The great nightmare appears to be over. At long last, and on the day he was scheduled to, Brandon Inge has arrived in camp with the Detroit Tigers.
The panic was heard this morning, as Tom Gage virtually scolded Inge for have the audacity to (gasp) show up to work on time. Yep, you read that right; he wasn’t late to camp. Today is the mandatory reporting date and today is the day Inge reported.
Gage’s contention that despite Inge showing up on the mandatory reporting date each year for the past dozen, this season, given that he had to learn a new position, was the one he should have donated an extra few days to. I like Tom Gage, I have always enjoyed his work much more than some of his brethren, but this piece just screamed “slow news day.”
What it all boils down to is that Inge will do the work that’s asked of him. If you want to disparage a guy for showing up on time and for doing the work as asked, perhaps you should think about all those who hold out in other sports, who refuse to put out the effort expected of them. Inge has never been one of whom you can question effort.
It doesn’t ultimately matter whether he showed up today or a week ago, Inge’s role on this club will be determined by how well Miguel Cabrera adapts to playing third base, by how well Inge adapts to playing second, and most of all, by how well Inge hits during Spring Training.
Gage’s piece this morning served only one purpose (well, two if you count this response piece) and that was to give fodder to those in the anti-Inge camp. Inge did nothing wrong by showing up today, by showing up on time. Let’s not pretend he did.