Only Detroit Tiger fans can really understand the value of a player like Brandon Inge. It goes beyond the home runs and average. Maybe he hasn’t been as dominating as Edwin Jackson or Justin Verlander. He doesn’t have the average of Micheal Young, or quite the power of Evan Longoria. He isn’t as fast as Chone Figgins, or have the star power of Carlos Pena and Ian Kinsler.
One thing he has on all of these guys is his defensive ability, and the ability to play the game “as it was supposed to be played.”
For most of us in the blogosphere, this is more than voting. Roar of the Tigers describes it as a mission. Detroit Tigers Weblog has lended fans this wonderful badge you can find on the top of this post. I’m 100% sure that Inge has been voted for multiple times by all of the voices of the Tigers on the internet. I have voted 200+ times now.
Is it simply because I am crazy? Very Likely. I don’t do it as a fanboy though. I do it, because I think that Inge has endured more than Pena, Lind, Figgins and Kinsler combined. He has been a catcher for a 119 loss team. He has been promised a role as a third baseman, and has been snubbed. Beyond a 2008 season, where he had to find a place to play, Inge has been on the field for almost every game of the year. I understand that he is hitting just .269. The man that made the team in front of him is hitting .310 this year. Micheal Young has a solid OBP as well at .373. Brandon isn’t that far behind at .361. Defensively it isn’t even close. The numbers suggest it is, but Inge has 37 more assists. For those of you that love the sounds of Karl Ravech, John Kruk and Eric Young, Brandon Inge is on top of the Web Gem leaderboard.
Mostly, I think he will enjoy and drain every single oppurtunity to learn there. One of the best all-star game moments was in 1999, when former Tiger Sean Casey made his first all-star game. He was giddy, greatful and lived in the moment. In his only at bat, he forced teammate Barry Larkin to videotape it. Inge would be the same way. He would be greatful for the opputunity.
Do your Duty for the Tigers and Brandon Inge, by voting for him here.