest Inge’s numbers are inflated from a big April, I figured I might as well throw out the numbers for Inge/Kinsler from May 1 – current. They are almost identical:

      Inge 12 36 .247 .293 .447 .740
      Kinsler 13 34 .226 .301 .440 .741

    • Coleman

      July 10, 2009 at 9:27 am

      I have a feeling the local fans might have been more enthusiastic about Kinsler if he hadn’t just gone into a slump (2-for-26 in July).

    • rings

      July 10, 2009 at 11:13 am

      Third base is not a “more difficult” position than second.

      • Ryan P.

        July 10, 2009 at 11:24 am

        Ehh…it’s a different skillset. My opinion is that 3rd is more difficult than 2nd, but there are certainly differing opinions.

      • Andre in Chi

        July 10, 2009 at 11:47 am

        http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs.....part-three

        They tend to be weighted about the same, by those who choose to do that kind of thing.

  8. Coach Jim

    July 10, 2009 at 10:25 am

    I have a hard time endorsing players batting under .270. I also have a hard time with a roster of 33 for one game – 17 would be enough.

    I am reminded of 1989 when Mike Schmidt was voted a starter batting barely .200 – 2 months after he retired.

    Of course, I’m the same guy that would kick half the players out of the HOF. So way to go Brandon.

  9. rings

    July 10, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Congrats to Brandon and Tiger fans. I’m sure David is very happy :-)

  10. Keith (Mr. X)

    July 10, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    This is a huge win for Detroit. My faith in humanity is restored. lol.

  11. Chris in Dallas

    July 11, 2009 at 12:48 am

    I’m stoked for the HR derby.