Yes, this is yet another article about Brandon Inge. Afterall, outside of the 5th Starter competition and the possibility of Clete Thomas making the team over Andy Dirks, what else is there to talk about right now? Spring Training is coming to a close and the last round of roster cuts will soon be upon us. The one move that every Tiger fan is waiting to see is what exactly will happen with Brandon Inge.
There is a possibility that the Tigers will not go north with Inge on their roster for the first time since 1979 (not really… it was 2001 when he made his debut). While Inge does make around $6 Mill this season (and almost all MLB contracts are guaranteed) the Tigers have proven in the past that if they do not feel a player belongs on their 25 man roster, they will cut him, regardless of how much is owed on his contract this year. So, it is entirely possible that when the 25 man roster is released, Brandon Inge’s name will not be 1 of the 25.
If this is the case, and Inge is no longer a Tiger, I sincerely hope that he chooses to retire. While no athlete in Detroit right now creates an emotional divide like Brandon Inge, he has always been a Tiger. It would seem weird to see Inge on another team and would be truly unfortunate to see him cut by the Tigers, attempt to make another team, and fail. Last year there was rumors that Mike Ilitch had a person conversation with Inge urging him to go to Toledo rather than leave the Tigers. If you assume this to be true, thinking the Tigers could find a place for him as a Minor League Coach or a position in the Front Office is certainly a logical jump.
Now, this pontification could be all for naught as Inge still has a valid chance to make the Tigers roster. Paul Wezner of TigsTown.com, as well as a few others on Twitter would doing a bit of reverse engineering of the Tigers rosters by examining the likely makeup of the rosters of the Erie Seawolves and Toledo Mudhens. It appears that things could be lining up for Danny Worth to start out the season in Toledo, meaning that Inge will be in Detroit (almost by default). While that hardly cements his position throughout the year, it delays any decision he may have to make about what to do when he no longer wears the Old English D.
Regardless of the immediate 25 man roster outcome, hopefully a man who has given the past 11+ years to the Tigers (and has been paid nicely for it) can retire a Tiger while continuing to give back to the organization and community he has called home for his entire adult life.